Daley, Paul: Jesustown: A Novel

Paul Daley Jesustown: A Novel, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2022 From award-winning journalist Paul Daley comes a gripping multi-generational saga about Australian frontier violence and cultural theft that will capture the national imagination … Morally bereft popular historian Patrick Renmark

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Stephens, David: Paul Daley’s novel Jesustown is as complex and troubling as our Australian history

David Stephens* ‘Paul Daley’s novel Jesustown is as complex and troubling as our Australian history’, Honest History, 3 July 2022 David Stephens reviews Jesustown: A Novel, by Paul Daley Important novels are grounded in an appreciation of human nature and

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Richard Broinowski on the truth about Australia’s nuclear ambitions: Canberra event, 21 July

Fact or Fission? The Truth about Australia’s Nuclear Ambitions will be essential reading in the time of AUKUS and the Russian war on Ukraine. Richard Broinowski AO, author of the book and retired Australian diplomat, is talking with Dr Sue

An agenda for Albanese (4): Time to rule a line (or cut back) on this unnecessary and obscene War Memorial project

Friday’s Canberra Times carries a story about the $50 million blowout in the cost of the Australian War Memorial extensions project, for which the then government budgeted $498 million. There were hints in the last two Budget papers that costs

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Evans, Steve: $50 million jump in cost of Australian War Memorial revamp

Steve Evans ‘$50 million jump in cost of Australian War Memorial revamp‘, Canberra Times, 1 July 2022 (pdf from our subscription) updated This page 1 story is surprising only because it has taken so long to become public. Rumours of

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An agenda for Albanese (3): Afghanistan reports, like suicide study, should be out in the open – to ensure War Memorial can be ‘a place of truth’

The new Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Matt Keogh, announced the other day that a report into the Department of Veterans’ Affairs claims processing system had finally been made public. The report had been commissioned by the previous government in September

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An agenda for Albanese: (2) ‘Brass and Old Mates’ War Memorial Council needs new faces – and a couple of historians

The Australian War Memorial is sometimes described as Australia’s most sacred site. Whether or not that is true, the 13 people comprising the Memorial Council potentially have an important influence on how we view our past and plot a course

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An agenda for Albanese: (1) Frontier Wars commemoration at the Australian War Memorial would express the Spirit of Uluru

The new government has a lot to do. Here’s one thing that it could do, quickly and decisively, using existing mechanisms: fill some of the proposed new space at the Australian War Memorial with a Frontier Wars Gallery, commemorating the

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Queen’s Birthday Honours List Congratulations: Carmen Lawrence and Joy Damousi

Congratulations to Professor Emeritus Carmen Lawrence AO and Professor Joy Damousi AM, both listed in Queen’s Birthday Honours today. Both have been friends of Honest History over the years and both had chapters in The Honest History Book (2017). 13

Broinowski, Alison: Review: The daughters of John Burton are determined to correct the public record of their parents

Alison Broinowski ‘Review: The daughters of John Burton are determined to correct the public record of their parents‘, Canberra Times, 11 June 2022 (pdf from our subscription) updated Update 26 June 2022: Mark Kenny in the Canberra Times on the

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Lockhart, Greg: Anglicans, ANZAC and the nation

Greg Lockhart ‘Anglicans, ANZAC and the nation‘, Pearls and Irritations, 10 June 2022 There has been a change in the way we understand the ANZAC tradition. Since 1945, the literature on ANZAC has led us to think of its ‘classical’

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Alex Seton’s sculpture ‘For Every Drop Shed in Anguish’ will be a welcome addition to the Australian War Memorial

One of Honest History’s continuing criticisms of the way the Australian War Memorial has commemorated war has been that the Memorial has placed too much stress on what Australians do in war and not enough on what war does to

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Manning Clark House Canberra Event: Persons of Interest: An Intimate Account of Cecily and John Burton

Manning Clark House Inc Persons of Interest: An Intimate Account of Cecily and John Burton By Pamela Burton and Meredith Edwards Sunday 26 June 2022, 2:30pm to 4:00pm All Saints Church Hall, Cowper Street, Ainslie, ACT A world in upheaval:

Stephens, David: An historical agenda for the Albanese Government

David Stephens* ‘An historical agenda for the Albanese Government’, Honest History, 7 June 2022 updated History is not just a matter for historians, museums and school teachers. How we deal with our past shapes the present and future of all

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Stephens, David: Rule Britannia and Dig! Dig! Dig! Illumination and Excavation at the War Memorial

David Stephens* ‘Rule Britannia and “Dig! Dig! Dig!”: Illumination and Excavation at the War Memorial’, Honest History, 3 June 2022 Whichever of the two Matts, Keogh (sworn in this week as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs), or Thistlethwaite (Assistant Minister) takes

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Eureka Street Plus gets under way with Father Frank Brennan on the Uluru Statement

Eureka Street has been around for a long time as a thoughtful, judicious commentator on affairs, with a special interest in religious matters. (It is a publication of Jesuit Communications Australia.) Eureka Street Plus proposes to deliver bi-monthly essays, roundtables,

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JR Nethercote 1948-2022

Professor John Nethercote, Australian Catholic University, died last Tuesday in Canberra. He had a long and distinguished career in the public service and the academic world, was a helpful counsellor and mentor to many colleagues, and will be greatly missed.

Stephens, David: As the War Memorial destruction goes on, and Boeing’s man takes control, FOI throws dim light on the process

David Stephens* ‘As the War Memorial destruction goes on, and Boeing’s man takes control, FOI throws dim light on the process’, Honest History, 5 May 2022 updated The destruction of the Australian War Memorial is unstoppable. And Brendan Nelson, the

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Oliver, Bobbie: Hell No! We Won’t Go! Resistance to Conscription in Post War Australia

Bobbie Oliver Hell No! We Won’t Go! Resistance to Conscription in Post War Australia, Interventions, Melbourne, 2022 Using court records and private correspondence as well as newspaper accounts, Hell no! We won’t go! records the stories of many young men who

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Stephens, David: Lest We Forget what it was like: Bobbie Oliver’s book, Hell No! We Won’t Go! Resistance to Conscription in Post War Australia

David Stephens* ‘Lest We Forget what it was like: Bobbie Oliver’s book, Hell No! We Won’t Go! Resistance to Conscription in Post War Australia’, Honest History, 27 April 2022 David Stephens reviews Bobbie Oliver’s book, Hell No! We Won’t Go!

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Lest We Forget#9: Khaki elections, the meaning of and visits to Gallipoli, and 1930s comparisons: Anzac Day roundup

John Menadue’s website, Pearls & Irritations, can be relied upon to produce thought-provoking posts. This Anzac Day, it offered Peter Stanley and Greg Lockhart on khaki elections, Sue Wareham on the moral issues that now envelope the Australian War Memorial,

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Stephens, David: Lest We Forget#8: Has the Australia that the Great War Diggers fought for been captured by spivs and oligarchs?

David Stephens* ‘Lest We Forget#8: Has the Australia that the Great War Diggers fought for been captured by spivs and oligarchs?’ Honest History, 25 April 2022 Loyal Wingman, a Boeing-made drone taken up by the RAAF (ASPI Strategist – adjacent

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Lest We Forget#7: If you hear the Murdoch Press beating the drums of war in 2022, remember they have form

If the current election is to turn khaki, if the Defence Minister (or his shadow) wants support for spending more of GDP on defence, if the two sides try to outdo each other on support for the American Alliance, you

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Stephens, David: Lest We Forget#6: Brendan Nelson is to be Chair of the War Memorial Council – but who will really run the place?

David Stephens* ‘Lest We Forget#6: Brendan Nelson is to be Chair of the War Memorial Council – but who will really run the place?’ Honest History, 23 April 2022 updated Update 27 April 2022: 2ST radio (Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands)

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Lest We Forget#5: Recognising our common humanity by doing commemoration in a less Australia-centric way: Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial

Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial has had two editions (2016 and 2017) and has been downloaded more than 3000 times by school students and their teachers. We would love to have done more editions to keep

West, Brad: What is the danger of corporate sponsorship of the Australian War Memorial? For one thing, it can undermine military professionalism

Brad West* ‘What is the danger of corporate sponsorship of the Australian War Memorial? For one thing, it can undermine military professionalism’, Honest History, 22 April 2022 The potential renewal of the sponsorship deal between the international arms manufacturer Lockheed

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Stephens, David: Lest We Forget#4: Will today’s children have to go to war – and do we commemorate past wars in a way that makes them think they’ll have to?

David Stephens* ‘Lest We Forget#4: Will today’s children have to go to war – and do we commemorate past wars in a way that makes them think they’ll have to?’ Honest History, 21 April 2022 The poet Osbert Sitwell (1892-1969) 

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Stephens, David: Lest We Forget#3: Five years since The Honest History Book put Anzac in its proper place in Australian history

David Stephens* ‘Lest We Forget#3: Five years since The Honest History Book put Anzac in its proper place in Australian history’, Honest History, 18 April 2022 Five years ago this month, NewSouth Books published The Honest History Book, edited by

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ABC Radio Nightlife with Philip Clark: War Memorial: beyond a century of Anzac

ABC Radio Nightlife with Philip Clark ‘War Memorial: beyond a century of Anzac‘, ABC Radio, 15 April 2022 Audio of long conversation between Clark and Professor Peter Stanley of UNSW Canberra (and Heritage Guardians) and Steve Gower, former Director, Australian

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Lest We Forget#2: Paul Daley takes the jingoism out of patriotism

Lest We Forget has come to mean ‘Remember’, or even ‘Remember, or else!’, in relation to the commemoration of men and women killed in war. The phrase was originally meant as a warning against imperial over-reach. Today, however, it comes

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Michael McKernan’s eulogy for Brendon Kelson, National Arboretum, Canberra, 5 April 2022

Brendon Kelson’s friend and former colleague, historian Dr Michael McKernan, gave this eulogy at Brendon’s memorial service. It is reprinted here with the kind permission of Dr McKernan, Brendon’s wife, Jenne, and sons Marcus and Adrian. Thanks to all of

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Koike, Miyakatsu: Four Years in a Red Coat: the Loveday Internment Camp Diary of Miyakatsu Koike

Miyakatsu Koike Four Years in a Red Coat: the Loveday Internment Camp Diary of Miyakatsu Koike (translated by Hiroko Cockerill; edited with an introduction by Peter Monteath and Yuriko Nagata), Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2022 Four Years in a Red Coat

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Piggott, Michael: This Japanese internment camp diary is a gentle and innocent work from a dark time

Michael Piggott* ‘This Japanese internment camp diary is a gentle and innocent work from a dark time’, Honest History, 10 April 2022 Michael Piggott reviews Four Years in a Red Coat: The Loveday Internment Camp Diary of Miyakatsu Koike (translated

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Stephens, David: Lest We Forget#1: Five years since Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s perceptive remark

David Stephens* ‘Lest We Forget#1: Five years since Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s perceptive remark’, Honest History, 10 April 2022 updated Lest We Forget has come to mean ‘Remember’, or even ‘Remember, or else!’, in relation to the commemoration of men and women

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Finnane, Mark: A Museum of Australian Policing: That’s a good idea, but what stories will it tell?

Mark Finnane* ‘A Museum of Australian Policing: That’s a good idea, but what stories will it tell?’, Honest History, 9 April 2022 In one of the flurry of pre-Budget news drops, the Home Affairs Minister, Karen Andrews, announced recently that

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Brendan Nelson appointed to Council of Australian War Memorial; Kerry Stokes stands down

Media release from the Minister (text below) announces that Dr Brendan Nelson, former Director of the Australian War Memorial, former Minister for Defence, and big wheel at Boeing, world’s second largest manufacturer of weapons of war, has been appointed to

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Opportunity for the public to influence whether the Audit Office investigates the management of the $500 million War Memorial redevelopment project

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is a Commonwealth watchdog over the processes of government. Annually, the ANAO puts out its draft Audit Work Program for public comment; the 2022-23 version has just been released. The draft contains potential performance

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Brendon Kelson 1935-2022

Brendon Kelson died last Thursday in Canberra. He was a former Director of the Australian War Memorial, a friend of Honest History, and a passionate campaigner to protect national heritage and save his beloved Memorial from the destruction it is

Stephens, David: New (and newish) books received: Australian architecture; beyond COVID; communists; Evatt on the Court; the history of history

David Stephens* New (and newish) books received: Australian architecture; beyond COVID; communists; Evatt on the Court; the history of history’, Honest History, 4 March 2022 updated Honest History has not read all of these books but they all address important

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Odgers, Brett: Still talking to the War Memorial? The review and regeneration of Anzac Parade, Canberra

Brett Odgers* ‘Still talking to the War Memorial? The review and regeneration of Anzac Parade, Canberra’, Honest History, 1 March 2022 [In the lead up to Anzac Day and as we confront another war in Europe, how we treat our

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Stephens, David: From the Honest History vault: 80 years since the Darwin bombing but context remains all-important

David Stephens* From the Honest History vault: 80 years since the Darwin bombing but context remains all-important’, Honest History, 18 February 2022 updated Tomorrow is 80 years since the first bombing of Darwin during World War II. Our commemoration cohort,

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Two AUKUS events coming up, Melbourne 24 February and Canberra 27 February, both Zoomed

Information Webinar: AUKUS will cost the earth Join MAPW’s VP Dr Margie Beavis, Professor Richard Tanter (Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability), and Dave Sweeney (Australian Conservation Foundation) for a discussion about the costs and consequences of the AUKUS pact. Hosted

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Stephens, David: From the Honest History vault: Dr Chau Chak Wing, ASIO person of interest and Australian War Memorial Fellow and donor

