Holbrook, Carolyn: Failure to attach: Australians and their Federation

Carolyn Holbrook

Failure to attach: Australians and their Federation: History and Policy Conference, King’s College, London, 17 December 2018‘, Soundcloud

The Australian federation was hailed as a beacon of democratic governance at the time of its establishment in 1901—a cutting-edge fusion of representative and federal ideals. The shimmer faded rapidly, however. Deficiencies such as service duplication and fiscal imbalance between an enriched Commonwealth and impecunious states have proved stubbornly resistant to reform. Australians have rejected thirty-six of the forty-four proposed amendments to the Constitution since 1901. This paper examines the link between Australians’ resistance to reform of the federation and their lack of affection for it. It shows that the failure to attach can be traced to the very earliest years after Federation. (blurb)

This is an audio presentation (18.29 min) without transcript. Carolyn Holbrook is a member of the Honest History committee.

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