Palmer, Charlotte (with David Stephens): Evidence-based interventions for PTSD related to military service: what is the role of the Australian War Memorial?

Charlotte Palmer* (with David Stephens**) ‘Evidence-based interventions for PTSD related to military service: what is the role of the Australian War Memorial?’ Honest History, 16 February 2020 This article adds to the material collected in the Heritage Guardians diary of

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From the Honest History vault: Diane Bell’s reviews of Tom Griffiths and Clare Wright

There are hundreds of book reviews on the Honest History site, but two of the most popular have been Diane Bell’s reviews of Tom Griffiths’ The Art of Time Travel: Historians and Their Craft and Clare Wright’s You Daughters of

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Canberra book launch, 3 March: Novel Politics by John Uhr and Shaun Crowe

Novel Politics: Studies in Australian Political Fiction, by Canberra’s Professor John Uhr and Dr Shaun Crowe, ‘takes the relationship between literature and politics seriously, analysing the work of six writers, each the author of a classic text about Australian society’.

New Morrison Ministry List available: 6 February 2020 edition

Following the most recent ministerial reshuffle, and last year’s changed portfolio arrangements (not due to take effect till now), a new Ministry List has been published and is available here. It has always been the ambition of the compilers of

From the Honest History vault: Another (timely) look at Professor Frankfurt on bullshit

Some time ago, Honest History came across the work of Professor Harry Frankfurt on bullshit. It was not a joke, but a serious academic work. Professor Frankfurt’s little book had been around for a while, since 1986 in fact, but

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Smith, Zoe: ‘The Great Australian Silence’: Sexual violence in Australian history

Zoe Smith ‘“The Great Australian Silence”: Sexual violence in Australian history‘, History Matters (University of Sheffield), 5 February 2020 From the first establishment of European settlements in Australia, forced sexual relations perpetrated by white settlers have remained relatively unspoken about

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Stephens, David: What will be the Nelsonian legacy at the Australian War Memorial?

David Stephens* ‘What will be the Nelsonian legacy at the Australian War Memorial?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 31 January 2020 Discusses whether Dr Nelson’s legacy will be the vast new exhibition space costing $500 million or the continuing habit at the

Fahy, Michelle: Selling arms with impunity

Michelle Fahy ‘Selling arms with impunity‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 January 2020 updated Detailed piece by a researcher into the arms trade. Covers: government funding for Australian arms exports; role of federal, state and local governments; developments in the United

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Honest History again helps a secondary teacher attend Australian Historical Association national conference

For the second year, a donation from Honest History will help a history teacher in a secondary school attend the Australian Historical Association national conference. Background to this award. Applications are open now and close on 13 March. Dr Alison

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Stephens, David: War Memorial picks up ‘small change’ donations from military industries

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial picks up “small change” donations from military industries’, Honest History, 28 January 2020 updated Over the years, Honest History has closely followed the donations the Australian War Memorial receives from the military industries, the manufacturers of

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Seccombe, Mike: All up in arms: close ties between government and military industries

Mike Seccombe ‘All up in arms: close ties between government and military industries‘, Saturday Paper, 25-31 January 2020 (paywall; full copy from the paper we bought!) Weaves together themes related to what has come to be called ‘the military-industrial-commemorative complex’:

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Torosyan, Lilly: Book review: Dark Pasts: Changing the State’s Story in Turkey and Japan

Lilly Torosyan ‘Book review: Dark Pasts: Changing the State’s Story in Turkey and Japan‘, Armenian Weekly, 15 January 2020 The book is by Jennifer M. Dixon, who seeks to solve the mystery of why and how some states come to

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Brendan Nelson touches third base in military-industrial-commemorative complex: appointed as Boeing’s Pacific head

Dr Brendan Nelson, former Director of the Australian War Memorial and former Defence Minister, has been appointed Boeing’s President for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific (Canberra Times, Defence Connect, Guardian Australia). Boeing is the world’s second largest arms

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Department of Environment says $500 million War Memorial development is ‘controlled action’ under Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act

Honest History (and others) have been following the approval processes for the War Memorial’s $500m. expansion program. We noted that the Memorial had made a Referral to the Department of the Environment and we argued that the War Memorial proposal

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Stephens, David: What did you do after the war? The Missing is brief but packs a punch

David Stephens* ‘What did you do after the war? The Missing is brief but packs a punch’, Honest History, 14 January 2020 Late last year (29 November), Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance saw the launch of The Missing, a brief (11

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Open letter from Australian historians on climate change, drought and bushfires: an important statement

The Australian Historical Association is urging all its members to sign an important Open Letter on the bushfires, drought, and climate change. The letter and link for AHA members to sign. Hundreds have signed already. The letter is a thoughtful

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Lyndall Ryan on massacres: Manning Clark House/National Library heads-up for 13 February

Manning Clark House, Canberra, and the National Library are presenting Emerita Professor Lyndall Ryan, talking about her work on mapping massacres of Indigenous Australians. It is on Thursday, 13 February, at 6pm at the National Library. Details are here with

Taking the long view of today’s bushfire crisis: miscellaneous sources

Update 17 January 2020: Daniel May in Inside Story. To burn or not to burn is the wrong question to ask. Update 16 January 2020: Kevin Tolhurst in The Conversation on the findings of previous bushfire inquiries – over fifty

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Custom-made guitar to be sold to raise money for bushfire victims

A luthier* of our acquaintance has recently made a beautiful electric guitar which he is offering for sale to raise funds for bushfire victims. There is a picture and explanation here (Instagram). This guitar was built using 100 per cent

Honest History E-newsletter No. 61, 16 December 2019

ISSN: 2202-5561 © Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Hanukkah Sameach, Happy Holidays to all our readers, whether new, old, or rusted on! Honest History is not sending Christmas cards this year but is making donations to the Fitzroy Learning Network and

Acting Director arrangements at Australian War Memorial

The War Memorial has advised about acting arrangements pending the arrival of the new Director, Matthew Anderson, in March. Assistant Director Corporate Services Leanne Patterson is acting from 25 December – 24 January 2020. Assistant Director Public Programs Anne Bennie

Stephens, David: Architects and doctors come down hard on War Memorial heritage arguments

David Stephens* ‘Architects and doctors come down hard on War Memorial heritage arguments’, Honest History, 18 December 2019 updated Spinners know how to make the best of a bad story. Australian War Memorial spokespersons, in spruiking the case for the

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Stanley, Peter: Uneasy peace

Peter Stanley ‘Uneasy peace‘, Inside Story, 15 December 2019 Review of a new collection of essays, The Great War: Aftermath and Commemoration, edited by Carolyn Holbrook and Keir Reeves, and published by UNSW Press. The book was launched last month.

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Shields, Bevan: Incoming War Memorial boss defends massive redevelopment and new focus

Bevan Shields ‘Incoming War Memorial boss defends massive redevelopment and new focus‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 December 2019 Incoming Director, Matt Anderson, supports plans for redevelopment, sounding rather like his predecessor, though Mr Anderson expresses willingness to talk to critics.

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Watson, Joey & Ian Coombe: Four Australian military legends that are more myth than fact

Joey Watson & Ian Coombe ‘Four Australian military legends that are more myth than fact‘, ABC News, 14 December 2019 Features the current ABC RN series, ‘Myths of war‘, presented by Mark Dapin, author of, most recently, Australia’s Vietnam: Myths

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New Director of War Memorial is former Ambassador to Afghanistan and author of children’s books about war

Update 16 December 2019: Interview with Mr Anderson. The Prime Minister and Minister Chester have announced that the new Director of the Australian War Memorial is to be Matthew Anderson PSM, currently Deputy High Commissioner in London. Mr Anderson has

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Hands off Anzac Hall! Change.org petition to save award-winning building at Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial’s Anzac Hall, less than 20 years old, won the Sir Zelman Cowen award for Australian public architecture. It is threatened with demolition as part of the Memorial’s $498m expansion program. There is a petition on Change.org

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Hyde, Lewis: A Primer for Forgetting: Getting Past the Past

Lewis Hyde A Primer for Forgetting: Getting Past the Past, Canongate, Edinburgh, 2019; originally published Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2019; electronic version available We live in a culture that prizes memory—how much we can store, the quality of

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Stephens, David: Lest We Forget? This primer for forgetting has some stuff worth remembering

David Stephens* ‘Lest We Forget? This primer for forgetting has some stuff worth remembering’, Honest History, 11 December 2019 David Stephens reviews A Primer for Forgetting: Getting Past the Past, by Lewis Hyde A book about forgetting (and remembering) should

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Fewtrell, Terry: War Memorial needs a new Act, not a new building

Terry Fewtrell ‘War Memorial needs a new Act, not a new building’, Canberra Times, 5 December 2019 For an institution with the title “Australian War Memorial”, it is incomprehensible, and ultimately indefensible, for it not to recognise and commemorate the

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From the Honest History vault: Anachronism in Canberra as Department of Veterans’ Affairs survives machinery of government changes

Update 12 February 2020: Darren Chester MP remains as Minister, though now in Cabinet and with the title of ‘Veterans’ Affairs’ again, rather than ‘Veterans’, as he had been since May. The Prime Minister has announced machinery of government changes

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Stephens, David: Heritage values threatened, misleading documentation presented, gaming of the approvals process: the War Memorial’s (first) EPBC Act Referral on its $498m expansion program

David Stephens* ‘Heritage values threatened, misleading documentation presented, gaming of the approvals process: the War Memorial’s (first) EPBC Act Referral on its $498m expansion program’, Honest History, 5 December 2019 updated As foreshadowed, the Heritage Guardians group has provided a

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Support grows for Royal Commission into veterans’ suicide: we know where the money could come from

Update 12 February 2020: Petition is up to 285 000 names, but so far all that has been proposed is a ‘national commissioner’ not a Royal Commission. More. Later. Julie-Ann Finney has been campaigning to have the Australian government set

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‘Salami slicing’ in Canberra as War Memorial has two heritage referrals running at once: here are the details if you want to have a say

Make a comment on the current Australian War Memorial Referral under Environment Protection and Biodiversity (EPBC) Act; comments close 13 December 2019 (Department of the Environment and Energy website Referral No. 2019/8574). Attend War Memorial consultations on a future Referral

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Senator Steele-John speaks out on gunrunners’ donations to the Australian War Memorial

In Statements by Senators on 27 November, Senator Jordon Steele-John (Greens, WA) said this: Senator STEELE-JOHN (Western Australia) (13:06): The Australian War Memorial is a vital national space of learning and of reflection. It is where our community pays its

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Clarke, Stephen: What nations remember: Martyn Brown on what happened in Crete in 1941

Stephen Clarke* ‘What nations remember: Martyn Brown on what happened in Crete in 1941’, Honest History, 30 November 2019 Stephen Clarke reviews Martyn Brown’s Politics of Forgetting: New Zealand, Greece and Britain at War On 20 May 2011, I was an

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Brown, Martyn: Politics of Forgetting: New Zealand, Greece and Great Britain at War

Martyn Brown Politics of Forgetting: New Zealand, Greece and Great Britain at War, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2019; electronic version available Greece was a poor country in turmoil and pain during the 1940s. A military dictatorship was followed by invasion

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Martin Hobbs, Mia: Soldier recognition, trauma, and the Australian War Memorial

Mia Martin Hobbs ‘Soldier recognition, trauma, and the Australian War Memorial‘, Australian Policy and History, 26 November 2019 Recent PhD and oral historian looks at arguments for the Memorial extensions against the backdrop of the literature on post-traumatic stress. The

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Farrelly, Elizabeth: Dull, wasteful and overblown – is this the best Australia can do?

Elizabeth Farrelly ‘Dull, wasteful and overblown – is this the best Australia can do?‘, Age, 30 November 2019 Architecture critic and commentator looks at the expansion plans for the Australian War Memorial against a backdrop of consideration of Canberra’s planning:

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Nine Newspapers cock up op ed by Wing Commander (Ret’d): error or deception?

Update 2 December 2019: War Memorial website has been amended by addition of this para of biodata: Retired wing commander Sharon Bown is a nurse who served in Afghanistan and East Timor and is a member of the Australian War

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Stephens, David: From the Honest History vault: Lest We Forget Dr Chau Chak Wing, the War Memorial’s Chinese-Australian connection

David Stephens* ‘From the Honest History vault: Lest We Forget Dr Chau Chak Wing, the War Memorial’s Chinese-Australian connection’, Honest History, 27 November 2019 The current brouhaha over alleged Chinese spying-related funny business in Australia reminds us of previous episodes

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Stephens, David: National Capital Authority waves through Works Approval application for War Memorial carpark that is not – or is – part of the big $500m project

David Stephens* ‘National Capital Authority waves through Works Approval application for War Memorial carpark that is not – or is – part of the big $500m project’, Honest History, 23 November 2019 updated “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in

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Keane, Bernard: $500m splash on the War Memorial will help soldiers’ stress? Really?

Bernard Keane $500m splash on the War Memorial will help soldiers’ stress? Really?‘, Crikey, 22 November 2019 The URL says ‘Liberals hide behind PTSD to justify their military fetish’, which is an argument Heritage Guardians have used consistently in opposing

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War Memorial $500m project latest: Heritage referral now up for public comment

The War Memorial has referred its expansion plan to the Department of Environment and Energy for consideration under the heritage provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Comments are due in by 3 December, so people wishing to

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Broinowski, Alison: Reading Room: Russia and the West: the Last Two Action-Packed Years 2017-19

Alison Broinowski ‘Reading Room: Russia and the West: The Last Two Action-Packed Years 2017-19‘, Australian Outlook, 14 November 2019 Review of recent book by former diplomat, Tony Kevin, in which the author offers two papers he gave to the Independent

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Gower, Steve: War Memorial overreach: spending $500m and they’ll demolish Anzac Hall

Steve Gower ‘War Memorial overreach: spending $500m and they’ll demolish Anzac Hall‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 November 2019 Considered op ed by a former Director of the Australian War Memorial. The article mentions the Memorial’s reluctance to consult (and the

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Stephens, David: Architects’ “implacable opposition” to demolition of Anzac Hall at War Memorial: roundup following the big reveal

David Stephens* ‘Architects’ “implacable opposition” to demolition of Anzac Hall at War Memorial: roundup following the big reveal’, Honest History, 20 November 2019 Today brings a number of items – mostly in the Canberra media – following up the announcement

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Abjorensen, Norman: Cometh the hour, cometh the leader?

Norman Abjorensen ‘Cometh the hour, cometh the leader?‘ Inside Story, 18 November 2019 Marks the release of an updated edition of the author’s The Manner of Their Going: Prime Ministerial Exits in Australia. (Michael Piggott reviewed the first edition of

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Inequality – and innovation – should be front and centre in today’s Australia: new book from Andrew Leigh MP and Joshua Gans

‘The fundamental issue’, according to Nicholas Stuart in the Canberra Times, ‘is that the economic and social problems Labor was formed to combat back in 1891 are no longer relevant’. This is, of course, nonsense if we are talking about

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Stephens, David: Big reveal of War Memorial’s $500m expansion plans – as approval processes continue

David Stephens* ‘Big reveal of War Memorial’s $500m expansion plans – as approval processes continue’, Honest History, 19 November 2019 updated Update 20 November 2019: Follow-up stories. Yesterday saw the Prime Minister and others reveal further details of the Australian

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Tanter, Richard: Pine Gap history – dogged by censorship and dereliction of duty

Richard Tanter ‘Pine Gap history – dogged by censorship and dereliction of duty‘, Pearls and Irritations, 14 November 2019 Melbourne University academic and peace activist, Richard Tanter, looks at a release of heavily redacted official papers relating to Pine Gap.

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Remembrance Day roundup: Paul Daley (twice), Sue Wareham, Bart Ziino – and a handy pay rise for the War Memorial Council

Just some links in case you missed them. Paul Daley in Guardian Australia reminds us of the reality of war, which sugar-coated remembrance often glosses over, and suggests the $500 million for making a bigger Australian War Memorial would be

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Stephens, David: For Remembrance Day: The Anzac thoughts of Tony Abbott, new member of the War Memorial Council

David Stephens* ‘For Remembrance Day: The Anzac thoughts of Tony Abbott, new member of the War Memorial Council – and “war historian”‘, Honest History, 11 November 2019 As Tony Abbott, former prime minister, defeated member for Warringah, has been appointed

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Oliver, Bobbie: For Remembrance Day: Another gaffe inflicted on the Australian War Memorial with Tony Abbott appointment

Bobbie Oliver* ‘For Remembrance Day: Another gaffe inflicted on the Australian War Memorial with Tony Abbott appointment’, Honest History, 10 November 2019 [Bobbie Oliver comments on the appointment of former prime minister, Tony Abbott, to the Council of the Memorial.

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Newton, Douglas: For Remembrance Day: Helping the Australian War Memorial address its future – but to do so in a rather different way

Douglas Newton* For Remembrance Day: Helping the Australian War Memorial address its future – but to do so in a rather different way’, Honest History, 10 November 2019 [In 2018, distinguished Australian historian, Douglas Newton, responded to an invitation to

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Broome, Richard, Charles Fahey, Andrea Gaynor, Katie Holmes: Mallee Country: Land, People, History

Richard Broome, Charles Fahey, Andrea Gaynor, Katie Holmes Mallee Country: Land, People, History, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2019 Mallee Country tells the powerful history of mallee lands and people across southern Australia from Deep Time to the present. Carefully shaped and

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Myrtle, John: Weathering the Mallee over nearly two centuries

John Myrtle* ‘Weathering the Mallee over nearly two centuries’, Honest History, 8 November 2019 John Myrtle reviews Mallee Country: Land, People, History by Richard Broome, Charles Fahey, Andrea Gaynor and Katie Holmes  Mallee Country records a project on the ecological

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Heritage Guardians submission to National Capital Authority on War Memorial carpark deplores gaming of approval systems by ‘salami slicing’ projects

Heritage Guardians has made a submission to the National Capital Authority’s public consultation on the Australian War Memorial’s Works Approval application for carparking associated with the Memorial’s $498m expansion. The consultation closed on 5 November. Update 23 November 2019: The

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Two Canberra book launch events: John Moses and Peter Overlack; Allen Mawer

On 12 November at 6.30 pm at the St Marks Centre, Canberra, Dr Michael Gladwin will launch First Know Your Enemy: Comprehending Imperial German War Aims and Deciphering the Enigma of Kultur, by John A. Moses and Peter Overlack. Details

Stephens, David: Dr Nelson says farewell to accountability: a burrow into Senate Estimates Hansard

David Stephens* ‘Dr Nelson says farewell to accountability: a burrow into Senate Estimates Hansard’, Honest History, 5 November 2019 updated We posted a brief round-up of the recent Estimates hearings of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

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Senate Inquiry into nationhood, national identity and democracy

Some readers will have missed – and others will have been following assiduously – the work of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee on its Inquiry into nationhood, national identity and democracy. The Committee is chaired by Victorian Labor

You Matter: The Australian Historical Association’s casualisation survey

Romain Fathi (Flinders University) and Lyndon Megarrity (James Cook University), members of the Executive of the Australian Historical Association, have completed a report to the Executive on casualisation in the teaching of history at Australian universities. The report is here

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Pascoe, Bruce: Salt: Selected Stories and Essays

Bruce Pascoe Salt: Selected Stories and Essays, Black Inc, Melbourne, 2019 A collection of stories and essays by the award-winning author of Dark Emu, showcasing his shimmering genius across a lifetime of work. This volume of Bruce Pascoe’s best and most

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Bell, Diane: Read and savour the salt of Bruce Pascoe’s stories and essays of our land

Diane Bell* ‘Read and savour the salt of Bruce Pascoe’s stories and essays of our land’, Honest History, 1 November 2019 Diane Bell reviews Bruce Pascoe’s Salt: Selected Stories and Essays Bruce Pascoe’s dedication of Salt, ‘For the three rivers

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National Capital Authority describes War Memorial project to Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories

On 17 October, officers of the National Capital Authority made their twice-annual appearance before Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories and the following exchange took place (pages 4-5 of the Proof Hansard): Mr SNOWDON [ALP]:

Stephens, David: War Memorial Director’s final appearance before Senate Estimates: some of what we found out

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial Director’s final appearance before Senate Estimates: some of what we found out’, Honest History, 27 October 2019 updated Update 5 November 2019: more analysis based on the Hansard. The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and

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Stephens, David: Review note: An exhibition on averting war and keeping the peace: new at the War Memorial

David Stephens* ‘Review note: An exhibition on averting war and keeping the peace: new at the War Memorial’, Honest History, 23 October 2019 updated The Courage for Peace, a new exhibition at the Australian War Memorial, is a modest attempt

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Lawrence, Susan & Peter Davies: Sludge: Disaster on Victoria’s Goldfields

Susan Lawrence & Peter Davies Sludge: Disaster on Victoria’s Goldfields, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2019 Everyone knows gold made Victoria rich. But did you know gold mining was disastrous for the land, engulfing it in floods of sand, gravel and silt

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Beggs-Sunter, Anne: Water and gold: a book about the environmental impact of mining

Anne Beggs-Sunter* ‘Water and gold: a book about the environmental impact of mining’, Honest History, 22 October 2019 Anne Beggs-Sunter reviews Sludge: Disaster on Victoria’s Goldfields, by Susan Lawrence and Peter Davies  Sludge – a very unpromising title for a

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New book looks back at the Anzac centenary: much-needed critical reflection on Great War commemoration

Update 16 December 2019: Review by Peter Stanley in Inside Story. Launching on Remembrance Day in Clunes, Victoria, is a new book from UNSW Press, The Great War: Aftermath and Commemoration, edited by Carolyn Holbrook and Keir Reeves. From the

Rally at Parliament House, Canberra, in support of press freedom and whistleblowers

(Honest History editor, David Stephens, is a member of MEAA, the union for journalists and related professions) Rally, Thursday, 24 October, 12.30 pm, Parliament House Lawns, Canberra. Details. More on the Witness K/Bernard Collaery case.

