Australia’s war history

Click here for all items related to: Australia’s war history What are the central elements of Australia’s involvement with war and how do we continually reinforce them? While Australians’ relationship with the Anzac tradition or myth is a key theme

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May the farce be with you: National Capital Authority consultation on War Memorial main works – and a piece of business news

The National Capital Authority has opened its consultation on the ‘main works’ application from the War Memorial for its $498m megabuild. There is a bundle of material, some dates for information sessions with the architects, and a deadline of 10

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Piccini, Jon: The forgotten Australian veterans who opposed National Service and the Vietnam War

Jon Piccini ‘The forgotten Australian veterans who opposed National Service and the Vietnam War‘, The Conversation, 26 July 2021 Article comes out on the 50th anniversary of announcement by McMahon Government of withdrawal of Australian troops from Vietnam. Author has

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Stephens, David: Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial: what chance is there that the new bigger, Memorial will let these stories be told?

David Stephens* ‘Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial: what chance is there that the new bigger, Memorial will let these stories be told?’, Honest History, 26 July 2021 The Australian War Memorial has started to destroy itself.

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Stephens, David: A wasting asset? War Memorial visitor numbers have been declining – and vainglorious vandalism could make them worse

David Stephens* ‘A wasting asset? War Memorial visitor numbers have been declining – and vainglorious vandalism could make them worse’, Honest History, 23 July 2021 updated Five years ago, Honest History asked the Australian War Memorial if it kept a

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Waterford, Jack: Let’s re-imagine Anzac Day and phase out ADF and RSL’s ownership

Jack Waterford ‘Let’s re-imagine Anzac Day and phase out ADF and RSL’s ownership‘, Pearls and Irritations, 21 July 2021 Our War Memorial commemorates all Australians, professional or civilian, who have died on active service, and makes no distinctions between them.

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Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide: announcement of Commissioners and Terms of Reference

This from the Prime Minister today. Media release. Terms of Reference. The inquiry will be led by Mr Nick Kaldas APM, former Deputy Commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force, supported by James Douglas QC, former Judge of the

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Canales, Sarah Basford: Australian War Memorial $500m redevelopment project to be probed: ANAO

Sarah Basford Canales ‘Australian War Memorial $500m redevelopment project to be probed: ANAO‘, Canberra Times, 8 July 2021 updated The management of the war memorial’s controversial plans to drastically reshape the national institution will be put under a microscope over

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Stephens, David: National Capital Authority brush-off continues with ‘one size fits all’ Statement of Reasons for Memorial decision

David Stephens* ‘National Capital Authority brush-off continues with “one size fits all” Statement of Reasons for Memorial decision’, Honest History, 7 July 2021 updated *** Update 14 July 2021: Citizens dissatisfied by the NCA brush-off described below may wish to

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Stephens, David: Seventy-five per cent of Australians in national poll believe War Memorial project $500 million would be better spent on health, education, and veterans’ support services; just 13 per cent prefer spending on the Memorial

David Stephens* ‘Seventy-five per cent of Australians in national poll believe War Memorial project $500 million would be better spent on health, education, and veterans’ support services; just 13 per cent prefer spending on the Memorial’, Honest History, 5 July

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National Capital Authority releases key documents relating to its approval of early works application from the Australian War Memorial

Update 4.30 pm Sunday 4 July 2021: Anzac Hall starts to come down (pic: Fiona Scott) More pictures of trees coming down and bulldozers going in. Heritage Guardians sent this email this afternoon to the Director, Australian War Memorial: Director

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Stephens, David: “We have once again been played for mugs by a deeply flawed process”: analysis of the National Capital Authority consultation report on the $498m Australian War Memorial redevelopment project “early works” application

David Stephens* ‘“We have once again been played for mugs by a deeply flawed process”: analysis of the National Capital Authority consultation report on the $498m Australian War Memorial redevelopment project “early works” application’, Honest History, 28 June 2021  

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Joyce axes Chester as Veterans’ Affairs Minister; Andrew Gee is the pea

New Ministry list following restoration of Barnaby Joyce. Darren Chester returns to the back-bench. Andrew Gee becomes Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, including ministerial responsibility for the War Memorial, and for Defence Personnel. Honest History and Heritage Guardians disagreed with Darren

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Menadue, John: Militarism has become the norm. We now even have an Army Lieutenant General heading the vaccine roll out

John Menadue ‘Militarism has become the norm. We now even have an Army Lieutenant General heading the vaccine roll out‘, Pearls and Irritations, 24 June 2021 updated Concerned that the states were getting the political kudos for handling quarantine ,

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Senator Steele-John motion on War Memorial redevelopment defeated by major parties

Senator Jordon Steele-John (Greens, WA) has been an assiduous questioner of Australian War Memorial officers at Senate Estimates. See most recently here (pages 92-98 of the pdf of the Proof Hansard) and use our Search engine. The Senator is rightly

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Old military buff Stokes gets another 12 months on the War Memorial Council; new memorial in AWM grounds

Minister Chester has announced that Kerry Stokes’ term on the Australian War Memorial Council has been extended for another 12 months. It was to end in August. Note though that the extension is as a member of the Council, not

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Stephens, David: ‘All you’ve got to do is dig, dig, dig!’ National Capital Authority waves through the War Memorial’s ‘early works’ application

David Stephens* ‘”All you’ve got to do is dig, dig, dig!”** National Capital Authority waves through the War Memorial’s “early works” application’, Honest History, 8 June 2021 updated Yesterday, the National Capital Authority approved the early works application from the

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Stephens, David: Afghanistan, Matt Anderson, the Australian War Memorial $498m megabuild, Brendan Nelson, the Brereton Report, Nine Newspapers, the Prime Minister, Ben Roberts-Smith, Seven Media, Kerry Stokes, and lots of lawyers

David Stephens* ‘Afghanistan, Matt Anderson, the Australian War Memorial $498m megabuild, Brendan Nelson, the Brereton Report, Nine Newspapers, the Prime Minister, Ben Roberts-Smith, Seven Media, Kerry Stokes, and lots of lawyers’, Honest History, 7 June 2021 Some important Federal Court

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Dowling, Peter: The Australian War Memorial: a changed future

Peter Dowling* ‘The Australian War Memorial: a changed future’, Honest History, 2 June 2021 In August 1916, a tall, lean figure, dressed in the khaki of the Australian Imperial Force, strode through the battlefield of Pozières, in the Somme department

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Newton, Douglas: Private Ryan and the Lost Peace: A Defiant Soldier and the Struggle against the Great War

Douglas Newton Private Ryan and the Lost Peace: A Defiant Soldier and the Struggle against the Great War, Longueville Media, Sydney, 2021 Imagine the Great War ending early, in 1915, or 1916, or even 1917. Imagine round-table negotiations and a

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Stephens, David: Everyman as soldier: how men in suits in drawing rooms conned the people – and their families – into fighting on

David Stephens* ‘Everyman as soldier: how men in suits in drawing rooms conned the people – and their families – into fighting on’, Honest History, 28 May 2021 David Stephens reviews Douglas Newton’s Private Ryan and the Lost Peace: A

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Stephens, David: “A cynical abuse of process”: summary of Heritage Guardians’ submission to the National Capital Authority consultation on the “early works” approval application from the Australian War Memorial

David Stephens* ‘”A cynical abuse of process”: summary of Heritage Guardians’ submission to the National Capital Authority consultation on the “early works” approval application from the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 23 May 2021 Contents Introduction Works application approvals and

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Newton, Douglas: Whitlam, Keating, Anzac, and the drums of wars past

Douglas Newton ‘Whitlam, Keating, Anzac, and the drums of wars past‘, Pearls and Irritations, 13 May 2021 updated Looks at attitudes of modern Australian prime ministers to our old wars and goes on to summarise the history of the Great

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Kent, Ann: Submission to the National Capital Authority: The Australian War Memorial

Ann Kent* ‘Submission to the National Capital Authority: The Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 13 May 2021 [This is one of the 599 submissions received by the Authority on the current consultation. HH] I write in defence of the proper

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Stead, Naomi: Australian War Memorial

Naomi Stead ‘Australian War Memorial‘, The Saturday Paper, 8-15 May 2021; (pdf from our subscription) A thoughtful and comprehensive evisceration of the War Memorial project from the Professor of Architecture at Monash University. There is an edited version in the

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599 submissions to National Capital Authority on War Memorial Early Works Approval application

Update 26 May 2021: Number of submissions rounds out at exactly 600 NCA Chief Executive, Sally Barnes, advises Senate Estimates (from mark 8.00) that the final number of submisssions received is exactly 600, with the admission of a late comer.

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Stephens, David: Armenian Genocide: President Biden recognises what Armenians knew more than a century ago

David Stephens* ‘Armenian Genocide: President Biden recognises what Armenians knew more than a century ago’, Honest History, 3 May 2021 President Biden said this on 24 April: Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who

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Basford Canales, Sarah: Australian War Memorial expansion: Community fights to save memorial’s WWII-era trees

Update 9-10 April 2021: Response from Director Anderson, interviewed by the Canberra Times (Doug Dingwall and Sara Basford Canales). To a large extent, repeats arguments previously made by the Director and his predecessor. And more in the Canberra Times. ***

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Stephens, David: Getting the story straight: Senate Estimates hears from War Memorial on Afghanistan, extensions, and other matters

David Stephens* ‘Getting the story straight: Senate Estimates hears from War Memorial on Afghanistan, extensions, and other matters’, Honest History, 6 April 2021 updated The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade spent just 28 minutes on the evening

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Wheeler, Tone: Tone on Tuesday: The democratic spatial narrative of the Australian War Memorial

Have your say with the National Capital Authority on the Memorial’s ‘early works’ application. You don’t need to live in Canberra. Arguments here. *** Tone Wheeler ‘Tone on Tuesday: The democratic spatial narrative of the Australian War Memorial‘, Architecture and Design, 30

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Curtis, Katina: War Memorial redevelopment will force Anzac Day ceremonies to move

Have your say with the National Capital Authority on the Memorial’s ‘early works’ application. You don’t need to live in Canberra. Arguments here. *** Katina Curtis ‘War Memorial redevelopment will force Anzac Day ceremonies to move‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 29

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Stephens, David: Memorial Rorts: how the Australian War Memorial expansion was rammed through despite public opposition

Have your say with the National Capital Authority on the Memorial’s ‘early works’ application. You don’t need to live in Canberra. Arguments here. *** David Stephens ‘Memorial Rorts: how the Australian War Memorial expansion was rammed through despite public opposition‘,

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Stephens, David: The great War Memorial tree massacre: the price we will pay for the Edifice Complex

Have your say with the National Capital Authority on the Memorial’s ‘early works’ application. You don’t need to live in Canberra. Arguments here. *** David Stephens* ‘The great War Memorial tree massacre: the price we will pay for the Edifice

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Reaction to War Memorial’s bizarre ‘early works application’ to National Capital Authority: premature demolition, a massacre of mature trees, and a bloody big hole

Have your say with the National Capital Authority on the Memorial’s ‘early works’ application. You don’t need to live in Canberra. Arguments here. *** Earlier coverage of the campaign against the War Memorial project. *** Honest History and Heritage Guardians

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National Capital Authority consultation on ‘early works’ associated with War Memorial $498m project: dozens of trees to be cut down; premature demolition of Anzac Hall; massive excavation at Memorial entrance

Have your say with the National Capital Authority on the Memorial’s ‘early works application’. You don’t need to live in Canberra. Arguments below. *** Update 30 March 2021: Tone Wheeler writes in Architecture and Design about the Disneyfied ‘newseum’ coming

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Stephens, David: Narrow focus but not sharp: Public Works Committee report on $498m War Memorial project

David Stephens* ‘Narrow focus but not sharp: Public Works Committee report on $498m War Memorial project’, Honest History, 15 March 2021 updated The parliamentary Public Works Committee was never going to take a broad view of the $498m, seven year,

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Stephens, David: Australian War Memorial $498m project: consultation on two fronts

David Stephens* ‘Australian War Memorial $498m project: consultation on two fronts’, Honest History, 12 March 2021 There are currently two ways in which people can have their say about the War Memorial development project. The Canberra Times story gives an

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Stephens, David: War Memorial news: backing Chairman Stokes; reaching out to military history buffs; jumping the gun on closing Anzac Hall; possibly getting Tony Abbott as Council Chair

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial news: backing Chairman Stokes; reaching out to military history buffs; jumping the gun on closing Anzac Hall; possibly getting Tony Abbott as Council Chair’, Honest History, 8 March 2021 updated The Australian War Memorial benefits not

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Wareham, Sue: Let’s not allow the Australian War Memorial to become something much uglier

Sue Wareham* ‘Let’s not allow the Australian War Memorial to become something much uglier‘, Canberra Times, 27 February 2021 (pdf from our subscription) Also on op ed page of hard copy of the Times. Letters to the paper followed. Slightly edited

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Stephens, David: Reaction to Public Works Committee report on War Memorial’s big build: rare dissent emphasises the problems with this project

David Stephens* ‘Reaction to Public Works Committee report on War Memorial’s big build: rare dissent emphasises the problems with this project’, Honest History, 24 February 2021 Update 15 March 2021: Analysis of the PWC report, plus some odd business in

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McIlroy, Tom: ‘Adverse impact’: government warned on War Memorial redevelopment

Tom McIlroy ‘”Adverse impact”: government warned on War Memorial redevelopment‘, Australian Financial Review, 19 February 2021 (pdf from our subscription access) A story based on material made available by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) on what

