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The Golden Country: Australia's Changing Identity

Tim Watts

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Text Publishing Company
19 September 2019
History; Politics & government
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challenges us to reckon with the dark heart of Federation, the racial core of the Australian Legend, and to confront outdated notions of Australianness.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.
By:   Tim Watts
Imprint:   Text Publishing Company
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 155mm,  Spine: 19mm
Weight:   318g
ISBN:   9781925603989
ISBN 10:   1925603989
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   19 September 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

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.

Reviews for The Golden Country: Australia's Changing Identity

'There is much to recommend in the story he tells and his demonstration of the economic benefits of skilled migration.' * Australian * '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 * '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 * '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 * '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 * '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... * '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 *


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