The fallacy of remoteness
Kenneth McKenzie Dallas (1902- 1988) was a Tasmanian historian, teacher, writer and socialist. In September 1968, the Tasmanian Historical Research Association (THRA) published a collection of three articles by Dallas, each offering a different perspective on aspects of Australian history.
The second of the three: ‘The fallacy of remoteness’ is a critique of Geoffrey Blainey’s ‘Tyranny of Distance.’ Dallas argues that “The inland plains were a land of promise not a distance to be overcome” (p 55). The article is republished here with the kind permission of the THRA.
Dallas – The fallacy of remoteness
V. Gordon Childe (1892-1957) made himself the most influential Australian scholar in the humanities and social sciences. Forty years after his death, his ideas stimulate thinkers well beyond his own field of Prehistoric archaeology. Humphrey McQueen has returned to Childe’s writings to reflect on current disputes about facts, theorising and politics in the piecing together of our past. Continue reading
by Humphrey McQueen
26 January – or thereabouts
Vox Pop illustrates that the most enthusiastic celebrants of Australia Day do not always know what happened on 26 January 1788 in Sydney Cove. Continue reading
A selection of Canberra inspired ballads
Originally published in Gough and Johnny were lovers
Although we are more than half way through our May Day dinner, it is never too late to say grace: ‘For the food and drinks that we are enjoying, we thank the working classes’. We have already expressed our thanks to the catering staff who know that the good things have come from further afield than their kitchen. Hence, we thank farmers and fruit-pickers; the factory hands who built the tractors and trucks; the navvies who laid the expressways and rail tracks; the building workers who constructed the processing plants and warehouses; the packers and delivery drivers; the clerks in offices and supermarkets. It is to them, and many more, that we owe the food we put on our tables three times a day. Hence, we owe all our meals to the entirety of the working people, to a social continuum of human creativity around the globe. We should have the grace to thank them.
18 May 2015
I think poetry should be treated, not as a lofty art separated from life, but as a way of seeing and expressing not just the personal view, but the whole context of the writer’s times. For me, it has been a way of searching for understanding of my own life and of what was happening to me and around me.
Judith Wright, ‘Foreword’, A Human Pattern (1989)
‘… with love and fury’ is how the environmentalist, feminist, historian, literary critic, poet and secretary of the Treaty Committee, Judith Wright, often signed off her letters to friends. Continue reading
by Victor Isaacs
THE AUSTRALIAN SETTLEMENT IN PARAGUAY
Following the failures of the maritime dispute in 1890, the shearers’ dispute in 1891 and the great economic depression of the early 1890s, many in the Australian working class came to the conclusion that Australia would not become a workingman’s paradise. Some sought other solutions, such as starting anew elsewhere. Continue reading
by Victor Isaacs
This is not an article based on deep research – it is more in the nature of a survey of already published information, with a bit added by me. It surveys labour daily newspapers in Australia, that is, newspapers controlled by the labour movement, which attempted or claimed to provide a comprehensive daily news service. Continue reading
Speech to the Sydney Institute – 9 June 2010
Speech by Humphrey McQueen at launch of Paul Robert Adams’s ‘The best hated man in Australia’, The Life and Death of Percy Brookfield 1875-1921 (Puncher & Wattmann), held at the Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University on 25 August 2010. Continue reading
Speech to Wikileaks rally, Garema Place, Canberra, 16 December 2010
By what right are we here today? Why are we confident that we can protest and not be shot at by the political police on the fringes of this crowd? We take it granted that we won’t be arrested as we leave. We do not expect to lose our jobs by speaking out for Wikileaks. Continue reading
By Humphrey McQueen
A talk given at the Katoomba section of the Sydney Writers’ Festival, 17 May 2011 to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Varuna Writers’ Centre. Continue reading
November 13th, 2013, Wheeler Centre, Melbourne.
Sponsored by Spirit of Eureka, Victorian Trades Hall and Liberty Victoria Continue reading
History, both modern and ancient, is strewn with examples of conflicts between Christendom and Islam. The 1571 Battle of Lepanto is one of them. In this detailed article, Canberra historian Humphrey McQueen takes a closer look. (Ed) Continue reading
This paper examines how the women of Broken Hill in 1910 found their voice in a correspondence column run by “Madge” in the local labour daily paper, the Barrier Daily Truth. Continue reading
PhD Student, University of Sydney
Labour and social historians alike have rarely considered the role of company-based recreation in Australian industry. As a result many issues are left unexamined, issues that should lead to a greater understanding of class relations, working class culture and labour management strategies. Continue reading
Dr Jenny Hocking
ARC QEII Research Fellow, National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University
When a society shows an attitude of intolerance and malice towards part of the organic process of its cultural development, it is acting malevolently towards the whole culture as well as towards the part of the organism…it does not merit a living culture.1 Continue reading