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Collard, Sarah: ‘It must all be a part of our reckoning with the truth’: Albanese acknowledges Frontier Wars in House

Sarah Collard ‘“It must all be a part of our reckoning with the truth’”: Albanese acknowledges Frontier Wars in House‘, SBS/NITV News, 16 February 2021 updated Update 23 February 2021: Paul Daley in Guardian Australia Albanese’s fine words in federal

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Stephens, David: Same old, same old – and lots of brass: still no historians on the Australian War Memorial Council

David Stephens* ‘Same old, same old – and lots of brass: still no historians on the Australian War Memorial Council’, Honest History, 5 February 2021 Minister Chester has announced the filling of two vacancies on the Council of the Australian

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McKenna, Mark: Australia’s haunted house

Mark McKenna ‘Australia’s haunted house‘, The Monthly, February 2021, pp. 8-11 (possible paywall but here’s a pdf from a subscription/purchased copy) Update 8 February 2021: McKenna on 7 am Podcast with Ruby Johns for Schwartz Media. *** The Brereton Report

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Stephens, David: Another ‘survey’ from the War Memorial about its big build – and this survey is actually a little less dodgy than the previous one

David Stephens* ‘Another “survey” from the War Memorial about its big build – and this survey is actually a little less dodgy than the previous one’, Honest History, 2 February 2021 Update 3 February 2021: The War Memorial has provided

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Dingwall, Doug: Australian War Memorial drops “young and free” branding after national anthem update

Doug Dingwall ‘Australian War Memorial drops “young and free’ branding after national anthem update‘, Canberra Times, 6 January 2021 (pdf from our subscription) PM’s announced change to the words of the National Anthem necessarily requires the War Memorial to take

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Stephens, David: A truth-telling War Memorial does not need 2.5 hectares of extra floor space

David Stephens* ‘A truth-telling War Memorial does not need 2.5 hectares of extra floor space‘, Independent Australia, 14 December 2020 Contrasts the historical Stokes-Nelson memorial with the putative Anderson version, but notes the hostile reaction to the current Director’s suggestion

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Minister approves Memorial project under heritage legislation – with some caveats

The Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, has approved the $498m War Memorial redevelopment. There are 29 conditions of approval claimed to minimise and mitigate the residual impacts on the site’s National Heritage and Commonwealth Heritage values. The Memorial will

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Architects’ new campaign against the $498m War Memorial project, particularly the proposed destruction of Anzac Hall

Honest History has received the following information from the Australian Institute of Architects. Honest History supports the AIA campaign, which aligns with the efforts of the Heritage Guardians group. HH *** Update 7 December 2020: Canberra City News. Also: Canberra

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Daley, Paul: The strange case of the weapons maker and the Australian children’s charity

Paul Daley ‘The strange case of the weapons maker and the Australian children’s charity‘, Guardian Australia, 4 December 2020 Chronicles the slow retreat of Australian charity, The Smith Family, from its involvement with arms manufacturer, BAE Systems. Persistent pressure, ultimately

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ABC The Signal Podcast [with Brendon Kelson, former War Memorial Director]: Correcting the war record

ABC The Signal Podcast [with Brendon Kelson*, former War Memorial Director] ‘Correcting the war record‘, ABC, 3 December 2020 Brendon Kelson talks to Stephen Smiley and Angela Lavoispierre. Is there room at the Memorial to recognise both heroes and war

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Stuart, Nicholas: After the battle

Nicholas Stuart* ‘After the battle‘, Inside Story, 28 November 2020 Honest History has been closely following analyses of Brereton and the fallout. This below is one of the best pieces we have seen, particularly on our special interest of what

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Myrtle, John: Review note: Kieran Finnane’s Peace Crimes

John Myrtle* ‘Review note: Kieran Finnane’s Peace Crimes’, Honest History, 26 November 2020 Richard Broinowski concluded his recent review of Project Rainfall[1], a history of Pine Gap, by noting that ‘in the Australian parliament, Pine Gap has become a non-issue,

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Stephens, David: Getting beyond ‘our heroes’: a War Memorial angle on possible war crimes

Note: this collection of material grew from the flood of which David Stephens’ piece for Honest History on 19 November 2020 (‘Getting beyond “our heroes”: a War Memorial angle on possible war crimes’; click here) was one of the early

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Wareham, Sue: Let’s face it, Australia goes to war far too easily

Sue Wareham* ‘Let’s face it, Australia goes to war far too easily‘, Canberra Times, 15 November 2020 (pdf from our subscription) The imminent Brereton Report should get us thinking not just about possible war crimes but about the decisions we

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Open letter to Prime Minister opposing $498m War Memorial redevelopment: reply (signed by Director, War Memorial) received

Heritage Guardians organised this letter with over 70 signatures to the PM. A reply has come in, signed by the Director of the Memorial, and a copy is attached. You can make it bigger by zooming. Update 22 November 2020:

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Daley, Paul: Australia is in for a shock as war crimes investigation brings reality of war to the Anzac myth

Paul Daley ‘Australia is in for a shock as war crimes investigation brings reality of war to the Anzac myth‘, Guardian Australia, 13 November 2020 updated Update 23 November 2020: a further piece by Paul Daley. *** Places the imminent

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Environment Minister given an extension of time to make a decision on War Memorial project

This (pdf copy attached) has just landed on the Referrals list section of the website of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (2019/8574). The key words: The relevant period in which the Minister must make a decision whether

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War Memorial chairman Stokes prods PM on PWC progress on project

Update 3 December 2020: Rick Wilson MP elevated to Chair (entry for 3 December). *** It’s interesting what goes down at national ceremonies, even under Covid restrictions. Yesterday’s Guardian blog from Canberra, under the byline of Paul Karp, reported thus

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From the Honest History vault: A note on Paul Keating’s Remembrance Day Address 2013

There is a lot of material on the Honest History website about Remembrance Day; just use our Search engine with the term ‘Remembrance Day’. Seven years ago, former Prime Minister Keating made a speech on Remembrance Day. That speech, in

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McIlroy, Tom: Former veterans’ minister warns of War Memorial heritage risk

Tom McIlroy ‘Former veterans’ minister warns of War Memorial heritage risk‘, Australian Financial Review, 29 October 2020 (pdf from our subscription) Thoughts from the Hon. Alan Griffin, former Minister for Veterans’ Affairs in the Rudd government. Griffin questions whether this

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Senate Estimates skate around the real issues with the Memorial’s big build

The Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee spent 30 minutes on the War Memorial last evening and, while we wait for the Hansard, here are some points we picked up. Update 2 November 2020: Proof Hansard now available (pages

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Veterans’ jobs are a part of the War Memorial project but need to be put in context

Nine newspapers health reporter Rachel Clun has a piece today about how the $498m War Memorial project allows for jobs for veterans. Companies hoping to win work on the project must hire veterans or their family members, Clun writes, or

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‘Where are they putting the war crimes wing?’ Jon Kudelka cartoon in the Saturday Paper rolls up some important issues

Update 19 November 2020: David Stephens’ comment on Brereton report ties a few threads together.  Special Forces have been a thing at the Memorial for a while. It’s been all about not tearing down our heroes. Update 14 November 2020: Director,

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Stop this indulgent $498m project at the War Memorial! Open letter to the Prime Minister signed by over 70 Australians

Update 14 November 2020: Reply to the open letter. The reply is signed by the Director of the War Memorial. It overstates the extent of change to the project as a result of the consultation but asks everyone to accept

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Williams, Elliot: The $500 million Australian War Memorial expansion risks undermining Australia’s environment and heritage laws, architects say

Elliot Williams ‘The $500 million Australian War Memorial expansion risks undermining Australia’s environment and heritage laws, architects say‘, Canberra Times, 22 October 2020 updated (pdf from our subscription) Reports on long media release from Architects Institute of Australia, which called

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Kenny, Mark: Why looking back is the only way forward: COVID-19, the Federation, and the chance of genuine reconciliation

Mark Kenny ‘Why looking back is the only way forward: COVID-19, the Federation, and the chance of genuine reconciliation: 2020 Henry Parkes Oration‘, Parkes Foundation, 19 October 2020 Makes the case for an Indigenous museum; contrasts it with spending on

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Stephens, David: War Memorial’s ‘Final Preliminary Documentation’ leaves many unanswered questions on $498m project: over to you, DAWE

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial’s “Final Preliminary Documentation” leaves many unanswered questions on $498m project: over to you, DAWE’, Honest History, 9 October 2020 updated As foreshadowed in our posts of 30 September and 2 October, the Australian War Memorial has

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McIlroy, Tom: Government’s heritage adviser warns against War Memorial redevelopment

Tom McIlroy ‘Government’s heritage adviser warns against War Memorial redevelopment‘, Australian Financial Review, 4 October 2020 updated (pdf from our subscription) Riffs off submission No. 152 to the Memorial’s EPBC Act consultation (Download Preliminary Documentation Public Comment). The Australian Heritage

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Memorial provides some guidance through bundle of EPBC Act material – but a clear majority of public comments received are against the $498m redevelopment project

We said earlier in the week that we were nearly at the stage of the War Memorial publishing its final preliminary documentation on the heritage and environmental impacts of its $498m redevelopment project. The documentation has now been published on

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Nearly there? Latest news from those responsible for the War Memorial heritage assessment process

Update 9 October 2020: Analysis of Memorial’s Final Preliminary Documentation. Update 1 October 2020: Parliamentary Library’s quick guide to the issues. It is out-of-date in one key respect (encroachment on Remembrance Park is not now part of the plan: need

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Inglis, Ken, Bill Gammage, Seumas Spark & Jay Winter, with Carol Bunyan, Dunera Lives: Profiles

Ken Inglis, Bill Gammage, Seumas Spark & Jay Winter, with Carol Bunyan Dunera Lives: Profiles, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2020 The story of the “Dunera Boys” is an intrinsic part of the history of Australia in the Second World War

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Holt, Stephen: Another Philipp (sic) encounters Australia: one of many stories in a rich second Dunera volume

Stephen Holt* ‘Another Philipp (sic) encounters Australia: one of many stories in a rich second Dunera volume’, Honest History, 30 September 2020 Stephen Holt reviews Dunera Lives: Profiles, by Ken Inglis, Bill Gammage, Seumas Spark and Jay Winter with Carol

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Stephens, David: Afghanistan under the microscope – but not especially at the War Memorial

David Stephens* ‘Afghanistan under the microscope – but not especially at the War Memorial’, Honest History, 21 September 2020 updated Update 7 October 2020: Author Ben McKelvey, author of book on Afghanistan war, talks to Phillip Adams on Late Night

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Stephens, David: Review note: Ted Egan’s The Anzacs: 100 Years On in Story and Song

David Stephens* ‘Review note: Ted Egan’s The Anzacs: 100 Years On in Story and Song‘, Honest History, 18 September 2020 Update: Mr Egan offers free copies of the book to worthy causes. Contact. *** Ted Egan is what was once

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De Maria, William: Australian War Memorial: from keeper of the flame to hider of shame?

William De Maria ‘Australian War Memorial: from keeper of the flame to hider of shame?‘ Michael West Media, 16 September 2020 Conceived during World War I amidst the mustard gas, the dead soldiers, and rotting horses on the wet battlefields

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Option 4 is the way to go to have your voice properly heard on the War Memorial project: Advice to commenters on heritage aspects under EPBC Act

This advice is directed to the 167 people and organisations who provided comments to the Australian War Memorial on heritage aspects of its $498m redevelopment. It argues that you should ensure your comment is publicly available on the Memorial’s website.

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Dunera stories as second volume is launched – and Honest History review is coming soon

We have often picked up references to the MV Dunera and its diaspora. Use our Search engine. We reviewed the first volume (Dunera Lives: A Visual History) of the Monash University Publishing pair of volumes. A review of the second

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Khaki all the way down: John Menadue and Bruce Haigh on Australian militarism

John Menadue’s website Pearls and Irritations continues to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. This week, Menadue himself posted a thoughtful piece, ‘Military and security agencies are eroding civil society‘. We are encouraged to celebrate the disastrous Gallipoli invasion

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Turnbull, Noel: Thank you for your service

Noel Turnbull ‘Thank you for your service‘, Noel Turnbull, 26 August 2020 Veteran author, communications specialist and journalist contrasts the Morrison government’s willingness to splurge on War Memorial build with its failings in dealing with the Productivity Commission report on

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Stephens, David: Performing Anzac: Brendan Nelson and the emotion of remembrance

David Stephens* ‘Performing Anzac: Brendan Nelson and the emotion of remembrance‘, Pearls and Irritations, 27 August 2020 Brief analysis of the rhetorical style of the former War Memorial Director, provoked by his recent insertion of himself into the debate over

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Monuments body, architects and professional historians make strong statements on War Memorial project

Friday brings a report of a letter to the Environment department from the Australian chapter of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), an advisory body to UNESCO. Tom McIlroy in the Australian Financial Review (pdf from our subscription)

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McKay, Jim & Karen Brooks: Toys for the boys: white men’s business at the War Memorial

Jim McKay & Karen Brooks ‘Toys for the boys: white men’s business at the War Memorial‘, Broad Agenda, 18 August 2020 Masculinity: Most cultural institutions in the national capital are facing austerity measures so crippling they can barely conduct their

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War Memorial $498m redevelopment project: accountability round-up – Public Works Committee and EPBC Act

Update 4 September 2020: Some clarification on stumbling War Memorial heritage process Advice from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), responsible for heritage, has made things clearer about the ‘privacy’ aspects below. Campaign diary, entry for 4

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Former War Memorial Director Gower responds to former War Memorial Director Nelson

Former War Memorial Director, Brendan Nelson, fired some barbs earlier this week at opponents of the Memorial redevelopment. An equally sharp response has come from another former Director, Steve Gower, in a letter to the Australian Financial Review. (Pdf from

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Stephens, David: War Memorial visitor figures not keeping pace with population increase

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial visitor figures not keeping pace with population increase’, Honest History, 10 August 2020 updated In 2016 and again in 2017, Honest History took a long view of Australian War Memorial visitor statistics going back to 1990-91.