Stephens, David: War Memorial stirrings: Works Approval application for a car park; an Annual Report that giveth and taketh away; an exhibition about peace-keeping

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial stirrings: Works Approval application for a car park; an Annual Report that giveth and taketh away; an exhibition about peace-keeping’, Honest History, 18 October 2019 updated This week has seen a number of developments at the

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Dunera Association Melbourne event to mark 79 years

Update 15 February 2020: Dunera News No. 107, February 2020, has news of reunions to mark 80 years since the Dunera voyage. Plus lots more. The Dunera Association announces a reunion in Melbourne to mark 79 years of Dunera history.

Greeks and Kiwis together in World War II: Canberra presentation from Dr Martyn Brown

Dr Martyn Brown of the University of Queensland will be talking at the Hellenic Club, Canberra, on 23 October about his recently published book, Politics of Forgetting: New Zealand, Greece and Britain at War. Details here; admission free. Dr Brown

Wareham, Sue: Abbott – a natural fit for a war memorial sliding from commemoration to propaganda

Sue Wareham ‘Abbott – a natural fit for a war memorial sliding from commemoration to propaganda‘, Pearls and Irritations, 11 October 2019 From Heritage Guardians member, Sue Wareham, and follows earlier items in HG’s campaign against the $498m extensions to

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Daley, Paul: Military buff Tony Abbott is the wrong choice for the Australian War Memorial

Paul Daley ‘Military buff Tony Abbott is the wrong choice for the Australian War Memorial‘, Guardian Australia, 9 October 2019 updated The war memorial’s council lacks a professional historian and critics say it’s like a hospital being run by homeopaths

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McIlroy, Tom: Kerry Stokes guaranteed $500m War Memorial plan

Tom McIlroy ‘Kerry Stokes guaranteed $500m War Memorial plan‘, Australian Financial Review, 7 October 2019 (Pay-wall. Pdf copy made from open access version.) Story based on FOI material provided to Heritage Guardians and Honest History. Seven West chairman and Rich

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Stephens, David: War Memorial releases material under FOI relating to $498m expansion program: did a billionaire’s personal guarantee clinch the deal?

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial releases material under FOI relating to $498m expansion program: did a billionaire’s personal guarantee clinch the deal?’ Honest History, 4 October 2019 updated Update 17 October 2019: see below for update following tabling of the Memorial’s

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No surprises here but an opportunity missed: Tony Abbott appointed to Australian War Memorial Council

A kite was flown a little time ago that Tony Abbott, former politician, former prime minister, former Rhodes Scholar, current iron man and polly-pedaller, would be given a spot on the Australian War Memorial Council. And so it has come

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Hilferty, Fiona, Ellie Lawrence-Wood, Ilan Katz, & Miranda Van Hooff: 5,800 defence veterans homeless in Australia, that’s more than we thought

Fiona Hilferty, Ellie Lawrence-Wood, Ilan Katz & Miranda Van Hooff ‘5,800 defence veterans homeless in Australia, that’s more than we thought‘, The Conversation, 30 September 2019 Our research puts a new number on the problem. We still do not know

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Australia up and down the world gunrunners*’ league tables: latest SIPRI figures

Honest History has kept track of the internationally recognised figures on arms sales, as put out by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The SIPRI figures have been particularly useful in reminding us how the Australian War Memorial seeks

Canberra events coming up: Paul Daley for MAPW on Australian militarism; Elizabeth Reid and others revisiting 1970s feminism

On 29 October, Guardian journalist and writer (and great friend of Honest History), Paul Daley, is speaking at the annual fundraising dinner of Medical Association for Prevention of War. His topic is ‘The Militarisation of Australian History and Culture’, and

War Memorial Director Nelson replies to former War Memorial Director Kelson on aspects of $498m extensions project

Heritage Guardian and former Australian War Memorial Director, Brendon Kelson, has received a reply, signed by current Director, Brendan Nelson, to Mr Kelson’s letter to Minister Chester regarding the War Memorial project. This letter makes a better fist of responding

Honest History E-newsletter No. 60, 19 September 2019

ISSN: 2202-5561 © Heritage Guardians campaign against the unnecessary and ill-considered $498m extensions to the Australian War Memorial: contact your federal MP and ask them to oppose this project New on the Honest History website The War Memorial’s Mitchell ‘garage’, political

Brewer, Peter: War Memorial’s former director urged that any changes to the important site be made to “hasten slowly” and with complete consultation

Peter Brewer ‘War Memorial’s former director urged that any changes to the important site be made to “hasten slowly” and with complete consultation‘, Canberra Times, 25 September 2019 updated Update 29 September 2019: A full version of Director Nelson’s letter

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From the Honest History vault: six months today since publication of open letter from 83 distinguished Australians opposing the $498m plan to extend the Australian War Memorial

On 23 March this year, the names of 83 distinguished Australians appeared on an open letter opposing the plan to extend the Australian War Memorial at a cost of $498m. The letter said this: The Australian War Memorial’s $498 million

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Two angles on Australia-US relations: leader comparisons and official visits

Canberra author Stephen Holt, writing in the Canberra Times, has found some interesting comparisons between President Trump and former New South Wales premier (1925-27, 1930-32), Jack Lang. Among Holt’s forensic work there is this: At his height Lang’s style was

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War Memorial opens Mitchell ‘garage’ for one day of the year – but could do so much more with it

Online paper The Senior picked up some Australian War Memorial promotional material about the Memorial’s renewed (first time since 2016) annual opening (5 October) of its Mitchell A.C.T. annexe to show off the large technology objects (planes, helicopters, tanks and

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Stephens, David: History is never settled and is always vulnerable to political manipulation: recent Russian and Polish examples

David Stephens* ‘History is never settled and is always vulnerable to political manipulation: recent Russian and Polish examples’, Honest History, 10 September 2019 Honest History has always had an aversion to complaints that someone is ‘rewriting history’. John Howard occasionally

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Macklin, Robert: Castaway: The Extraordinary Survival story of Narcisse Pelletier, a Young French Cabin Boy Shipwrecked on Cape York in 1858

Robert Macklin Castaway: The Extraordinary Survival story of Narcisse Pelletier, a Young French Cabin Boy Shipwrecked on Cape York in 1858, Hachette, Sydney, 2019 In 1858, fourteen-year-old French cabin boy Narcisse Pelletier was aboard the trader Saint-Paul when it was wrecked off

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Flora, Steve: Robert Macklin’s Castaway is an interesting and informative read in a modest-sized, though wide-ranging, book

Steve Flora* ‘Robert Macklin’s Castaway is an interesting and informative read in a modest-sized, though wide-ranging, book’, Honest History, 10 September 2019 Steve Flora reviews Castaway: The Extraordinary Survival story of Narcisse Pelletier, a Young French Cabin Boy Shipwrecked on

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O’Connor, Margaret: “The Mountains of Mourne”: such a sweet, charming song

Margaret O’Connor* ‘“The Mountains of Mourne”: such a sweet, charming song’, Honest History, 9 September 2019 ‘The Mountains of Mourne’ is such a sweet, charming song. Just consider the lyrics, in the form of a letter from a naïve Irish

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Gilling, Tom: Project Rainfall: The Secret History of Pine Gap

Tom Gilling Project Rainfall: The Secret History of Pine Gap, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2019; electronic version available Pine Gap is a top secret American spy base on Australian soil, but how much do we really know about it? At

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Broinowski, Richard: Pine Gap, part of the United States war machine, should not be a non-issue in Australia

Richard Broinowski* ‘Pine Gap, part of the United States war machine, should not be a non-issue in Australia’, Honest History, 9 September 2019 Richard Broinowski reviews Tom Gilling’s Project Rainfall: The Secret History of Pine Gap In his 1980 book

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Daley, Paul: We demean our history when we turn the Australian War Memorial into Disneyland

Paul Daley ‘We demean our history when we turn the Australian War Memorial into Disneyland‘, Guardian Australia, 5 September 2019 Uses letter from former Memorial Director Brendon Kelson to Minister Chester to make some trenchant points about the proposed extensions

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Quite big enough, thank you! Recent developments in the Heritage Guardians campaign against the $498 million War Memorial extensions – and Nelson waves farewell

The announcement of the impending departure of Australian War Memorial Director, Dr Brendan Nelson, was linked with reminders of his and his Council’s plans to expand the Memorial at a cost of $498 million over a number of years. Our

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Daley, Paul: Who should lead the Australian War Memorial?

Paul Daley ‘Who should lead the Australian War Memorial?‘ ArtsHub, 2 September 2019 Criticises the suggestion that Tony Abbott might become Director of the Memorial, or even (perhaps) join its Council. Like Anzac, the memorial has been immune to political

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Toohey, Brian: Secret: The Making of Australia’s Security State

Brian Toohey Secret: The Making of Australia’s Security State, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2019 Elected governments pose the greatest threat to Australians’ security. Political leaders increasingly promote secrecy, ignorance and fear to introduce new laws that undermine individual liberties and

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Broinowski, Alison: State of insecurity: how government secrecy preserves power and conceals stuff-ups

Alison Broinowski* ‘State of insecurity: how government secrecy preserves power and conceals stuff-ups’, Honest History, 3 September 2019 Alison Broinowski reviews Secret: The Making of Australia’s Security State, by Brian Toohey  If you’re old enough to remember the National Times

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Willheim, Ernst: The saga of Bernard Collaery and Witness K continues

Ernst Willheim ‘The saga of Bernard Collaery and Witness K continues‘, Pearls and Irritations, 28 August 2019 updated Extensive notes for a speech given to the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Canberra, 27 August. [The speech] is about Australian commercial

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Quiggin, John: Forget the generation gap – the gulf between rich and poor tells the real story of our times

John Quiggin ‘Forget the generation gap – the gulf between rich and poor tells the real story of our times‘, Guardian Australia, 26 August 2019 Commentary on a Grattan Institute study of the generation gap and ensuring a ‘fair go’

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Stephens, David: From the Honest History vault: Battle of Long Tan anniversary; Agent Orange in Vietnam

David Stephens ‘From the Honest History vault: Battle of Long Tan anniversary; Agent Orange in Vietnam’, Honest History, 18 August 2019 Today is the 53rd anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan which killed 18 Australians and somewhere between 150

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Stephens, David: From the Honest History vault: Awkward humility: the speeches of the Hon. Brendan Nelson AO

David Stephens* ‘From the Honest History vault: Awkward humility: the speeches of the Hon. Brendan Nelson AO‘, Honest History, 15 August 2019 A long piece in two parts on the oral oeuvre of the soon to be former Director of

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ABC News: Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson to step down from top job at end of year

ABC News ‘Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson to step down from top job at end of year‘, ABC News, 15 August 2019 Covers announcement by Director to staff, announcement by Minister, statement by Leader of the Opposition. An end

Davidson, Jared: Dead Letters: Censorship and Subversion in New Zealand 1914-20

Jared Davidson Dead Letters: Censorship and Subversion in New Zealand 1914-20, Otago University Press, Dunedin, 2019 Intimate and engaging, this dramatic narrative weaves together the personal and political, bringing to light the reality of wartime censorship. In an age of growing

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McLeod, John: State surveillance in Great War New Zealand

John McLeod* ‘State surveillance in Great War New Zealand’, Honest History , 14 August 2019 John McLeod reviews Jared Davidson’s Dead Letters: Censorship and Subversion in New Zealand 1914-20 Jared Davidson’s Dead Letters reveals the history of postal censorship in

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Senate Committee inquiry into nationhood, national identity and democracy is a chance to put views on what is important in our past, present and future

The Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has set up an inquiry into nationhood, national identity, and democracy. The deadline for submissions to the inquiry is ​30 September 2019. The inquiry is an opportunity for those who, like Honest History

Blainey, Geoffrey: Before I Forget: An Early Memoir

Geoffrey Blainey Before I Forget: An Early Memoir, Penguin Books, Melbourne, 2019; electronic version available Before I Forget is the long-awaited memoir from Professor Geoffrey Blainey – Australia’s most significant and popular historian – that tells the story of the first

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Abbott, Derek: Geoffrey Blainey’s engaging narrative of his emergence as man and historian

Derek Abbott* ‘Geoffrey Blainey’s engaging narrative of his emergence as man and historian’, 9 August 2019 Derek Abbott reviews Geoffrey Blainey’s Before I Forget: An Early Memoir Geoffrey Blainey is one of Australia’s most highly regarded and most prolific historians.

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From the Honest History vault: Hiroshima and Nagasaki 74 years on

This week, Honest History always tries to recognise the anniversary of the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima (6 August) and Nagasaki (9 August), which brought World War II to an end, but at a terrible cost. We do not this

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Stephens, David: Abbott wrong fit for War Memorial Council, says campaigner opposing AWM expansion

David Stephens ‘Abbott wrong fit for War Memorial Council, says campaigner opposing AWM expansion‘, The Riot Act, 7 August 2019 updated Comment on the kite flown about possible appointment of Tony Abbott to the War Memorial Council. (Update 1 October

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Honest History E-newsletter No. 59, 26 July 2019

ISSN: 2202-5561 © Heritage Guardians campaign against the unnecessary and ill-considered $498m extensions to the Australian War Memorial: contact your federal MP and ask them to oppose this project Latest from the campaign: two detailed papers from former War Memorial

Dingwall, Doug: Australian War Memorial reverses plan to build on nature park

Doug Dingwall ‘Australian War Memorial reverses plan to build on nature park‘, Canberra Times, 6 August 2019 Front page story on hard copy. Reports that the Memorial has decided to confine its expansion-related car parking to the current boundaries of

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Graham Freudenberg AM 1934-2019

Eminent Australian speechwriter and adviser, Graham Freudenberg, died this morning in Brisbane after a long illness. There are obituaries from former colleagues Susan Ryan, Carol Summerhayes and Eric Walsh on John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations blog, including mention of the

Ann Moyal AM 1926-2019

Update 28 July 2019: Ann’s family have advised that there will be a celebration of her life in the Peninsula Room of the National Museum of Australia on Friday 9 August at 2:00 pm. Please rsvp to Angus Rea, area@argolis.com.au.

Llewellyn, Richard: The Australian War Memorial Redevelopment Program: the “Mitchell Option” reassessed

Richard Llewellyn ‘The Australian War Memorial Redevelopment Program: the “Mitchell Option” reassessed‘, Honest History, 22 July 2019 updated [For the context to this paper, go to the Heritage Guardians campaign diary, which includes an earlier paper by Richard Llewellyn.] Update

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Shield, John: The soldier settlers of Ubobo, south-west of Gladstone, have left only memories

John Shield* ‘The soldier settlers of Ubobo, south-west of Gladstone, have left only memories’, Honest History, 21 July 2019 On 13 August 1929 the Ubobo Branch of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia (RSSILA) held its annual

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Broinowski, Richard: “How to Defend Australia” is an important wake-up call

Richard Broinowski ‘“How to Defend Australia” is an important wake-up call‘, Australian Outlook, 14 July 2019 updated Hugh White’s latest book How to Defend Australia is reviewed by former senior diplomat, Richard Broinowski AO. ‘Hugh White should be praised’, says

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War Memorial opens up about early works at Campbell, particularly car parking

The Australian War Memorial is to hold a ‘drop-in session’ next Wednesday, 24 July, from 4 pm to explain its plans for ‘early works’ associated with its proposed $498m extensions. Details. Memorial Director Dr Brendan Nelson said the first stage

Bottoms, Timothy: Massacre recollections Elder stories of Frontier Wars in FNQ

Timothy Bottoms ‘Massacre recollections Elder stories of Frontier Wars in FNQ‘, YouTube, 16 July 2019 North Queensland-based historian, Tim Bottoms, has posted this 13 minute video in which Aboriginal Elders recount specific instances of frontier violence. The late Kenny Jimmy

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Hill, Lisa: Our Mob Served: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories of War and Defending Australia, edited by Allison Cadzow and Mary Anne Jebb

Lisa Hill ‘Our Mob Served: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories of War and Defending Australia, edited by Allison Cadzow and Mary Anne Jebb’, ANZ LitLovers, 9 July 2019 ‘I expect’, says Lisa Hill in the course of this post,

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Productivity Commission report on veterans’ services also has something to say on Australian War Memorial

The Productivity Commission has recently provided its final report to the Australian Government on compensation and rehabilitation for veterans. The report is in two volumes under the title A Better Way to Support Veterans. While much of the focus of

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Holman, Brett: “The aeroplane is the nearest thing to animate life that man has created”: Ross Smith’s 1919 account of an epic flight

Brett Holman* ‘“The aeroplane is the nearest thing to animate life that man has created”: Ross Smith’s 1919 account of an epic flight’, Honest History, 11 July 2019 Brett Holman reviews Flight to Fame: Victory in the 1919 Great Air

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Smith, Ross & Peter Monteath: Flight to Fame: Victory in the 1919 Great Air Race, England to Australia

Ross Smith & Peter Monteath Flight to Fame: Victory in the 1919 Great Air Race, England to Australia, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2019 In March 1919, Australia’s prime minister announced a prize of £10,000 for the first successful flight from Great

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Dunera Association website gives an insight into an important part of Australia’s wartime history – and our history since

