Australia - celebrate Western heritage and Christian tradition
In the following and on the ABC's The Drum Unleashed I argue that the new ALP inspired national history curriculum should recognise and celebrate Australia's Western heritage and Judeo-Christian tradition.
Australia, it's Western, Christian and proud
Given the nationís celebration of Australia Day, itís timely to ask
the question: what does it mean to be Australian and how are we
different to the rest of the world?
One answer, best
illustrated by the new ALP-inspired kindergarten to year 10 national
history curriculum, released last December and to be finalised by
October this year, is that we are part of Asia and a multicultural and
secular society that is characterised by diversity and difference.
of celebrating Western civilisation, Christianity and Australiaís
Anglo-Celtic heritage, priority is given to "Asia and Australiaís
engagement with Asia", along with "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
histories and cultures" and politically-correct issues like the
In relation to Asia, teachers are asked to
make students Asia-literate and teach about the, "histories,
geographies, cultures, arts, literatures and languages of the diverse
countries of our region".
When talking about migration,
students are told that they should study "the long history of migration
to Australia by people from Asia and appreciate the contributions made
over time by Asian Australians to the development of Australiaís culture
The history writers are also happy to
state that, "The Australian Curriculum: History values Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures" and that students should
be taught about the "principles and virtues that are deeply embedded
within these communities".
Ignored is the role of the
British Empire in spreading trade, technology, education, medicine and a
commitment to the Westminster system of government throughout the world
and the significance of the Commonwealth of Nations.
reading the national history curriculum, one searches in vain for a
proper acknowledgement that modern Australia is Anglo-Celtic in origin
and that our history can only be fully understood in the context of the
nationís Western heritage and Judeo-Christian beliefs and values.
Christianity is mentioned it is usually in the context of other
religions, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism, and there is
little recognition of the central role of the Catholic Church in
European history and Western culture. A clear example of this attempt to
airbrush Christianity from history, under the heading historical terms
and concepts, is to replace BC (before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) in
favour of the more politically correct, secular alternatives, BCE
(Before the Common Era), BP (Before Present) and CE (Common Era).
Itís ironic that when many talk of the clash
between Islam and the West, and Australia is involved in wars against
Islamic extremism in Iraq and Afghanistan, that we appear unwilling or
incapable of teaching future generations about the unique nature of
Western civilisation and the very values, beliefs and way of life that
protect us and offers sanctuary to thousands from overseas.
is an alternative to the national history curriculumís
politically-correct focus on diversity and difference (code for
multiculturalism) and the belief that all cultures are of equal value
While geographically close to Asia, Australia
is a Western nation, proven by the fact that our political and legal
institutions and much of our language and literature are derived from
Britain and Europe. Concepts like habeas corpus, separation of powers and innocent until proven guilty are unique to Western civilisation.
no accident that the Preamble of the Australian Constitution contains
the words, ďhumbly relying on the blessing of Almighty GodĒ and that the
Commonwealth Parliament begins each daily session with the Lordís
While itís true that since federation, and
especially in the years after the Second World War, Australia has become
a more culturally diverse nation, the reality is that the overwhelming
majority of those living here can trace their ancestry back to the UK,
Ireland and Europe.
Itís also true that the reason why so
many millions of migrants have come to live here is because of the
peace, prosperity and tolerance that characterise our way of life. A
way of life that that will quickly disappear if we fail to teach future
generations about what truly unites us as Australians.
Dr Kevin Donnelly is Director of Education Standards Institute. The Donnelly family migrated from Kingís County, Ireland in the 1850s and settled in Wagga Wagga, NSW.
Responses to this Post
> Tame the black dog
Sign in and have your say
Latest Blog26th January 2011
In the following and on the ABC's The Drum Unleashed I argue that the new ALP inspired national history curriculum should recognise and celebrate Australia's Western heritage and Judeo-Christian tra...
$20.00 plus $6 postage
1st January 1970