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January 08th 2009 print

Michael Connor

Memory – it’s a Left thing

Remember Australia Day 1988?

Remember Australia Day 1988?

I do. I was among the two million spectators around Sydney Harbour. It was great day. Someone else who was there was academic David Andrew Roberts.

In a new book, Turning Points in Australian History (UNSW Press), Roberts writes on “The Arrival of the First Fleet and the [note the scare quotes] ‘Foundation of Australia’”.

Roberts remembers that he was present on the shores of Sydney Harbour “among the 100,000 [sic] heat-stroked crowd”:

My outstanding memories, next to sunburn and claustrophobia, are of Aboriginal protestors greeting the ships with shrill slogans and threatening gestures.

Perhaps he forgot to slip, slap, slop.

I thought you might like to know.