About Centenary Watch

Here we keep track of the many initiatives commemorating the centenary of World War I, particularly the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli in 1915 – the centenary of Anzac. (Most recent updates.) We are particularly interested in what is

The bombing of Darwin, 75 years on: some alternative views

Honest History has been interested in the bombing of Darwin almost since we began the website, though our interest has extended to aspects that are not likely to be front and centre this week during the 75th anniversary events. Obviously,

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The Fall of Singapore, 75 years on: some alternative views

On Wednesday in Ballarat, Minister Tehan will attend a national service in Ballarat to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore (15 February 1942) and all Australian prisoners of war. This should be an occasion also to take

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Stephens, David: Cooking the (visitors) books: the Australian War Memorial struggles with statistics – again

David Stephens ‘Cooking the (visitors) books: the Australian War Memorial struggles with statistics – again’, Honest History, 7 February 2017 The article looks at the statistics in the Memorial’s Annual Report 2015-16 for real (flesh-and-blood) visitors to the Memorial and

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Crotty, Martin: In their footsteps? Anzac fun runs and the consumption of the past

Martin Crotty ‘In their footsteps? Anzac fun runs and the consumption of the past’, Honest History, 7 February 2017 The author, a fun runner, describes some Anzac-themed running events and what they say about the current desire of some of

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Centenary Watch February-March 2017

Update 16 February 2017: The bombing of Darwin, 75 years on: some alternative views A brief reading guide, showing how commemoration of this event could just as easily be filed under ‘tourism bonanza’ as under ‘Lest We Forget’. The post

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Camp Gallipoli stripped of its charitable status: at last, time to evacuate from this questionable venture

Update 24 December 2016: big story in Fairfax media on all of this. Honest History has tracked the tortuous path of Camp Gallipoli (background or use our Search engine) which, like the original Gallipoli venture, may have started with the

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Stanley, Peter: Review of The Holocaust: Witnesses and Survivors at the Australian War Memorial

Peter Stanley* ‘Review of The Holocaust: Witnesses and Survivors at the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 13 December 2016 The opening late last month of a new permanent display at the Australian War Memorial, The Holocaust: Witnesses and Survivors, is

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Centenary Watch December 2016-January 2017

Update 20 December 2016 updated: Camp Gallipoli stripped of charitable status The troubled Camp Gallipoli organisation, whose twists and turns have been followed closely by Honest History, has lost its charitable status. It seems determined to continue in some form,

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Shield, John: Top End Anzackery: an illustrated review note (featuring a mouse who flys a Spitfire)

Shield, John* ‘Top End Anzackery: an illustrated review note (featuring a mouse who flies a Spitfire)’, Honest History, 22 November 2016 Re-enactment, 74th anniversary of Darwin bombings, 2016 (Defence department) In 2012, the 70th Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin

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Frances, Raelene & Bruce Scates, ed.: Beyond Gallipoli: New Perspectives on Anzac

Frances, Raelene & Bruce Scates, ed. Beyond Gallipoli: New Perspectives on Anzac, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2016 Much of the scholarship on the Great War, and especially the Dardanelles/Çanakkale campaign, has been viewed through a narrow national prism and focused

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Stanley, Peter: AWM sixtieth anniversary: the Memorial and its people

Stanley, Peter ‘AWM sixtieth anniversary: the Memorial and its people, 11 November 2001‘, Australian War Memorial Today, Peter Stanley is Associate Director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales Canberra, as well

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The Australian War Memorial is opened, 11 November 1941

The Australian War Memorial was opened 75 years ago today. The Australian War Memorial at Canberra, symbol of a young nation’s courage and sacrifice, was officially opened yesterday [began the report in the Canberra Times]. The impressive service of tribute

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Two years of commentary on the Australian War Memorial: from the Honest History archives

Rationale Critiquing the Anzac-centred received view of Australian history necessarily involves forensic examination of the work of our premier commemorative institution, the Australian War Memorial. The Memorial – rather surprisingly, in view of its interest in warlike matters – has

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Australian War Memorial Annual Report, another new exhibition and Story Time

The Australian War Memorial’s Annual Report 2015-16 is now available on the Memorial’s website. From our quick look the Memorial’s overall visitor numbers seem much the same as last year though there are the usual quirks in measurement which mean

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Veterans’ Affairs team visits Estimates Committee for another round

Last week, the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee hosted a phalanx of officers from the Defence portfolio which included, as usual, a team from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and a smaller team from the Australian War Memorial.

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Stephens, David: Turks did the heavy lifting: a longer look at the building of the Atatürk Memorial in Anzac Parade, Canberra, 1984-85: Part II

David Stephens ‘Turks did the heavy lifting: a longer look at the building of the Atatürk Memorial in Anzac Parade, Canberra, 1984-85: Part II’, Honest History, 25 October 2016 updated This is a revised and extended version of an article

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Conscription plebiscite centenary in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra

Those who follow only the official Great War centenary bandwagon may not be keeping up with commemoration of events on the home front. Next Friday, 28 October, is the centenary of the first conscription referendum (technically a plebiscite) and events

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Stephens, David: ‘Awkward humility’: The speeches of the Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson AO: Part II: Long bows, Holly Golightly and political baseball bats

Stephens, David ‘“Awkward humility”: The speeches of the Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson AO: Part II: Long bows, Holly Golightly and political baseball bats‘, Honest History, 20 October 2016 This article continues our analysis of ten of Dr Nelson’s speeches from

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‘Awkward humility’: The speeches of the Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson AO: Part II: Long bows, Holly Golightly and political baseball bats

David Stephens ‘“Awkward humility”: The speeches of the Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson AO: Part II: Long bows, Holly Golightly and political baseball bats’, Honest History, 20 October 2016 In our previous article we looked at the structure, themes and content

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‘Awkward humility’: The speeches of the Hon Brendan Nelson AO: Part I: Thrice more with feeling

David Stephens ‘“Awkward humility”: The speeches of the Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson AO: Part I: Thrice more with feeling’, Honest History, 11 October 2016 The received Australian view of war can be encapsulated in phrases like ‘Lest we forget’, ‘the

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Stephens, David: Turks did the heavy lifting: a longer look at the story of the Ataturk Memorial, Canberra, 1984-85: Part I

David Stephens ‘Turks did the heavy lifting: a longer look at the story of the Atatürk Memorial, Canberra, 1984-85: Part I’, Honest History, 11 October 2016 updated This material revises and extends an article published in April 2016 and based

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Stephens, David: ‘Awkward humility’: The speeches of the Hon Brendan Nelson, AO: Part I: Thrice more with feeling

Stephens, David ‘” Awkward humility”: The speeches of the Hon Brendan Nelson AO: Part I: Thrice more with feeling‘, Honest History, 11 October 2016 The article analyses ten speeches from 2007 to 2016 regarding their structure, recurring themes and sets

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Centenary Watch updates October-December 2016

Update 2 December 2016: Holocaust exhibition at War Memorial The Australian War Memorial has opened a permanent exhibition on the Holocaust. Opening the exhibition, Director Brendan Nelson said: The Australian War Memorial does not aspire to be one of the

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Centenary Watch updates September-October 2016

Updates 30 August 2016: Minister Tehan back in harness; Senator Ludlam is Greens’ spokesperson; local Long Tan commemorations less controversial; ‘Anzackery’ definition has interesting background; conscription battles need to be front and centre; chance for a new legacy at the

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Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: Honest History series

‘Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: an Honest History series’, Honest History, 15 August 2016 updated UPDATE 11.45 am FRIDAY: Still difficulties with access. UPDATE 6.00 AM THURSDAY: Restricted access to be allowed. STOP PRESS: Cancellation of

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Lamperd, Ruth: Families speak about military loved ones lost and how we failed them

Lamperd, Ruth ‘Families speak about military loved ones lost and how we failed them‘, Sunday Herald-Sun, 13 August 2016 The story reveals 41 military personnel and veterans died this year from suicide, the same as the number of Australians who

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Horrocks, Lucinda: Memories of war: A film and research project in Ballarat

Horrocks, Lucinda ‘Memories of war: A film and research project in Ballarat‘, Honest History, 8 August 2016 Hearing about this Ballarat project, Honest History agreed with producer Lucinda Horrocks that she should describe what the project set out to do,

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Baker, Mark: The myth of Keith Murdoch’s Gallipoli letter

