This is a study of three paradoxes. The first is the gap between image and reality in understanding other countries. The second in the relationship of Australia to its contradictory history and geography, European history after 1788 and Asia-Pacific geography. Is Australia an Australian, European, British, Asian or Asia-Pacific society? The third, and the major, focus concerns the character of successful Australian multiculturalism. This discussion argues that while Australia has successfully integrated a diversity of peoples, it its rather more “Australian” than “multicultural” even as it also resembles other liberal democratic and consumer societies in the developed world. It argues that multiculturalism is a necessary myth rather than a fundamental reality. Significantly, the article delineates the rapid transition of the last half century. It shows how Australia has changed from a society and its values formed by its original diversity (predominantly Aboriginal, British and Irish and settler Australian) and by the Social Darwinian racial ideology of the era of New Imperialism and after to the successful society of today.