Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Yacker globe Yacker logo
NEWSLETTER NO. 35         SPRING 2007


This year's joint meetings of ANZSANA and AAALS were hosted by the Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies at Georgetown University , March 22-24. Just on 50 scholars and government officials participated in the ANZSANA meeting and upwards of 30 attended the AAALS meeting. Participants in each meeting listened to a score of papers and readings. Highlights were a Thursday evening reception at the Australian Embassy, at which welcoming remarks were delivered by Gary Quinlin, the Embassy's DCM, and the joint conference dinner on Friday evening at the historic City Tavern Club in Georgetown , which was kindly co-sponsored by the New Zealand Embassy. Guest speaker for the conference dinner was Colin Keating, Executive Director of the UN Security Council Report on UN peacekeeping operations, who gave a painstaking account of those operations and the roles of Australia , New Zealand , and the U.S. in them. the guest luncheon speaker earlier that day was Arthur Emerson, from the Library of Congress, who provided an overview of Australian materials in the Library of Congress. His paper, "The Almost Magic Pudding" can be found on the Clark Center 's web page, At the annual business meeting, ANZSANA participants elected Rhonda Evans Case ( East Carolina University ) to succeed Jason Pierce ( University of Dayton ) as president for the next two years and Greg Brown ( Georgetown University and CENTRA Technologies) as Vice President for this period. Frances Cushing, from the Clark Center , will continue as Secretary/Treasurer. Other members of the ANZSANA Board for 2008-09 are John Higley (Clark Center), Alan Tidwell (CANZ, Georgetown University), Kim Nossal (Queen's University), Dick Teare (past president), Jason Pierce (past president), and Francine McKenzie (University of Western Ontario). Jim Hoy ( Emporia State University ) will be the point person for the AAALS conference organization.

It was agreed that the joint meetings in 2008 will be hosted by the Clark Center in Austin, and the dates set for the meetings are February 28 to March 1 (2008 being a leap year). The Clark Center has already made a block booking for quite sumptuous, but still affordable, accommodations in Austin's Double Tree Guest Suites Hotel, where most of the meetings will take place. Details about next year's meetings, together with a Call for Papers, will be circulated early in the fall.

At the beginning of 2007 Jason Pierce set up a website for ANZSANA at Up until now, ANZSANA has not had a free standing web address, but has used the Clark Center's website, with thanks to Ronda Rowe, the Australian subject librarian at UT-Austin, for maintaining it, so this is a useful new venture for the association. Both the Clark Center and CANZ at Georgetown will be linked to the ANZSANA website. The Clark Center will continue to add information regarding call for papers, conference locations, and programs, but the main location for information regarding ANZSANA conference will be its new website.


I write this a day after I returned from two weeks in Australia where I was able to meet with a range of scholars and government officials about projects that the Clark Center would like to undertake during the next year or two. Let me tick off several of these, inviting readers who find them relevant to their interest and work to explore them further with the Center. With due apologies for top-of-the-head project titles, they are:

Whither American & Australian Studies?  This would be a stocktaking colloquium co-organized with the International Assn. Of Australian Studies, of which Kate Darian-Smith at Melbourne Univ. remains president, and UT-Austin's Department of American Studies. After robust expansions during the 1960's, 70s and 80s, both fields appear to be experiencing uncertainties about their future directions. The colloquium, which might take place in Austin a day or two before next February's ANZSANA and AAALS meetings, would compare and contrast how American and Australian Studies are faring and how they might buttress each other across the Pacific.

Population Growth in the U.S. and Australia. To perhaps be held in collaboration with Bob Birrell's Centre for Population Studies and John Nieuwenhuysen's Institute for the Study of Global Movements, both at Monash University , this would entail a conference looking at the pressing question of population size and environmental sustainability in the two countries. It is significant that the US population recently passed the 300 million mark with nary a public comment about the question of maximum population size, a silence that would b unimaginable in Australia where the Big Dry is now so constricting.

Australians in the United States. The National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash, directed by David Dunstan and David Heeson, is interested in possibly launching a mapping and survey of the more than 70,000 Aussies now employed in the US.

The Australian-U.S. Alliance after Bush & Howard.  To be held in spring 2009, once a new US administration has taken office and made it's most important appointment, this conference would perhaps pick up where the recently published study of "the other special relationship," organized by Dickenson College, the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College, and Griffith University (see item below), leave off.

These are a few undertakings that deserve further consideration. On a lighter note, probably my most important discovery out in Australia these past couple of weeks was the Garrison Keillor and The Prairie Home Companion are scheduled to broadcast from Australia and then New Zealand later this year. Now that will be a serious confrontation of American culture with the countries down under!
John Higley



On the first weekend of March Dr. Pam Ryan, Research Associate of the Clark Center , brought together a cross-section of 340 Australian citizens and 40 members of the country's Muslim community at Old Parliament House in Canberra . The purpose was to engage in two days' of deliberations about the integration of Muslims and non-Muslims in Australian society. Dr. Ryan's non-profit think tank, Issues Deliberation Australia, organized the conclave, which was chaired by former PM Bob Hawke, with former Science Minister Barry Jones and former National Party Leader Ian Sinclair as co-chairs. In addition to participating in small-group discussions, the participants asked questions of several panels that consisted of an array of community and religious leaders.

