Writing Contemporary History in Australia

  • Ross Fitzgerald


The changing agenda of Australian historiography is best exemplified by comparing volume 1 of Manning Clark’s A History of Australia, in which blacks and women were lost or hidden groups, with volumes 5 and 6 where they have been given prominence. Published in 1962, volume 1 dealt with ‘the mighty theme of the coming of European civilization to Australia’. It is I suppose understandable given this theme and the mind-set of the times that Aboriginal peoples were afforded scant recognition. What is more striking is that there is no entry in the index under ‘women’ (the ‘female factory’ scores three entries). In contrast, in volume 5 ‘women’ are given 27 lines of entries (they are afforded seven lines in volume 6) while Aborigines are much more prominent in both later volumes.1


Aboriginal People Narrative History General History Contemporary History Australian People 
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Copyright information

© British Australian Studies Association 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ross Fitzgerald

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