The Dunera Association has just launched its website. In May and June 1940, Winston Churchill’s government detained thousands of ‘enemy or dangerous aliens’, previously determined not to be a risk, in the belief that this would stop any spies among

Coe, Bruce: Pulling Through: The Story of the King’s Cup

Bruce Coe Pulling Through: The Story of the King’s Cup, Slattery Media, Melbourne, 2019 The story behind the winning of the 1919 King’s Cup by the Australian Imperial Forces No. 1 crew is fascinating. Wartime authorities created diversions for war

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Jordan, Lucas: Rowing on after the Great War: the origins of the King’s Cup

Lucas Jordan* ‘Rowing on after the Great War: the origins of the King’s Cup’, Honest History, 8 July 2019 Lucas Jordan reviews Bruce Coe’s Pulling Through: The Story of the King’s Cup On Saturday, 5 July 1919, an eight-man rowing

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Tune Review of National Archives attracts thoughtful submissions on the future of this important cultural institution

The National Archives of Australia is being reviewed by former senior official, David Tune, on behalf of the Australian Government. The review is looking at the enduring role of the National Archives in the protection, preservation and use of Commonwealth

Gower, Steve: The Australian War Memorial: A Century on from the Vision

Steve Gower The Australian War Memorial: A Century on from the Vision, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2019 In this book, Steve Gower, the highly successful director of the Australian War Memorial from 1996 to 2012, gives a comprehensive account of the

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Abbott, Derek: A personal memoir from a safe pair of hands: Steve Gower on the Australian War Memorial

Derek Abbott* ‘A personal memoir from a safe pair of hands: Steve Gower on the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 2 July 2019 Derek Abbott reviews The Australian War Memorial: A Century on from the Vision, by Steve Gower  Steve

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Stephens, David: Strengthening the RSL link is not the most pressing need for the War Memorial Council

David Stephens* ‘Strengthening the RSL link is not the most pressing need for the unrepresentative and anachronistic War Memorial Council’, Honest History, 30 June 2019 updated During the recent election campaign, New South Wales President of the RSL, James Brown,

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Arthure, Susan, Fidelma Breen, Stephanie James & Dymphna Lonergan, ed. Irish South Australia: New Histories and Insights

Susan Arthure, Fidelma Breen, Stephanie James & Dymphna Lonergan, ed. Irish South Australia: New Histories and Insights, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2019 Irish South Australia charts Irish settlement from as far north as Pekina, to the state’s south-east and Mount Gambier. It

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Morrissey, Doug: Something new and original on the Irish in South Australia

Doug Morrissey* ‘Something new and original on the Irish in South Australia’, Honest History, 27 June 2019 Doug Morrissey reviews Irish South Australia: New Histories and Insights, edited by Susan Arthure, Fidelma Breen, Stephanie James, and Dymphna Lonergan This is

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Scappatura, Vince: The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy

Vince Scappatura The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2019 Australian society and its leaders generally take for granted the importance and value of this nation’s relationship with the United States. The US is commonly thought

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Broinowski, Alison: Unreliable protection from unnecessary enemies: Scappatura on the US Lobby and us

Alison Broinowski* ‘Unreliable protection from unnecessary enemies: Scappatura on the US Lobby and us’, Honest History, 25 June 2019 Alison Broinowski reviews Vince Scappatura, The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy  A blast of fresh air blew through the Australian

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O’Mallon, Finbar: War memorial risks becoming a “theme park”: former director

Finbar O’Mallon ‘War memorial risks becoming a “theme park”: former director‘, Canberra Times, 24 June 2019 Interview with former Director Brendon Kelson, referring to his letter to the Prime Minister regarding the proposed Memorial extensions. Mr Kelson offers the Memorial’s

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Llewellyn, Richard: The Australian War Memorial extensions: a critique of the design choice

Richard Llewellyn ‘The Australian War Memorial extensions: a critique of the design choice‘, Honest History, 24 June 2019 Richard Llewellyn held the senior position of Registrar at the Australian War Memorial from 1986 to 1995. His paper (almost 8700 words)

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Stanley, Peter: Reading the Act: what is the Australian War Memorial for?

Peter Stanley ‘Reading the Act: what is the Australian War Memorial for?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 19 June 2019 Argues that the Australian War Memorial Act 1980 sets out the responsibilities of the Memorial and that providing a ‘therapeutic milieu’ for

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Featherstone, Nigel: Bodies of Men

Nigel Featherstone Bodies of Men, Hachette Australia, Sydney, 2019; electronic version available A beautifully evocative tale of two men whose lives are brought together in tragedy – for lovers of books by Kevin Powers and Sebastian Barry. There is nothing

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Riseman, Noah: This novel is a worthy read on same-sex relations in the forces during the Second World War

Noah Riseman* ‘This novel is a worthy read on same-sex relations in the forces during the Second World War’, Honest History, 19 June 2019 Noah Riseman reviews Bodies of Men, by Nigel Featherstone Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI)

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Dr Alison Bedford awarded AHA-Honest History Conference Teacher Scholarship

Some time ago, the then Honest History Association agreed to donate $800 to the Australian Historical Association. The money came from royalties from The Honest History Book and a similar donation went to Professional Historians Australia. Background. The AHA has

Bye, Clarissa: Military heroes in fight of their lives as more veterans die through suicide

Clarissa Bye ‘Military heroes in fight of their lives as more veterans die through suicide‘, Daily Telegraph, 16 June 2019 Continues a campaign by Daily Telegraph, including editorially, for a Royal Commission into suicide of Australian Defence Force veterans. Earlier

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Binh Ba anniversary a good time to look more widely at Vietnam War: from the Honest History vault

Last week was the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Binh Ba, a small battle in the Vietnam War, in which one Australian was killed and ten wounded. There were approximately 100 Vietnamese soldiers killed and an unknown number wounded.

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Stephens, David: Paul Daley and Don Watson address the place of place in the Australian story – as well as death and the Australian character

David Stephens* ‘Paul Daley and Don Watson address the place of place in the Australian story – as well as death and the Australian character’, Honest History, 7 June 2019 Sunday papers contain long reads and thoughtful essays, some of

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Stephens, David: Moves to rejig Advance Australia Fair words could lead to refurbishing at Australian War Memorial

David Stephens* ‘Moves to rejig Advance Australia Fair words could lead to refurbishing at Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 6 June 2019 There is interest in changing a line of the National Anthem from ‘for we are young and free’

Piggott, Michael: We are in debt to those responsible for these two journals

Michael Piggott* ‘We are in debt to those responsible for these two journals’, Honest History, 2 June 2019 Michael Piggott reviews the Australian Journal of Biography and History and the ANU Historical Journal II If the appearance of new journal

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Inside Story has some highlights for the beginning of Winter: from social inequality to electoral imponderability

We at Honest History like to keep up with recent numbers of periodicals and journals – particularly those not too badly afflicted by paywalls. We will post shortly a review by Michael Piggott of the first edition of the Australian

Megarrity, Lyndon: The Whitlam connection: local government in the Hawke era

Lyndon Megarrity ‘The Whitlam connection: local government in the Hawke era‘, Government News, 27 May 2019 ‘Hawke and Whitlam were different in many ways, but they were united in their support for local government’s role in the federal system and

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ANU looks at the recent ‘unlosable election’ by comparison with some others of similar ilk

ANU colleagues are spending 90 minutes on Friday trying to unravel the events of 18 May. It’s on Friday this week, 4.00 pm in Roland Wilson at ANUI, with Nicholas Brown, Frank Bongiorno, Jill Sheppard, Maria Taflaga and Joshua Black.

Ministerial changes minor as Coalition settles down for another term

The Prime Minister has announced portfolios, with Ministers to be sworn in later in the week. The Hon. Darren Chester MP remains as Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel, with a slight tweak in his title, though the department is

Knaus, Christopher: Brendan Nelson warned to avoid “potential conflict” of paid role with Thales

Christopher Knaus ‘Brendan Nelson warned to avoid “potential conflict” of paid role with Thales‘, Guardian Australia, 24 May 2019 Documents obtained under Freedom of Information show that the then Minister, Senator Ronaldson, warned War Memorial Director Nelson of potential conflicts

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Palmer, Charlotte: Is the Australian War Memorial a place of healing?

Charlotte Palmer ‘Is the Australian War Memorial a place of healing?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 23 May 2019 Article by retired Canberra GP medical practitioner, with 25 years’ clinical experience in treating psychological trauma. For those with untreated or unresolved distress,

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Australian Historical Association/Honest History AHA Conference Teacher Scholarship

Applications are open for the Australian Historical Association/Honest History AHA Conference Teacher Scholarship which supports a secondary school History teacher to attend the annual Australian Historical Association Conference to promote engagement between History teachers and the broader historical community. Details

Honest History E-newsletter No. 58, 9 May 2019

ISSN: 2202-5561 © Heritage Guardians campaign against the unnecessary and ill-considered $498m extensions to the Australian War Memorial: contact your federal MP or candidate and ask them to oppose this project New on the Honest History site David Stephens reviews

Martin, Richard J.: The Gulf Country: The Story of People and Place in Outback Queensland

Richard J. Martin The Gulf Country: The Story of People and Place in Outback Queensland, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2019; electronic edition available With its great rivers, grassy plains and mangrove-fringed coastline, Queensland’s remote Gulf Country is rich and fertile

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Megarrity, Lyndon: Book on Queensland’s Gulf Country shows how people have lived and thrived in isolated communities

Lyndon Megarrity* ‘Book on Queensland’s Gulf Country shows how people have lived and thrived in isolated communities’, Honest History, 20 May 2019 Lyndon Megarrity reviews Richard J. Martin, The Gulf Country: The Story of People and Place in Outback Queensland

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Sheehan, Mark J., ed.: Advocates and Persuaders

Mark J. Sheehan, ed. Advocates and Persuaders, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2019; electronic version available The authors of Advocates and Persuaders aim to demystify the political practice of lobbying. They believe that lobbying has a significant role to play in a healthy

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Warhurst, John: Case studies on the role of pressure groups, lobbyists and public relations people in our democracy

John Warhurst* ‘Case studies on the role of pressure groups, lobbyists and public relations people in our democracy’, Honest History, 20 May 2019 John Warhurst reviews Mark J. Sheehan, ed., Advocates and Persuaders Advocates and persuaders, also known as peak

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Myrtle, John: “A man of intriguing contradictions”: Edward St John and the South Africa Defence and Aid Fund

John Myrtle* ‘”A man of intriguing contradictions”: Edward St John and the South Africa Defence and Aid Fund’, Honest History, 17 May 2019 Edward St John QC, a prominent Sydney barrister and human rights campaigner, was a founding member and

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Not many people know this: Bob Hawke and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Update 17 May 2019: Open letter from Hawke to Australians Update 17 May 2019: Jack Waterford in Canberra Times Bob Hawke went to the great Caucus in the sky today and condolences to his family and the Labor Movement and

Honest History E-newsletter No. 57, 26 March 2019: Special edition (REPOSTED)

ISSN: 2202-5561© Community campaign against the proposed $498 million extensions to the Australian War Memorial [WE ARE RUNNING THIS AGAIN TO REMIND READERS THAT THIS CAMPAIGN IS STILL RUNNING. AS THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN COMES TO AN END, PLEASE CONSIDER WRITING

Smith, Tony: Review note: Don Brian: The Convict Voice: Songs of Transportation to Norfolk Island and NSW

Tony Smith ‘Review note: Don Brian: The Convict Voice: Songs of Transportation to Norfolk Island and NSW’, Honest History, 13 May 2019 updated © 2019 Tony Smith Transportation to the eastern states ceased around 1850 but continued later in Western

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Hardie, Elsbeth: The Passage of the Damned: What Happened to the Men and Women of the Lady Shore Mutiny

Elsbeth Hardie The Passage of the Damned: What Happened to the Men and Women of the Lady Shore Mutiny, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2019 In an extraordinary move, in 1797, the British government pressed a small group of French and

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Flora, Steve: Story of 1797 mutiny is a work in search of an identity

Steve Flora* ‘Story of 1797 mutiny is a work in search of an identity’, Honest History, 13 May 2019 updated Steve Flora reviews Elsbeth Hardie’s The Passage of the Damned: What Happened to the Men and Women of the Lady

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Janson, Julie: The Light Horse Ghost

Julie Janson The Light House Ghost, Nibago, Avalon, NSW, 2018; electronic version available From the World War 1 Middle Eastern Theatre of War, the Desert Campaign and the Light Horse military victory, to a quiet family life in a gold

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Broinowski, Alison: A novel about war on the home front and in the Middle East

Alison Broinowski* ‘A novel about war on the home front and in the Middle East’, Honest History, 12 May 2019 Alison Broinowski reviews Julie Janson’s The Light Horse Ghost Julie Janson knows about the other Australia. Descended from the Darug

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Museums and the working class: call for papers

Adele Chynoweth from the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies has been invited by Routledge to submit a proposal for an edited peer-reviewed collection provisionally entitled Museums and the Working Class. She is calling for papers: expression of interest at your

Dapin, Mark: Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History

Mark Dapin Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History, NewSouth, Sydney, 2019 This book should be read by anyone interested in the way myths become accepted as history.’ — Peter Edwards, author of Australia and the Vietnam War Why everything you think you

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Stephens, David: Mark Dapin: politely pushing back against Australia’s Vietnam mythology

David Stephens* ‘Mark Dapin: politely pushing back against Australia’s Vietnam mythology’, Honest History, 7 May 2019 updated David Stephens reviews Mark Dapin’s Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History  The Honest History enterprise has devoted a lot of time and effort to

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Duffy, Michael & Nick Hordern: World War Noir: Sydney’s Unpatriotic War

Michael Duffy & Nick Hordern World War Noir: Sydney’s Unpatriotic War, NewSouth, Sydney, 2019 It seems that not even world war could stop crime in Sydney. In fact, World War Noir confirms that war and crime — in the form of

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Pender, Margaret: Refuting the War Memorial view of Australia’s World War II – or, at least Sydney’s

Margaret Pender* ‘Refuting the War Memorial view of Australia’s World War II – or, at least Sydney’s’, Honest History, 5 May 2019 Margaret Pender reviews World War Noir: Sydney’s Unpatriotic War, by Michael Duffy and Nick Hordern  World War Noir: Sydney’s

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Stephens, David: Australian War Memorial’s $498 million funding boost would be better spent on veterans

David Stephens ‘Australian War Memorial’s $498 million funding boost would be better spent on veterans‘, The Strategist, 2 May 2019 Response to arguments of Director, Australian War Memorial, as published in The Strategist recently. There are holes in Dr Nelson’s

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Nutritious Anzac Day fare from non-mainstream media: Eureka Street, Pearls & Irritations, The Conversation

Andrew Hamilton from Eureka Street looks at the lessons from New Zealand, following the Christchurch massacre. When Australians think of Anzac Day, we normally focus on the initial Big A and not on the small nz.  It remains a day

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Knaus, Christopher: Brendan Nelson denies ‘conflict of interest’ after passing on fees from arms firm to war memorial (with Comment)

Christopher Knaus ‘Brendan Nelson denies “conflict of interest” after passing on fees from arms firm to war memorial‘, Guardian Australia, 24 April 2019 updated Article in the Guardian‘s ‘Transparency Project’ series looks at Director Nelson’s receipt of fees from arms

Marilyn Lake’s new book reviewed by Clare Wright: Australia was much more than Anzac – and well before it, too

Sometimes things come together just right. Such was the case when Nine (Fairfax) got Clare Wright to review Marilyn Lake’s new book Progressive New World: How Settler Colonialism and Transpacific Exchange Shaped American Reform. Wright is most recently the author

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Stephens, David: Lest We Forget Yassmin Abdel-Magied: a two-year retrospective

David Stephens* ‘Lest We Forget Yassmin Abdel-Magied: a two-year retrospective’, Honest History, 24 April 2019 updated Update 7 May 2019: ABC presenter Sami Shah on being Yassmin-ed. Update 26 April 2019: also on Independent Australia website. *** Two years ago,

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Stephens, David: More on the War Memorial’s carelessness about naming rights

David Stephens* ‘More on the War Memorial’s carelessness about naming rights’, Honest History, 23 April 2019 A couple of weeks ago, Honest History posted some analysis about ‘naming rights’ at the Australian War Memorial. The piece was triggered by War

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Daley, Paul: Both major parties were suckerpunched into supporting the $500m war memorial expansion

Paul Daley ‘Both major parties were suckerpunched into supporting the $500m war memorial expansion‘, Guardian Australia, 22 April 2019 updated One of the signatories of the open letter against the War Memorial extensions provides a passionate but well-reasoned analysis of

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ANU Historical Journal revived and relaunched: 16 May event in Canberra

Thursday, 16 May at 5.15 pm, the new Harry Hartog bookshop in the gleaming new Kambri precinct at ANU will see the launch of ANU Historical Journal II. Professor Nicholas Brown will do the honours and the guest speaker will

Stephens, David: Köken Ergun’s Şehitler (Heroes) is a well observed Dardanelles doco that deserves wide distribution

David Stephens* Köken Ergun’s Şehitler (Heroes) is a well observed Dardanelles doco that deserves wide distribution’, Honest History, 18 April 2019 updated Update 24 April 2019: Turkish nationals are to be excluded from Australian ceremonies at Gallipoli, 2019. Security reasons cited.

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Holmes, Jack: Does it matter that the President knows nothing about history? We asked 3 historians

Jack Holmes ‘Does it matter that the President knows nothing about history? We asked 3 historians‘, Esquire, 13 April 2019 From the politics editor of Esquire magazine, interviews three youngish American historians, riffing off the Trumpian ignorance of history (and

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Stephens, David: Architects dig in against Australian War Memorial extensions; mixed messages from the Memorial; odd perspective from the ABC

David Stephens* ‘Architects dig in against Australian War Memorial extensions; mixed messages from the Memorial; odd perspective from the ABC’, Honest History, 12 April 2019 updated Philip Leeson, ACT Chapter President of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA), told ABC

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Stephens, David: A free kick from the ABC and an opportunity missed at Senate Estimates: when does the use of a name become a naming right?