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Public Works Committee inquiry into War Memorial development: Hansard transcript and supplementary submissions

The Public Works Committee website now carries the transcript from its public hearing on 14 July. The transcript includes testimony from a number of opponents of the Memorial redevelopment. Also posted are supplementary submissions from opponents, including former Memorial officer,

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Stephens, David: ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds’: Hiroshima 75 years on

David Stephens* ‘”Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”: Hiroshima 75 years on’, Honest History, 6 August 2020 The quote above is from Robert Oppenheimer, in charge of the American project to build the atomic bomb. It is

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Piggott, Michael: The Australian War Memorial should be for all Australians, not just veterans: submission regarding AWM Development Project

Michael Piggott* ‘The Australian War Memorial should be for all Australians, not just veterans: submission regarding AWM Development Project’, Honest History, 5 August 2020 (Note: This article was originally a submission to the Australian War Memorial on its ‘final preliminary

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Medical Association for Prevention of War resources on the War Memorial as supplicant of arms companies and as vainglorious builder

Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) has long been a critic of warmongering and related pathologies. (Use our Honest History search engine to find MAPW work on this site, including its curriculum material for school children.) MAPW’s website contains

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McKay, Judith & Don Watson: False premise, inappropriate process, unacceptable impact: submission to the Australian War Memorial on proposed redevelopment

Judith McKay & Don Watson* ‘False premise, inappropriate process, unacceptable impact: submission to the Australian War Memorial on proposed redevelopment’, Honest History, 4 August 2020 (Note: This article was originally a submission to the Australian War Memorial on its ‘final

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Stephens, David: ‘False premises’, ‘underplayed and glossed over’, ‘overblown claims and dodgy methodology’: Heritage Guardians takes a close look at War Memorial’s EPBC documentation

David Stephens* ‘”False premises”, “underplayed and glossed over”, “overblown claims and dodgy methodology”‘: Heritage Guardians takes a close look at War Memorial’s EPBC documentation’, Honest History, 2 August 2020 The Australian War Memorial’s ‘final preliminary documentation’ under the heritage provisions

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Williams, Elliot: Australian War Memorial tells volunteers they can lose role if they speak publicly about redevelopment

Elliot Williams ‘Australian War Memorial tells volunteers they can lose role if they speak publicly about redevelopment‘, Canberra Times, 28 July 2020 (pdf of our subscriber copy) Update 1 September 2020: Paddy Gourley writes in CT Public Sector Informant (paywall

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McIlroy, Tom: “Shameful”: Ex-directors oppose War Memorial redevelopment

Tom McIlroy ‘”Shameful”; Ex-directors oppose War Memorial redevelopment’, Australian Financial Review, 13 July 2020 (pdf from our subscription) Quotes former Directors Gower and Kelson and Heritage Guardians’ David Stephens in advance of Public Works Committee. ‘Former bosses of the Australian

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Stephens, David: Timetable for War Memorial heritage consultation on $498m project – but what is wrong with this picture?

David Stephens* ‘Timetable for War Memorial heritage consultation on $498m project – but what is wrong with this picture?’ Honest History, 12 July 2020 Readers who have been using the lockdown or bad weather as a reason to stay indoors

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Australian War Memorial $498m project: Public comments sought on heritage impacts: Time to say ‘No!’

The Australian War Memorial has placed on its website a mass of documentation on its proposed $498m extensions. There were also newspaper advertisements carrying the same information. Public feedback will be accepted up till 5 pm, Friday, 31 July. Readers

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Daley, Paul: The Australian War Memorial’s expansion money would be better spent on traumatised veterans

Paul Daley ‘The Australian War Memorial’s expansion money would be better spent on traumatised veterans‘, Guardian Australia, 3 July 2020 Update later: More than 85 comments by 6.00 pm AEST, most with thumbs up attached – and not one supporting

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Stephens, David: From the Honest History vault: Does Defence spending lead to war, and does it make any sense against pandemics?

David Stephens* ‘From the Honest History vault: Does Defence spending lead to war, and does it make any sense against pandemics?’ Honest History, 2 July 2020 updated Update 3 July 2020: Former Defence Secretary, Paul Barratt, in Inside Story on

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Roundup of War Memorial project news – as Public Works and heritage examinations crank up

Heritage Guardians PWC submission No. 15 with 82 signatures; Heritage Guardians detailed PWC submission No. 40; all other PWC submissions. *** Update 2 July 2020: After a long delay, final preliminary documentation on heritage aspects under the Environment Protection and

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Dye, Josh & Nick Galvin: Fresh spotlight on War Memorial expansion after National Gallery cuts

Josh Dye & Nick Galvin ‘Fresh spotlight on War Memorial expansion after National Gallery cuts‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 27 June 2020 War Memorial project compared with cuts at National Gallery, National Library, and ABC. Notes that vast majority of Public

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Rollo, Stuart: Collateral murder in a militarised society

Stuart Rollo ‘Collateral murder in a militarised society‘, Overland, 22 June 2020 Subtle analysis of how the links between the uniformed military, particularly the SAS, arms manufacturers and exporters, and the commemoration industry are gradually making Australia more militarised. These

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Frontier War stories on Boe Spearim podcast: adding to our knowledge of a bloody past

There is a lot of material on the Honest History site about the Frontier Wars and massacres of First Australians. Use our Search engine to find these posts or scroll through our special subject 2014-17, First Peoples. There’s also Jane

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Shuffling of Large Technology Objects is nothing to worry about, says War Memorial

Earlier this week, workmen at the Australian War Memorial removed from adjacent to the Memorial’s Anzac Hall, a Bushmaster (a large armoured vehicle), an LAV-25 (a middle-sized armoured vehicle), and a Centurion Battle Tank. These artefacts were relocated on plinths

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Heritage Guardians submission now posted on Public Works Committee site asks some important questions about the mysterious genesis of the $498m War Memorial project

Heritage Guardians’ submission to the Public Works Committee inquiry on the Australian War Memorial project has been posted on the PWC site as Submission No. 40. (Earlier Heritage Guardians submission.) It opens thus: The Memorial can meet its obligations without

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Van Teeseling, Ingeborg: When white Australians fought against the Maori for control of their land

Ingeborg van Teeseling ‘When white Australians fought against the Maori for control of their land‘, The Big Smoke, 14 June 2020 Australian colonists signed on in the 186os to help the New Zealand Pakeha (whites) deal with the Maori inhabitants

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Knaus, Christopher: Former war memorial heads join call to redirect $500m for ‘grandiose’ expansion to veterans

Christopher Knaus ‘Former war memorial heads join call to redirect $500m for “grandiose” expansion to veterans‘, Guardian Australia, 16 June 2020 Update 18 June 2020: Later Heritage Guardians submission. *** Eighty-two people sign submission to Public Works Committee inquiry (submission

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Knaus, Christopher: ‘Deeply offensive’: Australian War Memorial urged not to renew BAE sponsorship

Christopher Knaus ‘“Deeply offensive”: Australian War Memorial urged not to renew BAE sponsorship‘, Guardian Australia, 5 June 2020 Update 25 June 2020: We understand from the Memorial that the BAE agreement does not in fact expire during June. We understand

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Stephens, David: Will the Australian War Memorial renew its ‘naming rights for donations’ deal with arms manufacturer BAE Systems?

David Stephens* Update 5 June 2020: Story by Christopher Knaus in Guardian Australia. *** ‘Will the Australian War Memorial renew its “naming rights for donations” deal with arms manufacturer BAE Systems?’, Honest History, 4 June 2020 updated Almost seven years

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Les Carlyon Literary Prize at the Australian War Memorial: $10 000 prize for first-time authors

We missed this earlier when it was announced in Anzac week, but here are the details. The prize will be awarded biennially for an author’s first book or major publication relating to Australian military history, Australian social military history, or

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Aktar, Ayhan: The struggle between nationalist and jihadist narratives of Gallipoli, 1915-2015

Ayhan Aktar ‘The struggle between nationalist and jihadist narratives of Gallipoli, 1915-2015‘, Forum for Modern Language Studies, Vol. 56, No. 2, April 2020, pp. 213-28 (paywall) There have been a number of milestones in the (re-)writing of the history of

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Stephens, David: Never the twain shall meet? Disturbing deep dive into documentation on War Memorial project

David Stephens* ‘Never the twain shall meet? Disturbing deep dive into documentation on War Memorial project’, Honest History, 19 May 2020 Honest History and Heritage Guardians are making submissions to the Public Works Committee inquiry on the War Memorial project

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Canberra Times exchange shows War Memorial extensions issues still unresolved

Heritage Guardians campaign diary follows the story from early 2019 of the campaign against the Memorial project *** The letters column of the Canberra Times has always been an arena of contest on live issues in the national capital –

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Jackson, Andra: The lasting legacy of the Vietnam Moratorium

Andra Jackson ‘The lasting legacy of the Vietnam Moratorium‘, Eureka Street, 8 May 2020 An appropriate marking of the 5oth anniversary of the Moratorium demonstration in Melbourne’s Bourke Street, by someone who was there (as was the author of this

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Inside track for War Memorial expansion project: Public Works Committee inquiry commenced

Update 9 May 2020 On the point about the two processes [Heritage and Public Works Committee], note that there will be 20 business days for public comment on ‘final preliminary documentation’ from the War Memorial on heritage aspects of the project, followed 

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Stephens, David: Afghanistan not underdone at Australian War Memorial (thanks to Boeing): a flaw in argument for extensions

Heritage Guardians campaign diary follows the story from early 2019 of the campaign against the Memorial project *** David Stephens* ‘Afghanistan not underdone at Australian War Memorial (thanks  to Boeing): a flaw in argument for extensions’, Honest History, 4 May

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Buckley, Ian: A Biographic View of the West

Ian Buckley A Biographic View of the West: February 2020, ANU Emeritus Faculty, Canberra, 2020 According to the author, ‘a recent essay on the accumulating outcomes of wars and other mercantile practices over the centuries. All extremely counter-productive, they are

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Twice as many New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli as once thought: conclusive new research

For many years after the Gallipoli campaign it was thought that just 8556 New Zealanders landed on the peninsula. Proportional casualty figures for New Zealanders were correspondingly higher. Then, four years ago, previously lost records were uncovered which suggested the

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Lest We Forget: a collection of Anzac-related articles from Guardian Australia, Inside Story and The Conversation

Paul Daley in Guardian Australia warns us against confusing the battle against coronavirus with the wars that are marked by Anzac Day. Those at the vanguard of resisting the coronavirus are not Anzacs. They are nurses, doctors, police, ambos, orderlies,

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Will Anzac Day 2020 give us time to think about why Australia goes to war? These pieces provide food for thought

Anzac Days in recent years have been notable for large crowds and occasional outbursts of triumphalism. With the quieter version this year might we have more time and head-space to ask the important questions: why does Australia go to war

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Griffith Review archive opened: classic 2015 edition on enduring legacies of the Great War

The excellent Griffith Review has done us all a great service by opening its archive to make available for a few days selected pieces from its classic edition 48 Enduring Legacies, first published in April 2015 (edited by Julianne Schultz

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Stephens, David: Anzac Day and history as what we choose to remember

David Stephens* ‘Anzac Day and history as what we choose to remember‘, Pearls and Irritations, 24 April 2020 updated The Covid-19 pandemic has been compared with the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-19. That many of us knew nothing about that

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Fathi, Romain: Submission to the Senate’s inquiry into opportunities for strengthening Australia’s relations with the Republic of France

Romain Fathi Submission to the Senate’s inquiry into opportunities for strengthening Australia’s relations with the Republic of France, 2 April 2020 As a result of having a historical narrative that is curated by DVA and not WWI experts, the John

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Bond, Catherine: Tyrannical power exercised untyrannically?

Catherine Bond ‘Tyrannical power exercised untyranically?‘ Inside Story, 1 April 2020 updated Law has always been crucial to Australia’s involvement in war, whether through existing defence legislation or new provisions designed to deal with a developing incident or conflict. Law

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Coronavirus slows momentum of $498m War Memorial extension project – and should allow another look

Heritage Guardians campaign diary follows the story from early 2019 of the campaign against the Memorial project *** Update 21 April 2020: The Riot Act on extended consultation period (more below). Quotes War Memorial official, Wayne Hitches, on timing. Hitches

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Stephens, David: New Australian War Memorial Director’s children’s war books give some hints to his thinking

David Stephens* ‘New War Memorial Director’s children’s war books give some hints to his thinking’, Honest History, 31 March 2020 The new Director of the Australian War Memorial, Matthew Anderson PSM, commences duty on 14 April. He comes to the

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Fahy, Michelle: Brothers-in-Arms: the high-rotation revolving door between the Australian government and arms merchants

Michelle Fahy* ‘Brothers-in-Arms: the high-rotation revolving door between the Australian government and arms merchants‘, Michael West Media, 11 March 2020 A disturbing number of Australia’s military personnel, senior defence and intelligence officials and politicians leave their public service jobs and

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The Brendan Nelson legacy at the Australian War Memorial: Heritage Guardians David Stephens and Sue Wareham on 3CR Melbourne

Heritage Guardians David Stephens and Sue Wareham spoke on air with 3CR’s Jan Bartlett on Tuesday this week. The broadcast is now available here (Stephens from mark 0.14; Wareham from mark 0.39) and runs for about 40 minutes. Most of

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Stephens, David: Book received: South Africa to Afghanistan: Lifting the Curtain, by Bill Edgar

David Stephens* ‘Book received: South Africa to Afghanistan: Lifting the Curtain, by Bill Edgar’, Honest History, 20 February 2020 This book came to Honest History courtesy of the author (and publisher, as Tammar Publications). The book, published Perth, 2020, has

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Palmer, Charlotte (with David Stephens): Evidence-based interventions for PTSD related to military service: what is the role of the Australian War Memorial?

