Donald Horne

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Donald Horne AO
Born Donald Richmond Horne
(1921-12-26)26 December 1921
Kogarah, New South Wales
Died 8 September 2005(2005-09-08) (aged 83)
Sydney, New South Wales
Occupation Journalist, writer, social critic, and academic
Language English
Nationality Australian
Genres Non-fiction, fiction, social commentary, autobiography
Notable work(s) The Lucky Country (1964)
Spouse(s) Myfanwy Horne
Children 2

Professor Donald Richmond Horne AO (26 December 1921 – 8 September 2005) was an Australian journalist, writer, social critic, and academic who became one of Australia's best known public intellectuals, from the 1960s until his death.

Horne was a prolific[1] author who published three novels and more than twenty volumes of history, memoir and political and cultural analysis. He also edited The Bulletin, The Observer and Quadrant. His best known work was The Lucky Country (1964), an evaluation of Australian society that questioned many traditional attitudes: "Australia is a lucky country, run by second-rate people who share its luck."[2]

Background and early years[edit]

Donald Horne's early life was recounted in the first volume of his memoirs The Education of Young Donald (1967). He was born in Kogarah, Sydney and raised in Muswellbrook, where his father was a teacher at the local school, and Sydney. He enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney in 1939 and attended Canberra University College;[1] however he never completed his undergraduate degree.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Horne began his career in journalism and worked for a number of Frank Packer's publications, first as a journalist for The Telegraph, then editor of the magazine Weekend, and later the periodical The Observer (1958–61). As editor of the flagship magazine The Bulletin (1961-2 and 1967–72), he removed the magazine's long standing motto "Australia for the White Man", an action in which he took great pride. He was co-editor of Quadrant magazine (1963–66).[1][2]

Appointed as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales in 1973, Horne was promoted as a professor of political science in 1976, a member of the University Council between 1983-1986 and Chairman of the Faculty of Arts between 1982 and 1986, retiring as Emeritus Professor.[1] Between 1992 and 1995, Horne served as Chancellor of the University of Canberra.[3]

He also worked on writing, arts and citizenship boards and was an executive member of the Australian Constitutional Commission.[2]

Despite initial conservative views,[2] throughout his long career, he was unorthodox and independent-minded, without a consistent political allegiance. He was, however, known through much of his public career for his republicanism and opposition to the White Australia Policy.

He was still giving media interviews up to the last year of his life, when he died as a result of pulmonary fibrosis after a long illness.[1] His wife, Myfanwy, later completed his part-written manuscript, published as Dying : a memoir in 2007.[4]

Honours and legacy[edit]

In 1982, Professor Horne was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to literature;[5] and in 2001 was presented with the Centenary Medal for service to the Centenary of Federation celebrations in New South Wales.[6]

He was named as one of Australia's Living National Treasures by the National Trust.[citation needed]

Horne has been conferred with a degree honoris causa by a number of Australian academic institutions, including Griffith University (Doctor of the University), University of New South Wales (Doctor of Letters), University of Canberra (Doctor of the University), the Australian Academy of the Humanities (Fellow), and the University of Sydney (Honorary Doctorate: 2005).[1]

In 2008, the University of Canberra announced the establishment of the Donald Horne Institute for Cultural Heritage.[3]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Social commentary[edit]

Political history[edit]

Autobiography[edit]

  • The education of young Donald. Angus & Robertson. 1967. p. 331. 
  • Confessions of a new boy. Ringwood, Victoria: Viking. 1985. p. 372. ISBN 978-0-14-008754-3. 
  • Portrait of an optimist. Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin. 1988. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-14-011236-8. 
  • Into the open : memoirs 1958-1999. Pymble, New South Wales: HarperCollins. 2000. p. 358. ISBN 978-0-7322-5862-7. 
  • Horne, Donald; Horne, Myfanwy (2007). Dying : a memoir. Ringwood, Victoria: Viking. p. 265. ISBN 978-0-670-07102-9. 

Fiction[edit]

  • The permit. Melbourne, Victoria: Sun Books. 1965. p. 175. 

Travel[edit]

  • Right Way - Don't Go Back. South Melbourne, Victoria: Sun Books. 1978. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-7251-0304-0. 
  • The intelligent tourist. McMahons Point, New South Wales: Margaret Gee Publishing. 1992. p. 415. ISBN 978-1-875574-16-2. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Horne, Donald Richard". Muswellbrook Shire Hall of Fame. Muswellbrook Visitors Centre. 2005. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Huxley, John; Selinger-Morris, Samantha (9 September 2005). "Forever misquoted, Donald Horne dies". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Macdonald, Emma (6 July 2008). "Slice of the lucky country". Sunday Canberra Times. p. 4. 
  4. ^ "Donald Horne: As I lay dying". The Weekend Australian Magazine. 22 September 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "HORNE, Donald Richmond: Officer of the Order of Australia". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 14 June 1982. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "HORNE, Donald: Centenary Medal". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 14 June 1982. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 

Further reading[edit]