Baker, Mark ‘The myth of Keith Murdoch’s Gallipoli letter‘, Inside Story, 26 July 2016 Extract from the author’s new book, Phillip Schuler: The Remarkable Life of One of Australia’s Greatest War Correspondents, just published. A brief biographical note on Schuler

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Lone Pine commemorative service will not be held this year

A media release today from Minister Tehan advises that the annual Lone Pine commemorative service, scheduled for 6 August, will not proceed this year. This follows discussions with the Turkish Government. Private visits on 6 August will still be possible

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Riches, Leah & James Bennett: We can’t see the war for the memorials: balancing education and commemoration

Riches, Leah & James Bennett ‘We can’t see the war for the memorials: balancing education and commemoration‘, The Conversation, 25 July 2016 This article raises issues similar to those that have concerned Honest History over the last three years; some

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Sweetman, Terry: Great War remembrance high in cost, low on inclusion for Australians

Sweetman, Terry ‘Opinion: Great War orgy of remembrance high in cost, low on inclusion for Australians‘, Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 24 July 2016 Veteran columnist is provoked by Fromelles-Pozieres commemoration into questioning the whole commemoration extravaganza. He uses Honest History estimates

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Centenary Watch updates July-August 2016

Update 15 August 2016: Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context A collection of posts from the Honest History archive, starting today, which try to put the Vietnam War in context, both domestically and internationally. Update 14 August

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Stephens, David: How some Turks would rather that Johnnies and Mehmets were not equal

David Stephens ‘How some Turks would rather that Johnnies and Mehmets were not equal: research report’, Honest History, 19 July 2016 updated The equality of death ‘There is no difference’, we are told every Anzac Day, ‘between the Johnnies and

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Ozakinci, Cengiz: 25 April 1985: Arıburnu, “Anzac Cove”, the Mehmets and the Johnnies

Özakıncı, Cengiz ‘25 April 1985: Arıburnu, “Anzac Cove”, the Mehmets and the Johnnies’, Butun Dunya (Ankara), April 2016 (English translation) This article looks from the Turkish perspective at how Arıburnu became Anzac Cove, as part of a Turkish-Australian deal in

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Pennell, Catriona & Mark Sheehan: Official World War I memorial rituals could create a generation uncritical of the conflict

Pennell, Catriona & Mark Sheehan ‘Official World War I memorial rituals could create a generation uncritical of the conflict‘, The Conversation, 12 July 2016 A New Zealand-United Kingdom co-written article with some Australian input from Christina Spittel of UNSW Canberra

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Australian War Memorial Council prefers not to hear about Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Memorial

On Anzac Day Honest History posted on our website our Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial. The Guide is intended for students from middle to senior Secondary level, for teachers and for members of the general public. Since Anzac

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Sharpe, Matthew: Battle of the Somme and the death of martial glory

Sharpe, Matthew ‘Friday Essay: The Battle of the Somme and the death of martial glory‘, The Conversation, 1 July 2016 Commemorating the death today 100 years ago of over 19 000 British soldiers in a stupid venture. The generals learnt

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Review note: Irish Easter Rising commemoration has lessons for Australia

‘Review note: Irish Easter Rising commemoration has lessons for Australia’, Honest History, 23 June 2016 I am just one-eighth Irish and by no means an expert in being Irish or in Irish history. But Honest History’s recent collecting of material

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New anti-war song is counterpoint to War Memorial rejigging donations policy

There is an anti-war event in London this weekend, organised by the No Glory in War and Stop the War coalition. The event commemorates the Battle of the Somme. A feature will be the song ‘Dandelions’ by Steve Donoghue, the

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Two invasions in Australian history: can we now stop using euphemisms about 25 April 1915?

Both Prime Minister Turnbull and Opposition Leader Shorten have used the word ‘invasion’ to describe what happened in Australia in 1788. (They still differ over reconciling, recognising, and whether or not to have a treaty.) Now that we have bipartisan

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Centenary Watch updates June-July 2016

Update 13 July 2016: Official World War I memorial rituals could create a generation uncritical of the conflict Article by Pennell and Sheehan about memorial programs targeting children in Britain, New Zealand and Australia and how they risk driving out

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Tendering for the knight: film-makers bid to document Sir John Monash for the green fields of France

Regular readers of Honest History will have followed our coverage of the proposed Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre to be built next to the Australian memorial at Villers-Bretonneux in France. We have described the Centre as a boastful Aussie boondoggle.

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Camp Gallipoli Board statement regarding suggestions of financial impropriety

The Board of Camp Gallipoli has released a statement rejecting the proposition that there has been financial impropriety in the not-for-profit body. The statement says Camp Gallipoli’s accounts were audited by Price Waterhouse Coopers and by Board members. This work

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Honest History sends copy of Alternative Guide to Australian War Memorial to every member of Memorial Council

Which word should we use to describe what happened on 25 April 1915: ‘landing’ or ‘invasion’? Why do we refer to dead soldiers as ‘the fallen’? Does the ‘freedom’ we are said to have fought for in our many wars

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Snyder, Timothy: Poland vs history (Australian comparisons not far beneath)

Snyder, Timothy ‘Poland vs history‘, New York Review of Books, 3 May 2016 updated In its exhibitions, the Museum of the Second World War [in Gdańsk, Poland] promised to tell the story of the 1930s and 1940s in an entirely

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Their Great War and ours: the commemorative view from Europe

There was an interesting presentation at UNSW Canberra yesterday from Professor Oliver Janz of the Free University of Berlin. It brought out some differences between the way World War I is being commemorated in Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

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Anzac Day miscellany 2016

Update 30 August 2016: Mick Cook (The Dead Prussian Podcast) talked to Sharon Mascall-Dare about Indigenous and non-Anglo Celtic Anzacs. Thirty minutes but no transcript. Update 27 May 2016: we found this one much later, paragraphs lurking at the beginning

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Honest History: Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial

Honest History ‘Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial‘, Honest History, 26 April 2016 updated Update 1 November 2016: the Alternative Guide has been downloaded 1672 times since Anzac Day although the War Memorial Council has said it

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Ankara calling: the rush to build the Ataturk Memorial in Anzac Parade, Canberra, 1984-85

‘Ankara calling: the rush to build the Atatürk Memorial in Anzac Parade, Canberra, 1984-85’, Honest History, 26 April 2016 (Note: a summary version of this article appeared in Pearls and Irritations.) The Atatürk Memorial has stood at the top of

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More on the Australian pilgrimages to Gallipoli, 1960 and 1965

‘More on the Australian pilgrimages to Gallipoli, 1960 and 1965’, Honest History, 26 April 2016 In Honest History’s work on the provenance of the alleged ‘Atatürk words’ of 1934 (‘Those heroes that shed their blood …’), we have found isolated

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Review note: a reasonably flexible Anzac Day package from DVA for little kids

‘Review note: a reasonably flexible Anzac Day package from DVA for little kids’, Honest History, 26 April 2016 Honest History has often been critical of the products the official commemoration industry puts in front of children. We thought the prize-winning

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Centenary Watch updates April-June 2016

Update 26 May 2016: Camp Gallipoli board statement regarding suggestions of financial impropriety The rump Camp Gallipoli board has issued a statement denying financial impropriety. It is not clear when the Department of Veterans’ Affairs report into Camp Gallipoli will

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Minister Tehan unpegs Camp Gallipoli

Update 14 May 2016: a further investigative report on Adelaide TV on 9 May with Hendrik Gout busts a myth about Chris Fox’s Smith relatives from World War I. (The Honest History post you are reading at the moment played

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Irving, Nick: Glorifying the Anzac myth and our attitudes to violent men

Irving, Nick ‘What does glorifying the Anzac myth say about our attitudes to violent men today?‘ Junkee, 21 April 2016 Reflections on Anzac leave out the violence that soldiers inflict. The author looks at remarks by David Morrison as head

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Newton, Douglas: Hard questions we should face on Anzac Day 2016

Newton, Douglas ‘The hard questions we should face on Anzac Day 2016‘, Pearls and Irritations, 20 April 2016 Short, sharp piece by historian of the Great War. He asks: Why were Australians so exposed in this protracted catastrophe? (essentially, because

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A quieter year this year? Anzac Week news and reflections

These few links are taken at random from media coverage of what looks like being a quieter Anzac Day. Perhaps we are wrong. We’ll see. In any case, the quieter build-up has given some observers a chance to make some

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Reynolds, Henry: Unnecessary Wars

Reynolds, Henry Unnecessary Wars, NewSouth, Sydney, 2016 ‘Australian governments find it easy to go to war. Their leaders seem to be able to withdraw with a calm conscience, answerable neither to God nor humanity.’ Australia lost 600 men in the

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Fathi, Romain: Is Australia spending too much on the “Anzac centenary”? (plus HH background on spending politics)

Update 14 April 2016: Kaching! Another $5 million from corporates The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac, Dan Tehan, has announced a $5 million donation to the Anzac Centenary Public Fund from Suncorp, one of Australia’s

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Keeping up with the Anzac centenary: have we passed ‘Peak Anzac’?