Charlotte Palmer* (with David Stephens**) ‘Evidence-based interventions for PTSD related to military service: what is the role of the Australian War Memorial?’ Honest History, 16 February 2020 This article adds to the material collected in the Heritage Guardians diary of

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Fahy, Michelle: Selling arms with impunity

Michelle Fahy ‘Selling arms with impunity‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 January 2020 updated Detailed piece by a researcher into the arms trade. Covers: government funding for Australian arms exports; role of federal, state and local governments; developments in the United

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Stephens, David: War Memorial picks up ‘small change’ donations from military industries

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial picks up “small change” donations from military industries’, Honest History, 28 January 2020 updated Over the years, Honest History has closely followed the donations the Australian War Memorial receives from the military industries, the manufacturers of

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Seccombe, Mike: All up in arms: close ties between government and military industries

Mike Seccombe ‘All up in arms: close ties between government and military industries‘, Saturday Paper, 25-31 January 2020 (paywall; full copy from the paper we bought!) Weaves together themes related to what has come to be called ‘the military-industrial-commemorative complex’:

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Brendan Nelson touches third base in military-industrial-commemorative complex: appointed as Boeing’s Pacific head

Dr Brendan Nelson, former Director of the Australian War Memorial and former Defence Minister, has been appointed Boeing’s President for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific (Canberra Times, Defence Connect, Guardian Australia). Boeing is the world’s second largest arms

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Department of Environment says $500 million War Memorial development is ‘controlled action’ under Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act

Honest History (and others) have been following the approval processes for the War Memorial’s $500m. expansion program. We noted that the Memorial had made a Referral to the Department of the Environment and we argued that the War Memorial proposal

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Stephens, David: What did you do after the war? The Missing is brief but packs a punch

David Stephens* ‘What did you do after the war? The Missing is brief but packs a punch’, Honest History, 14 January 2020 Late last year (29 November), Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance saw the launch of The Missing, a brief (11

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Stephens, David: Architects and doctors come down hard on War Memorial heritage arguments

David Stephens* ‘Architects and doctors come down hard on War Memorial heritage arguments’, Honest History, 18 December 2019 updated Spinners know how to make the best of a bad story. Australian War Memorial spokespersons, in spruiking the case for the

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Stanley, Peter: Uneasy peace

Peter Stanley ‘Uneasy peace‘, Inside Story, 15 December 2019 Review of a new collection of essays, The Great War: Aftermath and Commemoration, edited by Carolyn Holbrook and Keir Reeves, and published by UNSW Press. The book was launched last month.

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Shields, Bevan: Incoming War Memorial boss defends massive redevelopment and new focus

Bevan Shields ‘Incoming War Memorial boss defends massive redevelopment and new focus‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 December 2019 Incoming Director, Matt Anderson, supports plans for redevelopment, sounding rather like his predecessor, though Mr Anderson expresses willingness to talk to critics.

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Watson, Joey & Ian Coombe: Four Australian military legends that are more myth than fact

Joey Watson & Ian Coombe ‘Four Australian military legends that are more myth than fact‘, ABC News, 14 December 2019 Features the current ABC RN series, ‘Myths of war‘, presented by Mark Dapin, author of, most recently, Australia’s Vietnam: Myths

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New Director of War Memorial is former Ambassador to Afghanistan and author of children’s books about war

Update 16 December 2019: Interview with Mr Anderson. The Prime Minister and Minister Chester have announced that the new Director of the Australian War Memorial is to be Matthew Anderson PSM, currently Deputy High Commissioner in London. Mr Anderson has

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Hands off Anzac Hall! Change.org petition to save award-winning building at Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial’s Anzac Hall, less than 20 years old, won the Sir Zelman Cowen award for Australian public architecture. It is threatened with demolition as part of the Memorial’s $498m expansion program. There is a petition on Change.org

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Fewtrell, Terry: War Memorial needs a new Act, not a new building

Terry Fewtrell ‘War Memorial needs a new Act, not a new building’, Canberra Times, 5 December 2019 For an institution with the title “Australian War Memorial”, it is incomprehensible, and ultimately indefensible, for it not to recognise and commemorate the

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Stephens, David: Heritage values threatened, misleading documentation presented, gaming of the approvals process: the War Memorial’s (first) EPBC Act Referral on its $498m expansion program

David Stephens* ‘Heritage values threatened, misleading documentation presented, gaming of the approvals process: the War Memorial’s (first) EPBC Act Referral on its $498m expansion program’, Honest History, 5 December 2019 updated As foreshadowed, the Heritage Guardians group has provided a

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Support grows for Royal Commission into veterans’ suicide: we know where the money could come from

Update 19 April 2021: PM announces a Royal Commission. Update 12 February 2020: Petition is up to 285 000 names, but so far all that has been proposed is a ‘national commissioner’ not a Royal Commission. More. Later. Julie-Ann Finney

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‘Salami slicing’ in Canberra as War Memorial has two heritage referrals running at once: here are the details if you want to have a say

Make a comment on the current Australian War Memorial Referral under Environment Protection and Biodiversity (EPBC) Act; comments close 13 December 2019 (Department of the Environment and Energy website Referral No. 2019/8574). Attend War Memorial consultations on a future Referral

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Senator Steele-John speaks out on gunrunners’ donations to the Australian War Memorial

In Statements by Senators on 27 November, Senator Jordon Steele-John (Greens, WA) said this: Senator STEELE-JOHN (Western Australia) (13:06): The Australian War Memorial is a vital national space of learning and of reflection. It is where our community pays its

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Martin Hobbs, Mia: Soldier recognition, trauma, and the Australian War Memorial

Mia Martin Hobbs ‘Soldier recognition, trauma, and the Australian War Memorial‘, Australian Policy and History, 26 November 2019 Recent PhD and oral historian looks at arguments for the Memorial extensions against the backdrop of the literature on post-traumatic stress. The

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Farrelly, Elizabeth: Dull, wasteful and overblown – is this the best Australia can do?

Elizabeth Farrelly ‘Dull, wasteful and overblown – is this the best Australia can do?‘, Age, 30 November 2019 Architecture critic and commentator looks at the expansion plans for the Australian War Memorial against a backdrop of consideration of Canberra’s planning:

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Nine Newspapers cock up op ed by Wing Commander (Ret’d): error or deception?

Update 2 December 2019: War Memorial website has been amended by addition of this para of biodata: Retired wing commander Sharon Bown is a nurse who served in Afghanistan and East Timor and is a member of the Australian War

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Stephens, David: National Capital Authority waves through Works Approval application for War Memorial carpark that is not – or is – part of the big $500m project

David Stephens* ‘National Capital Authority waves through Works Approval application for War Memorial carpark that is not – or is – part of the big $500m project’, Honest History, 23 November 2019 updated “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in

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Keane, Bernard: $500m splash on the War Memorial will help soldiers’ stress? Really?

Bernard Keane $500m splash on the War Memorial will help soldiers’ stress? Really?‘, Crikey, 22 November 2019 The URL says ‘Liberals hide behind PTSD to justify their military fetish’, which is an argument Heritage Guardians have used consistently in opposing

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War Memorial $500m project latest: Heritage referral now up for public comment

The War Memorial has referred its expansion plan to the Department of Environment and Energy for consideration under the heritage provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Comments are due in by 3 December, so people wishing to

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Gower, Steve: War Memorial overreach: spending $500m and they’ll demolish Anzac Hall

Steve Gower ‘War Memorial overreach: spending $500m and they’ll demolish Anzac Hall‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 November 2019 Considered op ed by a former Director of the Australian War Memorial. The article mentions the Memorial’s reluctance to consult (and the

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Stephens, David: Architects’ “implacable opposition” to demolition of Anzac Hall at War Memorial: roundup following the big reveal

David Stephens* ‘Architects’ “implacable opposition” to demolition of Anzac Hall at War Memorial: roundup following the big reveal’, Honest History, 20 November 2019 Today brings a number of items – mostly in the Canberra media – following up the announcement

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Stephens, David: Big reveal of War Memorial’s $500m expansion plans – as approval processes continue

David Stephens* ‘Big reveal of War Memorial’s $500m expansion plans – as approval processes continue’, Honest History, 19 November 2019 updated Update 20 November 2019: Follow-up stories. Yesterday saw the Prime Minister and others reveal further details of the Australian

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Remembrance Day roundup: Paul Daley (twice), Sue Wareham, Bart Ziino – and a handy pay rise for the War Memorial Council

Just some links in case you missed them. Paul Daley in Guardian Australia reminds us of the reality of war, which sugar-coated remembrance often glosses over, and suggests the $500 million for making a bigger Australian War Memorial would be

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Stephens, David: For Remembrance Day: The Anzac thoughts of Tony Abbott, new member of the War Memorial Council

David Stephens* ‘For Remembrance Day: The Anzac thoughts of Tony Abbott, new member of the War Memorial Council – and “war historian”‘, Honest History, 11 November 2019 As Tony Abbott, former prime minister, defeated member for Warringah, has been appointed

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Oliver, Bobbie: For Remembrance Day: Another gaffe inflicted on the Australian War Memorial with Tony Abbott appointment

Bobbie Oliver* ‘For Remembrance Day: Another gaffe inflicted on the Australian War Memorial with Tony Abbott appointment’, Honest History, 10 November 2019 [Bobbie Oliver comments on the appointment of former prime minister, Tony Abbott, to the Council of the Memorial.

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Newton, Douglas: For Remembrance Day: Helping the Australian War Memorial address its future – but to do so in a rather different way

Douglas Newton* For Remembrance Day: Helping the Australian War Memorial address its future – but to do so in a rather different way’, Honest History, 10 November 2019 [In 2018, distinguished Australian historian, Douglas Newton, responded to an invitation to

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Heritage Guardians submission to National Capital Authority on War Memorial carpark deplores gaming of approval systems by ‘salami slicing’ projects

Heritage Guardians has made a submission to the National Capital Authority’s public consultation on the Australian War Memorial’s Works Approval application for carparking associated with the Memorial’s $498m expansion. The consultation closed on 5 November. Update 23 November 2019: The

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Stephens, David: Dr Nelson says farewell to accountability: a burrow into Senate Estimates Hansard

David Stephens* ‘Dr Nelson says farewell to accountability: a burrow into Senate Estimates Hansard’, Honest History, 5 November 2019 updated We posted a brief round-up of the recent Estimates hearings of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

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Stephens, David: War Memorial Director’s final appearance before Senate Estimates: some of what we found out

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial Director’s final appearance before Senate Estimates: some of what we found out’, Honest History, 27 October 2019 updated Update 5 November 2019: more analysis based on the Hansard. The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and

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Stephens, David: War Memorial stirrings: Works Approval application for a car park; an Annual Report that giveth and taketh away; an exhibition about peace-keeping

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial stirrings: Works Approval application for a car park; an Annual Report that giveth and taketh away; an exhibition about peace-keeping’, Honest History, 18 October 2019 updated This week has seen a number of developments at the

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Wareham, Sue: Abbott – a natural fit for a war memorial sliding from commemoration to propaganda

Sue Wareham ‘Abbott – a natural fit for a war memorial sliding from commemoration to propaganda‘, Pearls and Irritations, 11 October 2019 From Heritage Guardians member, Sue Wareham, and follows earlier items in HG’s campaign against the $498m extensions to

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Daley, Paul: Military buff Tony Abbott is the wrong choice for the Australian War Memorial

Paul Daley ‘Military buff Tony Abbott is the wrong choice for the Australian War Memorial‘, Guardian Australia, 9 October 2019 updated The war memorial’s council lacks a professional historian and critics say it’s like a hospital being run by homeopaths

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McIlroy, Tom: Kerry Stokes guaranteed $500m War Memorial plan

Tom McIlroy ‘Kerry Stokes guaranteed $500m War Memorial plan‘, Australian Financial Review, 7 October 2019 (Pay-wall. Pdf copy made from open access version.) Story based on FOI material provided to Heritage Guardians and Honest History. Seven West chairman and Rich

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Stephens, David: War Memorial releases material under FOI relating to $498m expansion program: did a billionaire’s personal guarantee clinch the deal?

