Moment of Truth: History and Australia's future


Mark McKenna, one of Australia's leading historians, in the latest Quarterly Essay: Moment of Truth. History and Australia's Future reflects that Australia is on the brink of momentous change, but only if its citizens and politicians can come to new terms with the past. Indigenous recognition and a new push for a republic await action.

Judging by the Captain Cook statue controversy though, our debates about the past have never been more fruitless. Is there a way beyond the polarities of the history and culture wars? And in an age of free-floating fears about the global, digital future, is history any longer relevant, let alone equal to the task of grounding the nation?

In this inspiring essay, Mark McKenna considers the legacies of the frontier in Australia's historical consciousness and its importance to constitutional reform and our future as a nation.

University of Sydney Professor Mark McKenna is the author of several prize-winning books, notably An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark, which won the Prime Minister's award for non-fiction and the Victorian, NSW and South Australian Premiers' non-fiction awards. His last book, From the Edge. Australia's Lost Histories (MUP 2016) won the 2017 NSW Premier's Australian History Prize.

Professor Rae Frances, Dean of the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences will deliver the vote of thanks. 

Pre-event book signing will be available from 5.30pm and again after the event.This event is in association with Dymocks Canberra and books wll be available to purchase.