‘Keeping up with the Anzac centenary: have we passed “Peak Anzac”? Honest History, 13 April 2016 The PHA seminar of 5 April The Professional Historians Association (Victoria) held a seminar on 5 April ‘reflecting on the Anzac centenary and memorialisation’.

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Protest at Turkish government treatment of dissidents

Updated 8 April 2016: John Tulloh, former foreign editor, makes a useful point at the beginning of a piece in Pearls and Irritations on current Turkish politics: It is the time of the year when we have our annual bout

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Stanley, Peter, et al: From the Honest History Archives: five April takes on Anzac and Anzackery

Stanley, Peter, et al. ‘From the Honest History Archives: five April takes on Anzac and Anzackery’, Honest History, April 2016 Honest History as a coalition has been going for three years. We have been publishing newsletters since May 2013 and

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Smith, Tony: I didn’t raise my son to be a soldier

Smith, Tony ‘“I didn’t raise my son to be a soldier”: a presentation to the National Folklore Conference, Canberra, Easter 2016‘, Australian Folklore Network, April 2016 Starts from the broad context of the Anzac centenary, looks at the range of

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Honest History’s David Stephens on 6PR Perth Drive with Adam Shand

Adam Shand on 6PR looked at issues to do with travel to Turkey, in the wake of DFAT upgrading travel alerts. He put questions to HH’s David Stephens about commemoration and appropriateness. Among other things, Stephens said that, if Anzac

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Many more Kiwis at Gallipoli than previously thought

New evidence uncovered in New Zealand strongly suggests twice as many New Zealanders served in the Dardanelles campaign than has previously been thought. Research by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the New Zealand Defence Force shows more than

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Edwell, Penny: Review note: First World War Commemoration and Memory Conference, IWM North

Penny Edwell* ‘Review note: First World War Commemoration and Memory Conference, IWM North’, Honest History, 17 March 2016 Organised by the Imperial War Museum North Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers Network (FWW Network), the First World War: Commemoration and Memory

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Walsh, Michael JK & Andrekos Varnava, ed.: Australia and the Great War

Walsh, Michael JK & Andrekos Varnava, ed. Australia and the Great War: Identity, Memory and Mythology, MUP Academic, Carlton, 2016 Australia and the Great War explores both the immediate and long-term consequences of the war on this complex relationship, looking in

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Martyrs’ Day in Turkey and what probably did not happen on 18 March 1934

‘Martyrs’ Day in Turkey and what probably did not happen on 18 March 1934: recent research from Cengiz Özakinci’, Honest History, 15 March 2016 updated Background The date 18 March marks the anniversary of the Ottoman naval victory in 1915,

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Centenary Watch updates March-April 2016

Update 24 April 2016: Minister Tehan unpegs Camp Gallipoli The Minister has announced an investigation into the Anzackery promoter, Camp Gallipoli, an organisation which Honest History itself had followed with interest in 2014 and 2015. Update 22 April 2016: Glorifying

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PM’s remembrance rhetoric and alleged DVA performance: a fascinating juxtaposition

Two events in the last week juxtaposed enlightened commemorative rhetoric and complaints about bureaucracy. The rhetoric came from the prime minister on 26 February, opening the new Soldier On Robert Poate Reintegration and Recovery Centre in Canberra. It is critical

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Stephens, David: Malcolm Turnbull’s post-Anzac pitch to the Australian Defence Force

Stephens, David ‘Malcolm Turnbull’s post-Anzac pitch to the Australian Defence Force‘, Pearls and Irritations, 2 March 2016 Looks at a recent speech from the prime minister and a later doorstop (just prior to the release of the Defence White Paper)

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New Minister gets (smaller) commemoration bandwagon rolling

The latest Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac, Dan Tehan MP, was on his feet today in the Parliament taking note of the 25th anniversary of the end of the Gulf War in 1991 and setting

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Stephens, David: ‘The Australian War Memorial is happy to let your opinion stand as it is’

Stephens, David ‘“The Australian War Memorial is happy to let your opinion stand as it is”: the Memorial’s response to recent posts on the Honest History website‘, Honest History, 22 February 2016 Commentary on recent response from the Memorial to

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Bombing of Darwin remembered – in context

Update 10 March 2016: a new book by Brett Bowden on the bombing of Darwin ________________ The new Minister for the Centenary of Anzac, Dan Tehan MP, has issued his first media release. It marks the 74th anniversary today of

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Singing country: the importance of the song On every Anzac Day

David Stephens ‘Singing country: the musical legacy of David Morrison, Australian of the Year – and a straw in the wind at the Australian War Memorial?’, Honest History, 2 February 2016 Before David Morrison became Australian of the Year he

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‘Visitation’ numbers at the Australian War Memorial since 1991: is this joint really jumpin’?

David Stephens ‘“Visitation” numbers at the Australian War Memorial since 1991: is this joint really jumpin’?’ Honest History, 2 February 2016 The title of this piece needs some explanation. First, ‘visitation’. The author thought this word meant the visit of

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Stephens, David: Singing country: the importance of the song On every Anzac Day

Stephens, David ‘Singing country: the musical legacy of David Morrison, Australian of the Year – and a straw in the wind at the Australian War Memorial?’, Honest History, 2 February 2016 The article looks at the story behind the song

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Stephens, David: ‘Visitation’ numbers at the Australian War Memorial since 1991

Stephens, David ‘“Visitation” numbers at the Australian War Memorial since 1991: is this joint really jumpin’?’ Honest History, 2 February 2016 In this article we analyse 25 years of War Memorial visitor statistics and seven years of statistics for the

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Centenary Watch updates February-March 2016

Update 4 March 2016: PM’s remembrance rhetoric and alleged DVA performance: a fascinating juxtaposition Compares prime ministerial rhetoric about looking after today’s veterans with veterans’ claims about the poor performance of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. They want a Royal

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Minister defends expensive Monash boondoggle* while sod is turned

Update 21 January 2016: augmented version now up on Independent Australia.   FRENCH COVERAGE NOW ADDED; SEE BELOW Anzac centenary minister, Stuart Robert, has wielded what is probably his first official silver spade in turning the first sod of the

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Ozakinci, Cengiz: Tale of the Anzacs who took Mustafa Kemal prisoner in 1918

Ozakinci, Cengiz ‘The tale of “the Anzacs who took Mustafa Kemal prisoner” in the Australian press’, Butun Dunya (Ankara), December 2015 (English translation: part I; part II) Chauvel, 1919 (AWM ART03340/JP Quinn) This is a translation provided by the author

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Kaching! Australia’s Anzac centenary spend hits $A562 million

Australia’s projected spend on the Anzac centenary-century of service now stands at an estimated $561.8 million, following an announcement today of a $10 million donation by Rio Tinto to the Anzac Centenary Public Fund. Anzac centenary minister, Stuart Robert, said:

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Villers-Bretonneux boondoggle construction contract announced

Update 26 December 2015. It is interesting that the Minister’s media release says nothing about the cost of the project ($A100m) but mentions employment and investment benefits in Picardy, France, where the project is located. Meanwhile, the Minister’s announcement has

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Stephens, David: A century since we stole quietly away

Stephens, David ‘A century since we stole quietly away‘, Honest History, 23 December 2015 updated Marks the centenary of the evacuation of ANZAC troops from Gallipoli and describes the commemorative ceremony at the Australian War Memorial. Anzac remains, according to

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Former Anzac centenary minister Ronno to resign; ex-Digger to head War Graves

Ronno pulls the plug Victorian Senator Michael Ronaldson is to resign from Parliament. The former Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac (and Special Minister of State) announced his intentions today. Honest

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Villers-Bretonneux boondoggle survives blunt Budget axe

The annual Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) has been released, along with the list of Budget tweaks. The Treasurer claimed $10.6 billion in savings, offset by $10.2 billion in new spending since the May Budget, which amounts to net

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Review note: where are all the war books this Anzac centenary Christmas?