David Stephens* ‘From the Honest History vault: Dr Chau Chak Wing, ASIO person of interest and Australian War Memorial Fellow and donor’, Honest History, 15 February 2022 In Senate Estimates yesterday, Senator Kitching (ALP, Vic) mentioned Dr Chau Chak Wing,

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Hell No! We Won’t Go! Resistance to conscription in post-war Australia: launch of new book by Bobbie Oliver

Bobbie Oliver has written a book, Hell No! We Won’t Go! Resistance to Conscription in Post-war Australia, published by Interventions, which will be launched online on 24 February at 7pm AEST. Details. Registration. Professor Oliver will be in conversation with

Zoom in to these three events: Timor Leste; Stuart Macintyre; capitalism

16 February: Timor was invaded! Webinar on Timor Leste – history and current events Speakers are Dr José Ramos-Horta, Dr Kirsty Sword AO, Professor Peter Stanley, Sister Susan Connelly PhD and others. At UNSW, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Knapman, Gareth: The Batman Treaty’s feudal obligation to the Kulin and the unpaid debt of $68 million a year

Gareth Knapman* ‘The Batman Treaty’s feudal obligation to the Kulin and the unpaid debt of $68 million a year’, Honest History, 10 February 2022 [Dr Knapman is writing a book which addresses the question, how did British colonial figures understand

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Stephens, David: War Memorial Heritage Management Plan: a loose end still hanging

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial Heritage Management Plan: a loose end still hanging’, Honest History, 4 February 2022 updated Update 5 May 2022: Our FOI claims on the Department and the Memorial still leave a loose end The Australian Heritage Council

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Government announces Ngurra, Indigenous cultural precinct, for Canberra

The Prime Minister has announced the government has allocated $316.5m to build Ngurra, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural precinct, on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in the Parliamentary Triangle, on Ngunnawal country (Canberra). Ngurra, a Western Desert

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Christmas and (late) Hanukkah greetings from Honest History and Heritage Guardians

Honest History’s elves are taking it easy for the next six weeks or so due to Christmas, New Year and a couple of time-consuming house moves. We will be posting only if something important drops and needs a word from

Can 2.5 hectares of new War Memorial space filled with retired military kit help with healing? From the Honest History vault

When Dr Brendan Nelson was Director of the Australian War Memorial he often claimed that the Memorial could provide a ‘therapeutic milieu’ for former service men and women. More recently, spruikers for the $498m redevelopment have talked about the Memorial

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Fahy, Michelle: Australia captured: how the military-industrial complex has captured Australia’s top strategic advisory body

Michelle Fahy ‘Australia captured: how the military-industrial complex has captured Australia’s top strategic advisory body‘, Declassified Australia, 9 December 2021 Analysis of the compromised position of the allegedly independent Australian Strategic Policy Institute. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) in

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Turnbull, Noel: The commemoration industry and the militarization of Australian history

Noel Turnbull ‘The commemoration industry and the militarization of Australian history: a speech given to the Middle Park Men’s Group‘, 24 November 2021’, Noel Turnbull, 27 November 2021 [W]hat concerns me is the way Australia has developed a commemoration industry

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O’Connell, Deirdre: Harlem Nights: The Secret History of Australia’s Jazz Age

Deirdre O’Connell Harlem Nights: The Secret History of Australia’s Jazz Age, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2021 The 1920s were a time of wonder and flux, when Australians sensed a world growing smaller, turning faster-and, for some, skittering off balance. American

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Myrtle, John: Tough gig: American jazz culture comes to 1928 White Australia

John Myrtle* ‘Tough gig: American jazz culture comes to 1928 White Australia’, Honest History, 3 December 2021 John Myrtle reviews Harlem Nights: The Secret History of Australia’s Jazz Age by Deirdre O’Connell Jazz, distinctively American musical style. The historical significance

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Stuart Macintyre on Post-War Reconstruction: From the Honest History vault

In 2015, the late Professor Stuart Macintyre published a great book on Post-War Reconstruction, describing the work of politicians and bureaucrats in Australia during and after the Second World War.  Australia’s Boldest Experiment: War and Reconstruction in the 1940s won

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Stephens, David: National Capital Authority consultation report on War Memorial Main Works: latest (but maybe not last) phase in a sorry saga

David Stephens* ‘National Capital Authority consultation report on War Memorial Main Works: latest (but maybe not last) phase in a sorry saga’, Honest History, 25 November 2021 updated Summary: The War Memorial redevelopment project is unstoppable. We tried! *** The

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Stuart Macintyre 1947-2021

Stuart Macintyre, distinguished Australian historian, died today after a long period of ill health. He will be greatly missed. Honest History was proud to have Stuart as a contributor to The Honest History Book (2017), where he penned a perceptive

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Stephens, David: Why would you destroy something that 96 per cent of your visitors liked? War Memorial Annual Report 2020-21

David Stephens* ‘Why would you destroy something that 96 per cent of your visitors liked? War Memorial Annual Report 2020-21’, Honest History, 12 November 2021 Annual reports of Australian government departments and agencies are normally tabled in the Parliament before

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From the Honest History vault: Remembrance Day

Update 12 November 2021: Ian Bushnell in The Riot Act links Remembrance Day and what the Australian War Memorial is becoming (’80 years on [since it was opened], the War Memorial is in a battle for its soul’). Update 11

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Stephens, David: For Remembrance Day: parsing “the Australian War Memorial”

David Stephens* ‘For Remembrance Day: parsing “the Australian War Memorial”’, Honest History, 7 November 2021 updated Update 11 November 2021: Reprinted on Pearls & Irritations as ‘Australian War Memorial expansion is a disgrace beyond words’. *** Recently at Senate Estimates,

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Richard Broinowski wins History Victoria prize for Under the Rainbow

Former Australian diplomat, current commentator, and friend of Honest History, Richard Broinowski AO, has jointly won the Judge’s Special Prize Victorian Community History Awards 2021 of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria (History Victoria) for his book Under the Rainbow:

From the Honest History vault: Anzac Treasures book from 2014 gives us some hints about the new, bigger Australian War Memorial

Seven years ago, historian Peter Pedersen produced for the Australian War Memorial a bulky, beautifully illustrated book called Anzac Treasures: The Gallipoli Collection of the Australian War Memorial. The book marked the beginning of the Anzac Centenary, a four-year long

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Stephens, David: National Capital Authority misses its own deadline to release consultation report on War Memorial Main Works

David Stephens* ‘National Capital Authority misses its own deadline to release consultation report on War Memorial Main Works’, Honest History, 2 November 2021 updated Update 7 November 2021: Ian Bushnell in The Riot Act summarises the state of (delayed) play

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Sulllivan, Christopher Daniel: The case for an Australian folk music tradition

Christopher Daniel Sullivan The case for an Australian folk music tradition, PhD thesis, Southern Cross University, 2020 (available on open access, including music files) Using new and more comprehensive sources this thesis re-interprets the evidence for an Australian folk music

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Blaxland, John: Twenty years in Afghanistan

John Blaxland ‘Twenty years in Afghanistan‘, Wartime [Australian War Memorial] No. 96, Spring 2021, pp. 10-16 John Blaxland is a distinguished academic, specialising in war and strategy. He is also a former member of the Australian Defence Force. For both

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Wareham, Sue: Transparency lacking in Australian defence policy

Sue Wareham ‘Transparency lacking in Australian defence policy‘, Independent Australia, 19 October 2021 updated Update 28 October 2021: see also this from Marcus Reubenstein reprinted in Pearls & Irritations. Update 30 November 2021: Mike Scrafton in Pearls & Irritations analyses

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Stephens, David: ‘Desolation Row’: latest pictures as the Australian War Memorial $498m megabuild gets under way

David Stephens* ‘”Desolation Row”**: latest pictures as the Australian War Memorial $498m megabuild gets under way’, Honest History, 21 October 2021 updated Our photographer took these pictures yesterday and today (except for one which is much older). The Memorial’s spin-doctors

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Stephens, David: Townsville Veterans’ Wellness Centre and Afghanistan War Memorial Gardens, Brisbane: avoiding bigger issues?

David Stephens* ‘Townsville Veterans’ Wellness Centre and Afghanistan War Memorial Gardens, Brisbane: avoiding bigger issues?’, Honest History, 20 October 2021 updated Two press releases this week from Federal Veterans’ Affairs Minister, Andrew Gee, tell of two openings in Queensland. They

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Stephens, David: ‘Eve of Destruction’ at the War Memorial: why are we trashing ‘our most sacred place’?

David Stephens* ‘”Eve of Destruction” at the War Memorial; why are we trashing “our most sacred place”?, Honest History, 17 October 2021 updated Some time in the next couple of weeks (while Parliament is sitting, so most of us will

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Stephens, David: Attempted Tudging of school history curriculum is but the most recent in a long line

David Stephens* ‘Attempted Tudging of school history curriculum is but the most recent in a long line’, Honest History, 11 October 2021 updated 4 June 2022: New education Minister Jason Clare says the war is over and strongly backs teachers.

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Two Afghanistan-related items for your consideration: IPAN Webinar; Twenty Years project organised by Antony Loewenstein

IPAN Webinar on the context and consequences of Australia’s generation-long war in Afghanistan IPAN (Independent and Peaceful Australia Network) has a webinar on Thursday, October 21, 6 pm AEDT, chaired by lawyer and human rights activist Kellie Tranter, with speakers

From the Honest History vault: War Memorial Director Matt Anderson wrote these war books for children

It has been fairly quiet at the War Memorial site recently, as interested parties await the National Capital Authority’s consultation report on the Main Works for the Memorial’s $498m megabuild, which can also be seen as an institution which is

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National Vietnam Veterans Museum; National Veterans Art Museum

As Victoria (and Australia) starts to open up and folks look for places to visit, here’s some information about the National Vietnam Veterans Museum (NVVM) on Phillip Island and the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum (ANVAM) at Southbank. ‘The NVVM’,

Paul Barratt AO 1944-2021

Paul Barratt has died after a long illness. He was a distinguished public servant and in later life an advocate for important causes. He will be greatly missed. Obituary in Pearls & Irritations from Alison Broinowski. The obituary stresses Paul’s

Professor Megan Davis gives Dymphna Clark Memorial Lecture on Uluru Statement from the Heart

Manning Clark House, Canberra, presents: Annual Dymphna Clark Lecture with Professor Megan Davis, ‘The promise of the Uluru Statement from the Heart: the past, the present and the future of First Nations Australia’. Wednesday, 13 October 2021, 6:00 PM –

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Stephens, David: It’s not just about the submarines and the furore with the French: AUKUS, AUSMIN, and lessons from history

David Stephens* ‘It’s not just about the submarines and the furore with the French: AUKUS, AUSMIN, and lessons from history’, Honest History, 1 October 2021 updated Sometimes slang cuts through and helps us understand. Earlier this week, we had a

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From the Honest History vault: John Edwards’ biography of John Curtin: Is brown-nosing an inevitable posture for Australian PMs?

Prime Minister Morrison, launching AUKUS, mentioned John Curtin, Australia’s wartime prime minister, who turned to the United States for help when things looked dark. The prime minister could have mentioned Harold Holt, John Gorton, John Howard, Julia Gillard, Malcolm Turnbull,

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Weirick, James: Submission to the National Capital Authority: Australian War Memorial Redevelopment – Main Works Packages

James Weirick* ‘Submission to the National Capital Authority: Australian War Memorial Redevelopment – Main Works Packages’, Honest History, 26 September 2021 This was one of 587 submissions to the NCA on the Australian War Memorial Main Works. The Authority expects

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Two thoughtful pieces on the military-industrial tentacles that stretch through Australian life

The Afghanistan debacle and the AUKUS surprise should remind us of the extent to which our society and economy – and even psyche perhaps – is built around the idea that weapons and technology able to be used lethally against

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Piggott, Michael: Out of Tune, but still mouldering: the National Archives of Australia

Michael Piggott* ‘Out of Tune, but still mouldering: the National Archives of Australia’, Honest History, 20 September 2021 This article follows Michael Piggott’s earlier piece, ‘Mouldering away: how long a journey for our National Archives?’, which coincided with a campaign

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Menadue, John: Our democracy is decaying from within

John Menadue ‘Our democracy is decaying from within‘, Pearls & Irritations, 16 September 2021 Former senior public servant and businessman calls for a summit of community leaders to help chart democratic renewal. With the loss of trust in our political

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The Secret State, the rule of law and whistle blowers: Bernard Collaery Zoom event from Manning Clark House, Canberra, 26 September

Sunday 26 September 2021, 4pm to 5.30pm This is a Zoom event due to the COVID-19 lockdown Bernard Collaery is a former ACT Attorney-General and a prominent Canberra lawyer.  He was lawyer for Witness K, the former ASIS officer turned

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Wareham, Sue & David Stephens: War Memorial ‘consultation’ was a sham from the start

Sue Wareham and David Stephens ‘War Memorial “consultation” was a sham from the start‘, Canberra Times, 16 September 2021 (pdf from our subscription) An op ed containing detailed analysis of the process which has led to the Australian War Memorial

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Hopkins, David: Costly expansion of Australia’s war memorial stirs controversy

David Hopkins ‘Costly expansion of Australia’s war memorial stirs controversy‘, Nikkei Asia, 12 September 2021 A multimillion-dollar plan to upgrade Australia’s national war memorial in Canberra is pushing ahead, despite critics’ claims that the project is more focused on exhibiting

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Heritage Guardians submission to National Capital Authority consultation on War Memorial Main Works approval application

The Heritage Guardians submission has now been posted: here and scroll down a bit to ‘David Stephens and Heritage Guardians’. Unfortunately, the website format scrubs out emphases so we’ve printed the original below. Recognising that the National Capital Authority’s remit

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Simons, Margaret: What responsibilities do journalists have on social media?

