Daley, Paul: Statues are not history. Here are six in Australia that need rethinking

Paul Daley

Statues are not history. Here are six in Australia that need rethinking‘, Guardian Australia, 25 August 2017

Daley targets statues of Lachlan Macquarie, John Batman, Thomas Mitchell, Angus McMillan, Alfred Canning and James Cook.

We do not learn history from monuments and statues, but from interrogating and challenging them. We learn our history from forensic archival research, from pushing back against orthodoxies, from arguing and debating what’s on the page, said in the classroom and thrown back at us by self-appointed guardians of the status quo, be they shock jocks, denialist academic “historians” and politicians or “look at me”-style reactionary columnists.

A separate piece by Gabrielle Jackson sought reader opinions on which Australians deserved a statue. Paul Daley is one of Honest History’s distinguished supporters. He has a chapter in The Honest History Book. The chapter is titled ‘Our most important war: The legacy of frontier conflict’. Related material on statues and memorials is collected here.

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