‘Review note: where are all the war books this Anzac centenary Christmas?’ Honest History, 13 December 2015 Any bookshop these days seems to include a lot of military history books. The present reviewer is duty bound (as a website wrangler)

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Scates, Bruce, Rebecca Wheatley & Laura James: 100 Stories

Scates, Bruce, Rebecca Wheatley & Laura James World War One: A History in 100 Stories, Penguin, Melbourne, 2015 A long-awaited product of a complex project to tell the stories of many people affected by the Great War. There is also

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Stephens, David: will the new Anzac centenary minister be too busy to bother?

Stephens, David ‘Will the new Anzac centenary minister be too busy to bother?‘ Honest History, 1 December 2015 Update 4 December 2015: the Minister has responded on Twitter. The article looks at the ministerial workload implications of the machinery of

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No sign of Ataturk’s minister at Anzac, April-May 1934

‘Gold, rum but no sign of Ataturk’s minister at Anzac, April-May 1934’, Honest History, 1 December 2015 We return to the provenance of the famous ‘Ataturk words’ of 1934 – the ones commencing ‘Those heroes that shed their blood and

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Centenary Watch updates December 2015-January 2016

Update 19 January 2016: ‘Sod it!’ in Villers-Bret Minister Robert turns the first sod of the Monash Interpretive Centre and defends its cost against critics, including Honest History. The Minister’s view on cost drivers differs from that of a senior

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Spittel, Christina: Australia in the Great War (review of AWM WWI galleries)

Spittel, Christina* ‘Australia in the Great War‘, reCollections, vol. 10, no. 2, October 2015 This review of the refurbished World War I galleries at the Australian War Memorial was published in the online journal of the National Museum of Australia.

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Nelson, Robert: honour those who refused to go to war

Nelson, Robert ‘We should honour those who refused to go to war‘, Age, 11 November 2015 The author considers who and what is worthy of remembrance, noting the recently published book World War One: a History in 100 Stories. The

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100 Great War stories book well and truly launched

World War One: a History in 100 Stories has been written by Bruce Scates, professor at Monash, and Monash PhD students Rebecca Wheatley and Laura James, but the clearest message that emerged from its launch this evening in Melbourne was

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Daley, Paul: lavish spending on memorials cloaks reality

Daley, Paul ‘Australia’s lavish spending on Anzac memorials cloaks a more distasteful reality‘, Guardian Australia, 11 November 2015 [A] century after the first world war began, I think it is well and truly time to reflect on how it is,

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Wellings, Ben: conscription referendums made our Great War different

Wellings, Ben ‘Only the conscription referendums made Australia’s Great War experience different‘, The Conversation, 10 November 2015 ‘Relegating the global and transnational dimensions and reiterating familiar – if erroneous – national narratives’, the author argues, ‘creates distortions in the image

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A building, a book launch and Berlin: Remembrance 2015

Remembrance Day is on Wednesday. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is marking remembrance with a massive poppy in the windows of its Canberra building, Lovett Tower. It is a simple but imaginative gesture. The Department’s Dave Chalmers, speaking this morning

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Another sniff at Rose of No Man’s Land

For those who want to splash out: 100 ml of Rose of No Man’s Land will cost you a smidgen over $A300 ($US200) and 50 ml will cost you around $A200 ($US145). For our earlier kicking up a stink on

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Another Monash juggernaut rolls across Northern France: boondoggle update

Lots of things happen late at night in Parliament House, Canberra: destructive testing of furniture; plotting against leaders; inappropriate propositions in the private dining rooms. And Additional Estimates hearings by Senate Committees. Typically, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the

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From machine-gun pits to intimate bits: Rose of No Man’s Land perfume

Update 13 November 2015: questions remain about the proportion of profits going to charity, though MSF Sweden has confirmed there is a ‘collaboration’. Update 10 November 2015: Fairfax columnist Ian Warden has been advised by perfume blogger Jessica that the

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Canberra Youth Theatre & Long Cloud Youth Theatre, New Zealand: Dead Men’s Wars

Canberra Youth Theatre & Long Cloud Youth Theatre, New Zealand Dead Men’s Wars A play by Ralph McCubbin Howell, directed by Brett Adam, a joint Aotearoa New Zealand-Australia production, which premiered in Canberra, 14 October 2015 with support from The

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Centenary Watch updates October-November 2015

Update 20 November 2015: missing the target in the AWM’s Great War galleries Christina Spittel’s review in the National Museum’s journal analyses how the refurbished galleries both overclaim and underachieve. Update 13 November 2015: honour those who refused to go

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Adelaide prepares for the first Anzac Day, 1915

Today it is exactly 100 years since a notice appeared on page 2 of The Register, an Adelaide newspaper. The notice commenced: ANZAC DAY IMPORTANT PUBLIC NOTICE CERTAIN MISLEADING STATEMENTS have been circulated regarding the objects of the Anzac Day

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Review note: commemoration theme sits lightly on an old Canberra perennial

‘Review note: commemoration theme sits lightly on an old Canberra perennial’, Honest History, 22 September 2015 When an event has been going for 27 years it will be looking for new twists. Canberra’s venerable Floriade spring festival has done night-time

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Ministerial reshuffle leaves Anzac centenary minister out of a job

Update 21 September 2015: farewell media release from Senator Ronaldson. Prime Minister Turnbull’s new ministry does not include Senator Michael Ronaldson, formerly Miniser for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac. The prime minister

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Commemoration focus shifting, says Minister

Not the most memorable output from Parliament House today, but worth noting nevertheless, was a media release from Minister for the Centenary of Anzac, Senator Michael Ronaldson, entitled ‘Funding round opens for Vietnam War Commemorative Grants’. The release provided details

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World War I: a history in 100 stories

Honest History is pleased to mark two important stages in a project it has been following for more than two years, 100 Stories, wrangled from Monash University by Professor Bruce Scates and his team. First, from 12 October, an online

Ozakinci, Cengiz: how Ataturk did not meet Birdwood in 1918

Ozakinci, Cengiz ‘One hundred years of error: Ataturk, Birdwood, Harington and Canakkale 1915‘, Butun Dunya (Ankara), September 2015 (translated into English) In this article, Ozakinci busts the myth that Ataturk and British General Birdwood met in Istanbul in October 1918 and

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Minister’s bloody fantasies emerge in his speeches

Honest History’s secretary and editor, David Stephens, writes in Fairfax today about the obsession with blood sacrifice that has characterised the thoughts and actions of authority figures and their acolytes down the ages. He finds plenty of examples in the

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National duty of care neglected on repatriation records

Professor Bruce Scates of Monash University points out that only five per cent of the cost of digitising the World War I repatriation files has been found as part of Australia’s Anzac commemoration budget. ‘One thing is without dispute about

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Honest History evidence on Anzac centenary splurge featured in News Limited

Ian McPhedran’s article on the News website ‘Government spending more than $8800 for every digger killed during WW1‘ draws upon material on the Honest History site about commemoration spending (especially here and here) and quotes Honest History’s David Stephens along

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Centenary Watch updates September 2015

Update 29 September 2015: Adelaide prepares for the first Anzac Day, 1915 Exactly 100 years ago today, a notice appeared in the Adelaide Register about arrangements for the first ‘Anzac Day’, which was to be held on 13 October 1915.

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Stephens, David: Freedom and the Australian War Memorial: is Honest History not a force for good?

