National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights

Ms Inta Allegritti
Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Newcastle

Imagining Ourselves as Intercultural Citizens

As Australia draws closer to the eve of its centenary it needs to resolve the moral crisis between the Indigenous and other Australians. At the heart of the matter is the question of who belongs to the Australian nation and how this belonging is defined. A number of positions have recently been offered including Peter Read's idea that belonging is contingent on sharing and equal partnership. This paper expands on this theme and argues that Australia needs to shift from economic rationalism to a reformist policy committed to long-term nation building. Part of such a policy would be to rethink Australian citizenship and adopt James Tully's idea of intercultural citizenship. The process of reconciliation could then begin. Participation in an intercultural, constitutional dialogue where the pre-modern conventions of mutual recognition, consent and continuity constitute the basis of a free and open conversation would represent the first step in the historical move towards democratic reform in Australia.

Inta Allegritti lectures at the University of Newcastle in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Her areas include Ethnicity and Migration studies (taught since 1984) and the Politics of Australian Citizenship. She is currently working on the links between Australian citizenship and cultural diversity. She has been an active member of the major ethnic organisations in the Newcastle region.

Presentation Type
30 min paper

University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

Papers & Workshops