Who’s history?

Paul Keating has an article has an insightful article in the SMH about heritage… with just a little about himself.

I agree with his comments about the approach of the National Trust. It is important to maintain and reflect upon items, spaces and ideas that have played a part in the developing of an Australian identity. It’s also important that we continue to evolve our identity.

Much of our late industrial heritage, that bastion of white, employable males, just don’t cut it. It is not public space, so resonates little with all but retired engineers and train buff-types. But its potential renewal has great value to current and future generations.

If the maintenance of heritage can be a part of this renewal, this is the best outcome. If not, then something has to give.

Sometimes we get caught up trying to save old things, perhaps because our modern history is relatively short. I wonder how much this may be a symptom of undervaluing the value of our Indigenous heritage, with the established hierarchy in Australia’s history placing western industrialism (and industrialised warfare) at the apex. The lived experience of the rest of the community somewhere underneath, and Aboriginal culture further below.


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