Stephens, David: Anzackery: parochial puffery a century on

David Stephens

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 posted for the interest of those who wished to attend and for others.

The speech covers five elements of Anzackery: jingoistic rhetoric; perpetuation of myths; extravagant expenditure; parochialism; mutual reinforcement. The speech concluded with a number of ways in which the Anzac tradition – not the Anzackery distortion – could be ‘rebooted’ as a forward-looking element of life in Australia.

Most of all, a rebooted Anzac would look towards a future for our children which did not assume that we needed to fight on new battlefields to discover the virtues of duty, selflessness and courage.

The themes in the speech are dealt with in a number of places on the Honest History site, particularly this speech at Kogarah, this article in Teaching History, and this op ed in Fairfax Media. Use the site’s search function for more references.

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boot‘[A rebooted Anzac] would place less emphasis on making emotional connections with dead people or with inanimate objects – Pompey Elliott’s boot complete with bullet hole.)’

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