Before arriving in Canberra , a third of the participants believed that Muslims make Australia a worse place in which to live, but after their deliberations this proportion dropped to 7 percent. Beforehand, likewise, 44% believed that Muslims threaten the Australian way of life, but this decreased to 21% after deliberating on the issue. Similarly, 44% of the participants believed initially that Muslims have a negative impact on Australia 's security, but only 23% held this view after the weekend's discussion. It was apparent that the deliberations increased citizens' knowledge about Australia 's Muslims significantly: beforehand 70% of the participants were unable to say accurately what proportion of the Australian population is Muslim, but by the end of the conclave 95% were able to give the correct estimate, which is less than 2%.

The gathering was covered extensively by Australian media, and several international specialists in public opinion research came to Canberra to observe this latest instance of Pam Ryan's illustrious deliberative polls about issues of major concern to Australia .



A year ago the Howard Government, in conjunction with the American Australian Association in New York, announced it’s intention to provide a A$25 million with which to create and endow a U.S.Studies Centre. Substantial contributions from corporate benefactors and the relevant Australian state government are expected to bring the endowment to A$50 million or more. A competition was held among Australian universities to host the Centre, and in November Sydney University was chosen as its location for the next six years. Prof. Robert O’Neill, the distinguished scholar of international relations, has been serving as the Centre’s interim director while the search for a permanent director takes place.

Plans for the Centre's initial operations are firming up. In addition to appointing a Director, advertisements of three professorial chairs, each of which will eventually be augmented by the appointment of one or two Senior Lecturers/Lecturers, will soon be issued. The three chairs will be located in the fields of US politics and foreign policy, US business and legal systems, and American society and culture. Starting with Australia’s 2008 academic year, the Centre and Sydney University (of which the Centre will be an integral part) will offer a M.S. program in US Studies involving eight courses spanning the fields represented by the chaired professors. A preliminary "summit meeting" of Australian scholars who conduct research and teaching on US affairs, augmented by a handful of prominent US-based scholars, will be held in Sydney late this fall. Also planned for the fall are a national opinion survey to examine Australians’ perceptions of the U.S. and a Classic American Film Festival held in collaboration with UCLA. Further details about the Centre can be found at


Dr. James Renwick, a Sydney barrister, has been named Fulbright Professional Australia-U.S. Alliance Scholar for 2007. Dr. Renwick’s primary interest is the constitutional puzzles that beset recently enacted national security legislation, as well as national security practices, in Australia and the U.S. He holds a doctorate in juridical studies from the University of Sydney, where he teaches a course on national security law in addition to practicing law. During 2004, Dr. Renwick represented Australia in the hearings of U.S. v. David Hicks at Guantanamo Bay. Dr. Renwick plans two research visits to the U.S., one during July 2007 and the other at the year’s turn in December and January. In Washington he will be a visiting fellow at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Advanced Study. It is possible that Dr. Renwick will collaborate with the Clark Center and the UT School of Law to organize a colloquium on national security law for some members of the US appellate bench. His e-mail address is


Under the aegis of Dickenson College, the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, and Griffith University, a score of Australian and US scholars met four times in the two countries during 2006 to discuss issues ranging form foreign policy, economics and business, domestic politics and public opinion, to security and defense. Dr. Higley represented the Clark Center in this study. Its results are published in a book titled The Other Special Relationship: The United States and Australia at the Start of the 21st Century. With an Introduction by the Hon. Bill Hayden, former Governor General of Australia, the volume contains 16 chapters examining these many aspects of the Alliance. Copies free of charge my be obtained through the War College’s website



John Higley. "Elite and Leadership Change in Liberal Democracies." Comparative Sociology, 6 (1&2): 6-26 (with Jan Pakulski)

John Higley. "The Relationship’s Political Aspects: An American Perspective." In The United States and Australia: The Other Special Relationship, eds. D. Stuart and J. McCausland, US Army War College, 2006: 145-60

Frances Cushing, Clark Center Research Associate, was the Content Advisor for Teens in Australia, 2007, part of Compass Point Books’ series Global Connections that looks at the "challenges, pastimes, and customs of teens around the world".

Recent Clark Center Visitors
Sally Bolton, AEI Los Angeles
Krista Northrup, AEI Los Angeles
Professor Cassandra Pybus, University of Sydney

YACKER Is published in the fall & spring by The Edward A. Clark Center for Australian & New Zealand Studies,
Harry Ransom Center 3.362
The University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713-7219
Telephone: 512/471-9607 Fax : 512/471-8869 email:
This Newsletter was not printed with state funds.

  • Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies

    The University of Texas at Austin
    300 W 21st St STOP F1900
    HRC 3.137
    Austin, Texas, 78712