What's happening at the
Sunday 20 Aug 2017 | 08:42 | SYDNEY
Sunday 20 Aug 2017 | 08:42 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: A great national project?

By


This post is part of the Australia-Indonesia relations debate thread. To read other posts in this debate, click here.

COMMENTS

28 May 2012 12:14


This post is part of the Australia-Indonesia relations debate thread. To read other posts in this debate, click here.

Richard Green writes:

The idea of treating The Asian Century as a 'great national project' akin to multiculturalism raises an interesting point about leadership. I think of Australian multiculturalism as one of the great successes of Australian history, yet the contribution of our leaders was largely in the form of getting out of the way by removing arbitrary immigration laws, for example.

Multiculturalism was driven by countless small interactions between Australians of many backgrounds. It is worth noting that the last bastions of White Australia are in parliament, boardrooms, the upper reaches of the press gallery, think tanks, media and the press corps. These are islands of monoculture in a diverse sea.

By the same token, the Asian Century may well be already emerging through the actions of Australians (and Asian colleagues) far from power. When our leaders talk about how 'we' must engage more with Asia, young people in particular are probably entitled to ask, 'What do you mean "we" palefaces?'

You may also be interested in...