First thing to say is this – the librarians at the University of Adelaide (Barr Smith) Library are fricking awesome.
One of them has gone above and beyond the call of duty and dug up some stuff I didn’t even know they had, which is going to be very useful for my thesis. Huzzah!! Definitely getting a thank you in the acknowledgements, and I will also write a letter naming her to the chief librarian.
Part of ‘the stuff’ was the papers of the 1988 Australian Coal Association Conference. Two things to note –
a) less importantly, at some point between ’86 and ’88 the Australian Coal Association re-did its logo from a simple ‘ACA’ inside an outline of Australia to a post-modernist squiggle.
b) more interesting, 1988 was the two hundred anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet (some unexecuted dregs shipped out to other people’s lands to stop the French getting it). There were ‘celebrations’, at least among some of the whitefellas. Here’s a song though, from one cool dissident whitefella…
A ship is sailing into harbour
A party’s waiting on the shore
And they’re running up the flag now
And they want us all to cheer
Charlie’s head nearly reaches the ceiling
But his feet don’t touch the floor
From a prison issue blanket his body’s swinging
He won’t dance any more
The image shows a ship from the first fleet and a coal transporter. A claim to ‘authenticity’ and nationalism is being made, not very subtly.
Next up, I tracked down a 1992 publication from the Australian Mining Industry Council (industry lobby group, underwent a detoxification in 1995 and became the Minerals Council of Australia, which is still going ‘strong’.) The images don’t need any particular commentary…