Articles on Anzac Day

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Australian newspaper photographers have always been forbidden to show military failure or fragility. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

We censor war photography in Australia – more’s the pity

Although more than 100,000 Australians have lost their lives as a result of war service, photographs of our dead have never been published in newspapers.Perhaps we should reconsider this.
Australian Navy, Army and Air Force personnel marched in record numbers at the 2015 Mardi Gras, led by senior Defence officers – a stark contrast to the way gay veterans were treated in the past. Department of Defence

Laying wreaths for Australians who once served in silence

On Anzac Day 1982, five gay veterans tried to lay a wreath at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, but were turned away by the Shrine Guard and the state RSL president. This year, that won't happen.
Would the Anzac Day game of two-up be a more meaningful commemoration if it were still illegal? Chris Murray/Flickr

Let’s honour the Anzacs by making two-up illegal again

Anzac Day is the one day of the year it's legal to play two-up. If we want to retain the thrill that was so important to the diggers, we'd keep it illegal rather than sanitising the practice.
Despite the importance of Remembrance Day in marking the end of the ‘war to end all wars’, it sits below Anzac Day in the estimation of most Australians. AAP/Julian Smith

Lest we forget: why November 11 lives in the shadow of Anzac Day

For all its importance, Remembrance Day, November 11, does not capture the Australian imagination in the way that Anzac Day does, despite the sustained efforts of successive governments to promote the…
A guide to help you shake out some enduring Anzac myths. State Library of South Australia

Ten things you need to know to prepare for the Anzac centenary

The centenary of the Great War has begun. Now, as we move towards the centenary of the Gallipoli landings on April 25 2015 we are gearing up for an extravaganza of Anzac-ery. The combined processes of…
The Australian War Memorial recognises wars ranging from Afghanistan right back to pre-Federation conflicts, but not Australia’s first war. Alan Porritt/AAP

On Anzac Day, we remember the Great War but forget our first war

On Anzac Day, Australia remembers its war dead, with one tragic exception. Australia is apparently disinclined to acknowledge the fact or the importance of frontier conflicts. What’s the nexus between…
Personal records of soldiers and their families bring us closer to the effects and experience of war. Australian War Memorial

Soldiers’ true war stories will live on in the digital archives

The coming centenary of the first world war has already prompted some disquiet about a revival of the so-called “history wars”, given the significance of war to ideas of Australian national identity. In…
Nowhere was resistance to white colonisers greater than from Tasmanian Aborigines, but within a generation only a few had survived the Black War. Robert Dowling/National Gallery of Victoria

Tasmania’s Black War: a tragic case of lest we remember?

Tasmania’s Black War (1824-31) was the most intense frontier conflict in Australia’s history. It was a clash between the most culturally and technologically dissimilar humans to have ever come into contact…
Indian army soldier after siege of Kut.

The forgotten Anzacs: ‘honoured guests’ of the Sultan

As we undertake our annual remembrance of Australians at war, some attention should be paid to those personnel who were taken captive by the enemy and then faced long years in brutal conditions. Enduring…
Why has Anzac Day and the concept of ‘Anzac’ experienced such a resurgence in recent years, particularly among young people? AAP

Anzac Day: are we in danger of compassion fatigue?

Thousands of young Australians will gather at Gallipoli this Anzac Day. Our TV screens will fill with faces in the cold light of early dawn, a tear trickling down the cheek in sadness that so many died…
The “digger myth” has left little room for appreciation or debate surrounding the work of today’s service personnel. Australian Department of Defence/AAP Image

The hard sell: has the Anzac industry passed its use-by date?

In his new book Anzac’s Long Shadow: The cost of our national obsession, James Brown argues that: a century after the war to end all wars, Anzac is being bottled, stamped and sold. The former soldier turned…
Next year marks 100 years since the Gallipoli landings and the start of the genocide Armenians, Assyrians and Hellenes in Ottoman Turkey. AAP Image/Australian Government

Turkey, the Armenian genocide and the politics of memory

Victims of genocide die twice: first in the killing fields and then in the texts of denialists who insist that “nothing happened” or that what happened was something “different”. On the eve of two centennial…
Curiously, there has been no outcry over the Anzac centenary logo. emmettanderson

Brand Anzac™ – a historic past or mythic present?

The logo for the upcoming Anzac centenary was released last year with surprisingly little fanfare. The final design was selected from several options by the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board after consultation…
ANZAC Day once was a day to commemorate the sacrifices made by Australian soliders in war - but is it now being hijacked by companies with a profit motive? Australian War Memorial

Should we be consuming more than just patriotism on national days?

Australian brands are increasingly looking to exploit national holidays like ANZAC Day. Given soft retail conditions, such efforts are understandable. But is it welcome? Sure, there is no law against associating…
Analysing Anzac speech, slang and reading material gives us a better understanding of their experience. EPA/Tolga Bozoglu

From ‘Aussies’ to ‘Whizz-bangs’: the language of Anzac

Many place the Anzac legend at the heart of the Australian national identity. But some have rightly challenged this idea, opening up debate about why the Anzac story is so central to our national mythology…
It’s unlikely the war hero would be fazed by Styne’s comments, but the public was appalled. AAP/Martin Philbey/Australian War Memorial

Yumi and Ben: the militarisation of Australia and the democratisation of hate

Last week the world became a very scary place for television host Yumi Stynes when she quipped that Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, looking buffed, ripped and tattooed in a public…
Uniformed attendees at the Remembrance Day service held in Sydney on November 11, 2010. AAP/Greg Wood

Remembering the true meaning of Armistice Day

Australia now officially recognises two special days to commemorate our national history of being at war but neither of them is Sorry Day. The Australian history of engagement in war is primarily honoured…

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