What’s Happening to Australia
My life-long friend and I were chatting recently about the dramatic changes in Australian society since the revolutionary 1960s and 1970s. We both agreed that Australia has had its best years, those years culminating in the 1950s when Australia was one, sure of itself, patriotic and optimistic. A few days later, the essay below appeared, extending our conclusions. It is an excellent essay that serves as a warning to the ordinary Australian. If someone does not act soon to stem the decay, well, we can kiss goodbye to our nation and leave it in the hands of those who hate us.
Daniel Wild, in Essays for Australia, IPA
29 November 2021
For many Australians, Australia no longer feels like Australia. The relaxed, sunny, and optimistic attitude characteristic of the quintessential Australian has been replaced by a deep sense of pessimism, malaise, and a loss of self-confidence and self-belief. There is a growing unease that something has gone very wrong with our country and way of life, accompanied by an unshakable belief that Australia’s best days are behind it.
The spirit of our sunny optimism was perhaps best captured on 29 November 1948, the day the first commercially sold Holden rolled off the assembly line at Fishermans Bend in Port Melbourne. The Holden was “Australia’s own car.” The first car “made in Australia, for Australia”, described by then-Prime Minister Ben Chifley as a “beauty.”
The Holden was more than a car. It was a symbol of national success and hope for the future. The parent company of Holden, General Motors, stated at the time that “the manufacture of a car is the greatest industrial stride Australia has made since the production of steel was introduced in Newcastle in 1915.” And that the start of car manufacturing “will go down as a milestone in Australia’s history.”
It was a time when almost every Australian who wanted a job had one. And almost every one of those jobs was stable, full-time, and available to Australians of any cultural background, skill level, or occupation. It was the era that gave birth to the Australian dream of owning a home in the suburbs on a quarter acre block.