Publication Details

Carey, J. L. and Mclisky, C. (2009). Introduction: Creating White Australia: new perspectives on race, whiteness and history. In J. L. Carey and C. Mclisky (Eds.), Creating White Australia (pp. ix-xxiii). Sydney: Sydney University Press.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Creating White Australia – Sydney University

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9781920899424


As the promulgation of the White Australia Policy in 1901 would seemingly demonstrate, ‘whiteness’ was crucial to the constitution of the new Australian nation. And yet historians have paid remarkably little attention to this in their studies of Australia’s past. ‘Whiteness’, as a concept, has only recently been recognised as a significant part of the story of Australian nationalism. In seeking to understand the operations of ‘race’, historians have primarily looked towards Indigenous peoples and other ‘non-white’ groups. Creating White Australia takes a fresh approach to the questions of Australian national formation and the crucial role of race in Australian history. Including contributions from some of the leading scholars in Australian history as well as the work of emerging historians, it argues that ‘whiteness’ has been central to the racial regimes which have so profoundly shaped the development of the Australian nation.