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'In 2001, Geoffrey Blainey argued that "a high proportion" of non-Indigenous Australians have developed a sense of place, "of feeling at home" in their country, that "has in part been created or manufactured". Though historians have contributed to this, he says, "Painters and writers have done most to create it" as "They tried to provide a sense of belonging, and a sense of continuity and history" (Boyer Lecture n. pag.). Several recent Australian novels - each with some historical basis - are set in Queensland's north and offer contemporary perceptions of the area's history from settlement to the end of the twentieth century. Published the year after the Mabo Decision, and Prime Minister Paul Keating's "Redfern Speech", David Malouf's 1993 novel, Remembering Babylon, is a fitting point to commence exploring depictions of settler society's relations to northern Queensland. Three other novels included in this study are Alex Miller's Journey to the Stone Country (2003), and Landscape of Farewell (2007), along with Gordon Smith's Dalrymple (2006). In these stories northern settlers struggle to cope - physically, psychologically and emotionally. The difficulties for settlers in developing an attachment to north Queensland, and their sometimes extreme responses, illustrate the powerful interaction between place, belonging and identity. '

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Last amended 9 May 2014 10:10:48
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