1. From Bondage To Freedom
The Australian Achievement by LJM Cooray (1996)

Two hundred years ago, Australia was a vast continent inhabited by nomadic tribes living at basic sustenance levels and used by white settlers as a prison camp. It has since developed into one of the most free nations on the earth. Its rise and development has been no accident. Australia did not rise spontaneously from the dust. The natural elements of the island-continent did not make it. Nor was it the creation of idle, empty men without purpose or hope or subtlety of thought.

Australia, as a nation, was founded by men who brought many civilised values and institutions with them. It was the commitment of the people of Australia to these values and institutions, as they built the new nation, which made the difference between success and failure. Their belief in the transcendent validity of these values and institutions led them to implant and defend them in the new land, with the unabashed confidence that these were the values and institutions by which people may prosper in a free and prosperous commonwealth.

These values and institutions did not spring from the ground or fall from the sky. They were brought here by men of the West. Australia, therefore, stands in the tradition of the Western Civilisation, which stands at the apex of human achievement. As such, Australia stands within a wider commonwealth of nations and a wider tradition. The values and institutions which have raised Australia are similar to those same which have raised the whole Western world. The task of this book is to enumerate upon and explain those values and institutions.

This book is about the movement from Bondage to Freedom. This raises concern about whether "values and institutions" discussed in this book are being undermined in Australia and the western world. Is there a movement backwards to a new bondage?

The query was raised by a person who read the manuscript why the book contains no reference to "aborigines" or the concept of "multiculturalism". Neither are the British specifically referred to. The book is not about people, races or sexes. It is about the "values and institutions" (as defined in section 2) which made possible the Australian Achievement.

There is a degree of repetition in this book which is deliberate. My apologies to those who find repetition irksome. The subjects treated are interrelated and overlap. The development and understanding of an argument in one place is often dependent on what is stated elsewhere, and in such a situation a reference or a brief summary is provided to bridge the gap and provide continuity. Cross references are provided, but often the reader does not follow up a cross reference. Thus the reader may miss out on the argument, because an issue analysed in another place is not remembered or it has not been reached.