Essay help on Nation is a Collective Identity
A nation is a collective identity, which is determined based on past memories, symbols and values that projects into future.  National identity is a concept, which is created based on ethnic groups whose memories, values, symbols shape culture and boundaries of the nation. It links memories, traditions, values and symbols to specific region and distinguishes itself from other countries. Nationalism represents importance of identity and belonging as per the primordial account and it embodies pre-existing ethnic traditions and also recognizes modernity as that which, plays a significant role in national mobilization. In spite of diverse culture within the country and increase of immigrants in global world who reshape the national identity, it provides the members of nation to reflect and reinforce their national identity, its meaning and functions for nation and among the future generations. Australian national identity was initially attached to British ethnic and civic culture and it was a myth that British culture was foundation for Australian nationalism and could keep them united. The myth of terra nullius is having a negative impact on Australian national identity as it leads to increased discrimination against Indigenous Australians. This essay analyzes the impact myth of terra nullius is having on Australian national identity
The myth of terra nullius has failed to provide the right national identity to Australians. The basic human rights of protection and equality for Indigenous people are defined and provided by the International Convention on the rights of Indigeneous people. The rights include nondiscrimination within the state and protection of their religious practices and culture.  But the rights to self-determination and owning a land are still not included in the rights of indigenous people who are already demanding for it. Australians failed to provide even protection from nondiscrimination and right to equality to the Indigenous people for several decades. Australian law made monumental change in relation to Aboriginal people in 1992 as high court decided the case of Mabo v Queensland where the decision recognized native title and nullified terra nullius doctrine. The native title is a collective right in the Australian common law. This highlights that the white Australians accepted that terra nullius was a legal assumption treating Aboriginal people as invisible and had no sovereignty. This was followed by the recognition of native title rights of Wik people in 1996. Howard argued that Wik judgement of the High Court was threatening and Native Title Laws were threat to settler-colonial state’s financial competitiveness along with nation’s income and future of the country. He emphasizes his point that Indigenous people cannot be given rights as they are passive and uncivilized and assumes them as less fortunate in their community and as being helped by taxpayers’ money that is generated by farming and mining industries. He emphasized that the Indigenous reap the benefits if taxpayer dollars through which they get financial assistance and also threaten their rights to livelihood and ownership of lands and considered it to be unfair. This view of Howard emphasizes that Indigenous people are not capable of building the nation or adding value to the economy of the nation and hence are not capable enough to seek for right to lands and self-determination.
Over the period of time, there have been significant changes in Australian demographics, which have led to national identity recognition. The country is forced to change its earlier identity of ‘white Australia’ to more multicultural and multiethnic identity.  There is an argument by Morgan stating that demographic and other changes have led the Australian society to an identity crossroad.  Today, the country has people belonging to different culture and ethnic groups and hence cannot emphasize on creating national identity of ‘white Australians’ instead it needs to legitimize and integrate Indigenous peoples in to the constitution and to the place as they existed well before the British entered and occupied Australia. With the ongoing changes in demographics and values within Australia it should not support any kind of discrimination and ensure equal rights and responsibilities for all the citizens. The acceptance that terra nullius was not fair in recognizing Indigenous people will enable the Australians to establish mutual cultural respect and acknowledge the prior and continuous existence of the Indigenous people who have been living on the land from long. The inclusion of Indigenous Australians and giving them equal rights can make them socially, economically and culturally prosperous. This will enable the country to establish a strong national identity of multicultural and multi-ethnic society, which will highlight the Australian values of egalitarianism, equality and respect for all religion and ethnic groups.
National identity provides an individual sense of belonging to one nation or state. It enables people to view and follow national beliefs and values and adopt them in every aspect of their lives. Fr Australians, national identity has been complex as the country was invaded by mainly by British and occupied the country stating it has terra nullius, which was a myth as Indigenous people existed in the country from several decades. Based on myth of terra nullius, national identity was influenced by white Australians. But with the introduction of Native Title Act, some of the Indigenous Australians got equal rights to self-determination and ownership of land. Over the years, demographics of the country has changed and include multicultural and multiethnic people changing its national identity. The myth of terra nullius led to a false national identity, which needs to be changed by giving equal rights and responsibilities to Indigenous people.
Ariely Gal, ‘Globalisation and the decline of national identity? An exploration across sixty-three countries’, Nations and Nationalism, 18/3 (2012), 461-482.
Calhoun, Craig, Nations Matter: Culture, History and the Cosmopolitan Dream (New York: Routledge, 2007).
Kramer Jillian, ‘(Re)mapping Terra Nullius: Hindmarsch, Wik and Native Title Legislation in Australia’, International Journal Semiot Law, 29(2016), 191-212.
Lightfoot Sheryl, ‘Indigenous Rights in International Politics: The Case of “Overcompliant” Liberal States’, Alternatives, 33(2008), 83-104.
Moran Anthony, Australia: Nation, Belonging and Globalization (New York: Routledge, 2005).
Nicoll Fiona, ‘Defacing Terra Nullius and Facing the Public Secret of Indigenous Sovereignty in Australia’, Borderlands, 1/3 (2002), 1-10.
 Gal Ariely, ‘Globalisation and the decline of national identity? An exploration across sixty-three countries’, Nations and Nationalism, 18/3 (2012), 463.
 Craig Calhoun, Nations Matter: Culture, History and the Cosmopolitan Dream (New York: Routledge, 2007), 51.
 Ariely, p. 462.
 Anthony Moran, Australia: Nation, Belonging and Globalization (New York: Routledge, 2005), 89.
 Moran, p.50.
 Sheryl Lightfoot, ‘Indigenous Rights in International Politics: The Case of “Overcompliant” Liberal States’, Alternatives, 33(2008), 86.
 Lightfoot, p. 93
 Moran, p.51.
 Jillian Kramer, ‘(Re)mapping Terra Nullius: Hindmarsch, Wik and Native Title Legislation in Australia’, International Journal Semiot Law, 29(2016), 203.
 Kramer, p.203.
 Kramer, p.203.
 Calhoun, p. 147.
 Moran, p.91.
 Lightfoot, p. 94.
 Fiona Nicoll, ‘Defacing Terra Nullius and Facing the Public Secret of Indigenous Sovereignty in Australia’, Borderlands, 1/3 (2002), 6.