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial releases material under FOI relating to $498m expansion program: did a billionaire’s personal guarantee clinch the deal?’ Honest History, 4 October 2019 updated Update 5 November 2019: Dr Nelson’s final bow at Estimates gives more information

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No surprises here but an opportunity missed: Tony Abbott appointed to Australian War Memorial Council

A kite was flown a little time ago that Tony Abbott, former politician, former prime minister, former Rhodes Scholar, current iron man and polly-pedaller, would be given a spot on the Australian War Memorial Council. And so it has come

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Hilferty, Fiona, Ellie Lawrence-Wood, Ilan Katz, & Miranda Van Hooff: 5,800 defence veterans homeless in Australia, that’s more than we thought

Fiona Hilferty, Ellie Lawrence-Wood, Ilan Katz & Miranda Van Hooff ‘5,800 defence veterans homeless in Australia, that’s more than we thought‘, The Conversation, 30 September 2019 Our research puts a new number on the problem. We still do not know

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Brewer, Peter: War Memorial’s former director urged that any changes to the important site be made to “hasten slowly” and with complete consultation

Peter Brewer ‘War Memorial’s former director urged that any changes to the important site be made to “hasten slowly” and with complete consultation‘, Canberra Times, 25 September 2019 updated Update 29 September 2019: A full version of Director Nelson’s letter

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From the Honest History vault: six months today since publication of open letter from 83 distinguished Australians opposing the $498m plan to extend the Australian War Memorial

On 23 March this year, the names of 83 distinguished Australians appeared on an open letter opposing the plan to extend the Australian War Memorial at a cost of $498m. The letter said this: The Australian War Memorial’s $498 million

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War Memorial opens Mitchell ‘garage’ for one day of the year – but could do so much more with it

Online paper The Senior picked up some Australian War Memorial promotional material about the Memorial’s renewed (first time since 2016) annual opening (5 October) of its Mitchell A.C.T. annexe to show off the large technology objects (planes, helicopters, tanks and

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Daley, Paul: We demean our history when we turn the Australian War Memorial into Disneyland

Paul Daley ‘We demean our history when we turn the Australian War Memorial into Disneyland‘, Guardian Australia, 5 September 2019 Uses letter from former Memorial Director Brendon Kelson to Minister Chester to make some trenchant points about the proposed extensions

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Quite big enough, thank you! Recent developments in the Heritage Guardians campaign against the $498 million War Memorial extensions – and Nelson waves farewell

The announcement of the impending departure of Australian War Memorial Director, Dr Brendan Nelson, was linked with reminders of his and his Council’s plans to expand the Memorial at a cost of $498 million over a number of years. Our

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Daley, Paul: Who should lead the Australian War Memorial?

Paul Daley ‘Who should lead the Australian War Memorial?‘ ArtsHub, 2 September 2019 Criticises the suggestion that Tony Abbott might become Director of the Memorial, or even (perhaps) join its Council. Like Anzac, the memorial has been immune to political

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Stephens, David: From the Honest History vault: Battle of Long Tan anniversary; Agent Orange in Vietnam

David Stephens ‘From the Honest History vault: Battle of Long Tan anniversary; Agent Orange in Vietnam’, Honest History, 18 August 2019 Today is the 53rd anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan which killed 18 Australians and somewhere between 150

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Stephens, David: From the Honest History vault: Awkward humility: the speeches of the Hon. Brendan Nelson AO

David Stephens* ‘From the Honest History vault: Awkward humility: the speeches of the Hon. Brendan Nelson AO‘, Honest History, 15 August 2019 A long piece in two parts on the oral oeuvre of the soon to be former Director of

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From the Honest History vault: Hiroshima and Nagasaki 74 years on

This week, Honest History always tries to recognise the anniversary of the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima (6 August) and Nagasaki (9 August), which brought World War II to an end, but at a terrible cost. We do not this

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Stephens, David: Abbott wrong fit for War Memorial Council, says campaigner opposing AWM expansion

David Stephens ‘Abbott wrong fit for War Memorial Council, says campaigner opposing AWM expansion‘, The Riot Act, 7 August 2019 updated Comment on the kite flown about possible appointment of Tony Abbott to the War Memorial Council. (Update 1 October

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Dingwall, Doug: Australian War Memorial reverses plan to build on nature park

Doug Dingwall ‘Australian War Memorial reverses plan to build on nature park‘, Canberra Times, 6 August 2019 Front page story on hard copy. Reports that the Memorial has decided to confine its expansion-related car parking to the current boundaries of

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Llewellyn, Richard: The Australian War Memorial Redevelopment Program: the “Mitchell Option” reassessed

Richard Llewellyn ‘The Australian War Memorial Redevelopment Program: the “Mitchell Option” reassessed‘, Honest History, 22 July 2019 updated [For the context to this paper, go to the Heritage Guardians campaign diary, which includes an earlier paper by Richard Llewellyn.] Update

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Bottoms, Timothy: Massacre recollections Elder stories of Frontier Wars in FNQ

Timothy Bottoms ‘Massacre recollections Elder stories of Frontier Wars in FNQ‘, YouTube, 16 July 2019 North Queensland-based historian, Tim Bottoms, has posted this 13 minute video in which Aboriginal Elders recount specific instances of frontier violence. The late Kenny Jimmy

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Hill, Lisa: Our Mob Served: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories of War and Defending Australia, edited by Allison Cadzow and Mary Anne Jebb

Lisa Hill ‘Our Mob Served: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories of War and Defending Australia, edited by Allison Cadzow and Mary Anne Jebb’, ANZ LitLovers, 9 July 2019 ‘I expect’, says Lisa Hill in the course of this post,

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Productivity Commission report on veterans’ services also has something to say on Australian War Memorial

The Productivity Commission has recently provided its final report to the Australian Government on compensation and rehabilitation for veterans. The report is in two volumes under the title A Better Way to Support Veterans. While much of the focus of

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Coe, Bruce: Pulling Through: The Story of the King’s Cup

Bruce Coe Pulling Through: The Story of the King’s Cup, Slattery Media, Melbourne, 2019 The story behind the winning of the 1919 King’s Cup by the Australian Imperial Forces No. 1 crew is fascinating. Wartime authorities created diversions for war

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Jordan, Lucas: Rowing on after the Great War: the origins of the King’s Cup

Lucas Jordan* ‘Rowing on after the Great War: the origins of the King’s Cup’, Honest History, 8 July 2019 Lucas Jordan reviews Bruce Coe’s Pulling Through: The Story of the King’s Cup On Saturday, 5 July 1919, an eight-man rowing

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Gower, Steve: The Australian War Memorial: A Century on from the Vision

Steve Gower The Australian War Memorial: A Century on from the Vision, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2019 In this book, Steve Gower, the highly successful director of the Australian War Memorial from 1996 to 2012, gives a comprehensive account of the

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Abbott, Derek: A personal memoir from a safe pair of hands: Steve Gower on the Australian War Memorial

Derek Abbott* ‘A personal memoir from a safe pair of hands: Steve Gower on the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 2 July 2019 Derek Abbott reviews The Australian War Memorial: A Century on from the Vision, by Steve Gower  Steve

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Stephens, David: Strengthening the RSL link is not the most pressing need for the War Memorial Council

David Stephens* ‘Strengthening the RSL link is not the most pressing need for the unrepresentative and anachronistic War Memorial Council’, Honest History, 30 June 2019 updated During the recent election campaign, New South Wales President of the RSL, James Brown,

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Scappatura, Vince: The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy

Vince Scappatura The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2019 Australian society and its leaders generally take for granted the importance and value of this nation’s relationship with the United States. The US is commonly thought

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Broinowski, Alison: Unreliable protection from unnecessary enemies: Scappatura on the US Lobby and us

Alison Broinowski* ‘Unreliable protection from unnecessary enemies: Scappatura on the US Lobby and us’, Honest History, 25 June 2019 Alison Broinowski reviews Vince Scappatura, The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy  A blast of fresh air blew through the Australian

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O’Mallon, Finbar: War memorial risks becoming a “theme park”: former director

Finbar O’Mallon ‘War memorial risks becoming a “theme park”: former director‘, Canberra Times, 24 June 2019 Interview with former Director Brendon Kelson, referring to his letter to the Prime Minister regarding the proposed Memorial extensions. Mr Kelson offers the Memorial’s

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Llewellyn, Richard: The Australian War Memorial extensions: a critique of the design choice

Richard Llewellyn ‘The Australian War Memorial extensions: a critique of the design choice‘, Honest History, 24 June 2019 Richard Llewellyn held the senior position of Registrar at the Australian War Memorial from 1986 to 1995. His paper (almost 8700 words)

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Stanley, Peter: Reading the Act: what is the Australian War Memorial for?

Peter Stanley ‘Reading the Act: what is the Australian War Memorial for?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 19 June 2019 Argues that the Australian War Memorial Act 1980 sets out the responsibilities of the Memorial and that providing a ‘therapeutic milieu’ for

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Bye, Clarissa: Military heroes in fight of their lives as more veterans die through suicide

Clarissa Bye ‘Military heroes in fight of their lives as more veterans die through suicide‘, Daily Telegraph, 16 June 2019 Continues a campaign by Daily Telegraph, including editorially, for a Royal Commission into suicide of Australian Defence Force veterans. Earlier

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Binh Ba anniversary a good time to look more widely at Vietnam War: from the Honest History vault

Updated 29 February 2020: a retrospective from historian Peter Edwards in The Strategist. Last week was the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Binh Ba, a small battle in the Vietnam War, in which one Australian was killed and ten

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Knaus, Christopher: Brendan Nelson warned to avoid “potential conflict” of paid role with Thales

Christopher Knaus ‘Brendan Nelson warned to avoid “potential conflict” of paid role with Thales‘, Guardian Australia, 24 May 2019 Documents obtained under Freedom of Information show that the then Minister, Senator Ronaldson, warned War Memorial Director Nelson of potential conflicts

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Palmer, Charlotte: Is the Australian War Memorial a place of healing?

Charlotte Palmer ‘Is the Australian War Memorial a place of healing?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 23 May 2019 Article by retired Canberra GP medical practitioner, with 25 years’ clinical experience in treating psychological trauma. For those with untreated or unresolved distress,

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Dapin, Mark: Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History

Mark Dapin Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History, NewSouth, Sydney, 2019 This book should be read by anyone interested in the way myths become accepted as history.’ — Peter Edwards, author of Australia and the Vietnam War Why everything you think you

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Stephens, David: Mark Dapin: politely pushing back against Australia’s Vietnam mythology

David Stephens* ‘Mark Dapin: politely pushing back against Australia’s Vietnam mythology’, Honest History, 7 May 2019 updated David Stephens reviews Mark Dapin’s Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History  The Honest History enterprise has devoted a lot of time and effort to

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Duffy, Michael & Nick Hordern: World War Noir: Sydney’s Unpatriotic War

Michael Duffy & Nick Hordern World War Noir: Sydney’s Unpatriotic War, NewSouth, Sydney, 2019 It seems that not even world war could stop crime in Sydney. In fact, World War Noir confirms that war and crime — in the form of

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Pender, Margaret: Refuting the War Memorial view of Australia’s World War II – or, at least Sydney’s

Margaret Pender* ‘Refuting the War Memorial view of Australia’s World War II – or, at least Sydney’s’, Honest History, 5 May 2019 Margaret Pender reviews World War Noir: Sydney’s Unpatriotic War, by Michael Duffy and Nick Hordern  World War Noir: Sydney’s

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Stephens, David: Australian War Memorial’s $498 million funding boost would be better spent on veterans

David Stephens ‘Australian War Memorial’s $498 million funding boost would be better spent on veterans‘, The Strategist, 2 May 2019 Response to arguments of Director, Australian War Memorial, as published in The Strategist recently. There are holes in Dr Nelson’s

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Stephens, David: Lest We Forget Yassmin Abdel-Magied: a two-year retrospective

David Stephens* ‘Lest We Forget Yassmin Abdel-Magied: a two-year retrospective’, Honest History, 24 April 2019 updated Update 7 May 2019: ABC presenter Sami Shah on being Yassmin-ed. Update 26 April 2019: also on Independent Australia website. *** Two years ago,

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Stephens, David: More on the War Memorial’s carelessness about naming rights

David Stephens* ‘More on the War Memorial’s carelessness about naming rights’, Honest History, 23 April 2019 A couple of weeks ago, Honest History posted some analysis about ‘naming rights’ at the Australian War Memorial. The piece was triggered by War

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Daley, Paul: Both major parties were suckerpunched into supporting the $500m war memorial expansion

Paul Daley ‘Both major parties were suckerpunched into supporting the $500m war memorial expansion‘, Guardian Australia, 22 April 2019 updated One of the signatories of the open letter against the War Memorial extensions provides a passionate but well-reasoned analysis of

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Stephens, David: Köken Ergun’s Şehitler (Heroes) is a well observed Dardanelles doco that deserves wide distribution

David Stephens* Köken Ergun’s Şehitler (Heroes) is a well observed Dardanelles doco that deserves wide distribution’, Honest History, 18 April 2019 updated Update 24 April 2019: Turkish nationals are to be excluded from Australian ceremonies at Gallipoli, 2019. Security reasons cited.

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Stephens, David: Architects dig in against Australian War Memorial extensions; mixed messages from the Memorial; odd perspective from the ABC

David Stephens* ‘Architects dig in against Australian War Memorial extensions; mixed messages from the Memorial; odd perspective from the ABC’, Honest History, 12 April 2019 updated Philip Leeson, ACT Chapter President of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA), told ABC

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Stephens, David: A free kick from the ABC and an opportunity missed at Senate Estimates: when does the use of a name become a naming right?

