[Australian candidates for literary fame] [24 June 1824]

[Editor: An early call for a move towards a more culturally independent Australia, advocating that the Australian intelligentsia be educated in Australia rather than go overseas to study. This article is an extract from the news and editorial section of the The Sydney Gazette, 24 June 1824.]

[Australian candidates for literary fame]

To many of our Readers it must prove a source of great satisfaction, particularly parents and guardians, when they understand our columns are occasionally adorned with productions emanating from the pen of four Australian candidates for literary fame — three of whom are altogether currency.

Why the colonial youth should be exiled to the other side of the world, and be forced to brave the dangers of the ocean, for the purpose of receiving that instruction which is to enable them to grace and benefit the sphere in which Providence may permit them to move, must remain a Query, which, we humbly think, is daily growing unanswerable? Not but that parents and guardians have a right to exercise their prerogative in this important case; but then may not the propriety of an act be questioned, which savours so much of the absence of prudence, and evidently betrays a want of common penetration?

The Colony, even in our yet infant state, can boast of seminaries well calculated to qualify the most brilliant genius for all the exertions to which it may be called; and here, it should not be forgotten, we have sources of mental improvement apart from the endless incitements and attractions to accomplished and almost irresistible vice, that are so much the fashion of Europe.

Why then, again it must be reiterated, with examples the most flattering before us, should the Australian be driven from home (either through false pride, ignorance, or over-anxious fondness), in quest of certain evils that are so easily to be avoided? Perhaps some one of our colonial literati will be able to solve the enigma, pro bono publico.

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (Sydney, NSW), Thursday 24 June 1824, page 2

Editor’s notes:
currency = people born in Australia; native-born European Australians were known as “currency lads” and “currency lasses”

pro bono publico = (Latin) a phrase meaning “for the public good” which refers to work undertaken without payment as a service to the general public (usually regarding work carried out by those with a professional background, especially unpaid work by the legal profession)

[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]

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