Honest History

Honest History promotes balanced consideration of Australian history by offering contesting, evidence-based interpretations to students, teachers, universities, journalists and the public. We challenge the misuse of history to serve political or other agendas.

r0_0_1024_768_w1200_h678_fmaxFrom the Honest History vault: Humphrey McQueen and others on the Spanish flu pandemic 1918-19 that killed 13 000 Australians and 50 million world-wide (with 2020 updates)


Recent highlights

Australia’s haunted house: Mark McKenna in The Monthly on how the Australian War Memorial showcases our past and perhaps distorts our future

Amy McQuire on why Australia Day really doesn’t cut it for Indigenous Australians, particularly when they try to explain it to their children: article in Guardian Australia; new book Day Break (with Matt Chun)

Michael Piggott reviews Doug Morrissey’s third volume on the thug and criminal psychopath, Ned Kelly

Michael Piggott reviews a Parliament House exhibition on Edmund Barton, our first prime minister

Getting beyond our ‘heroes’: a War Memorial angle on possible war crimes: a collection of resources on Brereton, Afghanistan and the implications for how the Memorial should perform its work

Mark Kenny’s Henry Parkes Oration on Federation, Covid-19 and reconciliation plus Kenny talks to Canberra paper, The Riot Act

A build for the times – or an extravagant folly?

Heritage Guardians: a campaign against the proposed $498m extensions to the Australian War Memorial

awmsatOpen letter to the Prime Minister supporting Australian Heritage Council opposition to the project; signed by more than 70 notable Australians

Heritage Guardians analysis of the Memorial’s Final Preliminary Documentation on Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act heritage aspects

Heritage Guardians submission on EPBC Act heritage aspects

Heritage Guardians submission to Public Works Committee inquiry

Eighty-two Australians sign collective submission to Public Works Committee inquiry

Total Australian spend on Anzac centenary is around $A600 million – or $1.1 billion if you include proposed War Memorial extensions

Arms and the War Memorial: let’s spend on health, not arms and submarines

Paul  Daley on the weapons maker seducing an Australian children’s charity; Australia, US F35 fighter jet deal: Budget issues, faulty jets, delaysDoes defence spending lead to wars – and does it make any sense against pandemics?; Memorial gets donations from the big arms company players but it is only ‘small change’ to them; Michelle Fahy on how Australia flogs armaments to overseas bidders; Sue Wareham on prioritising health spending rather than arms spending

Looking back

Australia is more than Anzac – and always has been