David Stephens* ‘A free kick from the ABC and an opportunity missed at Senate Estimates: when does the use of a name become a naming right?’ Honest History, 11 April 2019 updated Senate Estimates this week were something of a

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Cooper, Jan: Searching for my father: a war story

Jan Cooper* ‘Searching for my father: a war story’, Honest History, 8 April 2019 Recently I went in search of information about my father, Doug Cooper. Like others born in 1940 or thereabouts, I suspected that I was not alone

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Stephens, David: Thoughts of the people against the War Memorial’s grandiose extensions project

David Stephens* ‘Thoughts of the people against the War Memorial’s grandiose extensions project’, Honest History, 8 April 2019 On 23 March, the Canberra Times carried a story about an open letter from 83 distinguished Australians opposing the plan to spend

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Aboriginal resilience-building app uses Warlpiri tradition and wisdom to guard against suicides

Two years ago we had a post about crowd-funding an app to help prevent young Indigenous Australians from suiciding. It is great to hear that the Kurdiji 1.0 Aboriginal resilience building app is now available as a free download from

Appin Massacre memorial service to be held on 14 April

A post in Catholica by Keiran Tapsell reminds us that on 14 April there will be a memorial service for the Appin Massacre of 1816. The post links to some information put out by Campbelltown Council about the service. The

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Parliamentary committee recommends national resting place for Indigenous remains – but resists temptation to push hard for corporate dollars for national institutions

Update 20 May 2019: Paul Daley in Guardian Australia makes a useful comparison. Update 17 April 2019: Gina Fairley in ArtsHub comments. Update 5 April 2019: Canberra Times story on the puzzlement of MOADOPH on what the report said about

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Budget 2019: War Memorial’s inside track once again plus still more spending on World War I centenary

Update 4 April 2019: a perceptive Budget comment in Eureka Street from Esther Anatolitis. Australian War Memorial Last night’s Budget had better news for the Australian War Memorial than for other national cultural institutions. The Budget provides for 12 extra

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Open letter in support of award-winning journalist and author Behrouz Boochani

Sign the open letter; more than 900 have signed already WE, the undersigned, write this letter as Australian journalists, writers, editors, publishers, academics, and lovers of literature, to call for our colleague and fellow award-winning journalist and author, Behrouz Boochani,

Menzies, Pam: Port Kembla: A Memoir

Pam Menzies Port Kembla: A Memoir, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2019 Port Kembla: A Memoir is the story of a steel town and its movers and shakers like the entrepreneurial Hoskins and Ted Roach, the wharfies’ leader, who were part of

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Cahill, Rowan: A local history that captures the diversity of Australia

Rowan Cahill* ‘A local history that captures the diversity of Australia’, Honest History, 1 April 2019 Rowan Cahill reviews Port Kembla: A Memoir, by Pam Menzies  Visiting American-British travel writer Bill Bryson, after browsing Australian second-hand bookshops and seeing the vast

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Shuffling the brass on the Australian War Memorial Council: Air Marshal Hupfeld takes a seat

The government has announced the appointment of Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld as Chief of Air Force, to replace Air Marshal Leo Davies. Air Marshal Hupfeld will take up his position on 1 July. The Chief of Air Force ex officio

McQueen, Humphrey: Born free: wage-slaves and chattel-slaves

Humphrey McQueen ‘Born free: wage-slaves and chattel slaves‘, Honest History, 31 March 2019 To adapt Marx’s linking of cotton and slavery with capitalism to the civilising enterprise of the South Australian Company: “Without chattel slaves, the Angases have no mahogany

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Stephens, David: For Our Country: Australian War Memorial sidles a little closer to a balanced view of Indigenous warriors

David Stephens* ‘For Our Country: Australian War Memorial sidles a little closer to a balanced view of Indigenous warriors’, Honest History, 31 March 2019 updated Update 23 April 2019: Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus examines the meaning of the artwork and

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Fathi, Romain: Our Corner of the Somme: Australia at Villers-Bretonneux

Romain Fathi Our Corner of the Somme: Australia at Villers-Bretonneux, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2019 One of the Australian Army History Series, edited by Professor Peter Stanley of UNSW Canberra. By the time of the Armistice, Villers-Bretonneux – once a

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Stephens, David: A bracing journey through the green fields of France: Romain Fathi’s Villers-Bretonneux and Australia’s place in it

David Stephens* ‘A bracing journey through the green fields of France: Romain Fathi’s Villers-Bretonneux and Australia’s place in it’, Honest History, 29 March 2019 David Stephens reviews Our Corner of the Somme: Australia at Villers-Bretonneux, by Romain Fathi First, the

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Stephens, David: That diversity trumpet sounding louder: Australian Foreign Affairs, Meanjin, and the Australian Dictionary of Biography

David Stephens* ‘That diversity trumpet sounding louder: Australian Foreign Affairs, Meanjin, and the Australian Dictionary of Biography’, Honest History, 28 March 2019 updated Update 12 April 2019: Henry Reynolds in this edition of Meanjin: now open access The announcement of a

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ABC RN Late Night Live: Everyone loves Trove

ABC RN ‘Everyone loves Trove‘, Late Night Live, 20 March 2019 Phillip Adams talks to Liz Stainforth, visiting researcher from the UK, and Alison Dellit, National Library officer in charge of Trove, described as a ‘digital heritage aggregator, which is

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Abbott, Derek: Giving practical effect to good intentions: Australian volunteers at work

Derek Abbott* ‘Giving practical effect to good intentions: Australian volunteers at work’, Honest History, 24 March 2019 Derek Abbott reviews Peter Britton’s Working for the World: The Evolution of Australian Volunteers International Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) delivering services on behalf of,

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Britton, Peter: Working for the World: The Evolution of Australian Volunteers International

Peter Britton Working for the World: The Evolution of Australian Volunteers International, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2019 Since 1951 thousands of volunteers from all over Australia have worked in developing countries across the world. This is the story of the

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

Campaign latest Heritage Guardians The campaign is being wrangled by Heritage Guardians, a small committee. The members of the committee are: Brendon Kelson, former Director, Australian War Memorial Dr Charlotte Palmer, committee member, Medical Association for Prevention of War (ACT

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Opposition to War Memorial’s $498 million extensions grows; more than 80 distinguished Australians sign letter

Today’s Canberra Times has a front page story headed ‘Chorus against war memorial expansion’. The story is also online: SMH, Canberra Times, Age. And Guardian Australia. 2CC Canberra. There was extensive Twitter traffic, with posts being ‘liked’ and retweeted hundreds

What would Ataturk have thought? Here comes that Anzac season again, this time courtesy of their Erdogan and our Morrison

President Erdoğan of Turkey seems to be backpedalling a bit on his remarks about sending Australian tourists back in coffins, just like in 1915. Earlier, Prime Minister Morrison quoted Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s alleged words about Australian-Turkish unity in death, implying

Kampmark, Binoy: NZ shooter: the myth of Australian values

Binoy Kampmark ‘NZ shooter: the myth of Australian values‘, Eureka Street, 19 March 2019 The painful truth is that Anning and Tarrant are representative of an aspect of Australian national identity. For decades, they were entirely representative. Their increasing loss of relevance,

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Greenland, Hall: ‘German frightfulness’ from the Australian Light Horse, Egypt, 1919

Hall Greenland* ‘“German frightfulness” from the Australian Light Horse, Egypt, 1919’, Honest History, 18 March 2019 One hundred years ago this month the fabled Australian Light Horsemen led the charge to put down the Egyptian national revolution. On 8 March

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Brett, Judith: From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia got Compulsory Voting

Judith Brett From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia got Compulsory Voting, Text, Melbourne, 2019; electronic version available It’s compulsory to vote in Australia. We are one of a handful of countries in the world that enforce this rule

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Jones, Benjamin T.: Australia’s national heroes of the electoral system again show there is more to us than Anzac

Benjamin T. Jones* ‘Australia’s national heroes of the electoral system again show there is more to us than Anzac’, Honest History, 13 March 2019 Benjamin T. Jones reviews Judith Brett’s From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia got Compulsory

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Daley, Paul: ‘A big jump’: people might have lived in Australia twice as long as we thought

Paul Daley ‘“A big jump”: people might have lived in Australia twice as long as we thought‘, Guardian Australia, 11 March 2019 Extensive archaeological research in southern Victoria has again raised the prospect that people have lived in Australia for

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Fathi, Romain: ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ The Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux: a Frenchman’s reflection on his visit

Romain Fathi* ‘“Look at me! Look at me!” The Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux: a Frenchman’s reflection on his visit’, Honest History, 12 March 2019 updated Update 29 May 2019: Philip Goad in ArchitectureAu on the architecture of the

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Arrow, Michelle: The Seventies: The Personal, the Political and the Making of Modern Australia

Michelle Arrow The Seventies: The Personal, the Political and the Making of Modern Australia, NewSouth, Sydney, 2019; electronic version available In 1970 homosexuality was illegal, God Save the Queen was our national anthem and women pretended to be married to access the

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Stephens, David: Why not advertise to ‘recruit’ a new member of the Australian War Memorial Council?

David Stephens* ‘Why not advertise to “recruit” a new member of the Australian War Memorial Council?’, Honest History, 6 March 2019 Les Carlyon AC, editor, author and member of the Australian War Memorial Council is dead at 76. In due

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War Memorial Mount Ainslie land grab attracts opposition in Canberra

The Canberra Times (Doug Dingwall) has an article today on opposition to the Australian War Memorial’s plans to take land in the Remembrance Nature Park for builders’ sheds and later permanent car parking. Richard Thwaites, son of Honor and Michael

Daley, Paul: As the toll of Australia’s frontier brutality keeps climbing, truth telling is long overdue

Paul Daley ‘As the toll of Australia’s frontier brutality keeps climbing, truth telling is long overdue‘, Guardian Australia, 4 March 2019 updated Major article on our continuing neglect of killings of Indigenous Australians from 1788 till at least 1928. Examines

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Fahey, John: Australia’s First Spies: The Remarkable Story of Australia’s Intelligence Operations, 1901-45

John Fahey Australia’s First Spies: The Remarkable Story of Australia’s Intelligence Operations, 1901-45, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2018; available electronically The first systematic account of Australian intelligence operations in the early 20th century offers fascinating new insights into Australian politics

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Blaxland, John: Intelligence as an arm of government in peace and war

John Blaxland* ‘Intelligence as an arm of government in peace and war’, Honest History, 4 March 2019 John Blaxland reviews John Fahey’s Australia’s First Spies: The Remarkable Story of Australia’s Intelligence Operations, 1901-45 John Fahey’s Australia’s First Spies is indeed,

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AHA Conference Call for Papers extended to 12 March 2019

The next Australian Historical Association conference is on 8-12 July 2019 at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. The Call for Papers has been extended to 12 March 2019 (details below). Honest History recently donated $800 to help secondary

Pedal along to The Bikes of Wrath, an imaginative Australian doco following the Steinbeck trail across the US

A while ago, we gave a plug to a nascent Australian documentary, The Bikes of Wrath, which followed the trail of five Australians peddling across a great swathe of the United States taking the same route taken by John Steinbeck’s

Canberra Times poll shows strong opposition to War Memorial’s land grab of Remembrance Nature Park

A Canberra Times Insider poll asked ‘Should the Australian War Memorial be allowed more land at the base of Mount Ainslie for eventual use as carparking?’ The results were printed in today’s paper: Yes: 34 per cent; No: 54 per

Fraser, Peg: Black Saturday: Not the End of the Story

Peg Fraser Black Saturday: Not the End of the Story, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018 The Victorian bushfires of February 2009 captured the attention of all Australians and made headlines around the world. One hundred and seventy-three people lost their

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Stanley, Peter: Black Saturday: a satisfying story about a profoundly important event

Peter Stanley* ‘Black Saturday: a satisfying story about a profoundly important event’, Honest History, 28 February 2019 Peter Stanley reviews Peg Fraser’s Black Saturday: Not the End of the Story  While reading Dr Peg Fraser’s insightful and illuminating Black Saturday

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Opposition growing to Australian War Memorial’s ‘Brendanbunker’: watch this space

We have reported previously on the proposed $500 million extensions to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. (Use our Search engine with terms like ‘extensions’, ‘grandiose’, and ‘Brendanbunker’.) Additional estimates hearings in the Parliament last week had more discussion (from

Now you don’t see it, now you do: up early at Villers-Bretonneux

The Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Major General Liz Cosson (Ret’d) told Senate Estimates last week (pp. 139-40 of the Proof Hansard) that the Dawn Service at Villers-Bretonneux, Anzac Day 2019, would not be held. Instead, there would

Honest History contributor John A. Moses is co-author of a new book on World War I

Update 25 April 2019: Salvatore Babones writes in Quadrant, among other things referring to the Moses-Overlack book. *** John A. Moses (with Peter Overlack) has written First Know Your Enemy: Comprehending Imperial German War Aims & Deciphering the Enigma of

Crowe, Shaun: Whitlam’s Children: Labor and the Greens in Australia

Shaun Crowe Whitlam’s Children: Labor and the Greens in Australia, MUP Academic, Melbourne, 2018; electronic version available Over the past three decades, progressive politics in Australia has undergone a gradual but unmistakable transformation. Where the Australian Labor Party once enjoyed

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Warhurst, John: Whitlam’s Children is lively, well-written and well-researched

John Warhurst* ‘Whitlam’s Children is lively, well-written and well-researched’, Honest History, 20 February 2019 Shaun Crowe’s Whitlam’s Children: Labor and the Greens in Australia is reviewed by John Warhurst When Gough Whitlam died in October 2014 his memory was claimed

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Honest History E-newsletter No. 56, 12 February 2019

ISSN: 2202-5561 © New on the Honest History site (honesthistory.net.au) John Curtin’s War leaves questions unanswered, despite John Edwards’ best efforts: a book review by David Stephens John Edwards’ two volumes, together nearly 900 pages plus notes and bibliography, are

Stephens, David: Total Australian spending on World War I centenary: an aide memoire for the curious

David Stephens* ‘Total Australian spending on World War I centenary: an aide memoire for the curious’, Honest History, 19 February 2019 updated Australian Government ‘The total Australian Government Anzac Centenary funding over the last ten years to 2018-19 is approximately

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Daley, Paul: Decolonising the dictionary: reclaiming Australian history for the forgotten

Paul Daley ‘Decolonising the dictionary: reclaiming Australian history for the forgotten‘, Guardian Australia, 17 February 2019 updated Long article pointing to the deficiencies in the Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB, located at the Australian National University), especially its earlier volumes

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Dr Brendan Nelson to continue as War Memorial Director till end of 2019

Minister Chester has announced that the Hon Dr Brendan Nelson AO has been reappointed as Director of the Australian War Memorial until 31 December 2019. Dr Nelson’s previous term expired on 30 May 2019. Dr Nelson has also been conferred

Honest History makes donations from book royalties to support secondary school history teachers and early career professional historians

Honest History makes donations from book royalties to support secondary school history teachers and early career professional historians Update 18 June 2019: Dr Alison Bedford is awarded the inaugural AHA/Honest History scholarship. Update 22 May 2019: Applications open for first

Edwards, John: John Curtin’s War (Volumes I and II)

John Edwards John Curtin’s War: Volume I, Penguin Random House, Sydney, 2017; Volume II, Penguin Random House, Sydney, 2018; also available electronically Using much new material John Edwards’ vivid, landmark biography places Curtin as a man of his times, puzzling

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Soutphommasane, Tim: Why being an Australian citizen doesn’t mean others will believe you truly belong

Tim Soutphommasane ‘Why being an Australian citizen doesn’t mean others will believe you truly belong‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 February 2019 The ideal of White Australia was seminal and for all the success of Australian multiculturalism, we remain conditioned by

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Stephens, David: John Curtin’s War leaves questions unanswered, despite John Edwards’ best efforts

David Stephens* ‘John Curtin’s War leaves questions unanswered, despite John Edwards’ best efforts’, Honest History, 12 February 2019 David Stephens reviews John Curtin’s War (Volumes I and II) by John Edwards John Curtin has over the years become the Mount

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Wells, Alexander: Whatever happened to the arts of peace?

Alexander Wells ‘Whatever happened to the arts of peace?‘ Overland, 8 February 2019 In the mass media and cultural institutions, we have just marked the 100-year anniversary of Armistice by continuing to fixate on warfare – at the expense of

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Keeping up with the Jaunceys: some late despatches

Long-term readers of the Honest History site will remember the true life adventures and writings of Les (Bill) Jauncey, radical, writer on conscription and banking, friend of King O’Malley, world traveller, and husband of Beatrice (Bea or Bee) Eva Edmonds

Shield, John: The Cardboard Crown: Martin Boyd’s novel about an Australian family caught between two worlds

John Shield* ‘The Cardboard Crown: Martin Boyd’s novel about an Australian family caught between two worlds’, Honest History, 1 February 2019 This is the third of John Shield’s articles exploring the Text Classics list. The first looked at Don Charlwood’s All the Green Year

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Holbrook, Carolyn: Failure to attach: Australians and their Federation

Carolyn Holbrook ‘Failure to attach: Australians and their Federation: History and Policy Conference, King’s College, London, 17 December 2018‘, Soundcloud The Australian federation was hailed as a beacon of democratic governance at the time of its establishment in 1901—a cutting-edge

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Stephens, David: Review note: Meanjin’s Summer 2018 issue is nutritious and thought-provoking

David Stephens* ‘Review note: Meanjin’s Summer 2018 issue is nutritious and thought-provoking’, Honest History, 29 January 2019 updated There’s always a lot to read in an issue of Meanjin and its Summer 2018 issue is rightly labelled ‘Bumper’. This reviewer

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Bromfield, Nicholas: The genre of Prime Ministerial Anzac Day addresses, 1973–2016

Nicholas Bromfield ‘The genre of Prime Ministerial Anzac Day addresses, 1973–2016‘, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 64, 1, March 2018, pp. 81-97 Statistical analysis based on the author’s PhD thesis. Includes some interesting insights. The last quarter of a

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Tourism and military history – and Peter FitzSimons – in Darwin in April (plus commemorative tourism in February)

Update 12 February 2019: there’s to be an ’emotive’ concert on 24 April. Update 3 February 2019: Minister spruiks the Territory’s turbocharging of military tourism. ‘Military buffs will be lured to the Territory for the inaugural Territory Tribute event series,

George, Denise: Mary Lee: The Life and Times of a “Turbulent Anarchist” and Her Battle for Women’s Rights

Denise George Mary Lee: The Life and Times of a “Turbulent Anarchist” and Her Battle for Women’s Rights, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2018 Suffragist and social justice advocate Mary Lee was determined to leave the world a better place than she

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Burton, Pamela: Mary Lee: a turbulent anarchist in late 19th century Adelaide

Pamela Burton* ‘Mary Lee: a turbulent anarchist in late 19th century Adelaide’, Honest History, 27 January 2019 Pamela Burton reviews Mary Lee: The Life and Times of a “Turbulent Anarchist” and Her Battle for Women’s Rights, by Denise George This

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Australia Day honours for Honest History’s Frank Bongiorno and Alison Broinowski

Congratulations to Honest History President, Professor Frank Bongiorno, and Vice President, Dr Alison Broinowski, both of whom became Members of the Order of Australia (AM) in Australia Day Honours announced today. Frank, Head of the School of History at ANU,

Megarrity, Lyndon: Geoffrey Bolton and the writing of Australian history

Lyndon Megarrity ‘Geoffrey Bolton and the writing of Australian history‘, Australian Policy and History, 10 December 2018 Question and answer style in the website’s ‘Prominent Profiles’ series. Covers broad overview of Bolton’s career, how Megarrity came to know Bolton and

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Humphrey McQueen and Celeste Liddle – and lots of others – on Australia Day

Here is a link to a piece by Humphrey McQueen just published in Overland (though a version of it appeared two years ago on the Honest History site). McQueen takes a fresh approach to the long-running issues surrounding Australia Day.

