Australian Heritage Council
© Commonwealth of Australia 2009
ISBN 978 0 642 55489 5
About this publication
The Australian Heritage Council has focussed on the development of democracy in Australia, from European settlement until Federation, as one of its key heritage themes.
The Council commissioned John Hirst, the eminent historian, to write about the history of democratic development in Australia, and in particular the places where key events occurred. There are great stories of both extraordinary and quite normal people, who made their mark at sometimes apparently very ordinary places. Some of these places are now included on the National Heritage List.
In Building a Free Australia: Places of Democracy John Hirst traces the development of Australia's journey to democratic government. In focussing on the nineteenth century, John highlights how Australia was both experimental and radical in leading the development of democratic expression, in widening the franchise, and protecting voters' right to express themselves.
The Australian Heritage Council hopes that the publication of this book will encourage interest, debate and further research into many more places that are associated with the story of our Australian democracy. These places and their stories deserve to be more widely known and celebrated.
Building a Free Australia: Places of Democracy is available from the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, John Gorton Building, King Edward Terrace, Parkes, ACT, 2600, phone 1800 803 772.