Stephens, David ‘Freedom and the Australian War Memorial: is Honest History not a force for good?‘, Honest History, 1 September 2015 Honest History’s secretary and editor traces the often fraught relationship between Honest History and the Australian War Memorial, which

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Stephens, David: Anzackery: parochial puffery a century on

Stephens, David ‘Anzackery: parochial puffery a century on‘, Honest History, 25 August 2015 This speech, including Powerpoint slides, was prepared for a professional development session for Museums of New South Wales. The session was cancelled but the speech has been

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Stephens, David: ‘There will be blood’: ministers and the military responsibility of children

Stephens, David ‘“There will be blood”: ministerial remarks on the responsibility of children‘, Pearls and Irritations, 22 August 2015 Traces the fascination of authority figures with the concept of blood sacrifice. The blood sacrifice of children was evident in ancient

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Talking about Turkey in the 1960s: highlights reel

‘Talking about Turkey in the 1960s: highlights reel’, Honest History, 22 August 2015 The Returned and Services League (RSL) papers in the National Library of Australia constitute about the largest of that cultural institution’s massive collection of manuscripts. And about

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War propaganda for children should not win prizes: Honest History media release 21 August 2015

Update 24 August 2015: ABC report ‘It is disgraceful that a piece of sanitised war propaganda has won a Children’s Book Council Award’, the Honest History coalition said today. ‘Giving a prize to the book Audacity endorses promotional material from

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Stephens, David: Public Works Committee’s paddle in Monash museum

Stephens, David ‘Public Works Committee’s paddle in Monash museum‘, Honest History, 19 August 2015 Our third article on the Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre proposed for Villers-Bretonneux in France. It briefly analyses the Public Works Committee report, tabled in the

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Public Works Committee’s paddle in Monash museum

David Stephens ‘Public Works Committee’s paddle in the Monash museum’, Honest History, 19 August 2015 This is the third in our series considering the Monash project at Villers-Bretonneux, France. Earlier articles looked at the submission from the Department of Veterans’

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Comment on Salahi Sonyel’s 1989 Ataturk biography

David Stephens ‘Comments on Salahi Sonyel’s 1989 Ataturk biography’, Honest History, 14 August 2015 Thank you to Turkish correspondents on Twitter for passing on details of the book by Salahi R. Sonyel, Ataturk: the Father of Modern Turkey, Turkish Historical

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Ozakinci, Cengiz: two more articles on ‘Ataturk words’ of 1934

Ozakinci, Cengiz Updates 14 August 2015: (1) we provide a comment on Turkish-supplied information about a 1989 book; (2) note that, for footnote 5 to the second (August) Ozakinci article, you need to go to the notes in the original

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Leadbeater, Tim: Anzac Day and politics of forgetting (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Leadbeater, Tim ‘Anzac Day and the politics of forgetting‘, 100yearsoftrenches.blogspot, 8 August 2015 Text of (long) speech delivered to International Socialist Organisation meetings in Wellington and Dunedin. It is a fascinating ‘compare and contrast’ exercise for readers on the western

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Stephens, David: Monash interpretive centre, Villers-Bretonneux (II)

Stephens, David ‘Monash interpretive centre (Immersion II of II): Public Works Committee dips toe in water‘, Honest History, 4 August 2015 The article considers further the proposal to build the Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre at Villers-Bretonneux, France, at a

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Centenary Watch updates August 2015

Update 25 August 2015: Anzackery: parochial puffery a century on A speech, ultimately not delivered, describing five attributes of Anzackery and proposing a future for a ‘rebooted’ Anzac tradition. Update 23 August 2015: ‘There will be blood’: ministerial remarks about

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Monash interpretive centre, Villers-Bretonneux (II)

David Stephens ‘Monash interpretive centre (Immersion II of II): Public Works Committee dips toe in water’, Honest History, 4 August 2015 We find it difficult to treat this project as anything other than a massively self-indulgent and boastful boondoggle*, replete

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Centenary Watch updates July 2015

Update 7 July 2015: Minister still misleads Parliament despite our best efforts to set him straight; Minister keeps busy with dual commemorations; Monash centre at Villers-Bretonneux; Turkish President reads patriotic poetry; National Archives digitises repatriation records Minister misleads Update 6.00

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Stephens, David: Money, Monash and motive: analysing a project in France (I)

Stephens, David ‘Money, Monash and motive: the Sir John Monash Centre, Villers-Bretonneux (Immersion I of II)‘, Honest History, 7 July 2015 An analysis of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs submission to the Public Works Committee hearing on the Monash centre

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Money, Monash and motive: analysing a project in France (I)

David Stephens ‘Money, Monash and motive: the Sir John Monash Centre, Villers-Bretonneux (Immersion I of II)’, Honest History, 7 July 2015 The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works (PWC) considered the Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre on 26 June and

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Stephens, David: Australia spending so much more on WWI centenary

Stephens, David ‘Why is Australia spending so much more on the Great War centenary than any other country?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 20 June 2015 Honest History’s David Stephens writes for John Menadue’s blog, Pearls and Irritations. The article compares Australia’s

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Commemoration wedging?

There has been a lot of discussion recently about whether one side of politics is trying to wedge the other on national security issues. For example, Jack Waterford in Fairfax: There has been nothing subtle about the innuendo that Labor

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Centenary Commemoration Watch

We had a slight technical glitch this month. You can find the latest Centenary Watch updates for June 2015 here with links to archived material. For latest updates go to Centenary Watch link on our homepage.

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Centenary Watch updates June 2015

Update 21 June 2015: why is Australia spending so much more than other countries? An article in Pearls and Irritations by David Stephens notes that Australian spending on World War I commemoration is between five and 19 times per death

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Stephens, David: ‘The Next War’: two speeches on Australia 2015

Stephens, David ‘”The Next War”: two speeches on Australia 2015’, Honest History, 23 May 2015 The first speech, ‘Anzac and the militarisation of Australian society‘, was given at Politics in the Pub, Glebe, on 9 April 2015. It discussed Anzac

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Ministerial error to be corrected

Unofficial advice from the Veteran’s Affairs portfolio is that the error in the ministerial statement on the centenary of Anzac will be corrected in the final version of the Senate Hansard, available in a couple of weeks. The original wording

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Daley, Paul: Australian War Memorial’s rise and rise

Daley, Paul ‘Australian War Memorial: the remarkable rise and rise of the nation’s secular shrine‘, Guardian Australia, 19 May 2015 Lengthy extracts of interview with Director Brendan Nelson. He touches on the AWM’s tourism pulling power (one ahead of the

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Stephens, David: constructing emotions (centenary spend)

Stephens, David ‘Constructing emotions: Australia leads world in WWI commemoration spend‘, Independent Australia, 19 May 2015 (This is an updated version of the piece here, dated 12 May.) The recently (re-)announced $100 million for a hi-tech museum in France is

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Ronaldson, Michael: Ministerial statement Anzac centenary 2015

Ronaldson, Senator Michael ‘Ministerial statement on the centenary of Anzac and Anzac Day 2015‘, Minister’s Web Site, 13 May 2015 Statement tabled in the Senate, along with ministerial remarks. This is the third such statement and it reports on the

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Honest History miscellany: yet more angles on Anzac 100

‘Honest History miscellany: yet more angles on Anzac 100’, Honest History, 17 May 2015 This is our third and final round-up of centenary-related items that came to our attention around Anzac Day 2015, although some of them have been around

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Two Anzac zingers as parliament resumes

Bipartisan wrap-up yesterday from prime minister and opposition leader on recent Anzac commemorations at Gallipoli, which they both attended. The speeches were similar, revealing the bipartisan approach to Anzac – almost as if both sides fear wedging by the other

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Budget 2015: Honest History Factsheet: centenary spending $551.8 million

Update 14 April 2016: plus another $A5 million from Suncorp. Total now $566.8 million. Update 11 January 2016: plus another $A10 million from a company whose world profits run at more than $US6 billion a year. Total now $561.8 million.

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Tuck, John & Anthony Forsyth: social media misuse in workplace

Tuck, John & Anthony Forsyth ‘”Maybe I shouldn’t have tweeted that!” social media misuse in the workplace‘, Corrs Thinking Insights, 1 May 2015 Employers should take away three lessons from this [Scott McIntyre] incident. First, you must have a clear

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Bacon, Wendy: getting Scott McIntyre

Bacon, Wendy ‘Getting Scott McIntyre: lest we forget the role of pundits, politicians and a social media mob‘, New Matilda, 6 May 2015 (updated) The author exhaustively analyses Twitter streams leading up to the sacking of SBS journalist, Scott Mcintyre,

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Holman, Brett: one day of the century

Holman, Brett ‘The one day of the century‘, Airminded, 3 May 2015 A level-headed description of the writer’s personal ‘Anzac journey’ plus a comment on Anzac commemoration 2015. The comment on screaming military jets in fly-past deserves quoting: So why

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Bach, Willy: Anzac-ed out 2015

Bach, Willy ‘Anzac-ed out 2015‘, Honest History, 5 May 2015 Willy Bach is a postgraduate research student, School of History, University of Queensland. He says this poem was written ‘in response to the tidal wave of ANZAC promotion’. He has

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Snuck out on Sunday: more commemoration dollars