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1919 influenza pandemic to be considered in Sydney symposium, 16 February

The 1919 influenza pandemic had effects at least as profound as the Great War that preceded it. The City of Sydney and the Royal Australian Historical Society are running a symposium ‘Flu frenzy: Taming the 1919 Influenza Pandemic’ on Saturday,

Ashenden, Dean: Saving the War Memorial from itself

Dean Ashenden ‘Saving the War Memorial from itself‘, Inside Story, 15 January 2019 updated Long article canvassing many aspects of the War Memorial’s current direction, from its refusal to recognise the Frontier Wars, to the composition of its Council, and

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Kalagian Blunt, Ashley: My Name is Revenge

Ashley Kalagian Blunt My Name is Revenge, Spineless Wonders Publishing, Melbourne, 2018; electronic version available My Name is Revenge is in two parts. There is a novella, and an essay reflecting on the historic events that inspired that novella, and meditating

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Stanley, Peter: The Armenian Genocide is part of Australian – and Turkish – history

Peter Stanley[*] ‘The Armenian Genocide is part of Australian – and Turkish – history’, Honest History, 16 January 2019 updated Update 9 November 2019: a useful article from the United States following a vote there to recognise the Genocide. Peter

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DVA change affects commemoration administration

Minister Chester has announced the appointment of Brigadier Paul Nothard (Ret’d) to the statutory position (under the War Graves Act 1980) of Director of the Office of Commonwealth War Graves. Brigadier Nothard will also take up the position of National

Hawkins, Jo: Consuming Anzac: The History of Australia’s Most Powerful Brand

Jo Hawkins Consuming Anzac: The History of Australia’s Most Powerful Brand, UWA Publishing, Perth, 2018 Australians have been consuming Anzac for a century. While commemoration and commerce have never been entirely separate they have become increasingly intertwined. How does the

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Piggott, Michael: Anzac still a powerful brand after all these years

Michael Piggott* ‘Anzac still a powerful brand after all these years’, Honest History, 6 January 2019 updated Michael Piggott reviews Consuming Anzac: The History of Australia’s Most Powerful Brand by Jo Hawkins How doctoral students, still recovering from the physical

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Honest History review roundup: the books we wrote up in 2018

It’s been a great year for history publishing in Australia. Honest History has had the privilege of publishing reviews of materials that discuss, interrogate and eloquently distill the multi-faceted realities of our country’s history. From Diane Bell’s stirring reflection on

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Stretton, Hugh: ‘I am here to barrack for more historical education’: how to use history

Hugh Stretton ‘”I am here to barrack for more historical education”: how to use history’, Honest History, 19 December 2018 updated Hugh Stretton (1924-2015) was one of Australia’s most distinguished social scientists. Hugh Stretton: Selected Writings, edited by Graeme Davison,

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Honest History E-newsletter No. 55, 17 December 2018

ISSN: 2202-5561 © Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to all! New on the Honest History website An appreciation by David Stephens of Paul Daley’s new book On Patriotism. Is there hope for a future where Australian patriotism

War Memorial releases report on public consultation for $500 million extensions

The Australian War Memorial has released a brief report on the consultations it undertook in relation to the proposed extensions to the Memorial. Here is a copy. Key points: Feedback was received from 134 individuals. Participants were fairly evenly spread

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Davis, Glen: By-law 418: an episode in the anti-Vietnam War movement in Victoria

Glen Davis* ‘By-law 418: an episode in the anti-Vietnam War movement in Victoria’, Honest History, 17 December 2018 We are approaching the 50th anniversary (9 April 2019) of the successful campaign to defeat by-law 418. This campaign of civil disobedience

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Honest History E-newsletter No. 54, 26 October 2018

ISSN: 2202-5561 © Honest History symposium, ANU, Canberra, 8 November Need to get a ticket soon (just $12.31) to be sure of a place. Booking and program. ‘Presenting, choosing, measuring, changing history’. With Frank Bongiorno, Michael Brissenden, Alison Broinowski, Pamela Burton,

Lilley, Ian & Celmara Pocock: Australia’s problem with Aboriginal World Heritage

Ian Lilley & Celmara Pocock ‘Australia’s problem with Aboriginal World Heritage‘, The Conversation, 13 December 2018 Of 19 World Heritage sites across the country, including such wonders as the Great Barrier Reef and the Sydney Opera House, only two, Kakadu

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Stephens, David: Paul Daley’s On Patriotism: an appreciation from a fellow-traveller

David Stephens* ‘Paul Daley’s On Patriotism: an appreciation from a fellow-traveller’, Honest History, 16 December 2018 updated This is not really a book review, though a book has set it off. The book is Paul Daley’s On Patriotism, actually an

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Stephens, David: Questions downstairs: the After the War exhibition at the Australian War Memorial

David Stephens* ‘Questions downstairs: the After the War exhibition at the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 13 December 2018 updated In 2014, when the refurbished First World War galleries at the Australian War Memorial were about to be opened, the

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Clark, Melanie: From frontier to front line: Indigenous Australians and Australian war memory

Melanie Clark* ‘From frontier to front line: Indigenous Australians and Australian war memory’, Honest History, 12 December 2018 Note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following article contains images of people who have died. *** ‘Policeman

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Jones, Benjamin T., Frank Bongiorno & John Uhr, ed.: Elections Matter: Ten Federal Elections that Shaped Australia

Benjamin T. Jones, Frank Bongiorno & John Uhr, ed. Elections Matter: Ten Federal Elections that Shaped Australia, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018 Taking ten examples, this book argues that elections do matter (even when it seems they don’t). It is

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Abjorensen, Norman: Whether elections matter is a complex and ambiguous issue – as a consideration of this quirky collection discloses

Norman Abjorensen* ‘Whether elections matter is a complex and ambiguous issue – as a consideration of this quirky collection discloses’, Honest History, 9 December 2018 Norman Abjorensen reviews Elections Matter: Ten Federal Elections that Shaped Australia, edited by Benjamin T.

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Bongiorno, Frank: The year some things changed

Frank Bongiorno ‘The year some things changed‘, Sydney Review of Books, 3 December 2018 updated Head of the ANU School of History (and Honest History president) reviews The Year Everything Changed: 2001 by Phillipa McGuinness, author (and publisher of The

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Miller, Nick: If you could put a price on WWI fallen, it wouldn’t be $100 million

Nick Miller ‘If you could put a price on WWI fallen, it wouldn’t be $100 million‘, The Age, 5 December 2018 updated An FOI claim on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs reveals that visitor numbers to the Monash centre at

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Moses, John A.: The management of history in totalitarian countries: a cautionary tale

John A. Moses* ‘The management of history in totalitarian countries: a cautionary tale’, Honest History, 4 December 2018 We welcome Professor Moses’ contribution to a well-traversed field. For related material, see: Margaret MacMillan on history teaching in China, Canada, Russia,

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Jeyaratnam, Emil: Twelve charts on race and racism in Australia

Emil Jeyaratnam ‘Twelve charts on race and racism in Australia‘, The Conversation, 28 November 2018 Graphs on ancestry, country of birth, overseas-born residents, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, migration patterns, attitude to diversity, attitude to non-discriminatory migration policies, attitudes

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Congratulations to Honest History committee member, Dr Carolyn Holbrook, successful applicant for Australian Research Council grant

Dr Carolyn Holbrook, Alfred Deakin Research Fellow at Deakin University and a member of the Honest History committee, has been awarded an Australian Research Council Early Career Researcher Award for a study of attitudes towards federation since 1901. Congratulations to

Stephens, David: If the Australian War Memorial holds ‘the soul of the nation’ why is the Memorial Council so full of brass?

David Stephens ‘If the Australian War Memorial holds “the soul of the nation” why is the Memorial Council so full of brass?’, Honest History, 28 November 2018 updated The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, often tells

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Hutchison, Margaret: Painting War: A History of Australia’s First World War Art Scheme

Margaret Hutchison Painting War: A History of Australia’s First World War Art Scheme, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, 2018 Part of the Australian Army History series, edited by Peter Stanley. During the First World War the Australian Government established an

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Werskey, Gary: Warpaint: the making of Australian war art

Gary Werskey* ‘Warpaint: the making of Australian war art’, Honest History, 28 November 2018 Gary Werskey reviews Margaret Hutchison, Painting War: A History of Australia’s First World War Art Scheme, by Margaret Hutchison I didn’t know until I read Margaret

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Stanley, Peter, ed.: Jeff Grey: A Life in History

Peter Stanley, ed. Jeff Grey: A Life in History, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, UNSW Canberra, Canberra, 2018 Memorial volume for UNSW Canberra’s late Professor of History. Authors are Frank Bongiorno, John Connor, Peter Dennis, Eleanor Hancock, Peter Stanley,

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Richardson, Andrew: Jeff Grey’s character, personality and contribution are captured in this book

Andrew Richardson* ‘Jeff Grey’s character, personality and contribution are captured in this book’, Honest History, 27 November 2018 Andrew Richardson reviews Jeff Grey: A Life in History, edited by Peter Stanley Like most (if not all) military historians based in

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Haigh, Bruce: The ANZACS: ransacked by the Right

Bruce Haigh ‘The ANZACS: ransacked by the Right‘, Independent Australia, 24 November 2018 Retired diplomat writes that the Anzac myth has been constructed to serve conservative interests. Australia’s default position is to the right of centre. We are just emerging

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Byrne, Frank with Frances Coughlan and Gerard Waterford: Living in Hope

Frank Byrne with Frances Coughlan and Gerard Waterford Living in Hope, Ptilotus Press, Alice Springs, 2017 A memoir of boyhood by a man who was removed as a child – from country, from culture and language, from family, from his

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Stephens, David: Out of the great Australian silence: Frank Byrne’s Stolen Generations story

David Stephens* ‘Out of the great Australian silence: Frank Byrne’s Stolen Generations story’, Honest History, 22 November 2018 David Stephens reviews Living in Hope, by Frank Byrne with Frances Coughlan and Gerard Waterford. The book is the winner of the Small

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Stanley, Peter: Commemoration without conscience: the War Memorial must remain sacred

Peter Stanley ‘Commemoration without conscience: the War Memorial must remain sacred‘, Canberra Times, 22 November 2018 Article by military historian (and Past-President of Honest History) arguing that, if the Memorial is indeed a sacred place, that status is incompatible with

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Reynolds, Henry: Frontier conflict and the War Memorial: an enduring controversy

Henry Reynolds ‘Frontier conflict and the War Memorial: an enduring controversy‘, Meanjin (blog), 20 November 2018 Discusses War Memorial resistance to commemoration of the Frontier Wars, casualty figures, the nature of the conflict, Mabo, and terra nullius. It [frontier conflict]

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Karageorgos, Effie: An urgent rethink is needed on the idealised image of the ANZAC digger

Effie Karageorgos ‘An urgent rethink is needed on the idealised image of the ANZAC digger‘, The Conversation, 21 November 2018 Having spent all that money on Great War commemoration we need to become more honest – respectfully – about the way

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Davies, Geoff: Lest we also forget

Geoff Davies ‘Lest we also forget‘, Pearls and Irritations, 20 November 2018 Pungent and telling piece by an author and retired scientist. He enjoins us regarding a number of important events and issues, introducing each one with the words ‘lest

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Jay Winter to deliver Ken Inglis Memorial Lecture in Canberra, 12 December

Distinguished historian of memory, Jay Winter, will deliver the first Ken Inglis Memorial Lecture in Canberra on 12 December. Details and RSVP. Professor Winter is from Yale University and was co-author with Professor Inglis on Dunera Lives: a Visual History.

Stephens, David: Another wrinkle on why the Australian War Memorial will not commemorate the Frontier Wars: in 2013 it offloaded the job to the other end of Canberra’s lake

David Stephens ‘Why the Australian War Memorial will not commemorate the Frontier Wars: in 2013 it offloaded the job to the other end of Canberra’s lake – plus some statutory sleight of hand’, Honest History, 19 November 2018 updated Senator

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Stephens, David: War Memorial comes clean – sort of – about the help it receives from arms dealers Northrop Grumman and Raytheon

David Stephens ‘War Memorial comes clean – sort of – about the help it receives from arms dealers Northrop Grumman and Raytheon’, Honest History, 18 November 2018 updated A short while ago we pointed to what looked like an error

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Menadue, John: Sacrifice is being politicised. Militarism is becoming the norm

John Menadue ‘Sacrifice is being politicised. Militarism is becoming the norm‘, Pearls and Irritations, 17 November 2018 Passionate post from Australian Elder, former senior public servant and businessman (and among Honest History’s distinguished supporters). Remembrance is morphing into  acceptance of

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Reynolds, Henry: Has the cavalcade of commemoration finally halted?

Henry Reynolds ‘Has the cavalcade of commemoration finally halted?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 16 November 2018 Leading historian says historians of the future will wonder where our obsession with war – made flesh in the Anzac centenary – came from and

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Cochrane, Peter: Reply to Marilyn Lake’s review of Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18

Peter Cochrane* ‘Reply to Marilyn Lake’s review of Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18’, Honest History, 16 November 2018 updated Marilyn Lake’s review of Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18 appeared in Australian Book

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Cashen, Phil: 192. Thanksgiving Sunday, 17/11/18

Phil Cashen ‘192. Thanksgiving Sunday, 17/11/18‘, Shire at War, 12 November 2018 Another excellent microcosmic piece – Phil Cashen has done 192 of them to date – from the Shire of Alberton, this time closely examining sermons in local churches

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More parting shots for the Armistice centenary (mostly from the non-mainstream media)

Scott Bennett in Inside Story on whether war memorials hide more than they reveal. His book is The Nameless Names: Recovering the Missing Anzacs. Paul Daley in Guardian Australia marks the passing of ‘Peak Anzac’, and he says this is

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Honest History 5 years symposium: ‘Presenting, choosing, measuring, changing history’

Update 20 November 2018: Francesca Beddie of Professional Historians Australia NSW writes about the symposium. More than one hundred souls turned out for the Honest History symposium in Canberra on 8 November. The tone was set by a heartfelt and

Armistice Day: three non-mainstream media posts for the centenary, plus Paul Kelly on familiar territory

The Conversation almost counts as mainstream media these days, but its offerings are often far from run of the mill. Flinders University historian, Romain Fathi, has a concise and excellent piece on the Armistice to add to his earlier explainer

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Newton, Douglas: Merchants of death should not be funding Australian War Memorial

Douglas Newton ‘Merchants of death should not be funding Australian War Memorial‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 November 2018 To fund worthy causes such as a national commemoration, mounted in all our names, is why we have governments and taxation. Meeting

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Silent Peace Vigil set for Canberra on Remembrance Day morning

Uniting behind the message ‘Honour them – promote peace’, Canberra citizens will hold a silent peace vigil across the road from the Australian War Memorial, commencing 10.30 am on Sunday, 11 November. Here are the details. ‘We will’, say the

‘Thank you for your service’: recent outbursts of faux patriotism well dealt with on non-mainstream media

In the course of little more than a week leading up to the centenary of the Armistice of 1918, we have seen and heard announcements about discount cards and lapel pins for veterans, a massive capital funding boost for the

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Stephens, David: A grandiose commemorative project for Canberra raises lots of questions

David Stephens ‘A grandiose commemorative project for Canberra raises lots of questions‘, Pearls and Irritations, 2 November 2018 Asks some pointed questions about the $498 million War Memorial extensions. Among the questions: Does the implication that the Memorial is ‘sacred’

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Government commits to $500 million extensions to Australian War Memorial – and $11 million for veterans’ discount card and lapel pin

The Prime Minister today announced a project to extend the Australian War Memorial. Guardian Australia. Memorial publicity. PM’s presser. PM with Alan Jones. Largesse for Memorial contrasts with financial struggles for other cultural institutions. Jack Waterford in Fairfax. Architects’ view.

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Innes, Melanie & Heather Sharp: World War I commemoration and student historical consciousness: a study of high-school students’ views

Melanie Innes & Heather Sharp ‘World War I commemoration and student historical consciousness: a study of high-school students’ views‘, History Education Research Journal, vol. 15, no. 2, 26 October 2018, pp. 193-205 (open access) Establishes that ‘Gallipoli and, more broadly,

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Cashen, Phil: Spanish flu. Part 1

Phil Cashen ‘Spanish flu. Part 1‘, Shire at War, 29 October 2018 updated Update 25 April 2019: Glenn Davies in Independent Australia on Sister Rosa O’Kane, who nursed sufferers from the flu. Good general coverage on the epidemic. *** A

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Canberra launch of Clare Wright’s You Daughters of Freedom: the author in conversation with Michael Brissenden (ABC)

The Canberra launch of You Daughters of Freedom is at Paperchain Manuka on the evening of 7 November. Details and booking arrangements. Review of the book for Honest History by Diane Bell. More on the book. 26 October 2018

Stephens, David: Did the War Memorial deliberately mislead the Parliament about the money it gets from arms companies – or is it just careless about accountability?

David Stephens* ‘Did the War Memorial deliberately mislead the Parliament about the money it gets from arms companies – or is it just careless about accountability?’ Honest History, 26 October 2018 Update 18 November 2018: the War Memorial provides an

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The People’s Passion: Chorus of Women event for 11 November in Canberra

Canberra choir, A Chorus of Women, presents a new retelling of Glenda’s Cloughley’s community oratorio, A Passion for Peace, about the 1915 International Congress of Women and the founding of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. It is

Fahy, Michelle: Invictus Games, glossing over inconvenient truths – the arms trade and the British royals

Michelle Fahy ‘Invictus Games, glossing over inconvenient truths – the arms trade and the British royals‘, Pearls and Irritations, 19 October 2018 updated Michelle Fahy from Medical Association for Prevention of War provides a forensic analysis of the links between

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Lists out for Most Underrated Book Award, Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism, Nikon-Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism, Walkley Documentary Award

This week was ‘lists week’ in the media. This is an area of particular interest to Honest History because, more than ever, journalism and small-run publications are presenting the first draft of history. First, the Small Press Network announced the

Honest History highlight: this perceptive analysis of Anzackery has particular South Australian resonance

Bernard Whimpress’s 2006 paper on ‘Creeping Anzacism’ has been on our site since 2013 (although we now have a version of it with footnotes, thanks to the author). We draw attention to the paper again for two reasons, first, because

Fernandes, Clinton: Island off the Coast of Asia: Instruments of Statecraft in Australian Foreign Policy

Clinton Fernandes Island off the Coast of Asia: Instruments of Statecraft in Australian Foreign Policy, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018 Island off the Coast of Asia: Instruments of Statecraft in Australian Foreign Policy is an unprecedented 230-year Australian study that reveals

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Broinowski, Alison: Is Australia’s foreign and defence policy machinery broken beyond repair?

Alison Broinowski* ‘Is Australia’s foreign and defence policy machinery broken beyond repair?’ Honest History, 17 October 2018 Alison Broinowski reviews Clinton Fernandes, Island off the Coast of Asia: Instruments of Statecraft in Australian Foreign Policy Australia’s fundamental interests have endured

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Holt, Stephen: Is Ordinary Joe our most forgotten PM?

