Bond, Catherine: Is it time to repeal Australia’s century-old laws on the use of the word “Anzac”??

Bond, Catherine

Is it time to repeal Australia’s century-old laws on the use of the word “Anzac”?The Conversation, 1 November 2016

Article marks the centenary of Australian restrictions on the use of the word ‘Anzac’. (The author has a book forthcoming on this area.) Looks at the history of the prohibition, imposed by Commonwealth regulation, and how it is administered now. ‘Although there may have been (limited) reasons for introducing this restriction in 1916’, the author concludes, ‘it isn’t clear why this prohibition on the use of “Anzac” in certain personal circumstances should continue in 2016’.

The restriction is explained here. Jo Hawkins has also written on the subject. The term ‘Anzackery’ is not covered by the regulations. Honest History made this comment on Catherine Bond’s article:

Interesting. “Anzackery”, the extreme version of the Anzac legend, has been defined in the recent second edition of the Australian National Dictionary as “[t]he promotion of the Anzac legend in ways that are perceived to be excessive or misguided”. . There is more on Anzackery at

The Honest History coalition has occasionally drawn the attention of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to misuse of the word “Anzac”, often by overseas companies (eg t-shirt makers) who are technically outside Australian jurisdiction. Usually, the misuse stops after an approach from DVA, even if there is no legal authority to make them stop.

Anzackery, particularly by ministers, the RSL, commercial interests, the Australian War Memorial, and other members of the commemoration industry is a bigger problem than the occasional person misusing the word “Anzac”. These people (the commemoration industry) gain political or personal gratification from being seen to be more pious and more jingoistic followers of the Anzac ‘religion’ than the mass of the people. They also inflict misleading and mythical versions of our war history on children, which is where the real danger lies.


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