Margaret Simons ‘What responsibilities do journalists have on social media?‘ ABC Religion and Ethics, 30 August 2021 Thoughtful piece from a senior journalist and academic. Takes a balanced view of the pros and cons of journalists working on social media

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Reynolds, Henry: The terrible effects and disastrous consequences of war. But we keep doing it.

Henry Reynolds ‘The terrible effects and disastrous consequences of war. But we keep doing it’, Pearls & Irritations, 3 September 2021 Many of the world’s 190 or so nation states have been involved in conflict. But few small- or medium-sized

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Two recent journal numbers have thought-provoking content – and one is open access!

While current events billow around our ears with Afghanistan and Covid in the van and climate change lurking, the quiet business of academic publishing goes on, with some free access and (regrettably many) behind pay-walls. July saw a special edition

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Wareham, Sue: “No Australian who has ever fallen in our uniform has ever died in vain, ever”: the PM and the AWM

Sue Wareham ‘“No Australian who has ever fallen in our uniform has ever died in vain, ever”: the PM and the AWM‘, Pearls & Irritations, 31 August 2021 Weaves together the claims of the Prime Minister that Australian soldiers never

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Knapman, Gareth: Bain Attwood on the not so terra nullius: a review article

Gareth Knapman* ‘Bain Attwood on the not so terra nullius’: a review article’, Honest History, 31 August 2021 In 2020, Bain Attwood published Empire and the Making of Native Title: Sovereignty, Property and Indigenous People. Attwood presents a compelling argument

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Haultain-Gall, Matthew: The Battlefield of Imperishable Memory: Passchendaele and the Anzac Legend

Matthew Haultain-Gall The Battlefield of Imperishable Memory: Passchendaele and the Anzac Legend, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2021 Given the extent of their sacrifices, the Australians’ exploits in Belgium ought to be well known in a nation that has fervently commemorated

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Fathi, Romain: Why have Australians forgotten Belgium when we obsess about our Diggers’ deeds in France?

Romain Fathi* ‘Why have Australians forgotten Belgium when we obsess about our Diggers’ deeds in France?’ Honest History, 30 August 2021 Romain Fathi reviews Matthew Haultain-Gall’s The Battlefield of Imperishable Memory:  Passchendaele and the Anzac Legend The central question this

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Are you doing a submission to the National Capital Authority consultation on the Main Works for the $498m War Memorial project: HERE ARE SOME TIPS!

Update 9 September 2021: Heritage Guardians submission *** Where do I make a submission? Here (scroll down to ‘Have your Say’). When are the submissions due? By 10 September. How can my submission have the most impact? The NCA will

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Stephens, David: Two absorbing evenings: the National Capital Authority information sessions on the Australian War Memorial $498m redevelopment project

David Stephens* ‘Two absorbing evenings: the National Capital Authority’s information sessions on the Australian War Memorial’s $498m redevelopment project’, Honest History, 23 August 2021 updated After the farce of the ‘early works’ consultation on the War Memorial project, the National

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Stephens, Alan: Another bright shining lie: the ADF and Afghanistan

Alan Stephens ‘Another bright shining lie: the ADF and Afghanistan‘, Pearls & Irritations, 19 August 2021 This essay is concerned with the military-strategic dimension of our latest national bright shining lie; namely, the marketing by the Australian Defence Force’s hierarchy

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Stephens, David: Reflections on Afghanistan: hell no, never, ever go? And the gunrunners win anyway

David Stephens* ‘Reflections on Afghanistan: hell no, never, ever go? And the gunrunners win anyway’, Honest History, 19 August 2021 updated Update 1 April 2022: Memorial response to Senate Estimates Question from Senator Steele-John (Question No. 179). Pdf. Carefully worded.

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Daley, Paul: Morrison says troops died “for a great cause” in Afghanistan. To quote a grieving father, that’s bullshit

Paul Daley ‘Morrison says troops died “for a great cause” in Afghanistan. To quote a grieving father, that’s bullshit‘, Guardian Australia, 16 August 2021 Scott Morrison is shamelessly audacious to claim Australian service personnel died for “a great cause” in this country’s

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From the Honest History vault: review of Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia: racist society or casual racism or both?

Footballers Taylor Walker (with his slur against Robbie Young), Eddie Betts and Nic Naitanui have brought to the fore the issue of racism in sport. Have they shown us yet again that Australia is a ‘racist society’, systemically, inherently, inevitably,

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AHA/Honest History scholarship 2021 goes to Sharyn Clarke: congratulations!

This from the latest Australian Historical Association Newsletter: AHA/Honest History: AHA Conference 2021 Teacher Scholarship Recipient The AHA/Honest History Teacher Scholarship scheme supports a secondary school History teacher to attend the annual Australian Historical Association Conference to promote engagement between

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Barlow, Karen: National Capital Authority finds little support or understanding: poll

Karen Barlow ‘National Capital Authority finds little support or understanding: poll‘, Canberra Times, 9 August 2021 Reports poll from The Australian Institute (national poll of 1004 people) where respondents were asked whether they ‘agree or disagree that the National Capital

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The National Capital Authority is running some information sessions on the War Memorial project

Update 24 August 2021: how to make a submission that might be noticed. Update 23 August 2021: a review of the information sessions. *** The National Capital Authority is running three information sessions next week at the National Library in

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From the Honest History vault: The Holocaust at the Australian War Memorial

In December 2016, Honest History published a review by Professor Peter Stanley of the then recently opened Holocaust exhibition at the Australian War Memorial. We added to it later with a 2019 speech from then Memorial Director, Brendan Nelson, to

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Strangio, Paul: Who were Australia’s best prime ministers? We asked the experts

Paul Strangio ‘Who were Australia’s best prime ministers? We asked the experts‘, The Conversation, 2 August 2021 Survey of 60 or so academic experts, 2020 and 2010. Sets out criteria (longevity, achievements, management of party, relations with electorate) and ranks

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May the farce be with you: National Capital Authority consultation on War Memorial main works – and a piece of business news

Update 6 August 2021: The information sessions: further advice on this phase. Update 3 August 2021: Canberra Times story. (Hard copy version is shorter.) The Riot Act story. *** Consultation The National Capital Authority has opened its consultation on the

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Piccini, Jon: The forgotten Australian veterans who opposed National Service and the Vietnam War

Jon Piccini ‘The forgotten Australian veterans who opposed National Service and the Vietnam War‘, The Conversation, 26 July 2021 Article comes out on the 50th anniversary of announcement by McMahon Government of withdrawal of Australian troops from Vietnam. Author has

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Stephens, David: Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial: what chance is there that the new bigger, Memorial will let these stories be told?

David Stephens* ‘Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial: what chance is there that the new bigger, Memorial will let these stories be told?’, Honest History, 26 July 2021 updated Update 25 September 2021: Two months on and

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Stephens, David: A wasting asset? War Memorial visitor numbers have been declining – and vainglorious vandalism could make them worse

David Stephens* ‘A wasting asset? War Memorial visitor numbers have been declining – and vainglorious vandalism could make them worse’, Honest History, 23 July 2021 updated Five years ago, Honest History asked the Australian War Memorial if it kept a

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Holbrook, Carolyn, James Walter & Paul Strangio: Is the COVID vaccine rollout the greatest public policy failure in recent Australian history?

Carolyn Holbrook, James Walter & Paul Strangio ‘Is the COVID vaccine rollout the greatest public policy failure in recent Australian history?‘, The Conversation, 21 July 2021 There are three principal factors for measuring public policy success or failure. The first

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Waterford, Jack: Let’s re-imagine Anzac Day and phase out ADF and RSL’s ownership

Jack Waterford ‘Let’s re-imagine Anzac Day and phase out ADF and RSL’s ownership‘, Pearls and Irritations, 21 July 2021 Our War Memorial commemorates all Australians, professional or civilian, who have died on active service, and makes no distinctions between them.

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‘Heal Country’ theme of NAIDOC Week 2021 – and getting at the truth of Murdering Point

Euahlayi man and ANU PhD candidate Bhiamie Williamson rounds off NAIDOC Week with a reflection in The Conversation on this year’s NAIDOC theme, Heal Country: Heal Country forces us to see these events [Juukan Gorge, mine pollution in Northern Territory]

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From the Honest History vault for NAIDOC Week: A 2018 conversation on ABC RN

During NAIDOC Week 2018, ABC presenter Hamish Macdonald talked to four Indigenous Australians on Indigenous Australian successes and inspirations today. Featured were Mikaela Jade (story-telling technology entrepreneur), Evelyn Araluen (poet and Indigenous literature researcher), Kris Rallah-Baker (opthalmologist), and Ben Abbatangelo (education mentor). The tape ends with

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Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide: announcement of Commissioners and Terms of Reference

This from the Prime Minister today. Media release. Terms of Reference. The inquiry will be led by Mr Nick Kaldas APM, former Deputy Commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force, supported by James Douglas QC, former Judge of the

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Canales, Sarah Basford: Australian War Memorial $500m redevelopment project to be probed: ANAO

Sarah Basford Canales ‘Australian War Memorial $500m redevelopment project to be probed: ANAO‘, Canberra Times, 8 July 2021 updated The management of the war memorial’s controversial plans to drastically reshape the national institution will be put under a microscope over

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Stephens, David: National Capital Authority brush-off continues with ‘one size fits all’ Statement of Reasons for Memorial decision

David Stephens* ‘National Capital Authority brush-off continues with “one size fits all” Statement of Reasons for Memorial decision’, Honest History, 7 July 2021 updated *** Update 14 July 2021: Citizens dissatisfied by the NCA brush-off described below may wish to

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From the Honest History vault for NAIDOC Week: Tjanara Goreng Goreng’s review of Billy Griffiths’ Deep Time Dreaming

‘From the Honest History vault for NAIDOC Week: Tjanara Goreng Goreng’s review of Billy Griffiths’ Deep Time Dreaming‘, Honest History, 7 July 2021 Here’s a paragraph from the review: The book finishes with a reflection of what it means for

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Indigenous involvement in the defence of Australia did not begin in 1914: Professor Peter Stanley address for NAIDOC Week 2014: From the Honest History vault

Professor Peter Stanley from UNSW Canberra gave an address on 10 July 2014 for NAIDOC Week. Professor Stanley was at that time President of the Honest History group. Here is a key paragraph from the speech: [I]t’s because a military

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Stephens, David: Seventy-five per cent of Australians in national poll believe War Memorial project $500 million would be better spent on health, education, and veterans’ support services; just 13 per cent prefer spending on the Memorial

David Stephens* ‘Seventy-five per cent of Australians in national poll believe War Memorial project $500 million would be better spent on health, education, and veterans’ support services; just 13 per cent prefer spending on the Memorial’, Honest History, 5 July

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National Capital Authority releases key documents relating to its approval of early works application from the Australian War Memorial

Update 4.30 pm Sunday 4 July 2021: Anzac Hall starts to come down (pic: Fiona Scott) More pictures of trees coming down and bulldozers going in. Heritage Guardians sent this email this afternoon to the Director, Australian War Memorial: Director

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Stephens, David: “We have once again been played for mugs by a deeply flawed process”: analysis of the National Capital Authority consultation report on the $498m Australian War Memorial redevelopment project “early works” application

David Stephens* ‘“We have once again been played for mugs by a deeply flawed process”: analysis of the National Capital Authority consultation report on the $498m Australian War Memorial redevelopment project “early works” application’, Honest History, 28 June 2021  

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Joyce axes Chester as Veterans’ Affairs Minister; Andrew Gee is the pea

New Ministry list following restoration of Barnaby Joyce. Darren Chester returns to the back-bench. Andrew Gee becomes Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, including ministerial responsibility for the War Memorial, and for Defence Personnel. Honest History and Heritage Guardians disagreed with Darren

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Younge, Gary: Why every single statue should come down

Gary Younge ‘Why every single statue should come down‘, The Guardian (UK), 1 June 2021 updated (associated podcast; also in hard copy of The Guardian Weekly, 11 June 2021) ‘Statues of historical figures are lazy, ugly and distort history’, says

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Menadue, John: Militarism has become the norm. We now even have an Army Lieutenant General heading the vaccine roll out

John Menadue ‘Militarism has become the norm. We now even have an Army Lieutenant General heading the vaccine roll out‘, Pearls and Irritations, 24 June 2021 updated Concerned that the states were getting the political kudos for handling quarantine ,

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Senator Steele-John motion on War Memorial redevelopment defeated by major parties

Senator Jordon Steele-John (Greens, WA) has been an assiduous questioner of Australian War Memorial officers at Senate Estimates. See most recently here (pages 92-98 of the pdf of the Proof Hansard) and use our Search engine. The Senator is rightly

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Fitzpatrick, Sheila: White Russians, Red Peril: a Cold War History of Migration to Australia

Sheila Fitzpatrick White Russians, Red Peril: a Cold War History of Migration to Australia, La Trobe University Press, Melbourne, 2021; electronic version available Making use of newly discovered Russian-language archives and drawing on a lifetime’s study of Soviet history and

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Abbott, Derek: A rewarding and timely book on Russians who came to Australia

Derek Abbott* ‘A rewarding and timely book on Russians who came to Australia’, Honest History, 17 June 2021 Derek Abbott reviews Sheila Fitzpatrick’s White Russians, Red Peril: a Cold War History of Migration to Australia Immigration into Australia seems always

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Old military buff Stokes gets another 12 months on the War Memorial Council; new memorial in AWM grounds

Minister Chester has announced that Kerry Stokes’ term on the Australian War Memorial Council has been extended for another 12 months. It was to end in August. Note though that the extension is as a member of the Council, not

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Piggott, Michael: Mouldering away: how long a journey for our National Archives?