Federal spending on the Anzac centenary is to go up by $35.5 million in this month’s 2015-16 Budget. Anzac centenary minister Ronaldson has announced the additional spend today ‘as planning for commemorative events marking the 100th anniversary of major battles

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Inglis, Ken: Gallipoli 1965

Inglis, Ken ‘Letters from a pilgrimage‘, Inside Story, 23 April 2015 Ken Inglis introduces reprints of his seven articles for the Canberra Times reporting the Gallipoli visit of 1965 by veterans and descendants. Two are printed here and the others

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Medical Association for Prevention of War: Statement in commemoration of WWI

Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) ‘Statement in commemoration of World War I‘, MAPW, 27 April 2015 The Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) commemorates World War 1, including the Gallipoli landings of 25 April 1915, with a

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Scates, Bruce & Rebecca Wheatley: search for The Water Diviner

Scates, Bruce & Rebecca Wheatley ‘The search for “The Water Diviner”‘, Monash University, 23 April 2015 Short documentary tracing the story of Thomas Murray of Gippsland, Victoria, who travelled to Gallipoli after the Great War in search of his son,

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Honest History miscellany: more angles on Anzac 100

Update 1 May 2015: Last posts? On the Mcintyre case, Gillian Triggs in Fairfax noted the limited mileage in free speech arguments, given Australia’s current legal arrangements. Anticipating some of Mcintyre’s remarks, Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson had his thoughtful

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Valentine, James: Gallipoli, the story we all grew up with

Valentine, James ‘Gallipoli: the story we all grew up with‘, Age, 26 April 2015 (Story has different titles in other Fairfax outlets.) We are highlighting this one because of its remarkable resonance with the ideas that have been put forward

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Stanley, Peter: Anzac Day Norfolk Island 2015

Stanley, Peter ‘Dawn, Emily Bay, Norfolk Island, Anzac Day‘, Honest History, 27 April 2015 Honest History’s president finds a country-town sort of Anzac Day commemoration on the island of the descendants of the Bounty. The author concludes ‘that Anzac Day

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Dawn, Emily Bay, Norfolk Island, Anzac Day 2015

Peter Stanley ‘Dawn, Emily Bay, Norfolk Island, Anzac Day 2015’, Honest History, 27 April 2015 What may be Australia’s first dawn service is held each Anzac Day at Emily Bay on Norfolk Island. (They may get up as early on

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Daley, Paul: Quarantining Anzac Day from politicians

Daley, Paul ‘Anzac Day should be quarantined from politicians – a solemn moment to reflect on the agony of war‘, Guardian Australia, 23 April 2015 In a generation’s time the Anzacs will have slipped from living memory entirely. None of

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Sentiment, thought and jingoism in war commemoration

We ran this post as a ‘highlights reel‘ back in September and we have quoted it a number of times since. It says such profound things about commemoration we thought it was worth running again at a time which Minister

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Stephens, David: rebooting Anzac

Stephens, David ‘Rebooting Anzac for the next century‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 23 April 2015 (and in other Fairfax) Traditions that are not continually refreshed become quaint and irrelevant and eventually die. The Anzac tradition has waxed and waned over a

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Daley, Paul: Ataturk’s words about Anzacs shrouded in doubt

Daley, Paul ‘Ataturk’s “Johnnies and Mehmets” words about the Anzacs are shrouded in doubt‘, Guardian Australia, 20 April 2015 and updated Examines the famous Ataturk words of 1934, drawing upon research by the Turkish scholar, Cengiz Ozakinci. Links to a

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Tracking Ataturk: Honest History research note

Tracking Ataturk: Honest History research note Introduction Myths often take the place of history, particularly when stories are complex, facts are lacking, and audiences need comfort. This outcome seems to have occurred, and these factors been at play, in the

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Honest History miscellany: angles on Anzac 100

So much stuff; so little time. Rather than try to recognise and categorise everything that’s whizzed past in the last couple of days, we’ve just grabbed a handful, as follows, before we settle down to take in Kate Aubusson’s Lest

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Freedom of speech in Burwood: Honest History Factsheet

Update 7 May 2015: further light shed Open letter by Socialist Equality Party to University of Sydney. Update 28 April 2015: meetings held The Socialist Equality Party meetings were held, with audiences of workers and youth. Update 2.30 pm 18

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TV3NZ News: Australia’s Anzac obsession

TV3NZ News ‘Australia’s Anzac obsession‘, The Nation, 18 April 2015 Anzackery gets introduced to the people of Aotearoa New Zealand by producer-presenter Tony Wright with interviews with Peter Stanley and David Stephens from Honest History. There is to be a

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Aubusson, Kate: Gen Y on questioning Anzac

Aubusson, Kate ‘Why my generation grew up thinking it was un-Australian to question Anzac‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 17 April 2015 Article from a young journalist, presaging presentation of her TV documentary Lest We Forget What? (Iview for limited time) She

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Anzac commemoration spending around $500 million – and rising: Factsheet

Update 7 May 2015: local spinoff in latest spend? (updated; later update estimating spend at $551.8 million) Minister Ronaldson (lifetime resident of Ballarat) has announced that $8.8 million of the additional $35.5 million (below) will go towards ceremonies including ‘major

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ABC Four Corners: Anzac to Afghanistan

ABC TV ‘Anzac to Afghanistan’, Four Corners, 13 April 2015 Chris Masters intersperses interviews with Gallipoli veterans from 1988 and Afghanistan veterans from recent years, noting the similarities and differences in their experience. Also contributing are James Brown, author of

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Bucket tipped on Raise a Glass

[Note: related material is in this post. Some of the material below could just have easily gone in the other post or in both but we decided just to keep one updated after about 18 April. HH] Someone, possibly in

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Rotten fresh: can it get more crass?

Woolworths thought they had a great idea, in combination with the RSL and Camp Gallipoli. It created an online gizmo which allowed punters to upload their chosen images of people killed or maimed or made mad by war. The gizmo

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Stanley, Peter: Gallipoli 1915: a century on – conference report

Stanley, Peter ‘Gallipoli 1915: a century on – conference report‘, Honest History, 14 April 2015 A report on the Australian War Memorial-Australian National University conference held in Canberra in March 2015. The conference attracted some 4oo participants, who heard from

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Gallipoli 1915: a century on – conference report

Peter Stanley ‘Gallipoli 1915: a century on – conference report’, Honest History, 14 April 2015 Those interested in Gallipoli had been anticipating the conference convened jointly by the Australian National University and the Australian War Memorial and held in Canberra

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Stephens, David: magic Anzackery pudding

Stephens, David ‘The magic Anzackery pudding‘, Honest History, 9 April 2015 Guest posting on 7 April on John Menadue’s blog. Norman Lindsay was busy during World War I. When he wasn’t doing propaganda posters of slavering Huns or sketching buxom

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Daley, Paul: Indigenous Diggers and Anzackery

Daley, Paul ‘Indigenous Diggers and the new age of Anzackery‘, Meanjin, 2 April 1915 Contrasts the commemorative festival with the treatment of an atypical Indigenous Digger, caught between cultures. The opening paragraphs are a good summary of the history of

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Stephens, David: arguments for downsizing Anzac

Stephens, David ‘Five arguments for downsizing Anzac’, Teaching History (History Teachers’ Association of New South Wales), 49, 1, March 2015, pp. 16-19 Pdf accessible here made available by courtesy of HTANSW, which holds copyright. We need to make Anzac less

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Stephens, David: Peter FitzSimons: poltergeist with two brains

Stephens, David ‘Peter FitzSimons: poltergeist with two brains‘, Inside Story, 25 March 2015 A review of FitzSimons’ Gallipoli which makes some general points about FitzSimons as a ‘storian’ who should unleash his inner historian. The article argues that FitzSimons’ style

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Brendan Nelson denies commemoration fatigue

Ian McPhedran reports that Australian War Memorial director, Brendan Nelson, has denied that ‘commemoration fatigue’ is setting in during the centenary of Anzac. Dr Nelson said it was important that people examined the Gallipoli campaign and other WW1 campaigns in

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What Kemal (probably, possibly) did: Ataturk’s letter

The Gallipoli 1915: a century on conference last week heard mentions of the famous ‘Atatürk letter’. We have a number of relevant references on the Honest History website, some of them incorporating research that others may not have done. These

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Anzac last hurrah of white Aussie male?

