A Letter From The Publisher, Apr. 4, 1960

AUSTRALIA is a weird country," ¶ Novelist D. H. Lawrence once wrote, a country with "a wonder and a far-awayness." To put together this week's comprehensive report on Australia—the cover, color picture spread and cover story—TIME called on a team that erased the farawayness.

To paint the cover portrait, the editors chose one of Australia's most illustrious painters: William Dobell, 60. whose bold, imaginative style has won him the New South Wales National Art Gallery's Archibald Prize for portraiture three times. Painter Dobell found Prime Minister Menzies a "good sitter," reports that they chatted...

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