Michael Piggott* ‘Mouldering away: how long a journey for our National Archives?’, Honest History, 16 June 2021 [See also this post on the campaign to save the Archives. HH] As many Honest History supporters will know, in recent months the

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Fahy, Michelle: Landforces’ brothers in arms: how a weapons peddler qualified for charitable status

Michelle Fahy ‘Landforces’ brothers in arms: how a weapons peddler qualified for charitable status‘, Michael West Media, 4 June 2021 [C]onsider the activities of a not-for-profit organisation that many Australians will be astounded to discover has gained privileged charitable status

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Save the National Archives of Australia! More than 150 leading Australian writers, researchers and thinkers have signed an Open Letter to the Prime Minister

The open letter. Media release below. Coverage in media, particularly The Australian by Gideon Haigh on 12 June (pdf from a subscription) and editorial. Video with Graeme Davison. Genevieve Jacobs in The Riot Act. David Smith, ALP member for Bean,

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Stephens, David: ‘All you’ve got to do is dig, dig, dig!’ National Capital Authority waves through the War Memorial’s ‘early works’ application

David Stephens* ‘”All you’ve got to do is dig, dig, dig!”** National Capital Authority waves through the War Memorial’s “early works” application’, Honest History, 8 June 2021 updated Yesterday, the National Capital Authority approved the early works application from the

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Stephens, David: Afghanistan, Matt Anderson, the Australian War Memorial $498m megabuild, Brendan Nelson, the Brereton Report, Nine Newspapers, the Prime Minister, Ben Roberts-Smith, Seven Media, Kerry Stokes, and lots of lawyers

David Stephens* ‘Afghanistan, Matt Anderson, the Australian War Memorial $498m megabuild, Brendan Nelson, the Brereton Report, Nine Newspapers, the Prime Minister, Ben Roberts-Smith, Seven Media, Kerry Stokes, and lots of lawyers’, Honest History, 7 June 2021 Some important Federal Court

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Dowling, Peter: The Australian War Memorial: a changed future

Peter Dowling* ‘The Australian War Memorial: a changed future’, Honest History, 2 June 2021 In August 1916, a tall, lean figure, dressed in the khaki of the Australian Imperial Force, strode through the battlefield of Pozières, in the Somme department

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Newton, Douglas: Private Ryan and the Lost Peace: A Defiant Soldier and the Struggle against the Great War

Douglas Newton Private Ryan and the Lost Peace: A Defiant Soldier and the Struggle against the Great War, Longueville Media, Sydney, 2021 Imagine the Great War ending early, in 1915, or 1916, or even 1917. Imagine round-table negotiations and a

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Stephens, David: Everyman as soldier: how men in suits in drawing rooms conned the people – and their families – into fighting on

David Stephens* ‘Everyman as soldier: how men in suits in drawing rooms conned the people – and their families – into fighting on’, Honest History, 28 May 2021 David Stephens reviews Douglas Newton’s Private Ryan and the Lost Peace: A

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Stephens, David: “A cynical abuse of process”: summary of Heritage Guardians’ submission to the National Capital Authority consultation on the “early works” approval application from the Australian War Memorial

David Stephens* ‘”A cynical abuse of process”: summary of Heritage Guardians’ submission to the National Capital Authority consultation on the “early works” approval application from the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 23 May 2021 Contents Introduction Works application approvals and

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Baker, Mark: The Emperor’s Grace: Untold Stories of the Australians Enslaved in Japan during World War II

Mark Baker The Emperor’s Grace: Untold Stories of the Australians Enslaved in Japan during World War II, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2021 The Emperor’s Grace is the story of the men of C Force – the first contingent of Australian, British

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Alexander, Kristen: Readable account of Australian POWs in Japan – though it lacks a bit of context

Kristen Alexander* ‘Readable account of Australian POWs in Japan – though it lacks a bit of context’, Honest History, 14 May 2021 Kristen Alexander reviews Mark Baker’s The Emperor’s Grace: Untold Stories of the Australians Enslaved in Japan during World

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Newton, Douglas: Whitlam, Keating, Anzac, and the drums of wars past

Douglas Newton ‘Whitlam, Keating, Anzac, and the drums of wars past‘, Pearls and Irritations, 13 May 2021 updated Looks at attitudes of modern Australian prime ministers to our old wars and goes on to summarise the history of the Great

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Kent, Ann: Submission to the National Capital Authority: The Australian War Memorial

Ann Kent* ‘Submission to the National Capital Authority: The Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 13 May 2021 [This is one of the 599 submissions received by the Authority on the current consultation. HH] I write in defence of the proper

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Riddle, Stewart: Proposed new curriculum acknowledges First Nations’ view of British ‘invasion’ and a multicultural Australia

Stewart Riddle ‘Proposed new curriculum acknowledges First Nations’ view of British “invasion” and a multicultural Australia‘, The Conversation, 30 April 2021 updated Good survey of proposed changes to Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum, now out for consultation, plus a

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Stead, Naomi: Australian War Memorial

Naomi Stead ‘Australian War Memorial‘, The Saturday Paper, 8-15 May 2021; (pdf from our subscription) A thoughtful and comprehensive evisceration of the War Memorial project from the Professor of Architecture at Monash University. There is an edited version in the

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599 submissions to National Capital Authority on War Memorial Early Works Approval application

Update 26 May 2021: Number of submissions rounds out at exactly 600 NCA Chief Executive, Sally Barnes, advises Senate Estimates (from mark 8.00) that the final number of submisssions received is exactly 600, with the admission of a late comer.

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Australian Historical Association/Honest History: AHA Conference Teacher Scholarship applications close on 15 June

The AHA/Honest History: AHA Conference Teacher Scholarship subsidises secondary history teachers to attend the AHA Annual Conference. Full details are on the AHA website and applications close 15 June. This year’s conference is in Sydney 29 November-2 December. The conference

Stephens, David: Armenian Genocide: President Biden recognises what Armenians knew more than a century ago

David Stephens* ‘Armenian Genocide: President Biden recognises what Armenians knew more than a century ago’, Honest History, 3 May 2021 President Biden said this on 24 April: Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who

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Stephens, David: Shots across the bows: some Anzac weekend reading and listening

David Stephens* ‘Shots across the bows: some Anzac weekend reading and listening’, Honest History, 23 April 2021 updated Just a very quick jog around the field, unfortunately. Wearing their Heritage Guardians hats, the Honest History elves have been busy finalising

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Public meeting in Canberra, Thursday, 29 April, 6.30 pm is last chance to have your say on the ‘early works’ at the War Memorial

National Capital Authority consultation closes 30 April on the misleadingly named ‘early works’ for the $498m War Memorial project: demolition of Anzac Hall; massive excavation on the south side of the building; destruction of 116 trees. If these ‘early works’

Basford Canales, Sarah: Australian War Memorial expansion: Community fights to save memorial’s WWII-era trees

Update 9-10 April 2021: Response from Director Anderson, interviewed by the Canberra Times (Doug Dingwall and Sara Basford Canales). To a large extent, repeats arguments previously made by the Director and his predecessor. And more in the Canberra Times. ***

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Stephens, David: Getting the story straight: Senate Estimates hears from War Memorial on Afghanistan, extensions, and other matters

David Stephens* ‘Getting the story straight: Senate Estimates hears from War Memorial on Afghanistan, extensions, and other matters’, Honest History, 6 April 2021 updated The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade spent just 28 minutes on the evening

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Stephens, David: Radio, reminiscences, a radical, the Limestone Plains, and a new play by a distinguished journo: a roundup

David Stephens* ‘Radio, reminiscences, a radical, the Limestone Plains, and a new play by a distinguished journo: a roundup’, Honest History, 31 March 2021 In between helping the Heritage Guardians resist the entirely unnecessary and inappropriate $498m legacy project at

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Wheeler, Tone: Tone on Tuesday: The democratic spatial narrative of the Australian War Memorial

Have your say with the National Capital Authority on the Memorial’s ‘early works’ application. You don’t need to live in Canberra. Arguments here. *** Tone Wheeler ‘Tone on Tuesday: The democratic spatial narrative of the Australian War Memorial‘, Architecture and Design, 30

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Curtis, Katina: War Memorial redevelopment will force Anzac Day ceremonies to move

Have your say with the National Capital Authority on the Memorial’s ‘early works’ application. You don’t need to live in Canberra. Arguments here. *** Katina Curtis ‘War Memorial redevelopment will force Anzac Day ceremonies to move‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 29

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Stephens, David: Memorial Rorts: how the Australian War Memorial expansion was rammed through despite public opposition

Have your say with the National Capital Authority on the Memorial’s ‘early works’ application. You don’t need to live in Canberra. Arguments here. *** David Stephens ‘Memorial Rorts: how the Australian War Memorial expansion was rammed through despite public opposition‘,

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Stephens, David: The great War Memorial tree massacre: the price we will pay for the Edifice Complex

Have your say with the National Capital Authority on the Memorial’s ‘early works’ application. You don’t need to live in Canberra. Arguments here. *** David Stephens* ‘The great War Memorial tree massacre: the price we will pay for the Edifice

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Reaction to War Memorial’s bizarre ‘early works application’ to National Capital Authority: premature demolition, a massacre of mature trees, and a bloody big hole

Have your say with the National Capital Authority on the Memorial’s ‘early works’ application. You don’t need to live in Canberra. Arguments here. *** Earlier coverage of the campaign against the War Memorial project. *** Honest History and Heritage Guardians

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National Capital Authority consultation on ‘early works’ associated with War Memorial $498m project: dozens of trees to be cut down; premature demolition of Anzac Hall; massive excavation at Memorial entrance

Have your say with the National Capital Authority on the Memorial’s ‘early works application’. You don’t need to live in Canberra. Arguments below. *** Update 30 March 2021: Tone Wheeler writes in Architecture and Design about the Disneyfied ‘newseum’ coming

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Wakeling, Adam: A House of Commons for a Den of Thieves: Australia’s Journey from Penal Colony to Democracy

Adam Wakeling A House of Commons for a Den of Thieves: Australia’s Journey from Penal Colony to Democracy, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2020 In 1788, Great Britain founded a colony in Australia to swallow up its criminals. And swallow them

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Myrtle, John: A textbook on the early history of the Wide Brown Land

John Myrtle* ‘A textbook on the early history of the Wide Brown Land’, Honest History, 19 March 2021 John Myrtle reviews A House of Commons for a Den of Thieves: Australia’s Journey from Penal Colony to Democracy, by Adam Wakeling

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Stephens, David: Narrow focus but not sharp: Public Works Committee report on $498m War Memorial project

David Stephens* ‘Narrow focus but not sharp: Public Works Committee report on $498m War Memorial project’, Honest History, 15 March 2021 updated The parliamentary Public Works Committee was never going to take a broad view of the $498m, seven year,

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Stephens, David: Australian War Memorial $498m project: consultation on two fronts

David Stephens* ‘Australian War Memorial $498m project: consultation on two fronts’, Honest History, 12 March 2021 There are currently two ways in which people can have their say about the War Memorial development project. The Canberra Times story gives an

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Stephens, David: February was a good history month: recent reads across the Wide Brown Land

David Stephens* ‘February was a good history month: recent reads across the Wide Brown Land’, Honest History, 10 March 2021 HH confesses to slippage in keeping up with reading matter. We blame February holidays. Here are some short notes on

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Heritage Guardians says, ‘Oppose the unnecessary and inappropriate $498m War Memorial project: final chance to have your say’

From Heritage Guardians, a community campaign against the $498m, 2.4 hectares extensions to the Australian War Memorial This post invites readers to register with the National Capital Authority as a Key Stakeholder in the Authority’s consultations on development in Canberra.