Stephen Holt ‘Is Ordinary Joe our most forgotten PM?‘ Canberra City News, 3 October 2018 In this article, Canberra (indeed Belconnen, Canberra) writer, Stephen Holt, presents Joseph Cook, Australia’s prime minister for 16 months in 1913-14, later Minister for the

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Phelps, Peter: The Bulldog Track: A Grandson’s Story of an Ordinary Man’s War and Survival on the Other Kokoda Trail

Peter Phelps The Bulldog Track: A Grandson’s Story of an Ordinary Man’s War and Survival on the Other Kokoda Trail, Hachette, Sydney, 2018; electronic version available This is the story of Tom Phelps and the “other Kokoda Track”. Seventy-five years

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Pender, Margaret: A family memoir confirms the randomness of wartime outcomes for ordinary people

Margaret Pender* ‘A family memoir confirms the randomness of wartime outcomes for ordinary people’, Honest History, 16 October 2018 Margaret Pender reviews The Bulldog Track: A Grandson’s Story of an Ordinary Man’s War and Survival on the Other Kokoda Trail

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Lydon, Jane & Lyndall Ryan, ed.: Remembering the Myall Creek Massacre

Jane Lydon & Lyndall Ryan, ed. Remembering the Myall Creek Massacre, NewSouth, Sydney, 2018; electronic version available The 1838 Myall Creek Massacre is remembered for the brutality of the crime committed by white settlers against innocent Aboriginal men, women and

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Goreng Goreng, Tjanara: A powerful remembrance of the Myall Creek massacre and of all that is reprehensible about the colonisation of Australia

Tjanara Goreng Goreng* ‘A powerful remembrance of the Myall Creek massacre and of all that is reprehensible about the colonisation of Australia’, Honest History, 16 October 2018 Tjanara Goreng Goreng reviews Remembering the Myall Creek Massacre, edited by Jane Lydon

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Wakeling, Adam: Stern Justice: The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials

Adam Wakeling Stern Justice: The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials, Penguin Viking, Melbourne, 2018; e-book available While the Nuremberg trials at the end of the Second World War are infamous, as are the atrocities

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Burton, Pamela: Stern justice not without controversy: Japanese war crimes trials after World War II

Pamela Burton* ‘Stern justice not without controversy: Japanese war crimes trials after World War II’, Honest History, 12 October 2018 Pamela Burton reviews Stern Justice: The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials, by Adam Wakeling

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Morrissey, Doug: Ned Kelly: Selectors, Squatters and Stock Thieves

Doug Morrissey Ned Kelly: Selectors, Squatters and Stock Thieves, Connor Court Publishing, Brisbane, 2018 Doug Morrissey’s acclaimed book Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life (2015) was short listed for the prestigious Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Australian History in 2016. This, his second

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Piggott, Michael: Flourishing myths and the weight of evidence: Ned Kelly again

Michael Piggott* ‘Flourishing myths and the weight of evidence: Ned Kelly again’, Honest History, 12 October 2018 Doug Morrissey’s Ned Kelly: Selectors, Squatters and Stock Thieves is reviewed by Michael Piggott Doug Morrissey’s new book has several preliminaries. As well

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A wide-angle lens on Great War commemoration: a German scholar speaks in Canberra

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Australian commemoration of war tends to be fairly parochial. We know much, much more about what Australians did in our wars (even when these actions had only marginal effect on war objectives) than about the broad sweep of these wars,

Bell, Diane: Clare Wright’s You Daughters of Freedom is a Big Book about Big Ideas

Diane Bell* ‘Clare Wright’s You Daughters of Freedom is a Big Book about Big Ideas’, Honest History, 7 October 2018 Diane Bell reviews You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World: Democracy Trilogy, Book

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Wright, Clare: You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World: Democracy Trilogy, Book Two

Clare Wright You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World: Democracy Trilogy, Book Two, Text, Melbourne, 2018 For the ten years from 1902, when Australia’s suffrage campaigners won the vote for white women, the

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Cochrane, Peter: Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18

Peter Cochrane Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18, Text, Melbourne, 2018 In the half-century preceding the Great War there was a dramatic shift in the mindset of Australia’s political leaders, from a profound sense of safety in

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Stanley, Peter: The most important book on Australia and the Great War

Peter Stanley* ‘The most important book on Australia and the Great War’, Honest History, 7 October 2018 Peter Stanley reviews Peter Cochrane’s Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18 The Great War centenary has seen a goodly trickle

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Honest History E-newsletter No. 53, 28 September 2018

ISSN: 2202-5561 © Honest History marks five years with a symposium in Canberra ‘Presenting, choosing, measuring, changing history’: an Honest History symposium in conjunction with the Australian National University, Law Lecture Theatre, ANU, Canberra, Thursday, 8 November 2018 With Frank

Raffin, Greg: Mutiny on the Western Front: 1918

Greg Raffin Mutiny on the Western Front: 1918, Big Sky Publishing, Newport NSW, 2018 On 21 September 1918, with retreating German forces on their last legs, the 1st Battalion of the AIF was ordered to return to the front just as they

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Stephens, David: Can mutiny sometimes be the most rational act for a soldier?

David Stephens ‘Can mutiny sometimes be the most rational act for a soldier?’ Honest History, 4 October 2018 David Stephens reviews Mutiny on the Western Front: 1918 by Greg Raffin Anything worth doing usually takes a while. Retired history teacher

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News from Fort Campbell ACT 2612: Charles Bean Western Front diaries launched; Remembrance Day peace demonstration stopped

Yesterday saw the launching of a volume of Charles Bean’s Western Front diary entries. Present at the Australian War Memorial were the Deputy Prime Minister, the editor of the volume, Peter Burness, Bean’s grand-daughter, Ms Anne Carroll, and the Memorial

Broinowski, Richard: Is Asia closer to war than at any time in recent history – and do we care enough about this?

Richard Broinowski* ‘Is Asia closer to war than at any time in recent history – and do we care enough about this?’ Honest History, 28 September 2018 Richard Broinowski reviews The Four Flashpoints: How Asia Goes to War, by Brendan

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Taylor, Brendan: The Four Flashpoints: How Asia Goes to War

Brendan Taylor The Four Flashpoints: How Asia Goes to War, La Trobe University Press/Black Inc., Melbourne, 2018 In this revelatory analysis, geopolitical expert Brendan Taylor examines the four Asian flashpoints most likely to erupt in sudden and violent conflict: the

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Dyster, Barrie: Grieving for Gallipoli: a reflection for the centenary of the 1918 Armistice

Barrie Dyster* ‘Grieving for Gallipoli: a reflection for the centenary of the 1918 Armistice’, Honest History, 23 September 2018 The centenary of the end of the Great War is an opportunity to reflect on the world-wide impact of the conflict.

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Centenary Watch September-November 1918

Update 28 September 2018: Centenary Watch out; Minister Chester stays in place; Director Nelson makes some speeches; buy a piece of the famous MV Krait; Anzac Bears in schools; poppies and a beam of light Centenary Watch out As we approach

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (37): Returning home to South Gippsland in 1918

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (37): Returning home to South Gippsland in 1918’, Honest History, 27 September 2018 This is the last post in our ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series. We hope the series has given a useful perspective on the

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Daley, Paul: Colonial Australia’s foundation is stained with the profits of British slavery

Paul Daley ‘Colonial Australia’s foundation is stained with the profits of British slavery‘, Guardian Australia, 21 September 2018 Riffs off recently published book, Island Off the Coast of Asia: Instruments of Statecraft in Australian Foreign Policy, by Clinton Fernandes. Fernandes

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Historian Clare Wright’s Canberra appearances, 17 October and 8 November

You Daughters of Freedom, a new book by distinguished historian Clare Wright, is to be published shortly by Text. Subtitled The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World, the book describes the struggle in the years 1902 to

Death of distinguished historian, Emeritus Professor John Molony

Honest History notes the death on 16 September of Emeritus Professor John Molony, distinguished historian across a wide range of subjects. He was 91 years of age. There is a notice in the Melbourne Age and in the Canberra Times.

$1,271,473.76 is the amount the Australian War Memorial admits receiving over three years in donations from military and defence firms

During Budget Estimates hearings, then Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon (NSW) asked Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, how much the Memorial had received in donations from military and defence firms. The answer covered the years 2015-16, 2016-17,

Which Bishop moves to represent the Queen?

News today that the current governor-general, Sir Peter Cosgrove – not ‘Sir Bill Cosby’, as a TV caption during the political crisis had him, but everyone was busy and the captioning robot wasn’t the only entity on autopilot – intends

Stephens, David: It’s a cultural thing – isn’t it?

David Stephens ‘It’s a cultural thing – isn’t it?‘ Inside Story, 5 September 2018 A parliamentary inquiry seems to be carefully avoiding the real challenge for Australia’s national museums, archives and libraries … [The inquiry by the Joint Committee on

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Fathi, Romain: World politics explainer: the Great War (WWI)

Romain Fathi ‘World politics explainer: the Great War (WWI)‘, The Conversation, 3 September 2018 updated The article describes: the global conflict that was the Great War: the death toll of over ten million soldiers and six million civilians; the subsequent

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Megarrity, Lyndon: Northern Dreams: The Politics of Northern Development in Australia

Lyndon Megarrity Northern Dreams: The Politics of Northern Development in Australia, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2018 Northern Dreams brings to life the passionate arguments about Northern Australia’s national significance and analyses the political debates that have periodically drawn the public’s

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Gerritsen, Rolf: An essential and well-timed volume on the development of northern Australia

Rolf Gerritsen* ‘An essential and well-timed volume on the development of northern Australia’, Honest History, 3 September 2018 Rolf Gerritsen reviews Lyndon Megarrity’s Northern Dreams: The Politics of Northern Development in Australia We are nearing the institutional fag end of

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Honest History E-newsletter No. 52: special edition: Honest History symposium, 8 November

‘Presenting, choosing, measuring, changing history’ An Honest History symposium in conjunction with the Australian National University Law Lecture Theatre, ANU, Canberra Thursday, 8 November 2018 Frank Bongiorno, Michael Brissenden, Alison Broinowski, Pamela Burton, Michael Cooney, Shaun Crowe, Paul Daley, Emily

Gainsborough, Vance: Review note: Steve Sailah’s Killing Kitchener is a nicely-paced yarn set against a historical background

Vance Gainsborough* ‘Review note: Steve Sailah’s Killing Kitchener is a nicely-paced yarn set against a historical background’, Honest History, 1 September 2018 My (self-published) novelist friend, Ned Rowney, advises me that the keys to a good yarn are Place, Plot

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Christina Twomey (Honest History distinguished supporter) wins NSW Australian History Prize for her book The Battle Within

The Australian History Prize in the NSW Premier’s History Awards for 2018 has been awarded to Christina Twomey of Monash University for her book The Battle Within: POWs in Postwar Australia, published by NewSouth. Congratulations to Professor Twomey, who is

FORUM: Neutrality and war powers reform – paths to peace for Australia?: Wednesday, 26 September, Canberra

Honest History Vice President, Alison Broinowski, and Past President, Peter Stanley, are speaking at a Forum put on by IPAN, the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network. The topic is ‘Neutrality and war powers reform – paths to peace for Australia?’

Growing up in Australia 1901-39: PhD candidate Emily Gallagher on the lookout for evidence; can you help?

Emily Gallagher is doing a PhD at ANU on the history of play and folklore in Australia over the years 1901-39. The era of ‘What’s the time, Mr Wolf?’ and ‘Drop the hanky’ and much more besides. Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey c. 1916

Australia’s wars behind the khaki gloss: Peter Monteath’s new book to be launched at National Library

We are always seeing books telling ‘previously untold’ stories about our wars. This one deserves the description more than most: Peter Monteath’s Captured Lives: Australia’s Wartime Internment Camps, from NLA Publishing. The author will be giving a lecture (NLA fourth floor

History and its use and abuse in politics: Canberra workshop coming up, 5 September (and audio of Chris Uhlmann lecture)

Funnily enough, given the deja vu-ness of this week’s events in Canberra, some experts are getting together on 5 September to look at the use and abuse of history in the political process. Details are here. Speakers include Honest History

Searle, Rick: Charles Ulm: The Untold Story of One of Australia’s Greatest Aviation Pioneers

Rick Searle Charles Ulm: The Untold Story of One of Australia’s Greatest Aviation Pioneers, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2018 Charles Ulm and Charles Kingsford Smith were two of the most important pioneers of Australian aviation. Together they succeeded in a

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Myrtle, John: Charles Ulm’s vision and determination made him a pioneer of Australian aviation

 John Myrtle* ‘Charles Ulm’s vision and determination made him a pioneer of Australian aviation’, Honest History, 20 August 2018 John Myrtle reviews Charles Ulm: The Untold Story of One of Australia’s Greatest Aviation Pioneers by Rick Searle More than 80

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Alfano, Mark: They shall not die in vain: how the Islamic State honours its fallen soldiers – and how Australians do the same

Mark Alfano ‘They shall not die in vain: how the Islamic State honours its fallen soldiers – and how Australians do the same‘, The Conversation, 20 August 2018 Perceptive piece from a philosopher; based on frequency analysis of Islamic State

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Read, John L.: Dear Grandpa, Why? Reflections from Kokoda to Hiroshima

John L. Read Dear Grandpa, Why? Reflections from Kokoda to Hiroshima, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2018 Edward Tompson Mobsby, father of twin baby girls, volunteered for war service and was shot down by the Japanese in New Guinea in 1942. John

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Abbott, Derek: Coming to grips with Grandpa, Japan and wars

Derek Abbott[*] ‘Coming to grips with Grandpa, Japan and wars’, Honest History, 18 August 2018 Derek Abbott reviews Dear Grandpa, Why? Reflections from Kokoda to Hiroshima by John L. Read Edward Mobsby, ‘Mobs’ to his mates, enlisted in the RAAF

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Guilt and hagiography: Bongiorno and Stanley quoted on Brendan Nelson and Ben Roberts-Smith

Michael Bachelard, Fairfax investigative reporter, has a piece today quoting, among others, Honest History president, Frank Bongiorno, and past-president, Peter Stanley, on the inappropriateness of recent comments by War Memorial Director, Brendan Nelson, regarding the investigation into Ben Roberts-Smith VC.

Congratulations to Meredith Lake, 2018 Australian Christian Book of the Year for The Bible in Australia

This award was announced today in Books and Publishing. Douglas Hynd reviewed the book for Honest History. We thought the cover was pretty good, also. 17 August 2018

Honest History at 5 years: a symposium, 8 November, ANU, Canberra: ‘presenting, choosing, measuring, changing history’

‘Presenting, choosing, measuring, changing history’ An Honest History symposium in conjunction with the Australian National University, Law Lecture Theatre, ANU, Canberra, Thursday, 8 November 2018 With Frank Bongiorno, Michael Brissenden, Alison Broinowski, Pamela Burton, Michael Cooney, Shaun Crowe, Paul Daley,

Roberts, Chris & Peter Stanley: Monash: myth and reality

Chris Roberts & Peter Stanley[*] ‘Monash: myth and reality’, Honest History, 15 August 2018 updated [This article appears just after the centenary of the Battle of Amiens and of the conferring of Monash’s knighthood. Other relevant material on the Honest History

Broinowski, Alison: Conspiracies are not all theoretical: some letters to Trump

Alison Broinowski* ‘Conspiracies are not all theoretical: some letters to Trump’, Honest History, 13 August 2018 ©Alison Broinowski 2018 Before the 2016 election, candidate Donald Trump told voters he would ‘find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center’.

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Barritt-Eyles, Lisa: Remembering the Gulf War

Lisa Barritt-Eyles ‘Remembering the Gulf War‘, Australian Outlook, 2 August 2018 Concise outline from a PhD student of Australia’s involvement in the Gulf War, 1990-91. On 2nd August 28 years ago, Iraq invaded Kuwait amid the uncertainty of the changing

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Don’t forget Best We Forget: important Canberra literary event this Sunday at Muse Kingston

Honest History president and ANU History head of school, Professor Frank Bongiorno, is in conversation with Peter Cochrane, author of the recently published Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18. The event is at Muse Kingston at 3

Flanagan, Richard: The world is being undone before us. If we do not reimagine Australia, we will be undone too

Richard Flanagan ‘The world is being undone before us. If we do not reimagine Australia, we will be undone too‘, Guardian Australia, 5 August 2018 Speech at Garma festival, NT, by distinguished author. (Over 500 comments at time of this

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Professional Historians Association National Conference is on in Sydney, 30-31 August

Australia’s professional historians are conferencing in Sydney at the end of this month (State Library of NSW) and the details are here. It’s on at the same time as the NSW Premier’s History Awards. The conference topic is ‘Marking Time’,

Clark, Anna: Friday essay: the “great Australian silence” 50 years on

Anna Clark ‘Friday essay: the “great Australian silence” 50 years on‘, The Conversation, 3 August 2018 updated Marks the 50th anniversary of the famous Boyer lectures by anthropologist WEH Stanner, which drew attention to Australian reluctance to confront our Indigenous

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Reynolds, Henry: A hundred years of mateship (2)

Henry Reynolds ‘A hundred years of mateship (2)‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 July 2018 Follows an earlier piece under the same title and riffs off an ill-judged poster from the Australian Embassy in Washington. The poster was intended to illustrate

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Stephens, David: Australian War Memorial consults the public on mooted massive extensions: is anything ‘sacred’?

David Stephens* ‘Australian War Memorial consults the public on mooted massive extensions: is anything “sacred”?’, Honest History, 3 August 2018 updated The Australian War Memorial has been talking for more than a year about its desire to extend its building

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New Zealand joins nuclear ban treaty; Australia remains opposed

Here is a media statement from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, noting the agreement by New Zealand to the United Nations treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. While Australia has joined treaties banning chemical weapons, biological weapons, landmines and

Whish-Wilson, Senator Peter: Ten questions for Brendan Nelson, speaking on Friday at the Tamar Valley Peace Festival

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson* ‘Ten questions for Brendan Nelson, speaking on Friday at the Tamar Valley Peace Festival’, Honest History, 1 August 2018 updated This article is posted as a contribution to public debate. These issues are also canvassed elsewhere on

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Douglas, Bob: What will it take to restore governance to its rightful owners?

Bob Douglas ‘What will it take to restore governance to its rightful owners?’, Pearls and Irritations, 26 July 2018 Around the world, and also here in Australia, voters are turning away from the political process, alarmed at the capture of

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Keating, Michael: The future Budget outlook – a comment on the Parliamentary Budget Office report on trends affecting the sustainability of Commonwealth taxes

Michael Keating ‘The future Budget outlook – a comment on the Parliamentary Budget Office report on trends affecting the sustainability of Commonwealth taxes‘, Pearls and Irritations, 24 July 2018 The independent Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has released a report on

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Morris, Shireen: The Uluru Statement from the Heart: why I have hope

Shireen Morris ‘The Uluru Statement from the Heart: why I have hope‘, Legal Affairs (University of Melbourne), 19 July 2018 The Uluru Statement created a massive political opportunity that is not going away. The opportunity remains alive and growing –

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Three diary dates: Jeffrey Grey book Canberra launch; Griffith Review 61 Canberra launch; Peter Cochrane at Brisbane Writers Festival on World War I as a war for White Australia

Jeff Grey: A Life in History, launch, 4.30 – 6.00 pm, Thursday, 2 August, UNSW Canberra; register Griffith Review 61: Who We Are launch, 3–4 pm, Sunday, 5 August, Muse, Kingston, Canberra; $12 (tickets available here) Peter Cochrane talks about

Margaret Macmillan Reith Lectures 2018 ‘The Mark of Cain’: on war and humanity

The 2018 Reith lectures by distinguished Canadian historian, Professor Margaret Macmillan, can be found on the BBC site, in audio and transcript. The series has the overall title ‘The Mark of Cain’ and the first four lectures are titled ‘War

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Harman, Kristyn: Explainer: how Tasmania’s Aboriginal people reclaimed a language, palawa kani

Kristyn Harman ‘Explainer: how Tasmania’s Aboriginal people reclaimed a language, palawa kani‘, The Conversation, 19 July 2018 Tasmanian Aboriginal people continue to live on the Bass Strait Islands, in rural and urban Tasmania and elsewhere. Their culture, although severely disrupted

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Gullibility on steroids? An Australian precedent for politicians believing – or pretending to believe – what Moscow tells them

We posted this in February 2017 in response to a previous protestation by President Trump about what the Russians had been doing and when they had been doing it. It’s well worth running again. Update 20 July 2018: the story

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Jones, Benjamin T.: Where does Mark Latham sit among Labor rats?

