Howard’s Way or Deane’s Way: Culture Wars in Contemporary Australia
From: Managing Diversity
Over the past ten years at least, a period largely defined by the prime ministership of John Howard, but arguably extending back through twenty years of pronounced economic change and social uncertainty, Australia has experienced sustained and often bitter debates over that most slippery of terms, “national identity.” Sustained “culture wars” have been engaged over questions of tolerance and inclusiveness, and the management, or mismanagement, of the diversity that has developed since the 1960s, associated with multiculturalism, the recognition of minorities, and the prospect of reconciliation with indigenous peoples.
David Headon is cultural adviser to the National Capital Authority and formerly director of the Centre for Australian Cultural Studies, Canberra. He taught for more than fifteen years in the Department of English at the University of New South Wales (Australian Defence Force Academy). He is a regular commentator on cultural issues. His publications include North of the Ten Commandments: A Collection of Northern Territory Literature (1991), Crown or Country: The Traditions of Australian Republicanism (1994), The Abundant Culture: Meaning and Significance in Everyday Australia (1995), Our First Republicans (1998), Makers of Miracles: The Cast of the Federation Story (2000), and The Symbolic Role of the National Capital (2003). He was the project coordinator, editor, and co-writer of The Griffin Legacy (2004).