Australia: In Search of Itself

A once brash and prosperous country suddenly must cope not only with reviving its spirits but reinventing its future

ON A CATTLE RANCH IN QUEENSLAND'S REMOTE outback, Andrew Phillips, 12, does his homework -- in Japanese. One of 25,000 Queensland students studying the language, he walks around the homestead near Richmond, some 780 miles northwest of Brisbane, the state capital, telling his family to close the door, open the window, in words they cannot understand. Says his mother: "Andrew's grandfather fought against the Japanese in New Guinea. He lost a lot of friends there, and is a bit funny about Andrew learning Japanese, but I just think we have to be realistic about what might be useful for his future."

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