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 put committees in place or even lodged applications, others have not.
Those interested should first check out the process, including guidelines, then get in touch with their local MP to see where things are up to in the electorate. While the bias of committee memberships is likely to be towards RSL representatives, it might just be possible to influence the direction of projects in the direction perhaps of less bricks and mortar and more meaningful commemoration, even something really useful like a commemorative donation to Soldier On.
‘After all, this is a fantastic opportunity to be part of re-shaping Anzac Day’, says Honest History supporter, Sabina Baltruweit of Remembering and Healing, a peace group based in Lismore, ‘to have in-depth dialogues with the RSL of what it should be, and with all this changing the culture, at least make it more inclusive and fit for the 21st century. I don’t think there will be another opportunity like this for many years to come.’
8 September 2013