David Stephens* ‘A free kick from the ABC and an opportunity missed at Senate Estimates: when does the use of a name become a naming right?’ Honest History, 11 April 2019 updated Senate Estimates this week were something of a

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Cooper, Jan: Searching for my father: a war story

Jan Cooper* ‘Searching for my father: a war story’, Honest History, 8 April 2019 Recently I went in search of information about my father, Doug Cooper. Like others born in 1940 or thereabouts, I suspected that I was not alone

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Stephens, David: Thoughts of the people against the War Memorial’s grandiose extensions project

David Stephens* ‘Thoughts of the people against the War Memorial’s grandiose extensions project’, Honest History, 8 April 2019 On 23 March, the Canberra Times carried a story about an open letter from 83 distinguished Australians opposing the plan to spend

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Appin Massacre memorial service to be held on 14 April

A post in Catholica by Keiran Tapsell reminds us that on 14 April there will be a memorial service for the Appin Massacre of 1816. The post links to some information put out by Campbelltown Council about the service. The

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Stephens, David: For Our Country: Australian War Memorial sidles a little closer to a balanced view of Indigenous warriors

David Stephens* ‘For Our Country: Australian War Memorial sidles a little closer to a balanced view of Indigenous warriors’, Honest History, 31 March 2019 updated Update 23 April 2019: Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus examines the meaning of the artwork and

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Fathi, Romain: Our Corner of the Somme: Australia at Villers-Bretonneux

Romain Fathi Our Corner of the Somme: Australia at Villers-Bretonneux, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2019 One of the Australian Army History Series, edited by Professor Peter Stanley of UNSW Canberra. By the time of the Armistice, Villers-Bretonneux – once a

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Stephens, David: A bracing journey through the green fields of France: Romain Fathi’s Villers-Bretonneux and Australia’s place in it

David Stephens* ‘A bracing journey through the green fields of France: Romain Fathi’s Villers-Bretonneux and Australia’s place in it’, Honest History, 29 March 2019 David Stephens reviews Our Corner of the Somme: Australia at Villers-Bretonneux, by Romain Fathi First, the

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Greenland, Hall: ‘German frightfulness’ from the Australian Light Horse, Egypt, 1919

Hall Greenland* ‘“German frightfulness” from the Australian Light Horse, Egypt, 1919’, Honest History, 18 March 2019 One hundred years ago this month the fabled Australian Light Horsemen led the charge to put down the Egyptian national revolution. On 8 March

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Fathi, Romain: ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ The Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux: a Frenchman’s reflection on his visit

Romain Fathi* ‘“Look at me! Look at me!” The Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux: a Frenchman’s reflection on his visit’, Honest History, 12 March 2019 updated Update 29 May 2019: Philip Goad in ArchitectureAu on the architecture of the

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Stephens, David: Why not advertise to ‘recruit’ a new member of the Australian War Memorial Council?

David Stephens* ‘Why not advertise to “recruit” a new member of the Australian War Memorial Council?’, Honest History, 6 March 2019 Les Carlyon AC, editor, author and member of the Australian War Memorial Council is dead at 76. In due

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Stephens, David: Total Australian spending on World War I centenary: an aide memoire for the curious

David Stephens* ‘Total Australian spending on World War I centenary: an aide memoire for the curious’, Honest History, 19 February 2019 updated Australian Government ‘The total Australian Government Anzac Centenary funding over the last ten years to 2018-19 is approximately

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Edwards, John: John Curtin’s War (Volumes I and II)

John Edwards John Curtin’s War: Volume I, Penguin Random House, Sydney, 2017; Volume II, Penguin Random House, Sydney, 2018; also available electronically Using much new material John Edwards’ vivid, landmark biography places Curtin as a man of his times, puzzling

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Stephens, David: John Curtin’s War leaves questions unanswered, despite John Edwards’ best efforts

David Stephens* ‘John Curtin’s War leaves questions unanswered, despite John Edwards’ best efforts’, Honest History, 12 February 2019 David Stephens reviews John Curtin’s War (Volumes I and II) by John Edwards John Curtin has over the years become the Mount

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Wells, Alexander: Whatever happened to the arts of peace?

Alexander Wells ‘Whatever happened to the arts of peace?‘ Overland, 8 February 2019 In the mass media and cultural institutions, we have just marked the 100-year anniversary of Armistice by continuing to fixate on warfare – at the expense of

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Stephens, David: Review note: Meanjin’s Summer 2018 issue is nutritious and thought-provoking

David Stephens* ‘Review note: Meanjin’s Summer 2018 issue is nutritious and thought-provoking’, Honest History, 29 January 2019 updated There’s always a lot to read in an issue of Meanjin and its Summer 2018 issue is rightly labelled ‘Bumper’. This reviewer

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Ashenden, Dean: Saving the War Memorial from itself

Dean Ashenden ‘Saving the War Memorial from itself‘, Inside Story, 15 January 2019 updated Long article canvassing many aspects of the War Memorial’s current direction, from its refusal to recognise the Frontier Wars, to the composition of its Council, and

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Kalagian Blunt, Ashley: My Name is Revenge

Ashley Kalagian Blunt My Name is Revenge, Spineless Wonders Publishing, Melbourne, 2018; electronic version available My Name is Revenge is in two parts. There is a novella, and an essay reflecting on the historic events that inspired that novella, and meditating

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Stanley, Peter: The Armenian Genocide is part of Australian – and Turkish – history

Peter Stanley[*] ‘The Armenian Genocide is part of Australian – and Turkish – history’, Honest History, 16 January 2019 updated Update 9 November 2019: a useful article from the United States following a vote there to recognise the Genocide. Peter

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Honest History review roundup: the books we wrote up in 2018

It’s been a great year for history publishing in Australia. Honest History has had the privilege of publishing reviews of materials that discuss, interrogate and eloquently distill the multi-faceted realities of our country’s history. From Diane Bell’s stirring reflection on

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War Memorial releases report on public consultation for $500 million extensions

The Australian War Memorial has released a brief report on the consultations it undertook in relation to the proposed extensions to the Memorial. Here is a copy. Key points: Feedback was received from 134 individuals. Participants were fairly evenly spread

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Stephens, David: Paul Daley’s On Patriotism: an appreciation from a fellow-traveller

David Stephens* ‘Paul Daley’s On Patriotism: an appreciation from a fellow-traveller’, Honest History, 16 December 2018 updated This is not really a book review, though a book has set it off. The book is Paul Daley’s On Patriotism, actually an

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Stephens, David: Questions downstairs: the After the War exhibition at the Australian War Memorial

David Stephens* ‘Questions downstairs: the After the War exhibition at the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 13 December 2018 updated In 2014, when the refurbished First World War galleries at the Australian War Memorial were about to be opened, the

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Clark, Melanie: From frontier to front line: Indigenous Australians and Australian war memory

Melanie Clark* ‘From frontier to front line: Indigenous Australians and Australian war memory’, Honest History, 12 December 2018 Note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following article contains images of people who have died. *** ‘Policeman

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Miller, Nick: If you could put a price on WWI fallen, it wouldn’t be $100 million

Nick Miller ‘If you could put a price on WWI fallen, it wouldn’t be $100 million‘, The Age, 5 December 2018 updated An FOI claim on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs reveals that visitor numbers to the Monash centre at

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Stephens, David: If the Australian War Memorial holds ‘the soul of the nation’ why is the Memorial Council so full of brass?

David Stephens ‘If the Australian War Memorial holds “the soul of the nation” why is the Memorial Council so full of brass?’, Honest History, 28 November 2018 updated The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, often tells

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Hutchison, Margaret: Painting War: A History of Australia’s First World War Art Scheme

Margaret Hutchison Painting War: A History of Australia’s First World War Art Scheme, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, 2018 Part of the Australian Army History series, edited by Peter Stanley. During the First World War the Australian Government established an

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Werskey, Gary: Warpaint: the making of Australian war art

Gary Werskey* ‘Warpaint: the making of Australian war art’, Honest History, 28 November 2018 Gary Werskey reviews Margaret Hutchison, Painting War: A History of Australia’s First World War Art Scheme, by Margaret Hutchison I didn’t know until I read Margaret

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Stanley, Peter, ed.: Jeff Grey: A Life in History

Peter Stanley, ed. Jeff Grey: A Life in History, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, UNSW Canberra, Canberra, 2018 Memorial volume for UNSW Canberra’s late Professor of History. Authors are Frank Bongiorno, John Connor, Peter Dennis, Eleanor Hancock, Peter Stanley,

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Richardson, Andrew: Jeff Grey’s character, personality and contribution are captured in this book

Andrew Richardson* ‘Jeff Grey’s character, personality and contribution are captured in this book’, Honest History, 27 November 2018 Andrew Richardson reviews Jeff Grey: A Life in History, edited by Peter Stanley Like most (if not all) military historians based in

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Stanley, Peter: Commemoration without conscience: the War Memorial must remain sacred

Peter Stanley ‘Commemoration without conscience: the War Memorial must remain sacred‘, Canberra Times, 22 November 2018 Article by military historian (and Past-President of Honest History) arguing that, if the Memorial is indeed a sacred place, that status is incompatible with

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Reynolds, Henry: Frontier conflict and the War Memorial: an enduring controversy

Henry Reynolds ‘Frontier conflict and the War Memorial: an enduring controversy‘, Meanjin (blog), 20 November 2018 Discusses War Memorial resistance to commemoration of the Frontier Wars, casualty figures, the nature of the conflict, Mabo, and terra nullius. It [frontier conflict]

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Karageorgos, Effie: An urgent rethink is needed on the idealised image of the ANZAC digger

Effie Karageorgos ‘An urgent rethink is needed on the idealised image of the ANZAC digger‘, The Conversation, 21 November 2018 Having spent all that money on Great War commemoration we need to become more honest – respectfully – about the way

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Davies, Geoff: Lest we also forget

Geoff Davies ‘Lest we also forget‘, Pearls and Irritations, 20 November 2018 Pungent and telling piece by an author and retired scientist. He enjoins us regarding a number of important events and issues, introducing each one with the words ‘lest

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Stephens, David: Another wrinkle on why the Australian War Memorial will not commemorate the Frontier Wars: in 2013 it offloaded the job to the other end of Canberra’s lake

David Stephens ‘Why the Australian War Memorial will not commemorate the Frontier Wars: in 2013 it offloaded the job to the other end of Canberra’s lake – plus some statutory sleight of hand’, Honest History, 19 November 2018 updated Senator

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Stephens, David: War Memorial comes clean – sort of – about the help it receives from arms dealers Northrop Grumman and Raytheon

David Stephens ‘War Memorial comes clean – sort of – about the help it receives from arms dealers Northrop Grumman and Raytheon’, Honest History, 18 November 2018 updated A short while ago we pointed to what looked like an error

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Menadue, John: Sacrifice is being politicised. Militarism is becoming the norm

John Menadue ‘Sacrifice is being politicised. Militarism is becoming the norm‘, Pearls and Irritations, 17 November 2018 Passionate post from Australian Elder, former senior public servant and businessman (and among Honest History’s distinguished supporters). Remembrance is morphing into  acceptance of

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Reynolds, Henry: Has the cavalcade of commemoration finally halted?

Henry Reynolds ‘Has the cavalcade of commemoration finally halted?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 16 November 2018 Leading historian says historians of the future will wonder where our obsession with war – made flesh in the Anzac centenary – came from and

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Cochrane, Peter: Reply to Marilyn Lake’s review of Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18

Peter Cochrane* ‘Reply to Marilyn Lake’s review of Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18’, Honest History, 16 November 2018 updated Marilyn Lake’s review of Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18 appeared in Australian Book

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Cashen, Phil: 192. Thanksgiving Sunday, 17/11/18

Phil Cashen ‘192. Thanksgiving Sunday, 17/11/18‘, Shire at War, 12 November 2018 Another excellent microcosmic piece – Phil Cashen has done 192 of them to date – from the Shire of Alberton, this time closely examining sermons in local churches

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More parting shots for the Armistice centenary (mostly from the non-mainstream media)

Scott Bennett in Inside Story on whether war memorials hide more than they reveal. His book is The Nameless Names: Recovering the Missing Anzacs. Paul Daley in Guardian Australia marks the passing of ‘Peak Anzac’, and he says this is

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Armistice Day: three non-mainstream media posts for the centenary, plus Paul Kelly on familiar territory

The Conversation almost counts as mainstream media these days, but its offerings are often far from run of the mill. Flinders University historian, Romain Fathi, has a concise and excellent piece on the Armistice to add to his earlier explainer

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Newton, Douglas: Merchants of death should not be funding Australian War Memorial

Douglas Newton ‘Merchants of death should not be funding Australian War Memorial‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 November 2018 To fund worthy causes such as a national commemoration, mounted in all our names, is why we have governments and taxation. Meeting

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‘Thank you for your service’: recent outbursts of faux patriotism well dealt with on non-mainstream media

In the course of little more than a week leading up to the centenary of the Armistice of 1918, we have seen and heard announcements about discount cards and lapel pins for veterans, a massive capital funding boost for the

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Stephens, David: A grandiose commemorative project for Canberra raises lots of questions

David Stephens ‘A grandiose commemorative project for Canberra raises lots of questions‘, Pearls and Irritations, 2 November 2018 Asks some pointed questions about the $498 million War Memorial extensions. Among the questions: Does the implication that the Memorial is ‘sacred’

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Government commits to $500 million extensions to Australian War Memorial – and $11 million for veterans’ discount card and lapel pin

The Prime Minister today announced a project to extend the Australian War Memorial. Guardian Australia. Memorial publicity. PM’s presser. PM with Alan Jones. Largesse for Memorial contrasts with financial struggles for other cultural institutions. Jack Waterford in Fairfax. Architects’ view.