Benjamin T. Jones ‘Where does Mark Latham sit among Labor rats?‘ Independent Australia, 13 July 2018 Historical survey from 1911 through Hughes, Lyons, Lang and the Groupers, with a few more mentioned in the comments from readers. ‘Contrary to [Graham]

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Looking forward and Lest We Forget: two thought-provoking contributions for NAIDOC Week 2018

ABC RN Breakfast this morning had a NAIDOC Week discussion between presenter Hamish Macdonald and four Indigenous Australians, Mikaela Jade (story-telling technology entrepreneur), Evelyn Araluen (poet and Indigenous literature researcher), Kris Rallah-Baker (opthalmologist), and Ben Abbatangelo (education mentor). Well worth

Stephens, David: Dunera Lives is a tribute to resilience and a testament of worthy contributions to Australia

David Stephens[*] ‘Dunera Lives is a tribute to resilience and a testament of worthy contributions to Australia’, Honest History, 12 July 2018 updated David Stephens reviews Dunera Lives: A Visual History, by Ken Inglis, Seumas Spark and Jay Winter, with

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Dunera Lives is well and truly launched: speeches by Frank Bongiorno in Canberra and Raimond Gaita in Melbourne

Dunera Lives: A Visual History was launched in Canberra on 4 July by Frank Bongiorno and in Melbourne on 8 and 9 July by Raimond Gaita. Frank Bongiorno’s speech and Raimond Gaita’s speech, both by courtesy of the authors. David

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Inglis, Ken, Jay Winter & Seumas Spark, with Carol Bunyan: Dunera Lives: A Visual History

Ken Inglis, Jay Winter & Seumas Spark, with Carol Bunyan Dunera Lives: A Visual History, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018 In July 1940, around 2000 refugees, most of whom were Jewish and from Germany or Austria, were sent from Britain

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Morrissey, Douglas: Stringybark Creek and Glenrowan still resonate but can we ever hit the right note? Ned Kelly movies considered

Douglas Morrissey* ‘Stringybark Creek and Glenrowan still resonate but can we ever hit the right note? Ned Kelly movies considered’, Honest History, 9 July 2018 Recently, there has been an abundance of enthusiastic moviemakers wanting to make films about Ned

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Whiteford, Peter: Good times, bad times

Peter Whiteford ‘Good times, bad times‘, Inside Story, 5 July 2018 Looks at recent evidence of growing inequality in Australia, mostly driven by gains among the highest earners. There is little doubt that inequality is worse now than it was

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Catching up with the Australian Historical Association Conference 2018: Yvonne Perkins aka perkinsy tweeted it as it happened

If you missed the AHA Conference last week in Canberra (or couldn’t afford it) then ace blogger Yvonne Perkins tweeted up a storm here, keeping track of the event as it happened. Yvonne also blogs at Stumbling through the Past

FitzSimons, Peter: Monash’s Masterpiece: The Battle of Le Hamel and the 93 Minutes that Changed the World

Peter FitzSimons Monash’s Masterpiece: The Battle of Le Hamel and the 93 Minutes that Changed the World, Hachette, Sydney, 2018; e-book available Peter FitzSimons brings to life the story of the battle of Le Hamel – the Allied triumph masterminded

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Richardson, Andrew: Myths and reality about a small battle on the Western Front in 1918: FitzSimons and Dando-Collins on Hamel

Andrew Richardson[1] ‘Myths and reality about a small battle on the Western Front in 1918: FitzSimons and Dando-Collins on Hamel’, Honest History, 4 July 2018 Andrew Richardson reviews Peter FitzSimons’ Monash’s Masterpiece: The Battle of Le Hamel and the 93

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Dando-Collins, Stephen: Heroes of Hamel: : The Australians and Americans whose WWI Victory Changed Modern Warfare

Stephen Dando-Collins Heroes of Hamel: The Australians and Americans whose WWI Victory Changed Modern Warfare, Vintage & Random House, Melbourne, 2018; e-book available The battle of Hamel was remarkable for its speed, the tactics employed, numerous acts of extreme bravery,

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Bean counted in: new ACT federal electorate to be named after Charles Bean

After due process for federal electorate redistribution in the ACT, the new third seat is to be named after Charles Bean, war correspondent and war historian. Announcement from the Australian Electoral Commission. Fairfax story. Michelle Grattan in The Conversation. Honest

Bongiorno, Frank: From “Toby Tosspot” to “Mr Harbourside Mansion”, personal insults are an Australian tradition

Frank Bongiorno ‘From “Toby Tosspot” to “Mr Harbourside Mansion”, personal insults are an Australian tradition‘, The Conversation, 29 June 2018 ‘Political name-calling and insults are sometimes like water off a duck’s back. But others can stick.’ A useful survey. Frank

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Davison, Graeme: The year of living anxiously

Graeme Davison ‘The year of living anxiously‘, Inside Story, 26 June 2018 Long review of the recently published book by Phillipa McGuinness, NewSouth publisher. The book is called The Year Everything Changed: 2001. The book offers, says Davison an understanding

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Daley, Paul: How do we settle the “statue wars”? Let’s start by telling the truth about our past

Paul Daley ‘How do we settle the “statue wars”? Let’s start by telling the truth about our past‘, Guardian Australia, 29 June 2018 The author says colonial-era statues, properly considered, can lead us towards an honest history. The article riffs

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Avoiding entertainment and including a warning to youngsters, the War Memorial does the Battle of Hamel all over again – virtually and immersively

Update 3 July 2018: I saw the Hamel show today and was pleasantly surprised. Despite some moderately lurid advertising, this is a sober presentation. It offers a brief outline of World War I, a summary of General Monash’s plans, and

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Shaw, Ian W.: Murder at Dusk: How US Soldier and Smiling Psychopath Eddie Leonski Terrorised Wartime Melbourne

Ian W. Shaw Murder at Dusk: How US Soldier and Smiling Psychopath Eddie Leonski Terrorised Wartime Melbourne, Hachette, Sydney, 2018 May 1942: Melbourne was torn between fearing Japanese invasion and revelling in the carnival atmosphere brought by the influx of

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Abbott, Derek: Brownout brutality in wartime Melbourne 1942

Derek Abbott* ‘Brownout brutality in wartime Melbourne 1942’, Honest History, 26 June 2018 Derek Abbott reviews Murder at Dusk: How US Soldier and Smiling Psychopath Eddie Leonski Terrorised Wartime Melbourne by Ian W. Shaw  Ian Shaw has produced a comprehensive

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Winter mind food in Canberra: three events for the diary

The Australian Historical Association’s annual conference is on in Canberra early in July and there are some sessions 3-6 July open to the public, including ones about the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Trove, animals, forests, the anthropocene, objects, migration, and

Broinowski, Alison: Australia, 2018: Lies, cover-ups and suppression of free speech

Alison Broinowski ‘Australia, 2018: Lies, cover-ups and suppression of free speech‘, Independent Australia, 20 June 2018 Honest History’s vice president summarises the current state and recent history of freedom in the wide brown land whose young men died in the

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Stephens, David: ‘Same old, same old’ and asking the big questions: two contrasting approaches to war and the future

David Stephens ‘”Same old, same old” and asking the big questions: two contrasting approaches to war and the future’, Honest History, 20 June 2018 Armistice Centenary Grants Program Sometimes serendipity plays into the hands of bloggers. Such is the case

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Ryan, Lyndall: The Sydney Wars 1788-1817: mythbusting around the Harbour and the Hawkesbury

Lyndall Ryan* ‘The Sydney Wars 1788-1817: mythbusting around the Harbour and the Hawkesbury’, Honest History, 19 June 2018 Lyndall Ryan reviews The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817 by Stephen Gapps  It seems extraordinary that, after 230 years,

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Gapps, Stephen: The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817

Stephen Gapps The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817, NewSouth, Sydney, 2018 The Sydney Wars tells the history of military engagements between Europeans and Aboriginal Australians – described as “this constant sort of war” by one early colonist –

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Honest History E-newsletter No. 51, 12 June 2018

ISSN: 2202-5561 Honest History’s submission to the parliamentary inquiry into Canberra’s national institutions – and the latest on the War Memorial’s proposed $500m extension New book reviews at honesthistory.net.au Mark McKenna reviews Griffith Review 60 First Things First Meredith Lake’s

Buchan, Bruce: Cooking the books

Bruce Buchan ‘Cooking the books’, Inside Story, 14 June 2018 Looks at a British Library exhibition on Cook and contrasts it with recent Australian announcements about celebrating the 250th anniversary of Cook’s 1770 voyage. Buchan draws this conclusion. Not long

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Chris Uhlmann: Manning Clark Lecture, Canberra, 12 July: Secret City: fact, fiction and Australian politics

Channel 9’s Chris Uhlmann will deliver the 19th Manning Clark Lecture at the ANU, Canberra, on 12 July at 7 pm. The title of the lecture is ‘Secret City: fact, fiction and Australian politics’. Details and booking arrangements. 16 June

Schultz, Julianne & Sandra Phillips, ed.: Griffith Review 60: First Things First

Julianne Schultz & Sandra Phillips, ed. Griffith Review 60: First Things First, April 2018 After more than two hundred years of largely unresolved disputes, Australia needs to hear the voices of Australia’s First Nations – and act on them. First

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Lake, Meredith: The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History

Meredith Lake The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History, NewSouth, Sydney, 2018 In this surprising and revelatory history of the Bible in Australia, Meredith Lake gets under the skin of a text that’s been read, wrestled with, preached and tattooed,

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Hastings, David: Odyssey of the Unknown Anzac

David Hastings Odyssey of the Unknown Anzac, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018; New Zealand edition published by Auckland University Press In 1928 the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia produced 10,000 copies of a poster asking for help

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McKenna, Mark: First Things First and finding a way through

Mark McKenna* ‘First Things First and finding a way through’, Honest History, 12 June 2018 Mark McKenna reviews Griffith Review 60: First Things First As editor Julianne Schultz explains in her introduction, ‘First Things First’ – a title suggested by

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Spark, Seumas: A victim of the war

Seumas Spark* ‘A victim of the war’, Honest History, 12 June 2018 Seumas Spark reviews David Hastings, Odyssey of the Unknown Anzac Three things stand out about David Hastings’ book Odyssey of the Unknown Anzac. First, it is about a

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Hynd, Douglas: The global, cultural and theological Bible: uncovering a history

Douglas Hynd* ‘The global, cultural and theological Bible: uncovering a history’, Honest History, 12 June 2018 Douglas Hynd reviews The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History by Meredith Lake You might think a history of the Bible in Australian culture

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Centenary Watch June-July 2018

Update 4 August 2018: War Memorial consultations on its proposed extensions: ‘Look on my Works’ The Memorial announces consultations; Honest History puts some questions. Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’, a pithy comment on the urge to leave a legacy in stone. Update 28

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Piggin, Stuart & Robert D. Linder: The Fountain of Public Prosperity: Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1740–1914

Stuart Piggin & Robert D. Linder The Fountain of Public Prosperity: Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1740–1914, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018 The official religion brought to Australia with the First Fleet was Evangelical Christianity, the “vital religion” then shaping

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Hynd, Douglas: Evangelical Christians weaved a sturdy thread in our history

Douglas Hynd* ‘Evangelical Christians weaved a sturdy thread in our history’, Honest History, 4 June 2018 Douglas Hynd reviews The Fountain of Public Prosperity: Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1740-1914 by Stuart Piggin and Robert D. Linder The authors of

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (36): Schools and a Smoke Social in South Gippsland 1918

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (36): Schools and a Smoke Social in South Gippsland’, Honest History, 1 June 2018 This occasional series has often drawn upon the work of Phil Cashen of the Shire at War blog, about how the

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ANU not to hook up with Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation

Update 21 August 2018: Alexander Wells in Overland, including on the irrelevance of ‘Western civilisation’ to today’s issues. Update 5 July 2018: Frank Bongiorno talks to Phillip Adams on Late Night Live. Update 26 June 2018: Geoffrey Blainey and Simon

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Lambert, Michael: Review of Fair Share by Stephen Bell and Michael Keating: Part I; Part II

Michael Lambert ‘Review of Fair Share by Stephen Bell and Michael Keating; Part I; Part II‘, Pearls and Irritations, 28-29 May 2018 The coverage of topics [in the Bell-Keating book] is extensive. While its overall theme is exploring the mitigation

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Burden, Gemmia: The violent collectors who gathered Indigenous artefacts for the Queensland Museum

Gemmia Burden ‘The violent collectors who gathered Indigenous artefacts for the Queensland Museum‘, The Conversation, 28 May 2018 Detailed examination of the links between frontier violence and museum collecting. While there is no evidence of the museum being directly involved

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Honest History President Frank Bongiorno talks to Richard Denniss about commemoration, memory and donations to the War Memorial

Honest History President, Professor Frank Bongiorno of the ANU, talks to Richard Denniss, economist from The Australia Institute. Their chat (from mark 14.00) covers national days, the commemoration of blood sacrifice, how corporate donors to the War Memorial are possibly

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Stephens, David: War Memorial fundraising probe should come up with donations code of practice

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial fundraising probe should come up with donations code of practice’, Honest History, 29 May 2018 updated Update 10 June 2018: Toni Hassan in Fairfax with quotes from Director Nelson and Honest History spokesperson. Update 31 May

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Review note: Eleanor’s Secret is an easy read but draws on specialist knowledge

‘Review note: Eleanor’s Secret is an easy read but draws on specialist knowledge’, Honest History, 27 May 2018 Gentle Reader* reviews another wartime novel by Caroline Beecham I described Caroline Beecham’s Maggie’s Kitchen (2016) as ‘technically fiction’ but with plenty

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Bean not yet counted out? War Memorial Director Nelson (and friends) in the redistribution trenches

Update 4 July 2018: Bean gets up. Update 5 June 2018: Fairfax report on the hearing of the augmented Electoral Commission, which heard vigorous arguments for both Nott and Bean. Honest History has previously noted the electoral redistribution for the

Troughton, Geoffrey & Philip Fountain, ed.: Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand

Geoffrey Troughton & Philip Fountain, ed. Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2018 This is a book about how New Zealanders have been inspired by visions for peace. Focusing on

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Hynd, Douglas: Is peace as interesting as war?

Douglas Hynd* ‘Is peace as interesting as war?’ Honest History, 23 May 2018 Douglas Hynd reviews Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand, edited by Geoffrey Troughton and Philip Fountain Towards the conclusion of Judith

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Whyte, Sally: War Memorial should ditch weapons manufacturers: Anti war organisation

Sally Whyte ‘War Memorial should ditch weapons manufacturers: Anti war organisation‘, Canberra Times, 21 May 2018 updated Interview with Sue Wareham of Medical Association for Prevention of War (and one of Honest History’s distinguished supporters). Wareham discusses MAPW’s submission to

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Tseen Khoo: What Anzac Day meant for Asian Australians

Tseen Khoo ‘What Anzac Day meant for Asian Australians‘, Eureka Street, 7 May 2018 Anzac Day ‘can signal and embrace former war-time foes [notably Turks] as contemporary allies’ but it can also be a day ‘that mobilises the easily ignited

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Taffe, Sue: A White Hot Flame: Mary Montgomerie Bennett – Author, Educator, Activist for Indigenous Justice

Sue Taffe A White Hot Flame: Mary Montgomerie Bennett – Author, Educator, Activist for Indigenous Justice, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018 Mary Montgomerie Bennett (1881–1961) is an important but under-recognised figure in Australian history. A member of a successful squatting

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Burton, Pamela: A White Hot Flame: Mary Montgomerie Bennett – Author, Educator, Activist for Indigenous Justice

Pamela Burton* ‘This white hot flame burned bright’, Honest History, 19 May 2018 Pamela Burton reviews A White Hot Flame: Mary Montgomerie Bennett – Author, Educator, Activist for Indigenous Justice by Sue Taffe This well-researched biography of Mary Montgomerie Bennett

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Mitchell, Adrian: Peat Island: Dreaming and Desecration

Adrian Mitchell Peat Island: Dreaming and Desecration, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2018 For just over 100 years an institution for the mentally ill has stood on little Peat Island, in the lower Hawkesbury. It was decommissioned in 2010; quite empty now,

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Myrtle, John: Removing the cloak of mystery from an island in the Hawkesbury

John Myrtle* ‘Removing the cloak of mystery from an island in the Hawkesbury’, Honest History, 18 May 2018 Adrian Mitchell’s Peat Island: Dreaming and Desecration is reviewed by John Myrtle Anyone travelling by road or rail north from Sydney to

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Reynolds, Henry: The fighting retreat of the Anglo-Australians

Henry Reynolds ‘The fighting retreat of the Anglo-Australians‘, Pearls and Irritations, 16 May 2018 Anglo-Australian atavism is at the root of the recent moves for an upgraded Captain Cook Memorial and related stuff, the defence of Australia Day, and the

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Whitaker, Robyn J.: How the Bible helped shape Australian culture

Robyn J. Whitaker ‘How the Bible helped shape Australian culture‘, The Conversation, 15 May 2018 Discusses Meredith Lake’s new book, The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History. Time and time again, Lake traces the multiplicity of biblical interpretations and applications to

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Daley, Paul: The National Picture: overwhelming reminder of wilful gaps in Australia’s history

Paul Daley ‘The National Picture: overwhelming reminder of wilful gaps in Australia’s history‘, Guardian Australia, 14 May 2018 Review of a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ‘The National Picture: the art of Tasmania’s Black War’. The

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Two war poems, one from a disabled veteran, the other from a former diplomat

We don’t often do poetry on Honest History but these two poems deserve a run. The first is from Frank Jock O’Neill, of Disabled Veterans of Australia Network. (Press article about the Network and its mission to reduce suicide rates

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Honest History Treasurer Michael Piggott has new post with Deakin University, working at the National Library

Honest History Treasurer, Michael Piggott AM, has joined a Deakin University Contemporary Histories Research Group Australian Research Council team as Senior Research Fellow. Michael will be based at the National Library for a year, developing and applying a methodology to

Honest History’s submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Canberra’s National Institutions – and the proposed $500m extension to the Australian War Memorial

Note: This post has grown since it began and now covers two closely related matters: the Honest History submission to the parliamentary inquiry into Canberra’s national institutions; the proposed $500m extension of the Australian War Memorial – an underground project

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Budget summary: Anzac centenary winds down, War Memorial digitisation gets thumbs up, Captain Cook rewarmed, non-MSM comments

Honest History has done some work on past Budgets, tracking the Commonwealth spend on Anzac centenary commemoration (which had reached $342 million spent by June last year, plus another $260 million or so by the States and Territories and corporate

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Reynolds, Henry: Australia’s perpetual ‘war footing’

Henry Reynolds ‘Australia’s perpetual “war footing”‘, Pearls and Irritations, 7 May 2018 Riffs off a belligerent interview in 2013 by then Defence Minister, Senator David Johnston. [Johnston] clearly took it for granted that there was a need for Australian military

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McGibbon, Ian: William Malone and the entrenched myth of insubordination at Gallipoli

Ian McGibbon ‘William Malone and the entrenched myth of insubordination at Gallipoli‘, Stuff, 22 April 2018 A distinguished New Zealand military historian unpicks a myth that Kiwi officer, William Malone, disobeyed orders from a British superior at Gallipoli, specifically at

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80 years on since Pig Iron Bob: new documentary has contemporary relevance

November this year marks 80 years since the Dalfram dispute, wherein then federal minister, soon to be PM, Robert Menzies, earned the nick-name ‘Pig Iron Bob’ for what seemed his excessive eagerness to sell to Japan material which had a

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Some schadenfreude about Picardy (une joie malicieuse à propos de Picardie)

We thought this little story deserved a multilingual headline. Close followers of the Anzac season will have caught up with the despatches about the error-ridden Villers-Bretonneux piece in some Fairfax papers by veteran ‘storian Jonathan King. The article has now

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Nine alternative views for Anzac Day – including Lisa Barritt-Eyles on how Lake Macquarie tackled the Frontier Wars

Rather than keep up with the flood of formulaic Anzac Day stories, we collected these few, some of them from our associates, all of them, to varying degrees, coming at ‘the One Day of the Year’ from different angles. (There

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Broinowski, Alison: Anzackery and the preening peloton

Alison Broinowski ‘Anzackery and the preening peloton‘, Pearls and Irritations, 24 April 2018 Honest History vice president weaves together Australian Defence Force duchessing of politicians, MSM Anzac cliches, critiques of Anzackery, culminating in praise for Richard Flanagan’s recent NPC speech.

