The history and culture of Australia from 1788 until recent times is simply an extension of the history and culture of the British Isles.
English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh people (plus a few other related northern Europeans) came to Australia, and created the culture that we now recognise as traditionally Australian. Everything that we think of as Aussie culture came from those islands of the north Atlantic that were known in Roman times as “Britain”.
Consider what traditional Australian culture has contributed to the arts, and you may immediately recall names like the painter who defined our perception of the Australian bush, Fred McCubbin; the great Australian-born sculptor, Sir Bertram McKennall; the brilliant painter and author Norman Lindsay; our unsurpassed musical genius, Percy Grainger; our national poet, Henry Lawson; and other geniuses of British and Northern European origin.
Think of what traditional Australian culture has contributed to social progress around the world, and it is difficult to go beyond concepts pioneered in Australia by British folk – like the right of women to vote; the 8-hour day; the secret ballot; free, secular education for children … You can add to the list.
How about politics? The “Little Digger”, Billy Hughes; the wild Irish republican and separatist, Ned Kelly; the arch-royalist, Sir Robert Menzies; and the arch-republican, Gough Whitlam … All were steeped in the tradition of British Isles culture.
In every case, their thinking was grounded in the “home culture” of the British Isles. In most instances they went beyond that “home culture”, and came up with something with a uniquely Antipodean twist. Such is the nature of international British culture, constantly evolving and improving.
The United Kingdom Settlers’ Association was founded in 1967 in order to celebrate the wonderful contributions made to Australian society by migrants from the British Isles and their descendants, as well as to provide representation for these major contributors to our unique Australian way of life. (According to Australia’s leading demographer, Dr Charles Price, about 70% of Australia’s population is from the British Isles.)
The UKSA, now known as the British Australian Community, is still going strong today, promoting the ongoing contributions to Australia of British Isles migrants and their descendants.
If you feel that you might like to become a member of the Association, please get in touch with:
BRITISH AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY
146 TOORAK ROAD WEST
STH YARRA, VIC, 3141
PHONE: (03) 9866 1722
POSTAL ADDRESS: P.O. BOX 707,
STH YARRA, VIC, 3141, AUSTRALIA
The President of the British Australian Community, Mr Barrie Hunt, can be emailed at: