A novel "The dues of St. Fitticks", and, essay "Paying your dues in the lucky country : Anglo-Celtic Australian attitudes to migrants"

Michael J. Armstrong, Edith Cowan University

Abstract

Through the medium of the novel and an accompanying essay, this project explores the relationship, particularly since the end of World War II, between the dominant (Anglo-Celtic) and non-dominant Australian cultural groups. I argue that upholding the dominance of Anglo-Celtic culture, particularly as a centre or "core" of Australian identity, is discriminatory and detrimental to the development of Australian society in general and the goal of multiculturalism in particular. Moreover, I question the thesis that Australia can have a "core" culture without marginalising the groups that do not reside within it. Instead of projecting Anglo-Celtic culture as the archetypal Australian identity and thereby reinforcing its hegemony, I argue that we should allow migrant cultures to impart their influence on Australian culture and identity. Only then can we facilitate a national identity representative of all Australians—a bone fide multiculturalism.