Former publisher and founding editor of Griffith Review Professor Julianne Schultz challenges our notions of what it means to be Australian and asks urgent questions about our national identity.
In this timely book she asks, ‘What is the ‘idea of Australia? What defines the soul of our nation? Are we an egalitarian, generous, outward-looking country? Or is Australia a nation that has retreated into silence and denial about the past and become selfish, greedy, and insular?’
Schultz came to realise that the idea of Australia has always been a contest: between those who are imaginative, hopeful, altruistic and ambitious, and those who are defensive, self-interested and inward-looking. She is convinced we need to acknowledge and better understand our past to make sense of our present and build a positive and inclusive future. She suggests what Australia should be more ambitious and could be more compassionate, fair and informed.
Julianne spoke with Per Capita’s Emma Dawson about her recent book, The Idea of Australia: A search for the soul of the nation.
Webinar recorded on 4 May, 2022.