Book 9: Griffith Review 51: Fixing the System edited by Julianne Schultz and Anne Tiernan – 326 pages
Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Griffith Review 51- Fixing the System sets out to examine Australia's political and social system and to investigate why so many believe it to be unfit for purpose. While Australia has never been richer, its people better educated and the country better connected internationally, there is a widespread perception that systems and key institutions are broken. Interest groups flex their muscle and block each other. Risk management has paralysed the system. Commentators proclaim the 'end of the reform era'. They lament the rise of a 'new volatility' in the nation's electoral politics; the demise of the capacity and will to lead; and the paucity of debate of the problems and challenges facing Australia. They complain about the resistance to change and openness to bold new ideas, and the ability to talk frankly and fearlessly about the kind of society we want to build for the future. All this is happening in a world that is changing rapidly, but without a clear road map. Edited by Julianne Schultz and Anne Tiernan, Fixing the System examines this chorus of complaint. It asks what is broken and examines the reasons how and why. It considers what needs to be done to revive the lucky country. Contributors include Carmen Lawrence, Clare Wright, Peter Van Onselen, Paul Ham, Gabrielle Carey, Chris Wallace, Jonathan West, Megan Davis, Stephen Mills, Anne Coombs, Graham Wood, Lee Kofman and many more.
The University I work for, Griffith, issues four ‘Griffith Review’ books each year. These books are a compilation of essays on a particular, timely topic. My boss randomly came around one day and asked if anyone wanted to read the latest Griffith Review, and me, being the nerd I am, said ‘sure’. This volume was about the issues in the Australian political and social system. There seems to be an ongoing dialogue in Australia on who and what we are, versus what we intend to be. We seem to struggle to work out what we want our identity to be - personally, I think this is as a result of being a British colony smack bang between Asia and the United States, with a very multicultural population (27% of Australians are not born here, over 50% have a parent who was born overseas - myself included). There is no real answers out of this volume, just a lot of discussion of the variety of issues, including reflections of new Australians on the struggle with fitting in. Though the topic of this volume wasn’t really my area of interest (beyond it being about my country), I did end up getting a subscription to the Griffith review, so it must have hit a nerve in some way.
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