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Stephens, David: Did the War Memorial deliberately mislead the Parliament about the money it gets from arms companies – or is it just careless about accountability?

David Stephens* ‘Did the War Memorial deliberately mislead the Parliament about the money it gets from arms companies – or is it just careless about accountability?’ Honest History, 26 October 2018 Update 18 November 2018: the War Memorial provides an

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Fahy, Michelle: Invictus Games, glossing over inconvenient truths – the arms trade and the British royals

Michelle Fahy ‘Invictus Games, glossing over inconvenient truths – the arms trade and the British royals‘, Pearls and Irritations, 19 October 2018 updated Michelle Fahy from Medical Association for Prevention of War provides a forensic analysis of the links between

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Phelps, Peter: The Bulldog Track: A Grandson’s Story of an Ordinary Man’s War and Survival on the Other Kokoda Trail

Peter Phelps The Bulldog Track: A Grandson’s Story of an Ordinary Man’s War and Survival on the Other Kokoda Trail, Hachette, Sydney, 2018; electronic version available This is the story of Tom Phelps and the “other Kokoda Track”. Seventy-five years

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Pender, Margaret: A family memoir confirms the randomness of wartime outcomes for ordinary people

Margaret Pender* ‘A family memoir confirms the randomness of wartime outcomes for ordinary people’, Honest History, 16 October 2018 Margaret Pender reviews The Bulldog Track: A Grandson’s Story of an Ordinary Man’s War and Survival on the Other Kokoda Trail

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Wakeling, Adam: Stern Justice: The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials

Adam Wakeling Stern Justice: The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials, Penguin Viking, Melbourne, 2018; e-book available While the Nuremberg trials at the end of the Second World War are infamous, as are the atrocities

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Burton, Pamela: Stern justice not without controversy: Japanese war crimes trials after World War II

Pamela Burton* ‘Stern justice not without controversy: Japanese war crimes trials after World War II’, Honest History, 12 October 2018 Pamela Burton reviews Stern Justice: The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials, by Adam Wakeling

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Cochrane, Peter: Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18

Peter Cochrane Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18, Text, Melbourne, 2018 In the half-century preceding the Great War there was a dramatic shift in the mindset of Australia’s political leaders, from a profound sense of safety in

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Stanley, Peter: The most important book on Australia and the Great War

Peter Stanley* ‘The most important book on Australia and the Great War’, Honest History, 7 October 2018 Peter Stanley reviews Peter Cochrane’s Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18 The Great War centenary has seen a goodly trickle

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Dyster, Barrie: Grieving for Gallipoli: a reflection for the centenary of the 1918 Armistice

Barrie Dyster* ‘Grieving for Gallipoli: a reflection for the centenary of the 1918 Armistice’, Honest History, 23 September 2018 The centenary of the end of the Great War is an opportunity to reflect on the world-wide impact of the conflict.

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Fathi, Romain: World politics explainer: the Great War (WWI)

Romain Fathi ‘World politics explainer: the Great War (WWI)‘, The Conversation, 3 September 2018 updated The article describes: the global conflict that was the Great War: the death toll of over ten million soldiers and six million civilians; the subsequent

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Gainsborough, Vance: Review note: Steve Sailah’s Killing Kitchener is a nicely-paced yarn set against a historical background

Vance Gainsborough* ‘Review note: Steve Sailah’s Killing Kitchener is a nicely-paced yarn set against a historical background’, Honest History, 1 September 2018 My (self-published) novelist friend, Ned Rowney, advises me that the keys to a good yarn are Place, Plot

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Alfano, Mark: They shall not die in vain: how the Islamic State honours its fallen soldiers – and how Australians do the same

Mark Alfano ‘They shall not die in vain: how the Islamic State honours its fallen soldiers – and how Australians do the same‘, The Conversation, 20 August 2018 Perceptive piece from a philosopher; based on frequency analysis of Islamic State

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Barritt-Eyles, Lisa: Remembering the Gulf War

Lisa Barritt-Eyles ‘Remembering the Gulf War‘, Australian Outlook, 2 August 2018 Concise outline from a PhD student of Australia’s involvement in the Gulf War, 1990-91. On 2nd August 28 years ago, Iraq invaded Kuwait amid the uncertainty of the changing

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Flanagan, Richard: The world is being undone before us. If we do not reimagine Australia, we will be undone too

Richard Flanagan ‘The world is being undone before us. If we do not reimagine Australia, we will be undone too‘, Guardian Australia, 5 August 2018 Speech at Garma festival, NT, by distinguished author. (Over 500 comments at time of this

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Clark, Anna: Friday essay: the “great Australian silence” 50 years on

Anna Clark ‘Friday essay: the “great Australian silence” 50 years on‘, The Conversation, 3 August 2018 updated Marks the 50th anniversary of the famous Boyer lectures by anthropologist WEH Stanner, which drew attention to Australian reluctance to confront our Indigenous

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Reynolds, Henry: A hundred years of mateship (2)

Henry Reynolds ‘A hundred years of mateship (2)‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 July 2018 Follows an earlier piece under the same title and riffs off an ill-judged poster from the Australian Embassy in Washington. The poster was intended to illustrate

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Stephens, David: Australian War Memorial consults the public on mooted massive extensions: is anything ‘sacred’?

David Stephens* ‘Australian War Memorial consults the public on mooted massive extensions: is anything “sacred”?’, Honest History, 3 August 2018 updated The Australian War Memorial has been talking for more than a year about its desire to extend its building

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Whish-Wilson, Senator Peter: Ten questions for Brendan Nelson, speaking on Friday at the Tamar Valley Peace Festival

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson* ‘Ten questions for Brendan Nelson, speaking on Friday at the Tamar Valley Peace Festival’, Honest History, 1 August 2018 updated This article is posted as a contribution to public debate. These issues are also canvassed elsewhere on

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Margaret Macmillan Reith Lectures 2018 ‘The Mark of Cain’: on war and humanity

Update 12 October 2020: Macmillan turned the lectures into a book, reviewed here. *** The 2018 Reith lectures by distinguished Canadian historian, Professor Margaret Macmillan, can be found on the BBC site, in audio and transcript. The series has the

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Stephens, David: Dunera Lives is a tribute to resilience and a testament of worthy contributions to Australia

David Stephens[*] ‘Dunera Lives is a tribute to resilience and a testament of worthy contributions to Australia’, Honest History, 12 July 2018 updated David Stephens reviews Dunera Lives: A Visual History, by Ken Inglis, Seumas Spark and Jay Winter, with

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Dunera Lives is well and truly launched: speeches by Frank Bongiorno in Canberra and Raimond Gaita in Melbourne

Dunera Lives: A Visual History was launched in Canberra on 4 July by Frank Bongiorno and in Melbourne on 8 and 9 July by Raimond Gaita. Frank Bongiorno’s speech and Raimond Gaita’s speech, both by courtesy of the authors. David

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Inglis, Ken, Jay Winter & Seumas Spark, with Carol Bunyan: Dunera Lives: A Visual History

Ken Inglis, Jay Winter & Seumas Spark, with Carol Bunyan Dunera Lives: A Visual History, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018 In July 1940, around 2000 refugees, most of whom were Jewish and from Germany or Austria, were sent from Britain

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FitzSimons, Peter: Monash’s Masterpiece: The Battle of Le Hamel and the 93 Minutes that Changed the World

Peter FitzSimons Monash’s Masterpiece: The Battle of Le Hamel and the 93 Minutes that Changed the World, Hachette, Sydney, 2018; e-book available Peter FitzSimons brings to life the story of the battle of Le Hamel – the Allied triumph masterminded

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Richardson, Andrew: Myths and reality about a small battle on the Western Front in 1918: FitzSimons and Dando-Collins on Hamel

Andrew Richardson[1] ‘Myths and reality about a small battle on the Western Front in 1918: FitzSimons and Dando-Collins on Hamel’, Honest History, 4 July 2018 Andrew Richardson reviews Peter FitzSimons’ Monash’s Masterpiece: The Battle of Le Hamel and the 93

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Dando-Collins, Stephen: Heroes of Hamel: : The Australians and Americans whose WWI Victory Changed Modern Warfare

Stephen Dando-Collins Heroes of Hamel: The Australians and Americans whose WWI Victory Changed Modern Warfare, Vintage & Random House, Melbourne, 2018; e-book available The battle of Hamel was remarkable for its speed, the tactics employed, numerous acts of extreme bravery,

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Ryan, Lyndall: The Sydney Wars 1788-1817: mythbusting around the Harbour and the Hawkesbury

Lyndall Ryan* ‘The Sydney Wars 1788-1817: mythbusting around the Harbour and the Hawkesbury’, Honest History, 19 June 2018 Lyndall Ryan reviews The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817 by Stephen Gapps  It seems extraordinary that, after 230 years,

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Gapps, Stephen: The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817

Stephen Gapps The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817, NewSouth, Sydney, 2018 The Sydney Wars tells the history of military engagements between Europeans and Aboriginal Australians – described as “this constant sort of war” by one early colonist –

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Honest History President Frank Bongiorno talks to Richard Denniss about commemoration, memory and donations to the War Memorial

Honest History President, Professor Frank Bongiorno of the ANU, talks to Richard Denniss, economist from The Australia Institute. Their chat (from mark 14.00) covers national days, the commemoration of blood sacrifice, how corporate donors to the War Memorial are possibly

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Troughton, Geoffrey & Philip Fountain, ed.: Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand

Geoffrey Troughton & Philip Fountain, ed. Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2018 This is a book about how New Zealanders have been inspired by visions for peace. Focusing on

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Hynd, Douglas: Is peace as interesting as war?

Douglas Hynd* ‘Is peace as interesting as war?’ Honest History, 23 May 2018 Douglas Hynd reviews Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand, edited by Geoffrey Troughton and Philip Fountain Towards the conclusion of Judith

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80 years on since Pig Iron Bob: new documentary has contemporary relevance

November this year marks 80 years since the Dalfram dispute, wherein then federal minister, soon to be PM, Robert Menzies, earned the nick-name ‘Pig Iron Bob’ for what seemed his excessive eagerness to sell to Japan material which had a

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Broinowski, Alison: Anzackery and the preening peloton

Alison Broinowski ‘Anzackery and the preening peloton‘, Pearls and Irritations, 24 April 2018 Honest History vice president weaves together Australian Defence Force duchessing of politicians, MSM Anzac cliches, critiques of Anzackery, culminating in praise for Richard Flanagan’s recent NPC speech.

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May, Catriona: War and trauma: learning the lessons

Catriona May ‘War and trauma: learning the lessons‘, Pursuit (University of Melbourne), 19 April 2018 An apposite post for the Anzac season, the article examines developments in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in armed forces, from diagnosis of ‘shell-shock’

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Reynolds, Henry: Brendan Nelson and the War Memorial – what about the frontier wars?

Henry Reynolds ‘Brendan Nelson and the War Memorial – what about the frontier wars?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 10 April 2018 Historian of invader-Indigenous relations in Australia considers the proposed extension to the Australian War Memorial and the Memorial’s inadequate recognition

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Stephens, David: Lest We Forget again: Anzac Day is an opportunity to confront our violent frontier past and its shadow today

David Stephens ‘Lest We Forget again: Anzac Day is an opportunity to confront our violent frontier past and its shadow today’, Honest History, 10 April 2018 updated Yassmin Abdel-Magied, 2017 (Guardian Australia/ABC) Yassmin Abdel-Magied, a young Somali-Australian Muslim woman, was

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Stephens, David: Brendan Nelson’s bunker and with cap in hand: contrasts in funding our national cultural institutions

David Stephens* ‘Brendan Nelson’s bunker and with cap in hand: contrasts in funding our national cultural institutions’, Honest History, 9 April 2018 updated Update 11 May 2018: Honest History’s submission to the JSCNET Inquiry into Canberra’s National Institutions The Director

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Daley, Paul: A $500m expansion of the war memorial is a reckless waste of money

Paul Daley ‘A $500m expansion of the war memorial is a reckless waste of money‘, Guardian Australia, 9 April 2018 Picks up the issue also canvassed by David Stephens of Honest History. Having spent more than half a billion dollars

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Peter Stanley: Shades of the Great War are missing in this nicely packaged offering from Adelaide

Peter Stanley ‘Shades of the Great War are missing in this nicely packaged offering from Adelaide’, Honest History, 4 April 2018 Peter Stanley reviews Robert Kearney and Sharon Cleary, Valour and Violets: South Australia in the Great War The centenary

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Kearney, Robert & Sharon Cleary: Valour and Violets: South Australia in the Great War

Robert Kearney & Sharon Cleary Valour and Violets: South Australia in the Great War, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2018 Close to 35,000 South Australians enlisted for service overseas during the Great War. Around 5500 never came back. Countless more returned with

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Shield, John: Between Sky and Sea: Herz Bergner’s Australian Yiddish novel about the Holocaust and the search for the Promised Land

John Shield[1] ‘Between Sky and Sea: Herz Bergner’s Australian Yiddish novel about the Holocaust and the search for the Promised Land’, Honest History, 30 March 2018 This is the second of John Shield’s articles exploring the Text Classics list. The

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Blowing the whistle on Australia as gunrunner: two pertinent non-MSM pieces

Prime Minister Turnbull recently announced a $3.8 billion defence export plan. ‘Gunrunners’ is Defence Force slang for makers and purveyors of arms and related equipment. Perhaps the government has earned that epithet as well. Overall, Australia plans to spend some

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (35): As enlistments dwindle, PM Hughes reminds people there is a war on

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (35): As enlistments dwindle, PM Hughes reminds people there is a war on’, Honest History, 16 March 2018 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series The second conscription referendum in December 1917 may have looked like the

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73 years this week since the most destructive bombing raid in history: Tokyo 9-10 March 1945

Everyone knows about Hiroshima and Nagasaki – two cities where tens of thousands of people were killed by a single bomb – but there is much less awareness about what happened in Tokyo on the night of 9-10 March 1945.