ANU historian, Professor Joan Beaumont, joint winner of the Prime Minister’s prize for history, says: The Anzac legend has sometimes been seen as the last hurrah of the white Australian male. If you have a foundational national narrative that is

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Stephens, David: Anzackery in the time of Anzac

Stephens, David ‘Anzackery in the time of Anzac‘, Pearls and Irritations, 16 March 2015 On John Menadue’s blog, this short article takes an etymological look at the concept of Anzackery and quotes a couple of prize examples. While ridicule is

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ABC RN Saturday Extra: Military anniversaries

ABC Radio National ‘Military anniversaries‘, Saturday Extra, 14 March 2015 Geraldine Doogue talks with Peter Stanley about anniversaries occurring in 2015. The dates commemorated are 1815, 1915, 1940, 1945 and 1975, as well as one non-military, 1215. An event of

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War songs and being awkward

Carolyn Holbrook, author of Anzac: the Unauthorised Biography and Honest History distinguished supporter, gave a speech the other day in Fremantle for MAPW. In the course of her remarks, Holbrook said this: [W]hy does it matter how Australians remember war? 

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Gallipoli episodes 6 and 7 reviewed by Peter Stanley

‘Generations passing away*’, Honest History, 10 March 2015 Peter Stanley** reviews Gallipoli (Channel 9) episodes 6 and 7. Earlier reviews: episode 1, episode 2; episode 3; episode 4 and 5. (Caution: this review contains minor spoilers, notably that the Australians

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Gaita, Raimond: balancing security and liberty

Gaita, Raimond ‘Can Australia ever strike the “proper balance” between security and liberty?‘ Guardian Australia, 28 February 2015 Honest History had collected links to many articles written over the last few months about national security issues, triggered by fears of

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Featherstone, Don (dir.): The War that Changed Us

Featherstone, Don (dir.) The War that Changed Us, Electric Pictures, 2014 Documentary (four parts) about Australia during World War I, produced by Andrew Ogilvie and scripted by Clare Wright and the director. It follows the stories of six people, who

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McKernan, Michael: WWI: Love & Sorrow

McKernan, Michael ‘WWI: Love & sorrow‘, reCollections (National Museum of Australia), 10, 1, 2015 Review of this exhibition, which is at the Melbourne Museum until November 2018. This is an exhibition [says McKernan] that openly and deliberately works on the

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Gallipoli episodes 4 and 5 reviewed by Peter Stanley

‘Scars breaking out on the Peninsh*’, Honest History, 5 March 2015 Peter Stanley** reviews episodes 4 and 5 of Gallipoli (Channel 9). Reviews of episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, episodes 6 and 7. Channel 9’s decision to ‘raise the

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Stephens, David: Another look at the Australian War Memorial’s WWI galleries

David Stephens ‘Is this “our story”? Another look at the Australian War Memorial’s refurbished World War I galleries’, Honest History, 3 March 2015 Update 20 November 2015: a review from Christina Spittel of UNSW Canberra in the National Museum’s reCollections

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Is this ‘our story’? AWM’s refurbished WWI galleries

‘Is this “our story”? Another look at the Australian War Memorial’s refurbished World War I galleries’, Honest History, 3 March 2015 David Stephens takes a further look at the new galleries. There are launches and launches. The Australian War Memorial

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Ivin, Glendyn (dir.): Gallipoli

Ivin, Glendyn (director) Gallipoli, Endemol Australia, 2015 Directed by Glendyn Ivin, based on Les Carlyon’s Gallipoli, in seven episodes. Reviewed for Honest History by Professor Peter Stanley, Honest History President, and military-social historian from the University of New South Wales,

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Gallipoli episode 3 reviewed by Peter Stanley

‘Men alone at the Dardanelles’, Honest History, 24 February 2015 Peter Stanley* reviews episode 3 of Gallipoli (Channel 9), ‘A man alone’. Other episodes reviewed: episode 1; episode 2; episodes 4 and 5; episodes 6 and 7. Episode 3 of

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Gallipoli episode 2 reviewed by Peter Stanley

‘Settling in for the long haul at Gallipoli’, Honest History, 22 February 2015 Peter Stanley* reviews episode 2 of Gallipoli (Channel 9), ‘My friend, the enemy’. Episode 1 reviewed. Episode 3. Episodes 4 and 5. Episodes 6 and 7. The

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Gallipoli episode 1 reviewed by Peter Stanley

‘Good in parts at Gallipoli’, Honest History, 12 February 2015 Peter Stanley* reviews Gallipoli (Channel 9), Episode 1, ‘The First Day’. Episode 2 reviewed. Episode 3. Episodes 4 and 5. Episodes 6 and 7. Channel 9’s mini-series Gallipoli is trumpeted

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Stephens, David: Two views of World War I: War Memorial and National Library

David Stephens ‘Two views of World War I: sight-bites and Keepsakes‘, Honest History, 3 February 2015 The article is a review of the refurbished World War I galleries of the Australian War Memorial and the temporary Keepsakes exhibition at the

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Two views of World War I: War Memorial and National Library

‘Two views of World War I: sight-bites and Keepsakes‘, Honest History, 3 February 2015 David Stephens reviews the refurbished World War I galleries at the Australian War Memorial and the Keepsakes exhibition at the National Library of Australia. (A further

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Holbrook, Carolyn: Speech to History Teachers’ Summer School

Carolyn Holbrook ‘Speech to UNSW History Teachers’ Summer School, National Press Club, Canberra, 22 January 2015′, Honest History, 3 February 2015 Thank you. I am very grateful for the opportunity to speak to an audience that includes secondary school historians

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Reid, David: Anzackery: a personal view

Reid, David ‘Anzackery: a personal view‘, Honest History, 3 February 2015 A former soldier, whose father served in the RAAF and the peace-time army, reflects on the concept of Anzackery and its implications for future generations. Anzackery is a theme

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Fisk, Robert: Gallipoli centenary conceals Armenian genocide

Fisk, Robert ‘The Gallipoli centenary is a shameful attempt to hide the Armenian Holocaust‘, The Independent, 19 January 2015 Fisk says ‘Turkey is planning to use the 100th anniversary of the Allied attempt to invade Turkey in 1915 to smother

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A fundamentally silly film: another perspective on The Water Diviner

‘A fundamentally silly film: another perspective on The Water Diviner’, Honest History, 13 January 2015 Honest History President, Peter Stanley, reviews Russell Crowe’s film, The Water Diviner. Other material on the film, including links to other reviews. See also our

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Allan, Susan: Governments and history: David Stephens interview

Allan, Susan ‘”Governments want a history that reflects their agenda“‘, World Socialist Web Site, 8 January 2015 Long interview with Honest History secretary, David Stephens, speaking in a personal capacity. The interview covers the politicisation of the Great War centenary

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Daley, Paul: Anzackery, crowdsourcing and nationalism

Daley, Paul ‘Crowdsourcing is our latest weapon against nationalism and “Anzackery”‘, Guardian Australia, 29 December 2014 Daley quotes the coiner of the term ‘Anzackery’, Geoffrey Serle, writing in 1967, and goes on: Anzackery. What a word … Anzackery. Is there

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Crowe, Russell (dir.): The Water Diviner

Crowe, Russell (director) The Water Diviner, Fear of God Films and other production companies, Australia, 2014 Alison Broinowski briefly reviews the film for Honest History. A further review from Peter Stanley, including a link to an interview with the writers

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Back to Gelibolu: The Water Diviner reviewed

‘Back to Gelibolu’, Honest History, 22 December 2014 Honest History committee member Alison Broinowski reviews The Water Diviner, opening in theatres on Boxing Day ‘Gallipoli!’ demands Joshua Connor of a Turkish immigration clerk. ‘I want to go to Gallipoli!’ It

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Anzac Public Fund Board to be abolished

The Anzac Centenary Public Fund Board will be abolished. This will be announced on Monday but the government’s intention to abolish 175 bodies has been well-leaked. Also here with a full list. This action in relation to the Board should

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Honest History on Australian War Memorial WWI galleries

The Canberra Times (scroll down to ‘How Australians respond to history’) has published a letter from David Stephens for Honest History commenting on remarks by Australian War Memorial Director, Brendan Nelson, about the refurbished World War I galleries at the

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Bates, Sonja: Anzac Day legend

Bates, Sonja ‘The Anzac Day legend: its origins, meaning, power and impact on shaping Australia’s identity (Master’s of Peace and Conflict Studies dissertation, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, 2013)‘ The Anzac legend lies at the centre

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Anzac Day media style guide: Honest History Factsheet

All public occasions develop their own style and pitch (and Anzac Day is no exception) but perhaps we had not thought that Anzac Day needed a guide to how it should be presented. Such a guide exists and it is

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Wounded and damaged soldiers then and now: Honest History Factsheet

This small collection highlights the trauma that is associated with all wars in all eras in all countries. It was provoked by an article in The Independent highlighting the photographs made by Bryan Adams of wounded British soldiers from Afghanistan.