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Brooker, Ben: 100 years of Anzac: ludicrous spending for nationalist validation

Ben Brooker ‘100 years of Anzac: ludicrous spending for nationalist validation‘, Overland, 24 April 2018 updated Sets the Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux against the broader context of commemorative spending, quoting Honest History estimates. Sharp points on opportunity cost and musing

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Hamilton, Andrew: Remembering shared humanity on Anzac Day

Andrew Hamilton ‘Remembering shared humanity on Anzac Day’, Eureka Street, 22 April 2018 [Politicians have] spent heavily on facilities for remembering the war, focused on the site of the battle rather than on the hometowns of those who grieve, and

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May, Catriona: War and trauma: learning the lessons

Catriona May ‘War and trauma: learning the lessons‘, Pursuit (University of Melbourne), 19 April 2018 An apposite post for the Anzac season, the article examines developments in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in armed forces, from diagnosis of ‘shell-shock’

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Morrissey, Doug: The Irishness of Ned Kelly: romance and reality

Doug Morrissey* ‘The Irishness of Ned Kelly: romance and reality’, Honest History, 23 April 2018 Fenian martyr or common criminal? Ned Kelly is a celebrity in both the Australian and Irish republican canons of heroes. In Ireland, he is honoured

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War Memorial commissions film that shows Turkish side of Gallipoli, then and now

A film by Turkish film-maker, Koken Ergun, is showing in Sydney till 12 May. The film, Heroes, was made with $25 000 and ‘free rein’ from the Australian War Memorial, is now owned by the Memorial and will be shown

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Battlefields of the Raj tour with Professor Peter Stanley

As followers of his work will know, Honest History’s Past President, Professor Peter Stanley of UNSW Canberra, is an authority on, among other things, the military history of British India. Later in 2018 he is leading a UNSW Canberra Study

Lismore does Anzac Day differently

News about the now well established, but rather different, Anzac Day events in Lismore in the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales. Speakers include Honest History Vice President, Alison Broinowski. Details and contact information. There’ll also be some promotions

Heiss, Anita, ed.: Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia

Anita Heiss, ed. Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2018 What is it like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia? This anthology, compiled by award-winning author Anita Heiss, showcases many diverse voices, experiences and stories in order to

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Stephens, David: This book about growing up Aboriginal in Australia is not just one for whitefellers of a certain age

David Stephens ‘This book about growing up Aboriginal in Australia is not just one for whitefellers of a certain age’, Honest History, 20 April 2018 David Stephens reviews Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, edited by Anita Heiss It makes a

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Keating, Michael: Why Australia needs a stronger revenue base

Michael Keating ‘Why Australia needs a stronger revenue base‘, Pearls and Irritations, 19 April 2018 Former senior public servant stresses the importance of boosting the revenue base through taxation. Fundamentally the reason for taxation is to pay for the services

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Flanagan, Richard: ‘Our politics is a dreadful black comedy’ – press club speech in full

Richard Flanagan ‘”Our politics is a dreadful black comedy” – press club speech in full’, Guardian Australia, 19 April 2018 Man Booker Prize winner considers the possibilities for authoritarian politics around the world, before moving on to look at whether

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General Campbell becomes Chief of the Defence Force; General Burr and Admiral Noonan to join Council of Australian War Memorial

The Prime Minister has announced that Lieutenant General Angus Campbell will become Chief of the Defence Force from July, replacing Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin. Major General Rick Burr is to become Chief of Army, replacing Lieutenant General Campbell. Rear

Frontier War Story Camp; Peter Greste on Monash; le footy and le cricket feature in Monashfest in Picardy

These things are happening during Anzac season 2018: Frontier Wars Story Camp and Lest We Forget the Frontier Wars March, Canberra, 19-25 April; former ABC journalist, Peter Greste, has a two part doco on Sir John Monash (and his connections

Honest History E-newsletter No. 50, 10 April 2018

ISSN: 2202-5561 New at honesthistory.net.au Brendan Nelson’s bunker and with cap in hand: contrasts in funding our national cultural institutions Lest We Forget again: Anzac Day is an opportunity to confront our violent frontier past and its shadow today, writes

Stanley, Peter, ed.: Victory on Gallipoli and Other What-ifs of Australian History

Peter Stanley, ed. Victory on Gallipoli and Other What-ifs of Australian History, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 2018 With a twist of fate – and of historical fact – Gallipoli was a military success, Australia had a female prime minister

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Abbott, Derek: If only we had more what-ifs: a book of counterfactuals

Derek Abbott* ‘If only we had more what-ifs: a book of counterfactuals’, Honest History, 16 April 2018 Derek Abbott reviews Victory on Gallipoli and Other What-ifs of Australian History, edited by Peter Stanley Jack Lang prepares to cut the ribbon

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Three upcoming events in different parts of the world: Albany, Canberra and Reims

Albany Albany WA is the setting for something called ‘Convoy Campout’ on 24-25 April. It promises camping out under the stars, a range of Anzac-themed events and, from the money raised, a ‘contribution’ to the War Widows Guild. We are

Changing the guard at Veterans’ Affairs: Liz Cosson is new Secretary as Simon Lewis retires

Simon Lewis PSM is to retire on 18 May as Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Thanking Mr Lewis for his work, Prime Minister Turnbull referred particularly to his management of the Anzac centenary over the last four years.

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Winton, Tim: About the boys: Tim Winton on how toxic masculinity is shackling men to misogyny [with some related stuff]

Tim Winton ‘About the boys: Tim Winton on how toxic masculinity is shackling men to misogyny‘ [with some related stuff], Guardian Australia, 9 April 2018 updated An extract from the novelist’s speech about his new book The Shepherd’s Hut. (The

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Reynolds, Henry: Brendan Nelson and the War Memorial – what about the frontier wars?

Henry Reynolds ‘Brendan Nelson and the War Memorial – what about the frontier wars?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 10 April 2018 Historian of invader-Indigenous relations in Australia considers the proposed extension to the Australian War Memorial and the Memorial’s inadequate recognition

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Stephens, David: Lest We Forget again: Anzac Day is an opportunity to confront our violent frontier past and its shadow today

David Stephens ‘Lest We Forget again: Anzac Day is an opportunity to confront our violent frontier past and its shadow today’, Honest History, 10 April 2018 updated Yassmin Abdel-Magied, 2017 (Guardian Australia/ABC) Yassmin Abdel-Magied, a young Somali-Australian Muslim woman, was

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Waller, Mike: The real problem with our banks – “it’s leverage, stupid”

Mike Waller ‘The real problem with our banks – “it’s leverage, stupid”‘, Pearls and Irritations, 10 April 2018 Former Australian Public Service senior official and BHP economist writes about banking issues. We are more than a decade on from the

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Stanley, Peter: Not Gallipoli: a visit to Dybbøl, a Danish site of memory

Peter Stanley* ‘Not Gallipoli: a visit to Dybbøl, a Danish site of memory’, Honest History, 10 April 2018 What does a visit to Dybbøl tell Australians? It offers a reminder that battlefield commemoration need not be strident, garish or sentimental,

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McKenna, Mark: Quarterly Essay 69: Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future

Mark McKenna Quarterly Essay 69: Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2018; electronic version available Australia is on the brink of momentous change, but only if its citizens and politicians can come to new terms with

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Griffiths, Billy: Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia

Billy Griffiths Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2018; electronic version available Soon after Billy Griffiths joins his first archaeological dig as camp manager and cook, he is hooked. Equipped with a historian’s inquiring mind, he embarks

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Highlights reel: historian Mark McKenna writes in 1997 on ‘black armband history’

‘Highlights reel: historian Mark McKenna writes in 1997 on “black armband history” ‘, Honest History, 10 April 2018 Mark McKenna’s Quarterly Essay 69: Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future (2018) considers related issues. HH *** Historiography, like history itself,

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Piggott, Michael: Time for something from the heart, from and for all of us: Mark McKenna’s Quarterly Essay 69

Michael Piggott* ‘Time for something from the heart, from and for all of us: Mark McKenna’s Quarterly Essay 69’, Honest History, 10 April 2018 Michael Piggott reviews Mark McKenna’s Quarterly Essay 69: Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future Sixteen

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Goreng Goreng, Tjanara: This book about Australian archaelogy and archaelogists is a gift to all of us

Tjanara Goreng Goreng* ‘This book about Australian archaelogy and archaelogists is a gift to all of us’, Honest History, 10 April 2018 Tjanara Goreng Goreng reviews Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia, by Billy Griffiths  This book reaches into the

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Centenary Watch April-May 2018

Update 11 May 2018: Budget summary, including Anzac centenary winds down, War Memorial digitisation gets thumbs up A brief round-up, also including a look at Captain Cook in memoriam, plus non-MSM takes on the Budget. With some relevant cross-references. Update

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Stephens, David: Brendan Nelson’s bunker and with cap in hand: contrasts in funding our national cultural institutions

David Stephens* ‘Brendan Nelson’s bunker and with cap in hand: contrasts in funding our national cultural institutions’, Honest History, 9 April 2018 updated Update 11 May 2018: Honest History’s submission to the JSCNET Inquiry into Canberra’s National Institutions The Director

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Daley, Paul: A $500m expansion of the war memorial is a reckless waste of money

Paul Daley ‘A $500m expansion of the war memorial is a reckless waste of money‘, Guardian Australia, 9 April 2018 Picks up the issue also canvassed by David Stephens of Honest History. Having spent more than half a billion dollars

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Daley, Paul: Uluru, reconciliation and republic: a chance to reimagine Australia?

Paul Daley ‘Uluru, reconciliation and republic: a chance to reimagine Australia?‘ Guardian Australia, 4 April 2018 There is an awakening among constitutional progressives that perhaps the Australian republic ought not be so divorced from the cry out of Uluru last

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Gainsborough, Vance: Review note: Meanjin Autumn 2018: ‘the moral consequences of the things we do’

Vance Gainsborough* ‘Review note: Meanjin Autumn 2018: “the moral consequences of the things we do”‘, Honest History, 5 April 2018 Like all issues of this venerable but feisty publication, Meanjin Autumn 2018 has a lot of meaty content, so this

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What’s On: a war history conference in Canberra

  Canberra The Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society at UNSW Canberra is running a symposium on 8 May on the topic ‘Why Australia went to the Great War’. Presenters are Greg Lockhart, John Mordike, Douglas

Mills, Stephen: Dick Casey’s Forgotten People

Stephen Mills ‘Dick Casey’s Forgotten People‘, Inside Story, 25 February 2018 updated We missed this piece when it first came round but it is worth drawing attention to for its careful study of a notable piece of election year propaganda,

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Peter Stanley: Shades of the Great War are missing in this nicely packaged offering from Adelaide

Peter Stanley ‘Shades of the Great War are missing in this nicely packaged offering from Adelaide’, Honest History, 4 April 2018 Peter Stanley reviews Robert Kearney and Sharon Cleary, Valour and Violets: South Australia in the Great War The centenary

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Kearney, Robert & Sharon Cleary: Valour and Violets: South Australia in the Great War

Robert Kearney & Sharon Cleary Valour and Violets: South Australia in the Great War, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2018 Close to 35,000 South Australians enlisted for service overseas during the Great War. Around 5500 never came back. Countless more returned with

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Shield, John: Between Sky and Sea: Herz Bergner’s Australian Yiddish novel about the Holocaust and the search for the Promised Land

John Shield[1] ‘Between Sky and Sea: Herz Bergner’s Australian Yiddish novel about the Holocaust and the search for the Promised Land’, Honest History, 30 March 2018 This is the second of John Shield’s articles exploring the Text Classics list. The

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Want to buy (or sell) some ‘Made in Australia’ military kit?

Following recent announcements about an increased Australian arms export drive, there has come to light online this interesting resource: the Australian Military Sales Catalogue 2018, Edition 2, published by the Australian Military Sales Office. This glossy document now includes ‘a

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Jones, Benjamin T.: This Time: Australia’s Republican Past and Future

Benjamin T. Jones This Time: Australia’s Republican Past and Future, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2018; e-book available In This Time, Benjamin T. Jones charts a path to an independent future. He reveals the fascinating early history of the Australian republican movement of

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Warhurst, John: Republican past – and invigorating present and future

John Warhurst ‘Republican past – and invigorating present and future’, Honest History, 23 March 2018 This Time: Australia’s Republican Past and Future by Benjamin T. Jones is reviewed by John Warhurst Ben Jones represents the next generation of Australian republicans

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12 months of The Honest History Book: pleasing sales figures reported

Around 12 months ago, The Honest History Book became available in shops and online. We can report that the book, as of today, has sold 2060 copies, including 1880 hard copies, and is still selling. We reckon this shows there

Blowing the whistle on Australia as gunrunner: two pertinent non-MSM pieces

Prime Minister Turnbull recently announced a $3.8 billion defence export plan. ‘Gunrunners’ is Defence Force slang for makers and purveyors of arms and related equipment. Perhaps the government has earned that epithet as well. Overall, Australia plans to spend some

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (35): As enlistments dwindle, PM Hughes reminds people there is a war on

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (35): As enlistments dwindle, PM Hughes reminds people there is a war on’, Honest History, 16 March 2018 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series The second conscription referendum in December 1917 may have looked like the

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Napier Waller Art Prize a good War Memorial initiative targeted at Defence personnel and veterans – but paid for by an arms manufacturer

The Australian War Memorial has launched the ­Napier Waller Art Prize, the first national art prize offered ­exclusively to Defence personnel. (Memorial information on the prize. Fairfax story. Murdoch story.) The prize is open to all current and former Defence

Bowern, Claire: The origins of Pama-Nyungan, Australia’s largest family of Aboriginal languages

Claire Bowern ‘The origins of Pama-Nyungan, Australia’s largest family of Aboriginal languages‘, The Conversation, 13 March 2018 The approximately 400 languages of Aboriginal Australia can be grouped into 27 different families. To put that diversity in context, Europe has just four

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73 years this week since the most destructive bombing raid in history: Tokyo 9-10 March 1945

Everyone knows about Hiroshima and Nagasaki – two cities where tens of thousands of people were killed by a single bomb – but there is much less awareness about what happened in Tokyo on the night of 9-10 March 1945.

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Stephens, David: To put North Korea 2018 in context, read Australian Michael Pembroke on the Korean War: review note

David Stephens ‘To put North Korea 2018 in context, read Australian Michael Pembroke on the Korean War: review note’, Honest History, 6 March 2018 updated New South Wales Supreme Court judge, Michael Pembroke, born 1955, has written a brilliant book,

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Twomey, Christina: The Battle Within: POWs in Postwar Australia

Christina Twomey The Battle Within: POWs in Postwar Australia, NewSouth, Sydney, 2018 This landmark and compelling book follows the stories of 15,000 Australian prisoners of war from the moment they were released by the Japanese at the end of World

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Myrtle, John: Ambivalent return: how Australia treated former prisoners of war after 1945

John Myrtle* ‘Ambivalent return: how Australia treated former prisoners of war after 1945’, Honest History, 6 March 2018 John Myrtle reviews The Battle Within: POWs in Postwar Australia, by Christina Twomey Christina Twomey, Professor of History at Monash University, is

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Robison, Richard: Why the Coalition, conservatives and big business are terrified by Emma Alberici

Richard Robison ‘Why the Coalition, conservatives and big business are terrified by Emma Alberici‘, Independent Australia, 2 March 2018 update A further contribution to the debate on ABC economics correspondent Emma Alberici’s analysis of Australia’s corporate tax system. (Our post

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Khaki reshuffle follows Joycean kerfuffle: Chester becomes Veterans’ Affairs Minister

One Nat minister jumped right over another Nat minister’s back … * Victorian MP Darren Chester is to become Minister for Veterans’ Affairs in a small reshuffle announced this evening. In Guardian Australia, another report says Mr Chester will also

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Australian War Memorial Fellow Dr Chau Chak Wing has cameo role in Clive Hamilton book on Chinese influence in Australia

Update 26 May 2018: David Wroe and Sally White in Fairfax with some reaction from the Memorial’s Dr Nelson, who says the Memorial will not be giving Dr Chau’s money back. Update 25 May 2018: Sally Whyte in Fairfax goes

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Taflaga, Marija: The end of the era of mass politics?

Marija Taflaga ‘The end of the era of mass politics?‘, Inside Story, 26 February 2018 Historical look at the trajectory of the major parties in Australia. Healthy or not, our parties are here to stay. The combination of the preferential

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Schultz, Julianne & Jane Camens, ed.: Griffith Review 59: Commonwealth Now

Julianne Schultz & Jane Camens, ed. Griffith Review 59: Commonwealth Now, January 2018 At the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April athletes from countries that were once a part of the British Empire will battle for gold –

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Abbott, Derek: Griffith Review 59: a timely survey of ‘Commonwealth Now’

Derek Abbott* ‘Griffith Review 59: a timely survey of “Commonwealth Now”’, Honest History, 28 February 2018 Derek Abbott reviews Griffith Review 59: Commonwealth Now, edited by Julianne Schultz and Jane Camens Given the current and continuing debates in this country

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Reynolds, Henry: A hundred years of mateship?

Henry Reynolds ‘A hundred years of mateship?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 27 February 2018 updated A passionate piece from veteran historian Henry Reynolds. I was astonished! An SBS news report about the Turnbull visit to Washington declared that the two countries

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New Deputy PM’s workload raises questions about treatment of Veterans’ Affairs, Centenary of Anzac and Defence Personnel: new Ministry list

Update 5 March 2018: new Ministry List released. Update 1 March 2018: Sorted. McCormack’s former jobs (and the ticket for Villers-Bretonneux in April) passed to Chester. Update 28 February 2018: Reports (for example, this one) circulating of a reshuffle of

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Australians’ perceptions of historic events vary subtly across the country

A recent survey of Australians’ perceptions of important historic events shows some variation across states and territories. There are also some differences across gender and age. The survey was conducted in November last year by the Social Research Centre and

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Moses, John: The contingency factor in national historiography: Germany and Australia

John Moses* ‘The contingency factor in national historiography: Germany and Australia’, Honest History, 25 February 2018 ABSTRACT This paper observes that what historians choose to write about is determined by the circumstances of their time and place. The paper does

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Abjorensen, Norman: Keeping the country in the coalition

Norman Abjorensen ‘Keeping the country in the coalition‘, Inside Story, 23 February 2018 Useful background to the current upheavals within and beyond the National Party. Regardless of how this latest conflict plays out, it is just another chapter in a

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If Michael McCormack becomes Leader of the Nationals, there’ll be an opportunity to abolish Veterans’ Affairs

Update 26 February 2018: how it turned out. Michael McCormack: the last of the line? (Queensland Times) After a glitch a few days ago, Michael McCormack MP seems to be favourite to become Leader of the Nationals and Deputy Prime

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Clarke, Patricia: Political journalist Joe Alexander: establishing Canberra’s heritage — Parliament, diplomacy and life in suburbia

Patricia Clarke* ‘Political journalist Joe Alexander: establishing Canberra’s heritage — Parliament, diplomacy and life in suburbia‘, Honest History, 23 February 2018 Originally a lecture to the ACT Heritage Symposium in August 2017. An exploration of the career of a significant

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (34): Shire at War blog looks at alcohol, temperance and attitudes to the war

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (34): Shire at War blog looks at alcohol, temperance and attitudes to the war’, Honest History, 21 February 2018 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Phil Cashen’s assiduous research for his Shire at War blog has

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