The 30th John West Memorial Lecture


Award-winning author and Professor of History Mark McKenna presents the 30th John West Memorial Lecture. 

Supported by the University of Tasmania and the Launceston Historical Society. 

Biography: Mark McKenna is one of Australia's leading historians. Professor of Australian History at the University of Sydney, he is the author of several prize-winning books, including Looking for Blackfellas' Point: an Australian History of Place, which won the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction and Book of the Year in the 2003 NSW Premier's Literary Awards.

Seven years in the making, his biography of Manning Clark won five national awards, including the 2012 Non-Fiction Prime Minister's Literary Award, while his latest book From The Edge: Australia's Lost Histories won the 2017 NSW Premier's Australian History Prize. His essays and articles have been widely published in Australia and overseas.

Abstract: Within the next decade Australia has the opportunity to finally achieve a meaningful constitutional settlement with Indigenous Australians, become a republic, and perhaps, in the process, re-define the way we see ourselves and the way the country is seen by others. If these changes are to have any realistic and meaningful prospect of success, we need to articulate a more cohesive and unified vision. We also need to understand that the republic is no longer about ‘breaking away from Britain’. In the early 21st century, republicans can’t rely on the language of the 1960s if they wish to achieve just and meaningful change.

In this lecture, Mark McKenna looks at the future prospect of an Australian republic in light of the history of Australia’s relationship with the British monarchy and the history of Indigenous Australia. An Australian republic, he suggests, is not about ‘growing up’ but something much deeper.


  • Friday, 16 March 2018 | 08:00 PM


Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre, Newnham Drive, Launceston 7248  View Map

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