From Aborigine and Boomerang to Wallaby and Woomera, this longtime editor of the Sydney Sunday Sun has compiled a batch of essays on ""the rough and glossy qualities"" of the Australian personality and character. Australia's history as a British dumping-ground for transported criminals, and the unforgotten tyranny of the penal settlements, are still contributing to the national tendency to resent authority, but the rigors of pioneering and the awesome topography of the continent have shaped a sort of national backbone of discipline as well. The bushrangers, the gold rush days, the widespread devotion to horse racing, the virtuosity of a generation of world-traveling confidence artists, the country's heroes of commercial aviation and other men of valor all come under survey here, as do two ""elaborate studies"" made by Melbourne University's Psychology Department explaining why private family life, rather than public community life, still dominates Australia today. All this comparatively non-controversial material is handled deftly. Less than satisfactory, however, is his evaluation of the White Australia Policy and especially its persistence into the civil rights era.