History

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American advertisement for non-surgical nose correction.

Friday essay: the ugly history of cosmetic surgery

Surgical makeovers might seem a modern phenomenon but they have a long and disturbing history: from 16th century skin grafts done without anaesthesia to reductions of "primitive" large breasts.
The Yininmadyemi sculpture in Hyde Park celebrates Indigenous and Torres Strait Island service men and women. On Anzac Day, who are we honouring? Mick Tsikas/AAP

In remembering Anzac Day, what do we forget?

Anzac Day is a big part of our national story. But the politics of memory mean the parts of this story that don't fit neatly into the Anzac narrative are too often forgotten.
Koori women Treahna Hamm, Vicki Couzens and Lee Darroch wear ‘Biaganga’, traditional possum coats at the Melbourne Museum’s Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Melbourne. Julian Smith/AAP

How living museums are ‘waking up’ sleeping artefacts

Museums are cracking open the temperature-controlled, dehumidified display cases and inviting people in. Working with Aboriginal communities is reawakening cultural connections and ancient art forms.
There’s too much evidence of violence in Australia’s past to hide behind euphemisms. The Founding of Australia, Algernon Talmadge, 1937.

Of course Australia was invaded – massacres happened here less than 90 years ago

Detailed historical research on the colonial frontier unequivocally supports the idea that Aboriginal people were subject to attack, assault, conquest and subjugation: all synonyms for the term 'invasion'.
Whose story are you telling? Neil Armfield’s The Secret River is a chronicle of colonialism. The Sydney Theatre Company/Heidrun Löhr

The Secret River, silences and our nation’s history

The stage version of The Secret River gives us a deeper sense of our history. But can understanding the past from different perspectives help us confront the inequalities that linger in our present?
A new exhibition gives us an insight into the daily life – and language – of Australian soldiers in World War One. Courtesy of University of Melbourne Archives, University of Melbourne.

Dinky-di Aussies: how slanguage helped form a new national identity

When Australians went to the Western Front, language failed them. So they invented slanguage: a mix of slang, French words and creative swearing that, among other things, gave us the word "Aussie".

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