Australian History’s Last Stand

Written by:
27 December 2018
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 Australian History is no longer being taught as a study of past events but as a social commentary on the present, according to a new Institute of Public Affairs report: Australian History’s Last Stand: An Audit of Australian History Teaching at Universities, authored by Dr Bella d’Abrera, Director of the Foundations of Western Civilisation Program at the Institute of Public Affairs. 

The report systematically reviews the 147 Australian History subjects offered across Australia’s 35 universities which offered programs of History in 2018. It reveals that the most common theme was identity politics, drawing on one or more of class, race, and gender. Of the 147 Australian history subjects available, 102 were taught through the lens of identity politics. 

No single Australian Prime Minister, either Liberal or Labor, is mentioned in any of the 147 subject descriptions, whereas Pauline Hanson is mentioned three times in three different subjects. This tells you everything you need to know about the current state of Australian history. 

The audit also revealed that students are not being taught the basic concepts which explain the origins of Australian society and its successes as a modern nation. 

“By re-framing Australia’s past using the lens of identity politics, they are warping history to fit their own agenda.” 

“Historians occupy a special position because they have the unique ability to shape our society and to shape the future. They are able to change the future, but they should not attempt to re-write the past,” said Dr d’Abrera. 

“Historians have re-cast themselves as political activists. 

“Australians are not being taught that the modern nation of Australia was founded on liberal principles, and that our nation’s story is a success story. We have lost the ability to understand who we are and where we came from. We are not passing this information onto future generations,” said Dr d’Abrera. 

Download the report: Australian History’s Last Stand: An Audit of Australian History Teaching at Universities.

Download the media release here.

For media and comment: Evan Mulholland, Director of Communications, 0405 140 780, or at [email protected] 

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