Stephens, David: War Memorial news: backing Chairman Stokes; reaching out to military history buffs; jumping the gun on closing Anzac Hall; possibly getting Tony Abbott as Council Chair

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial news: backing Chairman Stokes; reaching out to military history buffs; jumping the gun on closing Anzac Hall; possibly getting Tony Abbott as Council Chair’, Honest History, 8 March 2021 updated The Australian War Memorial benefits not

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Broinowski, Alison: Now or never: Australia must develop its own foreign policy

Alison Broinowski ‘Now or never: Australia must develop its own foreign policy‘, Independent Australia, 3 March 2021 Surveys Australia’s foreign policy since the beginning and concludes thus: Regional solutions to regional differences will come from diplomacy, not armed force. But

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Wareham, Sue: Let’s not allow the Australian War Memorial to become something much uglier

Sue Wareham* ‘Let’s not allow the Australian War Memorial to become something much uglier‘, Canberra Times, 27 February 2021 (pdf from our subscription) Also on op ed page of hard copy of the Times. Letters to the paper followed. Slightly edited

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Stephens, David: Reaction to Public Works Committee report on War Memorial’s big build: rare dissent emphasises the problems with this project

David Stephens* ‘Reaction to Public Works Committee report on War Memorial’s big build: rare dissent emphasises the problems with this project’, Honest History, 24 February 2021 Update 15 March 2021: Analysis of the PWC report, plus some odd business in

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McIlroy, Tom: ‘Adverse impact’: government warned on War Memorial redevelopment

Tom McIlroy ‘”Adverse impact”: government warned on War Memorial redevelopment‘, Australian Financial Review, 19 February 2021 (pdf from our subscription access) A story based on material made available by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) on what

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Collard, Sarah: ‘It must all be a part of our reckoning with the truth’: Albanese acknowledges Frontier Wars in House

Sarah Collard ‘“It must all be a part of our reckoning with the truth’”: Albanese acknowledges Frontier Wars in House‘, SBS/NITV News, 16 February 2021 updated Update 23 February 2021: Paul Daley in Guardian Australia Albanese’s fine words in federal

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Stephens, David: Four history reads for a wet weekend, including Henry Reynolds on Australia Day and wrapping ourselves in the flag

David Stephens* ‘Four history reads for a wet weekend, including Henry Reynolds on Australia Day and wrapping ourselves in the flag’, Honest History, 6 February 2021 Forty millimetres of rain overnight at HH HQ in Canberra, and there may be

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Stephens, David: Same old, same old – and lots of brass: still no historians on the Australian War Memorial Council

David Stephens* ‘Same old, same old – and lots of brass: still no historians on the Australian War Memorial Council’, Honest History, 5 February 2021 Minister Chester has announced the filling of two vacancies on the Council of the Australian

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McKenna, Mark: Australia’s haunted house

Mark McKenna ‘Australia’s haunted house‘, The Monthly, February 2021, pp. 8-11 (possible paywall but here’s a pdf from a subscription/purchased copy) Update 8 February 2021: McKenna on 7 am Podcast with Ruby Johns for Schwartz Media. *** The Brereton Report

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Stephens, David: Another ‘survey’ from the War Memorial about its big build – and this survey is actually a little less dodgy than the previous one

David Stephens* ‘Another “survey” from the War Memorial about its big build – and this survey is actually a little less dodgy than the previous one’, Honest History, 2 February 2021 Update 3 February 2021: The War Memorial has provided

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Stephens, David: Day Break by Amy McQuire and Matt Chun: a children’s book focusses sharply on 26 January

David Stephens* ‘Day Break by Amy McQuire and Matt Chun: a children’s book focusses sharply on 26 January’, Honest History, 31 January 2021 Much of the debate about Australia Day/Invasion Day 26 January has been between grown-ups. This book, Day

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Genevieve Jacobs AM

Congratulations to Canberra’s (and Wallendbeen’s) Genevieve Jacobs, who received an AM in this week’s awards. Genevieve is now Group Editor with Region Media. Honest History worked with Genevieve when she was with the ABC; we put together many Honest History

McQuire, Amy: If your child asks why Australia is celebrating a day of invasion, what will you tell them?

Amy McQuire ‘If your child asks why Australia is celebrating a day of invasion, what will you tell them?‘, Guardian Australia, 26 January 2021 First Nations children are silenced even though the most brutal acts of colonisation were perpetrated and

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Now that Trump has been seen off (or not?), let’s look again at fascism: From the Honest History vault

Whether the 45th president of the United States is or was a fascist was a subject of considerable popular and academic debate. Most recently, there was this thoughtful piece by Timothy Snyder in the New York Times. ‘Trump’s coup attempt

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Piggott, Michael: An out-of-shape homage to Ned Kelly’s murdered victims at Stringybark Creek

Michael Piggott* ‘An out-of-shape homage to Ned Kelly’s murdered victims at Stringybark Creek’, Honest History, 25 January 2021 Michael Piggott reviews Doug Morrissey’s Ned Kelly: The Stringybark Creek Police Murders  With this book, Doug Morrissey and Connor Court Publishing end

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Morrissey, Doug: Ned Kelly: The Stringybark Creek Police Murders

Doug Morrissey Ned Kelly: The Stringybark Creek Police Murders, Connor Court Publishing, Brisbane, 2020 Doug Morrissey presents the definitive account of the Stringybark Creek Police Murders. The ambush murder of three policemen at Stringybark Creek in October 1878 was Ned

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Should FLOTUS have stepped up? Or did POTUS Trump just need a decision-making dog? From the Honest History vault

There are lots of serious matters still to be resolved (or not) in Washington, but the current crisis made us look again at what past leaders have had to do to make up for their manifest inadequacies. Perhaps Trump’s advisers

Dingwall, Doug: Australian War Memorial drops “young and free” branding after national anthem update

Doug Dingwall ‘Australian War Memorial drops “young and free’ branding after national anthem update‘, Canberra Times, 6 January 2021 (pdf from our subscription) PM’s announced change to the words of the National Anthem necessarily requires the War Memorial to take

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Piggott, Michael: What are we to make of Edmund Barton, our first prime minister? An exhibition in Canberra

Michael Piggott* ‘What are we to make of Edmund Barton, our first prime minister? An exhibition in Canberra’, Honest History, 4 January 2021 Michael Piggott reviews an exhibition at Parliament House, Canberra: ‘Edmund Barton: Australia’s first Prime Minister’. The exhibition

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Stephens, David: A truth-telling War Memorial does not need 2.5 hectares of extra floor space

David Stephens* ‘A truth-telling War Memorial does not need 2.5 hectares of extra floor space‘, Independent Australia, 14 December 2020 Contrasts the historical Stokes-Nelson memorial with the putative Anderson version, but notes the hostile reaction to the current Director’s suggestion

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Honest History holiday arrangements 2020-21

Honest History is taking a break from now until well into the New Year. It’s been a big year for everyone, what with fires, hail, floods, and covid. The Honest History office has been back and forth between Canberra and

Minister approves Memorial project under heritage legislation – with some caveats

The Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, has approved the $498m War Memorial redevelopment. There are 29 conditions of approval claimed to minimise and mitigate the residual impacts on the site’s National Heritage and Commonwealth Heritage values. The Memorial will

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Architects’ new campaign against the $498m War Memorial project, particularly the proposed destruction of Anzac Hall

Honest History has received the following information from the Australian Institute of Architects. Honest History supports the AIA campaign, which aligns with the efforts of the Heritage Guardians group. HH *** Update 7 December 2020: Canberra City News. Also: Canberra

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Daley, Paul: The strange case of the weapons maker and the Australian children’s charity

Paul Daley ‘The strange case of the weapons maker and the Australian children’s charity‘, Guardian Australia, 4 December 2020 Chronicles the slow retreat of Australian charity, The Smith Family, from its involvement with arms manufacturer, BAE Systems. Persistent pressure, ultimately

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ABC The Signal Podcast [with Brendon Kelson, former War Memorial Director]: Correcting the war record

ABC The Signal Podcast [with Brendon Kelson*, former War Memorial Director] ‘Correcting the war record‘, ABC, 3 December 2020 Brendon Kelson talks to Stephen Smiley and Angela Lavoispierre. Is there room at the Memorial to recognise both heroes and war

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Stuart, Nicholas: After the battle

Nicholas Stuart* ‘After the battle‘, Inside Story, 28 November 2020 Honest History has been closely following analyses of Brereton and the fallout. This below is one of the best pieces we have seen, particularly on our special interest of what

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Myrtle, John: Review note: Kieran Finnane’s Peace Crimes

John Myrtle* ‘Review note: Kieran Finnane’s Peace Crimes’, Honest History, 26 November 2020 Richard Broinowski concluded his recent review of Project Rainfall[1], a history of Pine Gap, by noting that ‘in the Australian parliament, Pine Gap has become a non-issue,

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Congratulations Stephen Gapps (The Sydney Wars) for winning Les Carlyon Award

Historian Stephen Gapps has been awarded the inaugural Les Carlyon Award by the Australian War Memorial. The award was for The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony 1788-1817 (NewSouth 2018). The book ‘tells the history of military engagements between

Ian Buckley 1925-2020

Ian Buckley died recently in Canberra. Honest History never met Ian personally but was pleased to publish links to a number of his thoughtful and thoroughly researched pieces on war and peace and related matters: the history of the West;

Stephens, David: Getting beyond ‘our heroes’: a War Memorial angle on possible war crimes

Note: this collection of material grew from the flood of which David Stephens’ piece for Honest History on 19 November 2020 (‘Getting beyond “our heroes”: a War Memorial angle on possible war crimes’; click here) was one of the early

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Wareham, Sue: Let’s face it, Australia goes to war far too easily

Sue Wareham* ‘Let’s face it, Australia goes to war far too easily‘, Canberra Times, 15 November 2020 (pdf from our subscription) The imminent Brereton Report should get us thinking not just about possible war crimes but about the decisions we

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Open letter to Prime Minister opposing $498m War Memorial redevelopment: reply (signed by Director, War Memorial) received

Heritage Guardians organised this letter with over 70 signatures to the PM. A reply has come in, signed by the Director of the Memorial, and a copy is attached. You can make it bigger by zooming. Update 22 November 2020:

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Daley, Paul: Australia is in for a shock as war crimes investigation brings reality of war to the Anzac myth

Paul Daley ‘Australia is in for a shock as war crimes investigation brings reality of war to the Anzac myth‘, Guardian Australia, 13 November 2020 updated Update 23 November 2020: a further piece by Paul Daley. *** Places the imminent

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Environment Minister given an extension of time to make a decision on War Memorial project

This (pdf copy attached) has just landed on the Referrals list section of the website of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (2019/8574). The key words: The relevant period in which the Minister must make a decision whether

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War Memorial chairman Stokes prods PM on PWC progress on project

Update 3 December 2020: Rick Wilson MP elevated to Chair (entry for 3 December). *** It’s interesting what goes down at national ceremonies, even under Covid restrictions. Yesterday’s Guardian blog from Canberra, under the byline of Paul Karp, reported thus

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From the Honest History vault: A note on Paul Keating’s Remembrance Day Address 2013

There is a lot of material on the Honest History website about Remembrance Day; just use our Search engine with the term ‘Remembrance Day’. Seven years ago, former Prime Minister Keating made a speech on Remembrance Day. That speech, in

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From the Honest History vault: Trump as bullshitter-in-chief

As President Trump disappears gradually but inevitably into his own unreality bubble, it is worth recalling that Professor Harry Frankfurt, American philosopher and doyen of bullshit analysis – that’s the academic study of bullshit – revisited his earlier work in

McIlroy, Tom: Former veterans’ minister warns of War Memorial heritage risk

Tom McIlroy ‘Former veterans’ minister warns of War Memorial heritage risk‘, Australian Financial Review, 29 October 2020 (pdf from our subscription) Thoughts from the Hon. Alan Griffin, former Minister for Veterans’ Affairs in the Rudd government. Griffin questions whether this

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Senate Estimates skate around the real issues with the Memorial’s big build

The Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee spent 30 minutes on the War Memorial last evening and, while we wait for the Hansard, here are some points we picked up. Update 2 November 2020: Proof Hansard now available (pages

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Veterans’ jobs are a part of the War Memorial project but need to be put in context

Nine newspapers health reporter Rachel Clun has a piece today about how the $498m War Memorial project allows for jobs for veterans. Companies hoping to win work on the project must hire veterans or their family members, Clun writes, or

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‘Where are they putting the war crimes wing?’ Jon Kudelka cartoon in the Saturday Paper rolls up some important issues

Update 19 November 2020: David Stephens’ comment on Brereton report ties a few threads together.  Special Forces have been a thing at the Memorial for a while. It’s been all about not tearing down our heroes. Update 14 November 2020: Director,

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Stop this indulgent $498m project at the War Memorial! Open letter to the Prime Minister signed by over 70 Australians

Update 14 November 2020: Reply to the open letter. The reply is signed by the Director of the War Memorial. It overstates the extent of change to the project as a result of the consultation but asks everyone to accept

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Williams, Elliot: The $500 million Australian War Memorial expansion risks undermining Australia’s environment and heritage laws, architects say

Elliot Williams ‘The $500 million Australian War Memorial expansion risks undermining Australia’s environment and heritage laws, architects say‘, Canberra Times, 22 October 2020 updated (pdf from our subscription) Reports on long media release from Architects Institute of Australia, which called

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Kenny, Mark: Why looking back is the only way forward: COVID-19, the Federation, and the chance of genuine reconciliation

Mark Kenny ‘Why looking back is the only way forward: COVID-19, the Federation, and the chance of genuine reconciliation: 2020 Henry Parkes Oration‘, Parkes Foundation, 19 October 2020 Makes the case for an Indigenous museum; contrasts it with spending on

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Fahy, Michelle: LobbyLand ‘culture of cosiness’: colossal conflicts of interest in Defence spending blitz

Michelle Fahy ‘LobbyLand “culture of cosiness”: colossal conflicts of interest in Defence spending blitz‘, Pearls and Irritations, 13 October 2020 updated On corporate influence on government policy and how weapons makers cultivate relationships with politicians and top officials in the

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Stephens, David: From the Honest History vault: Jauncey’s View: the world through the eyes of an eccentric author, world traveller and rent-collector

David Stephens* ‘From the Honest History vault: Jauncey’s View: the world through the eyes of an eccentric author, world traveller and rent collector’, Honest History, 13 October 2020 When we began the Honest History website nearly seven years ago, we

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Stephens, David: War Memorial’s ‘Final Preliminary Documentation’ leaves many unanswered questions on $498m project: over to you, DAWE

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial’s “Final Preliminary Documentation” leaves many unanswered questions on $498m project: over to you, DAWE’, Honest History, 9 October 2020 updated As foreshadowed in our posts of 30 September and 2 October, the Australian War Memorial has

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McIlroy, Tom: Government’s heritage adviser warns against War Memorial redevelopment

Tom McIlroy ‘Government’s heritage adviser warns against War Memorial redevelopment‘, Australian Financial Review, 4 October 2020 updated (pdf from our subscription) Riffs off submission No. 152 to the Memorial’s EPBC Act consultation (Download Preliminary Documentation Public Comment). The Australian Heritage

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Memorial provides some guidance through bundle of EPBC Act material – but a clear majority of public comments received are against the $498m redevelopment project

We said earlier in the week that we were nearly at the stage of the War Memorial publishing its final preliminary documentation on the heritage and environmental impacts of its $498m redevelopment project. The documentation has now been published on

