Whitefella Jump Up: The Shortest Way To Nationhood by Germaine Greer; Great Southern Land: A New History of Australia by Frank Welsh - review by John Clay

John Clay

Appreciating Aborigines

Whitefella Jump Up: The Shortest Way To Nationhood

By

Profile Books 229pp £7.99 order from our bookshop

Great Southern Land: A New History of Australia

By

Allen Lane The Penguin Press 720pp £25 order from our bookshop
 

EACH YEAR, ON a particular day in May, crowds gather in major Australian cities trying to get the government to say sorry to the Aborigines. So far, every administration has refused. Now, in this forcefully argued book, Germaine Greer takes the cause a stage further. She proposes an Aborigine Republic of Australia.

Her argument is that many key Australian characteristics derive from the Aborigines. The Aborigine's belief in reciprocity and fairness ('fair dinkum' in contemporary Australian usage), their generosity and their appreciation of endurance, skill and courage are all present-day cornerstone Australian qualities. Even the reticence that is at the heart of

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