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 1 March 2021: Further steps hustled the project through the Parliament. Next stop

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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 Contrasts an Anthony Albanese speech in Parliament (pages 102, 109-10 of the Draft Hansard) with

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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 (‘Getting beyond “our heroes”: a War Memorial angle on possible war crimes’; click here) was one of the early rivulets.

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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 In 2016 and again in 2017, Honest History took a long view of Australian War Memorial visitor statistics going back to 1990-91. Here,

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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 The quote above is from Robert Oppenheimer, in charge of the American project to build the atomic bomb. It is

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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 Commission 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 5 June 2020: Story by Christopher Knaus in Guardian Australia. *** ‘Will the Australian War Memorial renew its “naming rights for donations” deal with arms manufacturer BAE Systems?’, Honest History, 4 June 2020 updated Almost seven years

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Stephens* ‘From the Honest History vault: Lest We Forget Dr Chau Chak Wing, the War Memorial’s Chinese-Australian connection’, Honest History, 27 November 2019 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 15 January 2021: Dunera News No. 109, January 2021. Update 19 August 2020: Dunera News No. 108, August 2020. Update 15 February 2020: Dunera News No. 107, February 2020, has news of reunions to mark 80 years since the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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McLeod, John: State surveillance in Great War New Zealand

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

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

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

Blainey, Geoffrey: Before I Forget: An Early Memoir

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Graham Freudenberg AM 1934-2019

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

Ann Moyal AM 1926-2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Museums and the working class: call for papers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Appin Massacre memorial service to be held on 14 April

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Menzies, Pam: Port Kembla: A Memoir

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ABC RN Late Night Live: Everyone loves Trove

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For the continuing campaign against the extensions, go here. Today’s Canberra Times has a front page story headed ‘Chorus against war memorial expansion’. The story is also online: SMH, Canberra Times, Age. And Guardian Australia. 2CC Canberra. There was extensive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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War Memorial Mount Ainslie land grab attracts opposition in Canberra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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AHA Conference Call for Papers extended to 12 March 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Keeping up with the Jaunceys: some late despatches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashenden, Dean: Saving the War Memorial from itself

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

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Kalagian Blunt, Ashley: My Name is Revenge

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

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

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

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DVA change affects commemoration administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bongiorno, Frank: The year some things changed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Haigh, Bruce: The ANZACS: ransacked by the Right

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Davies, Geoff: Lest we also forget

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Silent Peace Vigil set for Canberra on Remembrance Day morning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cashen, Phil: Spanish flu. Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raffin, Greg: Mutiny on the Western Front: 1918

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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