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Nearly there? Latest news from those responsible for the War Memorial heritage assessment process

Update 9 October 2020: Analysis of Memorial’s Final Preliminary Documentation. Update 1 October 2020: Parliamentary Library’s quick guide to the issues. It is out-of-date in one key respect (encroachment on Remembrance Park is not now part of the plan: need

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Inglis, Ken, Bill Gammage, Seumas Spark & Jay Winter, with Carol Bunyan, Dunera Lives: Profiles

Ken Inglis, Bill Gammage, Seumas Spark & Jay Winter, with Carol Bunyan Dunera Lives: Profiles, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2020 The story of the “Dunera Boys” is an intrinsic part of the history of Australia in the Second World War

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Holt, Stephen: Another Philipp (sic) encounters Australia: one of many stories in a rich second Dunera volume

Stephen Holt* ‘Another Philipp (sic) encounters Australia: one of many stories in a rich second Dunera volume’, Honest History, 30 September 2020 Stephen Holt reviews Dunera Lives: Profiles, by Ken Inglis, Bill Gammage, Seumas Spark and Jay Winter with Carol

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Susan Ryan AO 1942-2020

Susan Ryan, former Labor Senator and Minister, pioneer in sex discrimination legislation and other fields, died unexpectedly yesterday at the age of 77. A tribute in The Conversation from Chris Wallace (University of Canberra), one in Pearls and Irritations from Michael

Stephens, David: Afghanistan under the microscope – but not especially at the War Memorial

David Stephens* ‘Afghanistan under the microscope – but not especially at the War Memorial’, Honest History, 21 September 2020 updated Update 7 October 2020: Author Ben McKelvey, author of book on Afghanistan war, talks to Phillip Adams on Late Night

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Stephens, David: Review note: Ted Egan’s The Anzacs: 100 Years On in Story and Song

David Stephens* ‘Review note: Ted Egan’s The Anzacs: 100 Years On in Story and Song‘, Honest History, 18 September 2020 Update: Mr Egan offers free copies of the book to worthy causes. Contact. *** Ted Egan is what was once

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De Maria, William: Australian War Memorial: from keeper of the flame to hider of shame?

William De Maria ‘Australian War Memorial: from keeper of the flame to hider of shame?‘ Michael West Media, 16 September 2020 Conceived during World War I amidst the mustard gas, the dead soldiers, and rotting horses on the wet battlefields

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Option 4 is the way to go to have your voice properly heard on the War Memorial project: Advice to commenters on heritage aspects under EPBC Act

This advice is directed to the 167 people and organisations who provided comments to the Australian War Memorial on heritage aspects of its $498m redevelopment. It argues that you should ensure your comment is publicly available on the Memorial’s website.

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Australia’s settler-colonial art seen through the work of a Blue Mountains historian

People have painted and pictured Australia as long as they have been here. Comparatively recently though, since 1788, there has been what historian Dr Gary Werskey specialises in – settler-colonial art, particularly the work of AH (Albert Henry) Fullwood (1863-1930).

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Dapin, Mark: Public Enemies: Russell “Mad Dog” Cox, Ray Denning and the Golden Age of Armed Robbery

Mark Dapin Public Enemies: Russell “Mad Dog” Cox, Ray Denning and the Golden Age of Armed Robbery, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2020; electronic version available In the Australia of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, armed robbers were the top of

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Myrtle, John: Australian armed robbers Russell Cox and Ray Denning: it was a different world then

John Myrtle* ‘Australian armed robbers Russell Cox and Ray Denning: it was a different world then’, Honest History, 11 September 2020 John Myrtle reviews Mark Dapin’s Public Enemies: Russell “Mad Dog” Cox, Ray Denning and the Golden Age of Armed

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Bongiorno, Frank: An obedient nation of larrikins: why Victorians are not revolting

Frank Bongiorno ‘An obedient nation of larrikins: why Victorians are not revolting‘, The Conversation, 10 September 2020 Update 21 September 2020: Dave Milner in The Shot newsletter on the low-key Melburnian cope. Speculates about what (mostly supportive) Victorian attitudes to

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Dunera stories as second volume is launched – and Honest History review is coming soon

We have often picked up references to the MV Dunera and its diaspora. Use our Search engine. We reviewed the first volume (Dunera Lives: A Visual History) of the Monash University Publishing pair of volumes. A review of the second

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Wareham, Sue: This government needs to stop militarising our biggest challenges

Sue Wareham* ‘This government needs to stop militarising our biggest challenges‘, Canberra Times, 7 September 2020 (pdf from our subscription) Criticises the focus on using the Australian Defence Force to deal with domestic emergencies, including the current pandemic. The risk

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Khaki all the way down: John Menadue and Bruce Haigh on Australian militarism

John Menadue’s website Pearls and Irritations continues to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. This week, Menadue himself posted a thoughtful piece, ‘Military and security agencies are eroding civil society‘. We are encouraged to celebrate the disastrous Gallipoli invasion

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Turnbull, Noel: Thank you for your service

Noel Turnbull ‘Thank you for your service‘, Noel Turnbull, 26 August 2020 Veteran author, communications specialist and journalist contrasts the Morrison government’s willingness to splurge on War Memorial build with its failings in dealing with the Productivity Commission report on

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Stephens, David: Performing Anzac: Brendan Nelson and the emotion of remembrance

David Stephens* ‘Performing Anzac: Brendan Nelson and the emotion of remembrance‘, Pearls and Irritations, 27 August 2020 Brief analysis of the rhetorical style of the former War Memorial Director, provoked by his recent insertion of himself into the debate over

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McIlroy, Tom: ‘Dangerous precedent’: Architects seek War Memorial redevelopment halt

Tom McIlroy ‘ “Dangerous precedent”: Architects seek War Memorial redevelopment halt’, Australian Financial Review, 23 August 2020 updated (Pdf from our subscription) Update 2 September 2020: In Financial Review letters, former Memorial officer, Stewart Mitchell, responds to Director Anderson (pdf

Monuments body, architects and professional historians make strong statements on War Memorial project

Friday brings a report of a letter to the Environment department from the Australian chapter of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), an advisory body to UNESCO. Tom McIlroy in the Australian Financial Review (pdf from our subscription)

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McKay, Jim & Karen Brooks: Toys for the boys: white men’s business at the War Memorial

Jim McKay & Karen Brooks ‘Toys for the boys: white men’s business at the War Memorial‘, Broad Agenda, 18 August 2020 Masculinity: Most cultural institutions in the national capital are facing austerity measures so crippling they can barely conduct their

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War Memorial $498m redevelopment project: accountability round-up – Public Works Committee and EPBC Act

Update 4 September 2020: Some clarification on stumbling War Memorial heritage process Advice from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), responsible for heritage, has made things clearer about the ‘privacy’ aspects below. Campaign diary, entry for 4

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Cook, John with Jon Bauer: The Last Lighthouse Keeper: A Memoir

John Cook with Jon Bauer The Last Lighthouse Keeper: A Memoir, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2020; electronic version available In Tasmania, John Cook is known as ‘The Keeper of the Flame’. As one of Australia’s longest-serving lighthouse keepers, John spent

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Pender, Margaret: The lonely life of the last lighthouse keeper

Margaret Pender* ‘The lonely life of the last lighthouse keeper’, Honest History, 15 August 2020 Margaret Pender reviews The Last Lighthouse Keeper: A Memoir, by John Cook with Jon Bauer  The idea of lighthouses conjures up images of man battling

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Former War Memorial Director Gower responds to former War Memorial Director Nelson

Former War Memorial Director, Brendan Nelson, fired some barbs earlier this week at opponents of the Memorial redevelopment. An equally sharp response has come from another former Director, Steve Gower, in a letter to the Australian Financial Review. (Pdf from

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Stephens, David: War Memorial visitor figures not keeping pace with population increase

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial visitor figures not keeping pace with population increase’, Honest History, 10 August 2020 updated In 2016 and again in 2017, Honest History took a long view of Australian War Memorial visitor statistics going back to 1990-91.

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Public Works Committee inquiry into War Memorial development: Hansard transcript and supplementary submissions

The Public Works Committee website now carries the transcript from its public hearing on 14 July. The transcript includes testimony from a number of opponents of the Memorial redevelopment. Also posted are supplementary submissions from opponents, including former Memorial officer,

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Cashen, Phil: The White Australia Policy: always in the background

Phil Cashen ‘The White Australia Policy: always in the background‘, Shire at War, 28 July 2020 From down Alberton, Gippsland, Victoria way comes this detailed post from blogger-historian, Phil Cashen. It looks at the treatment of the White Australia Policy

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Stephens, David: ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds’: Hiroshima 75 years on

David Stephens* ‘”Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”: Hiroshima 75 years on’, Honest History, 6 August 2020 updated Update 8 August 2021, 76 years on: Sue Wareham of Medical Association for Prevention of War and International Campaign

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Piggott, Michael: The Australian War Memorial should be for all Australians, not just veterans: submission regarding AWM Development Project

Michael Piggott* ‘The Australian War Memorial should be for all Australians, not just veterans: submission regarding AWM Development Project’, Honest History, 5 August 2020 (Note: This article was originally a submission to the Australian War Memorial on its ‘final preliminary

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Medical Association for Prevention of War resources on the War Memorial as supplicant of arms companies and as vainglorious builder

Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) has long been a critic of warmongering and related pathologies. (Use our Honest History search engine to find MAPW work on this site, including its curriculum material for school children.) MAPW’s website contains

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McKay, Judith & Don Watson: False premise, inappropriate process, unacceptable impact: submission to the Australian War Memorial on proposed redevelopment

Judith McKay & Don Watson* ‘False premise, inappropriate process, unacceptable impact: submission to the Australian War Memorial on proposed redevelopment’, Honest History, 4 August 2020 (Note: This article was originally a submission to the Australian War Memorial on its ‘final

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Collaery, Bernard: Oil under Troubled Water: Australia’s Timor Sea Intrigue

Bernard Collaery Oil under Troubled Water: Australia’s Timor Sea Intrigue, Melbourne University Press, 2020; electronic edition available In May 2018 Bernard Collaery, a former Attorney-General of the Australian Capital Territory and long-term legal counsel to the government of East Timor,

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Broinowski, Alison: ‘A petroleum-intoxicated kleptocracy’: Bernard Collaery on Australia and Timor-Leste

Alison Broinowski* ‘“A petroleum-intoxicated kleptocracy”: Bernard Collaery on Australia and Timor-Leste’, Honest History, 4 August 2020 Alison Broinowski reviews Bernard Collaery’s, Oil under Troubled Water: Australia’s Timor Sea Intrigue ©Alison Broinowski 2020 In response to the ‘war on terror’, multiple

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Stephens, David: ‘False premises’, ‘underplayed and glossed over’, ‘overblown claims and dodgy methodology’: Heritage Guardians takes a close look at War Memorial’s EPBC documentation

David Stephens* ‘”False premises”, “underplayed and glossed over”, “overblown claims and dodgy methodology”‘: Heritage Guardians takes a close look at War Memorial’s EPBC documentation’, Honest History, 2 August 2020 The Australian War Memorial’s ‘final preliminary documentation’ under the heritage provisions

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Kerry Stokes gets 12 more months on War Memorial Council – but will Tony Abbott step up as Chair?

Veterans’ Affairs Minister, Darren Chester, has announced that Kerry Stokes has been reappointed to the Australian War Memorial Council for 12 months. This short-term appointment – it’s usually three years – raises the question of whether there is a succession

Goodwin, Paul with Gordon Goodwin: The Last Navigator

Paul Goodwin with Gordon Goodwin The Last Navigator, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2020 Promoted as ‘From the Queensland bush to Bomber Command and Pathfinders … a true story of courage and survival against the odds’. This is the powerful first-hand

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Alexander, Kristen: Defining moments in the skies over Germany and beyond

Kristen Alexander ‘Defining moments in the skies over Germany and beyond’, Honest History, 29 July 2020 Kristen Alexander reviews The Last Navigator by Paul Goodwin with Gordon Goodwin  ‘War was my father’s defining moment’, Paul Goodwin writes. It released Ralph

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Williams, Elliot: Australian War Memorial tells volunteers they can lose role if they speak publicly about redevelopment

Elliot Williams ‘Australian War Memorial tells volunteers they can lose role if they speak publicly about redevelopment‘, Canberra Times, 28 July 2020 (pdf of our subscriber copy) Update 1 September 2020: Paddy Gourley writes in CT Public Sector Informant (paywall

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Something for nothing: June edition of Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society is open access online

Covid-19 brings some benefits, after all. The Royal Australian Historical Society has kindly made its June edition open access and you can find it here. In this edition of JRAHS, you will find the following articles: The elusive Reginald Benjamin Levien:

Sue Salthouse: disability advocate and powerful force for change

Sue Salthouse, 2020 ACT Senior Citizen of the Year, 2015 Canberra Citizen of the Year, and 2014 ACT Senior Woman of the Year, died after a traffic accident on Monday. Sue was a passionate advocate for disability and other causes.

So much of Canberra’s history flows through and around our Lake

Lake Burley Griffin Guardians are trying to save Canberra’s iconic Lake Burley Griffin from development. Here is an informative flyer. 16 July 2020 Wikipedia

Snake oil and surveys: media coverage of Public Works Committee inquiry into War Memorial project

Yesterday’s hearing of the Public Works Committee threw up extensive media coverage by ABC TV (mark 22.0), AAP in lots of regional papers, ABC News, Canberra Times, Canberra City News, Guardian Australia, Sydney Morning Herald. Highlights were the testimony (against

McIlroy, Tom: “Shameful”: Ex-directors oppose War Memorial redevelopment

Tom McIlroy ‘”Shameful”; Ex-directors oppose War Memorial redevelopment’, Australian Financial Review, 13 July 2020 (pdf from our subscription) Quotes former Directors Gower and Kelson and Heritage Guardians’ David Stephens in advance of Public Works Committee. ‘Former bosses of the Australian

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Stephens, David: Timetable for War Memorial heritage consultation on $498m project – but what is wrong with this picture?

