Science has opened new perspectives. Advancement in IT has prompted talk about an “intelligent machine”, the human factor being polarised within the dichotomy of an anonymous, brilliant programmer and an anonymous, enslaved operator. A practical materialism urgently needs a counterbalance in the form of a humanised worldview, based on a well-proven legacy of Western, European heritage still in competition, in Australia, with indigenous beliefs and oriental philosophies. British underestimate is challenged by American overestimate as a method in assessment of phenomena.
In particular, Europe’s turbulent history can serve as a benchmark, both in terms of a source of inspiration and a set of spectacular contradictions. A fresh access to archives encourages a re-interpretation of history. Unfortunately, in too many instances history seems to be reinvented and rewritten for whatever viewpoints one wants to expound. Consequently, stories rather than hard facts are taken for granted, notably, with respect to the Second World War. There are trends to categorise history as speculative and fictional, thus, diminishing its abundant qualities as a source of knowledge.
The new generation of Australians deserves a meaningful and inspiratory guidance towards a creative expression and rational argument. This is timely to the challenge of refining civic values among ordinary people where family, mateship, freedom, fairness, compassion and volunteering matter. There are different views, though, about a flag design and whether to promote, possibly, ‘Waltzing Matilda’ as a national anthem. New migrants refer to their ethnic roots within cultural diversity. Australians are generous in sharing their ethos with the world around them, albeit, this is envied by some radicals. Surely, there are researchers who will have a stamina to subscribe to humanities in the complex and contradictory, post-industrial social environment. Imaginative power once unleashed, it would radiate not only Australia-wide, but also throughout the region of South East Asia and, further, on to international scene.
Australia’s fresh history is deeply rooted in the traditions and experiences of those who arrived in waves from across the world. It is worthwhile to embark on a thorough and honest exploration of Western Heritage that has influenced so many immigrants, and examine how it has contributed to shaping Australia.
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International Research Institute
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