The Golden Country: Australia's Changing Identity

The Golden Country: Australia's Changing Identity

3.81 (21 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
By (author) 

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A topical and provocative exploration of Australian identity by Federal MP and author Tim Watts.

John Howard was the unlikely reformer of Australian society. He loosened migration laws, massively boosting the population and making it less white. Simultaneously, his divisive rhetoric about national identity-a legacy of White Australia-hamstrung discussion of these huge changes.

As the MP for a diverse electorate, the partner of a Hong-Kong-Chinese-Australian and father of Eurasian-Australians, and the descendant of a proponent of laws stopping Chinese people from coming here, Tim Watts asks- Why don't we remember Billy Sing, the Chinese-Australian sharpshooter at Gallipoli, or that Ararat was founded by Chinese miners? Why is Australia's imagined community so far behind our lived community?

Golden Country challenges us to reckon with the dark heart of Federation, the racial core of the Australian Legend, and to confront outdated notions of Australianness. It crunches the numbers on the economic and social effects of migration, and looks to a more inclusive future.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 155 x 232 x 19mm | 318g
  • The Text Publishing Company
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • 1925603989
  • 9781925603989
  • 295,015

Review quote

'Articulate, very readable, with a strong sense of urgency.' * Age * 'A superb evocation of how Australia needs to redefine its national story-and the public policy that goes with it-to catch up with the demographic reality that we are no longer a white but a "golden" country. Passionate, compassionate, and lucidly argued by one of the best and brightest of our new political generation, this is the book to ignite a long-overdue national debate.' * Gareth Evans, former Foreign Minister, Chancellor of the Australian National University and author of Incorrigible Optimist * 'The Golden Country is a timely challenge for us to snap out of our cultural sleepwalking, and remake Australian nation building for the twenty-first century.' * Tim Soutphommasane, former Race Discrimination Commissioner, and author of On Hate and I'm Not Racist But... * 'One of the rare politicians who's also a natural-born storyteller, Tim Watts deftly weaves the political with the personal as he lays out our shared realities and delusions over the Chinese-Australian story. What begins as a brilliant reframing of our history becomes something even more important: a hopeful call to what Australia could-and should-be as a country.' * Benjamin Law, author of The Family Law, editor of Growing Up Queer in Australia and creator of Waltzing the Dragon * 'A valuable contribution to the debate we have to have. I sincerely hope every politician reads this book.' * George Megalogenis, award-winning journalist, and author of Australia's Second Chance and The Australian Moment * 'A really important book-Tim Watts interrogates the past Australian story of race and immigration, and shows how it is now pointing to an emerging, inclusive, creative Australia, where the interweaving of ethnicities and cultures gives it immense appeal as a place to live and the means for "soft power" influence in world affairs. It should be read by everyone who has ever thought about race in Australia, and by teachers, and by all who sit at the (mostly) white pinnacles of our powerful institutions.' * Stephen FitzGerald, former ambassador to China and author of Comrade Ambassador: Whitlam's Beijing Envoy * 'It's not often we find engaging books by political figures starting out on their careers and offering tantalising visions of Australia's future. In The Golden Country, Tim Watts makes a timely contribution to one of the big challenges facing the country today: reconciling who we are with who we think we are. It makes for a lively and informative read.' * John Fitzgerald, Lowy Institute * 'There is much to recommend in the story he tells and his demonstration of the economic benefits of skilled migration.' * Australian *
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About Tim Watts

Tim Watts is the federal Labor member for the seat of Gellibrand, in Melbourne's west. Prior to entering parliament he was a senior manager at Telstra. Watts has been a lawyer at Mallesons Stephen Jaques and studied at the London School of Economics. He grew up in Queensland.
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Rating details

21 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 24% (5)
4 38% (8)
3 33% (7)
2 5% (1)
1 0% (0)
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