David Stephens* ‘Timetable for War Memorial heritage consultation on $498m project – but what is wrong with this picture?’ Honest History, 12 July 2020 Readers who have been using the lockdown or bad weather as a reason to stay indoors

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War Memorial expansion opponents appear before Public Works Committee, Tuesday, 14 July

The Public Works Committee (PWC) will hold a public hearing by teleconference next Tuesday, 14 July, into the Australian War Memorial Development Project. You can listen in on Parliament House Live. The hearing commences at 11.00am. Reflecting the fact that

Honest History E-Newsletter No. 65: Special Edition, 6 July 2020: War Memorial project threatens national heritage

ISSN: 2202-5561 © Heritage Guardians advice to readers intending to provide feedback to the Australian War Memorial on heritage aspects of the Memorial’s $498m extensions project The Memorial has placed on its website a mass of documentation on the extensions

Australian War Memorial $498m project: Public comments sought on heritage impacts: Time to say ‘No!’

The Australian War Memorial has placed on its website a mass of documentation on its proposed $498m extensions. There were also newspaper advertisements carrying the same information. Public feedback will be accepted up till 5 pm, Friday, 31 July. Readers

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Daley, Paul: The Australian War Memorial’s expansion money would be better spent on traumatised veterans

Paul Daley ‘The Australian War Memorial’s expansion money would be better spent on traumatised veterans‘, Guardian Australia, 3 July 2020 Update later: More than 85 comments by 6.00 pm AEST, most with thumbs up attached – and not one supporting

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Stephens, David: From the Honest History vault: Does Defence spending lead to war, and does it make any sense against pandemics?

David Stephens* ‘From the Honest History vault: Does Defence spending lead to war, and does it make any sense against pandemics?’ Honest History, 2 July 2020 updated Update 3 July 2020: Former Defence Secretary, Paul Barratt, in Inside Story on

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Roundup of War Memorial project news – as Public Works and heritage examinations crank up

Heritage Guardians PWC submission No. 15 with 82 signatures; Heritage Guardians detailed PWC submission No. 40; all other PWC submissions. *** Update 2 July 2020: After a long delay, final preliminary documentation on heritage aspects under the Environment Protection and

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Stephens, David: From the Honest History vault: Three reviews of books on the black history of the wide brown land

David Stephens* From the Honest History vault: Three reviews of books on the black history of the wide brown land, Honest History, 28 June 2020 Black Lives Matter. Indigenous incarceration and deaths in custody at grossly disproportionate rates. Honest History

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Dye, Josh & Nick Galvin: Fresh spotlight on War Memorial expansion after National Gallery cuts

Josh Dye & Nick Galvin ‘Fresh spotlight on War Memorial expansion after National Gallery cuts‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 27 June 2020 War Memorial project compared with cuts at National Gallery, National Library, and ABC. Notes that vast majority of Public

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Honest History E-newsletter No. 64: Special Edition, 22 June 2020

ISSN: 2202-5561 © Heritage Guardians campaign against unnecessary and extravagant $498m extensions to Australian War Memorial: progress report Heritage Guardians have made two submissions to the parliamentary Public Works Committee (PWC) inquiry into the War Memorial project. Submission No. 15

ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, critical of spending on Australian War Memorial

Update 27 June 2020: Nine Newspapers story on contrast between largesse at War Memorial and cuts elsewhere. Update 25 June 2020: ‘With the exception of the Australian War Memorial, which will receive a controversial $500 million expansion, Australia’s national cultural organisations have

Four posts from Pearls and Irritations, an excellent non-MSM blog

Just posted today on Pearls and Irritations is historian, Henry Reynolds, on some history currently hitting the headlines, noting among other things how graffiti on statues got more coverage in some corners of the media than the destruction of an

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Rollo, Stuart: Collateral murder in a militarised society

Stuart Rollo ‘Collateral murder in a militarised society‘, Overland, 22 June 2020 Subtle analysis of how the links between the uniformed military, particularly the SAS, arms manufacturers and exporters, and the commemoration industry are gradually making Australia more militarised. These

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Frontier War stories on Boe Spearim podcast: adding to our knowledge of a bloody past

There is a lot of material on the Honest History site about the Frontier Wars and massacres of First Australians. Use our Search engine to find these posts or scroll through our special subject 2014-17, First Peoples. There’s also Jane

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Three reads for a wet weekend – including a long read on the orange elephant in the room of 2020

Inside Story, The Conversation and the New York Review of Books. All part of the mainstream media, but regularly carrying well-written, substantial think pieces, riffing off current events, but always with current relevance. Inside Story has a piece by Norman

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Shuffling of Large Technology Objects is nothing to worry about, says War Memorial

Earlier this week, workmen at the Australian War Memorial removed from adjacent to the Memorial’s Anzac Hall, a Bushmaster (a large armoured vehicle), an LAV-25 (a middle-sized armoured vehicle), and a Centurion Battle Tank. These artefacts were relocated on plinths

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Heritage Guardians submission now posted on Public Works Committee site asks some important questions about the mysterious genesis of the $498m War Memorial project

Heritage Guardians’ submission to the Public Works Committee inquiry on the Australian War Memorial project has been posted on the PWC site as Submission No. 40. (Earlier Heritage Guardians submission.) It opens thus: The Memorial can meet its obligations without

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Van Teeseling, Ingeborg: When white Australians fought against the Maori for control of their land

Ingeborg van Teeseling ‘When white Australians fought against the Maori for control of their land‘, The Big Smoke, 14 June 2020 Australian colonists signed on in the 186os to help the New Zealand Pakeha (whites) deal with the Maori inhabitants

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Knaus, Christopher: Former war memorial heads join call to redirect $500m for ‘grandiose’ expansion to veterans

Christopher Knaus ‘Former war memorial heads join call to redirect $500m for “grandiose” expansion to veterans‘, Guardian Australia, 16 June 2020 Update 18 June 2020: Later Heritage Guardians submission. *** Eighty-two people sign submission to Public Works Committee inquiry (submission

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Stephens, David: From the Honest History vault: A serious look at what happened at Maralinga

David Stephens* ‘From the Honest History vault: A serious look at what happened at Maralinga’, Honest History, 15 June 2020 updated For those who find the ABC’s current offering, Operation Buffalo, a bit quirky – or just plain silly**, here

Anthony, Thalia & Stephen Gray: Was there slavery in Australia? Yes. It shouldn’t even be up for debate

Thalia Anthony & Stephen Gray ‘Was there slavery in Australia? Yes. It shouldn’t even be up for debate‘, The Conversation, 11 June 2020 Comprehensive catalogue of slavery in Australia, with slavery being defined as by the United Nations. Article 1

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Edwards, Peter: Law, Politics and Intelligence: A Life of Robert Hope

Peter Edwards Law, Politics and Intelligence: A Life of Robert Hope, NewSouth, Sydney, 2020 Robert Marsden Hope (1919–99), a NSW Supreme Court judge, shaped the structures, operations and doctrines of Australia’s intelligence agencies more than any other individual. Commissioned by

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Broinowski, Alison: Hope of both sides

Alison Broinowski * ‘Hope of both sides’, Honest History, 12 June 2020 ©Alison Broinowski 2020 Alison Broinowski reviews Law, Politics and Intelligence: A Life of Robert Hope, by Peter Edwards Just when Ministers were taking advantage of the pandemic to

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Abjorensen, Norman: Before the triumphs and the tragedies

Norman Abjorensen ‘Before the triumphs and the tragedies‘, Inside Story, 2 June 2020 Review of Becoming John Curtin and James Scullin: The Making of the Modern Labor Party, by Liam Byrne. It was a time of intense political ferment [says

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Knaus, Christopher: ‘Deeply offensive’: Australian War Memorial urged not to renew BAE sponsorship

Christopher Knaus ‘“Deeply offensive”: Australian War Memorial urged not to renew BAE sponsorship‘, Guardian Australia, 5 June 2020 Update 25 June 2020: We understand from the Memorial that the BAE agreement does not in fact expire during June. We understand

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Stephens, David: Will the Australian War Memorial renew its ‘naming rights for donations’ deal with arms manufacturer BAE Systems?

David Stephens* Update 21 April 2022: Another dirty deal to go through, this time between War Memorial and Lockheed Martin, despite 300 veterans writing letters to Memorial against the deal. Chris Knaus again. Update 1 April 2022: Memorial response to

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From the Honest History vault: Whether a country is fascist is a matter of checking gauges, not ticking boxes

There have been suggestions that President Trump is or has become a fascist and that the United States itself is becoming a fascist state. As the 45th President himself says, ‘Maybe, maybe not’. But in assessing the state of play,

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Liddle, Celeste: Seeing the con in reconciliation

Celeste Liddle ‘Seeing the con in reconciliation‘, Eureka Street, 28 May 2020 Arrernte feminist writer on the annual disappointment of Reconciliation Week, which began on 27 May. Comments section is strong also. We don’t have ‘land rights’ [says Liddle], just

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National Library of Australia cuts back on Asian focus; contrast to War Memorial funding for expansion

ANU Professor Tessa Morris-Suzuki wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald last week about the National Library’s decision to cease collecting material on Japan, Korea and all of mainland Southeast Asia, retaining only some reduced acquisition of information on China, Indonesia

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Les Carlyon Literary Prize at the Australian War Memorial: $10 000 prize for first-time authors

We missed this earlier when it was announced in Anzac week, but here are the details. The prize will be awarded biennially for an author’s first book or major publication relating to Australian military history, Australian social military history, or

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High Court opens way to access to Queen-Kerr letters; now up to the National Archives

Update 16 June 2020: National Archives continues to delay. Update 3 June 2020: Chris Knaus in Guardian Australia on Archives’ disappointing first reaction. Update 2 June 2020: Daniel Sleiman in Eureka Street. Update 1 June 2020: Jenny Hocking in Pearls

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Congratulations to winners of AHA/Honest History Teacher Scholarship

This from the latest newsletter of the Australian Historical Association: The AHA would like to thank all who applied for the AHA/Honest History Teacher Scholarship. The scheme supports a secondary school History teacher to attend the annual Australian Historical Association Conference to

Honest History E-Newsletter No. 63, 27 May 2020: Special Edition

ISSN: 2202-5561 © Public Works Committee (PWC) Inquiry into $498m Australian War Memorial expansion program For the last 15 months, Honest History and Heritage Guardians have made the case against the War Memorial expansion project. A summary of our arguments

Aktar, Ayhan: The struggle between nationalist and jihadist narratives of Gallipoli, 1915-2015

Ayhan Aktar ‘The struggle between nationalist and jihadist narratives of Gallipoli, 1915-2015‘, Forum for Modern Language Studies, Vol. 56, No. 2, April 2020, pp. 213-28 (paywall) There have been a number of milestones in the (re-)writing of the history of

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Fraser, Nancy, Susan Neiman, Thomas Piketty, and 3000 scholars from 600 universities around the world: Humans are not resources. Coronavirus shows why we must democratise work

Nancy Fraser, Susan Neiman, Thomas Piketty, and 3000 scholars from 600 universities around the world ‘Humans are not resources. Coronavirus shows why we must democratise work‘, Guardian, 16 May 2020 For a while (2014-17), Honest History ran ‘Inequality’ as a

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Stephens, David: Never the twain shall meet? Disturbing deep dive into documentation on War Memorial project

David Stephens* ‘Never the twain shall meet? Disturbing deep dive into documentation on War Memorial project’, Honest History, 19 May 2020 Honest History and Heritage Guardians are making submissions to the Public Works Committee inquiry on the War Memorial project

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Scrimgeour, Anne: On Red Earth Walking: The Pilbara Aboriginal Strike, Western Australia 1946–1949

Anne Scrimgeour On Red Earth Walking: The Pilbara Aboriginal Strike, Western Australia 1946–1949, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2020 The book is reviewed for Honest History by Rolf Gerritsen. Other reviews: Kathy Gollan in Newtown Review of Books; Jan Richardson in

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Gerritsen, Rolf: A tour de force investigation of Indigenous and labour history

Rolf Gerritsen* ‘A tour de force investigation of Indigenous and labour history’, Honest History, 12 May 2020 Rolf Gerritsen reviews On Red Earth Walking: The Pilbara Aboriginal Strike, Western Australia 1946-1949, by Anne Scrimgeour  This history is the product of

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Wareham, Sue: Prioritising health

Sue Wareham ‘Prioritising health‘, Pearls and Irritations, 11 May 2020 Global military spending continues to rise. Critical health goals could be achieved for a fraction of what we spend on wars. Focussing funding on health rather than military spending, globally

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Canberra Times exchange shows War Memorial extensions issues still unresolved

Heritage Guardians campaign diary follows the story from early 2019 of the campaign against the Memorial project *** The letters column of the Canberra Times has always been an arena of contest on live issues in the national capital –

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Jackson, Andra: The lasting legacy of the Vietnam Moratorium

Andra Jackson ‘The lasting legacy of the Vietnam Moratorium‘, Eureka Street, 8 May 2020 An appropriate marking of the 5oth anniversary of the Moratorium demonstration in Melbourne’s Bourke Street, by someone who was there (as was the author of this

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Inside track for War Memorial expansion project: Public Works Committee inquiry commenced

