Creating White Australia
Edited by Jane Carey and Claire McLisky
Sydney University Press
The adoption of White Australia as government policy in 1901 demonstrates that whiteness was crucial to the ways in which the new nation of Australia was constituted. And yet, historians have largely overlooked whiteness in their studies of Australia's racial past. Creating White Australia takes a fresh approach to the question of 'race' in Australian history. It demonstrates that Australia's racial foundations can only be understood by recognising whiteness too as 'race'. Including contributions from some of the leading as well as emerging scholars in Australian history, it breaks new ground by arguing that 'whiteness' was central to the racial ideologies which created the Australian nation.
This book pursues the foundations of white Australia across diverse locales. It also situates the development of Australian whiteness within broader imperial and global influences. As the recent Apology to the Stolen Generations, the Northern Territory Intervention, and controversies over asylum seekers reveal, the legacies of these histories are still very much with us today.