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Socialist Alternative: War! What For?

Socialist Alternative War? What For? an Anti-War Centenary Newspaper, Socialist Alternative, Carlton South, Vic., 2014 The presentation and use of history during the centenary of the Great War should involve the exposure of conflicting, evidence-based interpretations. This publication from Socialist

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Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program: Honest History Factsheet No. 4

Minister Ronaldson’s media release of 24 October (as revised) included these key points: $2.46 million in new funding relating to 275 approved applications; total of 606 applications from 123 electorates approved so far; $5.8 million ‘made available to date’. Analysis

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Ever thus?

The young reporter in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962; directed by John Ford, screenplay by James Warner Bellah and Willis Goldbeck) hears the truth about the death of the outlaw Liberty Valance. Nevertheless, the reporter decides to destroy

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Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program: Honest History Factsheet No. 3

Minister Ronaldson’s media release of 1 September included these key points: $975 000 in new funding approved; total of 331 applications from 72 electorates approved so far, worth $3.34 million; more than 1700 applications received. Speaking in the Senate the

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Great War Centenary in the United Kingdom

‘The Great War centenary in the United Kingdom’, Honest History, 5 November 2013 and updated Update 8 August 2014: There is British material in our ‘Review note‘ of events and articles during the ‘outbreak centenary’ week. Update: 4 August 2014:

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Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program: Honest History Factsheet No. 2

Minister Ronaldson’s media release of 19 June included these key points: $2 369 023 million in funding approved; 212 projects from 52 electorates approved so far; more than 1650 applications received, some from each of the 150 electorates. The Minister’s

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Stephens, David: Conservative commemoration

Stephens, David ‘Anzac Centenary Local Grants: conservative commemoration’, Honest History, 30 June 2014 This note comments on the statistics set out in Honest History Factsheet No. 2 on the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program. Ken Inglis says in his book

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Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program: Honest History Factsheet No. 1

Honest History has been interested in the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program (ACLGP) since it commenced. We will update this Factsheet as often as we can. Program The ACLGP provides up to $125 000 for approved projects in each of

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Review note: Battle of Indigenous warriors

‘Review note: the Battle of the Indigenous warriors’, Honest History, 24 May 2014 and updated A notable element of the Anzac centenary is the attention being paid to the stories of Indigenous soldiers wearing the King’s uniform in the two

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Gardiner, Eric: Headless pines (war Penguins)

Gardiner, Eric ‘Headless pines‘, Meanjin, 73, 2, June 2014 Review by a Meanjin intern of the ‘War Popular Penguins‘ (Patsy Adam-Smith, The Anzacs; Ernst Jünger, Storm of Steel; George Walter, The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry; Frederic Manning, The Middle Parts of

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Diamadis, Panayiotis: Gallipoli before and beyond Anzac

Diamadis, Panayiotis ‘Gallipoli before and beyond Anzac’, Honest History, 22 May 2014 311 Gallipoli Before and Beyond Anzac Parts I-II This article originally appeared in To Vema, September-October 2013. To Vema is Australia’s largest circulation bilingual Hellenic-English newspaper. The article

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Abbott, Tony: Anzac Day 2014

Abbott, Tony Address to the Anzac Day national ceremony, Canberra, Friday, 25 April 2014 As someone who has never served in the armed forces, never faced a shot fired in anger, and never lost close family members in war, I

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Rose, James: Who profits from the Anzac brand?

Rose, James ‘Who profits from the Anzac brand?‘ The Saturday Paper, 19 April 2014 The Anzac legend is being further elevated as the nation gathers itself for the start of a year-long commemoration to mark 100 years since the doomed

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Pyne, Christopher: Crucible of nationhood

Pyne, Christopher ‘Crucible of nationhood‘, Pyne Online (originally published Australian Financial Review, 24-27 April 2014) The author is the Coalition’s Minister for Education. We should … remember how through this forge of war our infant nation reached out and grasped

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Burnside, Sarah: Alternatives to Anzac Day

Burnside, Sarah ‘What would alternatives to Anzac day look like?‘ Guardian Australia, 23 April 2014 Discusses an ‘alternative national story’ derived from social democratic reforms prior to the Great War, which were interrupted by the destruction and disruption of the

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Duffy, Conor: Anzac-themed cocktails

Duffy, Conor ‘Anzac-themed cocktails, plastic surgery shows sacred day is “for sale”, says veteran‘, ABC News, 24 April 2014 ABC report on wide range of uses of the Anzac ‘brand’ with reactions from RSL, commentators and commercial interests. Transcript.

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Brissenden, Michael: Anzac centenary corporate fund lagging

Brissenden, Michael ‘Anzac Centenary public fund for 2015 celebrations falling millions of dollars short‘, ABC News, 22 April 2014 ‘A corporate fundraising drive to raise $170 million for the Anzac Centenary celebrations is running well short of its target. The

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Bongiorno, Frank: CS Ryan Gallipoli photographs

Bongiorno, Frank ‘Gallipoli: an exhibition of photographs by Charles Snodgrass Ryan: Manning Clark House, launch speech, 4 p.m., 6 April 2014’, Honest History, 30 April 2014 Associate Professor Bongiorno addresses aspects of the commemoration of World War I, including the

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Stephens, David: Memorial connects children with 62 000 dead

Stephens, David ‘Australian War Memorial offers opportunity for primary school children to connect with 62 000 Great War dead’, Honest History, 31 March 2014 The article describes the Australian War Memorial’s Roll of Honour Soundscape project in which primary school

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Daley, Paul: Australia’s forgotten soldiers

Daley, Paul ‘In the Anzac centenary, it’s time to honour Australia’s forgotten soldiers‘, Guardian Australia, 15 March 2014 The author notes the centenary expenditure of $8 million on refurbishing war graves and memorials in Australia and overseas. He refers to

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Watson, Don: Over the top

Watson, Don ‘Lest we go over the top‘, The Monthly, February 2014 ‘The experience of war very much depends’, the author says, ‘on where one happens to be standing at the time.’ Front line soldiers, generals, writers and politicians all

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Stanley, Peter: Anzac’s Long Shadow highlights a national obsession

Stanley, Peter ‘Anzac’s Long Shadow highlights a national obsession’ Honest History President, Professor Peter Stanley, reviews James Brown’s book (published 11 February 2014) and finds parallels with the attitudes of Honest History to the way in which Australia is approaching

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Stephens, David: Should we softpedal on Gallipoli?

Stephens, David ‘Should we softpedal on Gallipoli?’ Honest History, 4 February 2014 Andrew Nikolic is the Liberal member for Bass, Tasmania, and a former Brigadier. He commented on his website on remarks by our President, Professor Peter Stanley, about the

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Hawkins, Jo: Brand Anzac

Hawkins, Jo ‘Brand Anzac™ – a historic past or mythic present?‘ The Conversation, 11 November 2013 Considers the logoes being developed by different countries to mark the World War I centenary, the Australian one being notable for its maleness and

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Samuel, Henry: Hollande unites France and Germany

Samuel, Henry ‘Hollande unites Allies and Germany in First World War commemorations‘, The Telegraph (London), 7 November 2013 President Hollande of France invites all 72 countries involved in the Great War (on both sides) to take part in the Bastille

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Waterford, Jack: Gallipoli souvenirs: but wait, there’s more…

Waterford, Jack ‘AWM and Gallipoli Souvenirs Inc‘, Canberra Times, 7 July 2013 Criticism of commercialised war commemoration.

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Anzac Centenary Local Grants

It is not too late to try to influence the mechanisms by which $100 000 is being allocated to each Federal electorate to commemorate the centenary of Anzac. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs advises that, while some MPs have already

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The Anzac centenary

What DVA and others have in store for 2014-18 The Anzac centenary website is here. It contains a program of proposed events 2014-18, the report of the Fraser-Hawke Commission that made recommendations to government (including a list of more than

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