Update 9 May 2020 On the point about the two processes [Heritage and Public Works Committee], note that there will be 20 business days for public comment on ‘final preliminary documentation’ from the War Memorial on heritage aspects of the project, followed 

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Honest History E-newsletter No. 62, 5 May 2020

ISSN: 2202-5561 © This is our first newsletter for more than four months and, indeed, our first for 2020 but, with one thing and another, it has been a hectic year. Recently on honesthistory.net.au, we expose the nonsensical claim that

Stephens, David: Afghanistan not underdone at Australian War Memorial (thanks to Boeing): a flaw in argument for extensions

Heritage Guardians campaign diary follows the story from early 2019 of the campaign against the Memorial project *** David Stephens* ‘Afghanistan not underdone at Australian War Memorial (thanks  to Boeing): a flaw in argument for extensions’, Honest History, 4 May

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Buckley, Ian: A Biographic View of the West

Ian Buckley A Biographic View of the West: February 2020, ANU Emeritus Faculty, Canberra, 2020 According to the author, ‘a recent essay on the accumulating outcomes of wars and other mercantile practices over the centuries. All extremely counter-productive, they are

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Smaal, Yorick & Mark Finnane: Diggers doing time? Australian courts martial 1914-19

Yorick Smaal & Mark Finnane* ‘Diggers doing time? Australian courts martial 1914-19’, Honest History, 30 April 2020 [Note: The authors are seeking help from volunteer citizen historians. See the endnote. HH] From 1916, Anzac Day was commemorated to remember the

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Cook 250 years on: Paul Daley and others mark a necessarily low key anniversary

Update 4 May 2020: Henry Reynolds in Pearls and Irritations on Dutch voyages prior to Cook. Update 3 May 2020: Lynette Russell of Monash University on pre-Cook contacts. Update 1 May 2020: Nicholas Thomas in Inside Story. Update 30 April

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Twice as many New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli as once thought: conclusive new research

For many years after the Gallipoli campaign it was thought that just 8556 New Zealanders landed on the peninsula. Proportional casualty figures for New Zealanders were correspondingly higher. Then, four years ago, previously lost records were uncovered which suggested the

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Lest We Forget: a collection of Anzac-related articles from Guardian Australia, Inside Story and The Conversation

Paul Daley in Guardian Australia warns us against confusing the battle against coronavirus with the wars that are marked by Anzac Day. Those at the vanguard of resisting the coronavirus are not Anzacs. They are nurses, doctors, police, ambos, orderlies,

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Will Anzac Day 2020 give us time to think about why Australia goes to war? These pieces provide food for thought

Anzac Days in recent years have been notable for large crowds and occasional outbursts of triumphalism. With the quieter version this year might we have more time and head-space to ask the important questions: why does Australia go to war

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Griffith Review archive opened: classic 2015 edition on enduring legacies of the Great War

The excellent Griffith Review has done us all a great service by opening its archive to make available for a few days selected pieces from its classic edition 48 Enduring Legacies, first published in April 2015 (edited by Julianne Schultz

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Stephens, David: Anzac Day and history as what we choose to remember

David Stephens* ‘Anzac Day and history as what we choose to remember‘, Pearls and Irritations, 24 April 2020 updated The Covid-19 pandemic has been compared with the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-19. That many of us knew nothing about that

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Fathi, Romain: Submission to the Senate’s inquiry into opportunities for strengthening Australia’s relations with the Republic of France

Romain Fathi Submission to the Senate’s inquiry into opportunities for strengthening Australia’s relations with the Republic of France, 2 April 2020 As a result of having a historical narrative that is curated by DVA and not WWI experts, the John

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From the Honest History vault for Anzac Day in the time of Coronavirus: Peter Stanley on Norfolk Island 2015

In April 2015, the then president of the then Honest History association, Professor Peter Stanley was so determined to get away from the centenary commemoration in extremis of Anzac Day that he went to Norfolk Island for a holiday. Here,

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Stephens, David: Book received: Democratic Adventurer: Graham Berry and the Making of Australian Politics, by Sean Scalmer

David Stephens ‘Book received: Democratic Adventurer: Graham Berry and the Making of Australian Politics, by Sean Scalmer’, Honest History, 19 April 2020 updated This new hardback from Monash University Publishing promises to be a detailed ‘life and times’ of an

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From the Honest History vault for Anzac Day in the time of Coronavirus: Genevieve Jacobs at Wallendbeen 2014

We said earlier this week that the Coronavirus crisis perforce will give us a quieter Anzac Day in 2020. Quiet Anzac Days have not been unknown in the past and one such was at Wallendbeen, NSW, in 2014. Genevieve Jacobs,

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Irving, Terry: The Fatal Lure of Politics: The Life and Thought of Vere Gordon Childe

Terry Irving The Fatal Lure of Politics: The Life and Thought of Vere Gordon Childe, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2020 Renowned Australian-born archaeologist and prehistorian Vere Gordon Childe (1892–1957) had a lifelong fascination with socialist politics. In his early life

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Holt, Stephen: A genuine Aussie digger: Vere Gordon Childe 1892-1957

Stephen Holt* ‘A genuine Aussie digger: Vere Gordon Childe 1892-1957’, Honest History, 19 April 2020 Stephen Holt reviews The Fatal Lure of Politics: The Life and Thought of Vere Gordon Childe, by Terry Irving The Honest History project, since it

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From the Honest History vault for Anzac Day in the time of Coronavirus: Anzackery is the bastard twin of a useful Anzac

Anzac Day 2020 will be very different from recent Anzac Days. For example, instead of the Dawn Service in Canberra, with thousands gathered outside the Australian War Memorial, there will be a few officials holding a service inside the building,

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Bond, Catherine: Tyrannical power exercised untyrannically?

Catherine Bond ‘Tyrannical power exercised untyranically?‘ Inside Story, 1 April 2020 updated Law has always been crucial to Australia’s involvement in war, whether through existing defence legislation or new provisions designed to deal with a developing incident or conflict. Law

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Browne, Peter & Seumas Spark, ed.: ‘I Wonder’: The Life and Work of Ken Inglis

Peter Browne & Seumas Spark, ed. ‘I Wonder’: The Life and Work of Ken Inglis, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2020 Ken Inglis was one of Australia’s most creative, wide-ranging and admired historians. During a scholarly career spanning nearly seven decades,

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Piggott, Michael: Wondering about the long and well-lived life of historian, Ken Inglis

Michael Piggott* ‘Wondering about the long and well-lived life of historian, Ken Inglis’, Honest History, 14 April 2020 Michael Piggott reviews ‘I Wonder’: The Life and Work of Ken Inglis, edited by Peter Browne and Seumas Spark  In ‘Looking at

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Coronavirus slows momentum of $498m War Memorial extension project – and should allow another look

Heritage Guardians campaign diary follows the story from early 2019 of the campaign against the Memorial project *** Update 21 April 2020: The Riot Act on extended consultation period (more below). Quotes War Memorial official, Wayne Hitches, on timing. Hitches

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Megarrity, Lyndon: The recovery: technology and society

Lyndon Megarrity ‘The recovery: technology and society‘, Australian Policy and History, 9 April 2020 During the CV-19 pandemic, the use of Information Technology has enabled millions to work from home and gain some relief from social isolation while avoiding potential

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Wareham, Sue: Healthcare not warfare

Sue Wareham ‘Healthcare not warfare‘, Pearls and Irritations, 6 April 2020 updated Update 11 May 2020: Sue Wareham on the need to prioritise health care over defence spending. Update 23 April 2020: Allan Behm in Guardian Australia argues for a

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Myrtle, John: Rethinking Australian journalism in the 1960s: The 1966-67 work value case and the Sydney newspaper strike

John Myrtle* ‘Rethinking Australian journalism in the 1960s: The 1966-67 work value case and the Sydney newspaper strike‘, Honest History, 7 April 2020 This is a detailed study of two industrial relations events from more than 50 years ago. Journalists

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Stephens, David: New Australian War Memorial Director’s children’s war books give some hints to his thinking

David Stephens* ‘New War Memorial Director’s children’s war books give some hints to his thinking’, Honest History, 31 March 2020 The new Director of the Australian War Memorial, Matthew Anderson PSM, commences duty on 14 April. He comes to the

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Amid the gloom, coronavirus points to new definitions of ‘security’: statement from Medical Association for Prevention of War

Update 17 April 2020: Sign the IPAN statement on healthcare not warfare. Many people are in very challenging circumstances right now. All of us at MAPW hope that you and your family are coping with the unparalleled disruption and uncertainty caused by the

Now that we have time to read: four literary approaches to pandemics

Apart from Psalm 91 and Revelation chapter 6 there is some relevant literature that might help keep readers occupied in current weeks: Samuel Pepys’ diary entries on the Great Plague of 1665: ‘One at the table told an odd passage

A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR: AN ARCHIVE OF COVID19

Join the Melbourne History Workshop in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne (melbournehistoryworkshop.com) in documenting these challenging times in Melbourne and around the globe. We are working with Mark Tebeau from Arizona State University and others by acting not just as

Pegram, Aaron: Surviving the Great War: Australian Prisoners of War on the Western Front 1916–18

Aaron Pegram Surviving the Great War: Australian Prisoners of War on the Western Front 1916–18, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge & Port Melbourne, 2020; electronic version available Between 1916 and 1918, more than 3,800 men of the Australian Imperial Force were

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Alexander, Kristen: They also served: Australians dealing with the challenge of captivity during the Great War

Kristen Alexander* ‘They also served: Australians dealing with the challenge of captivity during the Great War’, Honest History, 13 March 2020 Kristen Alexander reviews Surviving the Great War: Australian Prisoners of War on the Western Front, 1916-18, by Aaron Pegram

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Fahy, Michelle: Brothers-in-Arms: the high-rotation revolving door between the Australian government and arms merchants

Michelle Fahy* ‘Brothers-in-Arms: the high-rotation revolving door between the Australian government and arms merchants‘, Michael West Media, 11 March 2020 A disturbing number of Australia’s military personnel, senior defence and intelligence officials and politicians leave their public service jobs and

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CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS: Growing up with McCarthyism: Manning Clark House event, Canberra, 27 March

Three daughters of public figures harassed by ASIO talk about what it was like. Manning Clark House, Canberra, 27 March, 5.30 pm for 6.00 pm. Details and booking. 9 March 2020

A new documentary ‘Harbour Lights’ tells the story of a remarkable and forgotten group of women

In 1906 a pioneering women’s network called the Ladies Harbour Lights Guild was founded at the Mission to Seafarers in Melbourne, in support of sailors who risked their lives at sea. The Guild comprised philanthropic Melbourne society women who raised

From the Honest History vault: Humphrey McQueen and others on the Spanish flu pandemic of 1919

Home page credit: (pic: City of Sydney Archive/Ballarat Courier) 2 July 2020 updated: A 1998 article by Anthea Hyslop (‘Insidious immigrant: Spanish influenza and border quarantine in Australia, 1919′, made available by kind permission of the Australian and New Zealand

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New start date for new War Memorial Director

New Director of the Australian War Memorial, Matthew Anderson PSM, will not now take up duty until 14 April. The previous advice was that he would start during March. Advice from the Memorial now is that Assistant Director, National Collection,

Ruby, Felicity: Silent partners: US bases in Australia

Felicity Ruby ‘Silent partners: US bases in Australia‘, Australian Foreign Affairs, Issue 8, February 2020, pp. 29-54 [T]here is very little public understanding or discussion of these bases, or their uses, or the way in which they have constrained Australian

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Hocking, Jenny: Archival secrets and hidden histories

Jenny Hocking ‘Archival secrets and hidden histories‘, Griffith Review 67: Matters of Trust, February 2020 Access is the pivot between archives and history; it is the filter through which an archival record steps out from a shadowy past and becomes

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The Brendan Nelson legacy at the Australian War Memorial: Heritage Guardians David Stephens and Sue Wareham on 3CR Melbourne

Heritage Guardians David Stephens and Sue Wareham spoke on air with 3CR’s Jan Bartlett on Tuesday this week. The broadcast is now available here (Stephens from mark 0.14; Wareham from mark 0.39) and runs for about 40 minutes. Most of

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Stephens, David: Book received: South Africa to Afghanistan: Lifting the Curtain, by Bill Edgar

David Stephens* ‘Book received: South Africa to Afghanistan: Lifting the Curtain, by Bill Edgar’, Honest History, 20 February 2020 This book came to Honest History courtesy of the author (and publisher, as Tammar Publications). The book, published Perth, 2020, has

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Ken Inglis book to be launched by Tom Griffiths, Melbourne, 10 March

“I Wonder”: The Life and Work of Ken Inglis, edited by Peter Browne and Seumas Spark, is to be launched by historian Tom Griffiths at Readings, 309 Lygon Street, Carlton, Tuesday, 10 March at 6 for 6.30pm. More about the

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 19 April 2021: PM announces a Royal Commission. 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

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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 Update 3 February 2021: Dr Chau Chak Wing wins defamation case against ABC and Nine Newspapers,

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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 14 October 2021: Dunera News No. 111, October 2021 Update 7 July 2021: Dunera News No. 110, July 2021 Update 15 January 2021: Dunera News No. 109, January 2021. Update 19 August 2020: Dunera News No. 108, August 2020.

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 5 November 2019: Dr Nelson’s final bow at Estimates gives more information

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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

Update 24 February 2020: Jenny Hocking in Griffith Review on the ‘Palace letters’ from 1975 and other issues to do with the Archives. The National Archives of Australia is being reviewed by former senior official, David Tune, on behalf of

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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

Updated 29 February 2020: a retrospective from historian Peter Edwards in The Strategist. 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

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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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