‘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 Gallipoli landing in 1915. While many Australians consider the anniversary next year, a vast machine rolls on. It’s a machine fuelled by power and money…
The money and power trail leading to and from Anzac and the Anzac Centenary suggests ownership of the national legend is controlled by governments, private corporations and sprawling entertainment complexes trading on the Anzac name.
The author looks at the use of the Anzac brand, particularly by the RSL now and historically, the thin money trail from RSL clubs to charities, the contrast between government expenditure on the centenary and expenditure on service personnel welfare, the confused regulatory arrangements, the criticisms by James Brown and the uneasiness felt by at least some in the RSL. The finances attached to the iconic Anzac biscuit may be noted:
The RSL movement benefits from the allowance given to the Modern Baking Company of Broadmeadows, in outer Melbourne, to market Anzac biscuits: 4 per cent of sales go to state and New Zealand RSL branches, generating more than $3 million in the past 16 years, according to the company.
On financial aspects related to the RSL and RSL clubs, see also, particularly chapter 7.