Abstract from Professor Philippa Mein Smith's Guest Lecture presented at the Treasury on 23 August 2005.
Professor Philippa Mein Smith
University of Canterbury
Philippa Mein Smith is Associate Professor of History and Director of the new NZAC (NZ - Australia Connections) Research Centre at the University of Canterbury.
She is the author of A Concise History of New Zealand, recently published by Cambridge University Press in the Cambridge concise histories series, which seeks to place New Zealand in its global and regional context, linked to Britain, immersed in the Pacific and part of Australasia. The co-author of A History of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific (2000), with Donald Denoon, a project which launched her current research, she also has two earlier books, Mothers and King Baby: Infant Survival and Welfare in an Imperial World: Australia 1880-1950 (1997) and Maternity in Dispute: New Zealand 1920-1939 (1986).
This lecture presents some results from the Anzac Neighbours project at the University of Canterbury, funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand to explore 100 years of multiple ties between New Zealand and Australia. Ever since Australian Federation, Australian and New Zealand national stories have ignored each other. But a new Australasia has emerged with globalisation, and this new Australasia has a history.
The project team began with a series of propositions developed from their previous work, which included an understanding that Australia and New Zealand belong historically to an interactive region, which continued to exist even though the name of Australasia was forgotten in the early twentieth century; and that whatever singular historical paths each nation took, along with separate imaginings of national identity, these are undercut by continuing exchanges at various levels of institutional organization, policy, and cultural influence. So it seems from our research. The lecture presents and explores some historical, and continuing, trans-Tasman communities of interest, and suggests a strategy of adding value to the Australia - New Zealand relationship by highlighting and encouraging their development.