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 century has seen an explosion in prime ministerial engagement with Anzac, and in particular, the marking of Anzac Day with a national address. Correspondingly, there has also been enormous interest in Anzac from members of the academy, but there has been little systematic analysis of the breadth and depth of prime ministerial Anzac Day addresses. This paper seeks to correct this omission by conducting a critical discourse analysis of prime ministerial Anzac Day addresses from 1973 to 2016 in order to sketch their imprecise, but increasingly institutionalised and consistent, genre boundaries. The paper delineates the various thematic and characteristic features of these addresses, including where and when the addresses have been delivered; the fixity and hybridisation of the prime ministerial Anzac speech genre; the thematic and tonal representations of Anzac; the wars and battles prime ministers associate Anzac with; and who Anzac’s agents are. As will be shown, whilst Australian prime ministers may closely adhere to the traditions of Anzac with their addresses, they also subtly renovate understandings of Anzac in alignment with their policy agendas. (abstract)

For prime ministerial speeches on Anzac themes, use our Search engine, with search term of the prime minister’s name. Bromfield also has an interesting 2012 paper on Australian treatment of men returning from VietnamPublished later with a different title.

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