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In the past two years, considerable media and governmenent attention has been directed towards the teaching of Australian literature in secondary schools. This article explores the main themes of this discourse, and considers recent discussions about Australian literature in the National English Curriculum in the context of this debate. By way of responding to the emphasis on canonical works that has been a hallmark of media texts about this issue, this article contends that Australian secondary students will be best served by an English curriculum that supports a nexus or relational approach to the teaching of Australian literature, and recognises the role the national literature plays in enabling students to mediate their lived experiences, and make connections with others.