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (34): Shire at War blog looks at alcohol, temperance and attitudes to the war

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (34): Shire at War blog looks at alcohol, temperance and attitudes to the war’, Honest History, 21 February 2018 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Phil Cashen’s assiduous research for his Shire at War blog has

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Bombing of Darwin 76 years on: Territory tourism to have even stronger khaki tinge (but focus is still too narrow)

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs pro tem* Michael McCormack reminds us that today marks the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin in February 1942. Around 400 people were killed in Darwin and in later raids on other northern towns. SS

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Daley, Paul: Beating the khaki drum: how Australian identity was militarised

Paul Daley ‘Beating the khaki drum: how Australian identity was militarised‘, Guardian Australia, 1 February 2018 Pulls together the themes of Anzackery, arms manufacturers inflicting advertising on Canberra airport users, and the same manufacturers donating to the Australian War Memorial

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Shield, John: All the Green Year: Don Charlwood between war and depression

John Shield* ‘All the Green Year: Don Charlwood between war and depression’, Honest History, 30 January 2018 When Honest History discovered the Australia Explained website and I turned to the books page thereon it gladdened my heart to see there

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (33): The second conscription referendum viewed from Gippsland

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (33): The second conscription referendum viewed from Gippsland’, Honest History, 30 January 2018 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Once again, we find some very useful research on Phil Cashen’s Shire at War blog, based in

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Grishin, Sasha: Arthur Streeton: The art of war at the National Gallery of Australia combines beauty and barbarity

Sasha Grishin ‘Arthur Streeton: The art of war at the National Gallery of Australia combines beauty and barbarity’, Canberra Times, 10 January 2018 Review of an exhibition at the National Gallery, Canberra, until 29 April, just after Anzac Day. Reminds

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (32): Alfred Deakin in retirement supports conscription

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (32): Alfred Deakin in retirement supports conscription’, Honest History, 19 December 2017 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Deakin in his prime (Wikipedia) By the end of 1917, former prime minister Alfred Deakin had been out

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What Honest History reviewed in 2017: might be some Christmas reading here

Honest History’s reviews are found here, with the latest at the top of the list. You can scroll down and find reviews of a wide range of books, of a generally historical bent, along with the occasional movie or television

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Armstrong, John: Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. April 2015 – April 2019

John Armstrong* ‘Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. April 2015–April 2019‘, New Zealand Journal of Public History 27, 2017, pp. 59-63 This (pdf) is a long review of the Museum of New Zealand

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Hyland, Tom: What have I become?

Tom Hyland ‘“What have I become?”‘ Inside Story, 14 December 2017 A review of – and a look at the politics behind – Chris Masters’ just published book No Front Line: Australian Special Forces at War in Afghanistan. Hyland notes

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Koch, Christoph, ed.: Das Potsdamer Abkommen (The Potsdam Agreement) 1945-2015

Christoph Koch, ed. Das Potsdamer Abkommen (The Potsdam Agreement) 1945–2015, Peter Lang, Bern, 2017 The book’s subtitle, ‘Rechtliche Bedeutung Und Historische Auswirkungen’, translates from the German as ‘Legal Meaning and Historical Impact’ and this is an accurate summary of the

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Tampke, Jurgen: Potsdam Conference 70th anniversary conference papers help us to understand European history since World War II

Jurgen Tampke* ‘Potsdam Conference 70th anniversary conference papers help us to understand European history since World War II’, Honest History, [date] Jurgen Tampke reviews Christoph Koch, ed., Das Potsdamer Abkommen (The Potsdam Agreement) 1945–2015  This book comprises eleven papers delivered

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Long Tan Cross repatriation a good time to put Vietnam War in perspective

The Long Tan Cross has been repatriated to Australia, as reported on Defence Connect, by the Prime Minister and Minister Tehan, and in the media. There are plans for the cross to go on permanent display at the Australian War

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (31): Returned soldiers speak out against conscription

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (31): Returned soldiers speak out against conscription’, Honest History, 6 December 2017 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series The newspaper, the Woman Voter, run by Vida Goldstein, Cecilia John and other radical women, was often a

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Troughton, Geoffrey, ed.: Saints and Stirrers: Christianity, Conflict and Peacemaking in New Zealand, 1814-1945

Geoffrey Troughton, ed. Saints and Stirrers: Christianity, Conflict and Peacemaking in New Zealand, 1814-1945, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2017 New Zealanders, while generally peaceable and tolerant people, have seldom shied away from war. Even in the current era, Anzac Day

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Hynd, Douglas: New Zealand Great War peacemaking history has Trans-Tasman relevance

Douglas Hynd* ‘New Zealand Great War peacemaking history has Trans-Tasman relevance’, Honest History, 5 December 2017 Douglas Hynd reviews Saints and Stirrers: Christianity, Conflict and Peacemaking in New Zealand, 1814-1945, edited by Geoffrey Troughton Contemporary critiques of Christianity, whether as

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Newton, Douglas: First World War centenaries that really matter are looming

Douglas Newton ‘First World War Centenaries that really matter are looming‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 November 2017 Centenary moments of huge significance are upon us: the centenary of the so-called “Lansdowne Peace Letter” of 29 November 1917, and the centenary

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Winkler, Heinrich August (trans. John A. Moses): And deliver us from the war guilt

[Note: This is a translation completed by Professor John A. Moses in November 2017 of a July 2014 review article in German by Professor Heinrich August Winkler on Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (Die

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Stephens, David: The Australian War Memorial is still doing well out of arms manufacturers – how well, we don’t quite know

David Stephens* ‘The Australian War Memorial is still doing well out of arms manufacturers – how well, we don’t quite know’, Honest History, 30 November 2017 updated Update 13 September 2018: Senate Estimates information provides a partial update, showing $1.3

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Farhart, Claudia: Give Peace a Chance

Claudia Farhart Give Peace a Chance, YouTube, 6 November 2017 A 50 minute documentary featuring interviews with Australian protesters against conscription and against the Vietnam War, interspersed with comments from academics and archival film. The interviews were collected by Larry

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Jenkins, Simon: No more remembrance days – let’s consign the 20th century to history

Simon Jenkins ‘No more remembrance days – let’s consign the 20th century to history‘, The Guardian, 9 November 2017 Other Honest History material on Remembrance Day 99 is here and linked therefrom. Simon Jenkins’ piece was shared 12 000 times

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Paradoxical purchase: War Memorial acquires APY ‘defence of Country’ painting Kulatangku angakanyini manta munu Tjukurpa

The Australian War Memorial has unveiled a large painting by artists from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands in South Australia. The painting, Kulatangku angakanyini manta munu Tjukurpa (‘Country and Culture will be protected by spears’) hangs in a conspicuous

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Perry, Roland: Monash and Chauvel: How Australia’s Two Greatest Generals Changed the Course of World History

Roland Perry Monash and Chauvel: How Australia’s Two Greatest Generals Changed the Course of World History, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2017 The book ‘tells the story of the emergence and dominance of these brilliant Australian soldiers, who commanded the two

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Abbott, Derek: Another ripping yarn from Australia’s Great War

Derek Abbott* ‘Another ripping yarn from Australia’s Great War’, Honest History, 16 November 2017 A review of Roland Perry’s Monash and Chauvel: How Australia’s Two Greatest Generals Changed the Course of World History Let’s get it out of the way

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Four late offerings for Remembrance Day: what should we remember really?

We have already posted some material relevant to 11 November, Remembrance Day, the 99th of that designation. That little collection links to the other posts. There’s also Simon Jenkins from The Guardian, who says ‘enough already’ of Remembrance Day. Two

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Letter to the Editor: Euphemisms are deadly

This in Fairfax today from Honest History secretary and editor: Every Anzac and Remembrance Day, we hear euphemisms for men and women who have died in war. They are “the fallen”, they “made the supreme sacrifice”, “they shall grow not

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Beyond the poppies row on row: Remembrance Day is a good day to think

Remembrance Day (Armistice Day, if you prefer) – like Anzac Day, Christmas, Easter, Passover, Ramadan, Diwali, Melbourne Cup Day, and other regular ceremonial and commemorative occasions – triggers virtually automatic reactions among many of us. Poppies, stories of old Diggers,

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Glover, Jeff: “Trying to be something they’re not”: grandfathers, Diggers, and Peter FitzSimons

Jeff Glover* ‘“Trying to be something they’re not”: grandfathers, Diggers, and Peter FitzSimons’, Honest History, 10 November 2017 As a 61-year-old avid reader of Australian military history, all too often these days I find inaccuracies, mistruths and even lies about

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Letter to the Editor: War Memorial a great place but no ‘soul of our nation’

This in Fairfax today from Honest History secretary and editor: What nonsense from Bill Shorten (Private Capital, November 7, p. 13). The War Memorial no more “represents the soul of our nation” than any other place where Australians gather. It

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Faber, David: Beersheba, occupation and the mind of God: a reflection on the centenary of the Beersheba charge

David Faber* ‘Beersheba, occupation and the mind of God: a reflection on the centenary of the Beersheba charge‘, Honest History, 8 November 2017 The paper concerns the recent centenary of the Battle of Beersheba and what the author sees as

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Beersheba, occupation and the mind of God: a reflection on the centenary of the Beersheba charge

David Faber* ‘Beersheba, occupation and the mind of God: a reflection on the centenary of the Beersheba charge’, Honest History, 8 November 2017 Can historians know the mind of God? It is a long time since most historians have scrutinised

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The Atatürk memorial at Anzac Cove has been restored but the words – though moving – are still dubious

The photograph below, taken on 29 October, shows the Atatürk memorial at Anzac Cove (Ari Burnu) after recent refurbishment. Honest History offered some advice to Turkish President Erdoğan about future options for the memorial but – not surprisingly perhaps –

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Specially Forced? Odd outburst from Director of Australian War Memorial

ABC TV News yesterday (2 November 2017) repeatedly ran an interview by Defence reporter, Andrew Greene, with Australian War Memorial Director, Brendan Nelson, in which Dr Nelson questioned the time being taken by the Army’s review into the conduct of

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Stephens, David: ‘Age shall not weary them’: questioning a Kokoda claim

David Stephens* ‘ “Age shall not weary them”: questioning a Kokoda claim’, Honest History, 3 November 2017 This week’s 75th anniversary of Kokoda has seen repeated claims about the average age of Australian soldiers in the Kokoda campaign. For example,

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Walsh: Nick: Kokoda Track: from the Honest History archives

[Note: this post was originally published in January 2016. Ministerial press release to mark 75th anniversary of Kokoda campaign.] Nick Walsh Kokoda Track, The author, 2nd edition, Melbourne 2012 This little book (70 pages, a dozen photographs, two clear maps) was

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Newton, Douglas: Beersheba and the scramble for the Ottoman Empire – and more on the Beersheba centenary boast

Update 8 November 2017: David Faber writes about the Beersheba centenary and the work of Kelvin Crombie (Gallipoli – The Road to Jerusalem), who has tried to put the Gallipoli campaign into a Christian context. Essentially, Crombie argues that the

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Brodie, Nick: The Vandemonian War

Nick Brodie The Vandemonian War, Hardie Grant, Melbourne, 2017; available electronically The Vandemonian War had many sides and shades, but it was fundamentally a war between the British colony of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) and the Aboriginal people who lived

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Shield, John: A Vandemonian war story passionately told

John Shield* ‘A Vandemonian war story passionately told’, Honest History, 29 October 2017 John Shield reviews The Vandemonian War by Nick Brodie If you were slightly unsure about this book and its subject matter before, Nick Brodie does everybody a

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Alexander, Kristen: Captives of war make a compelling story of World War II

Kristen Alexander* ‘Captives of war make a compelling story of World War II’, Honest History, 22 October 2017 Kristen Alexander reviews Clare Makepeace’s Captives of War: British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War Clare Makepeace’s grandfather

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Makepeace, Clare: Captives of War: British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War

Clare Makepeace Captives of War: British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War, Cambridge University Press, 2017 This book is of Australian interest, as some 8000 Australians were POWs in Europe during World War II, although they

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Stephens, David: Skirmish in Canberra Times letters column over a War Memorial that ‘has lost its way’

David Stephens ‘Skirmish in Canberra Times letters column over a War Memorial that “has lost its way”‘, Honest History, 18 October 2017 updated Today’s Canberra Times (online and hard copy) included a letter from me which was butchered by the

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The Dunera Boys 77 years on: Dunera News No. 101

Thanks to our contacts in the Dunera community (still going strong after 77 years) for passing us their latest newsletter, dated October 2017. This edition includes a re-enactment, reunions and some interesting personal stories. For readers who don’t know, the

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Clarke, Patricia: Jennie Scott Griffiths: a Texas-born red ragger

Patricia Clarke ‘Jennie Scott Griffiths: a Texas-born red ragger‘, NLA Unbound: the National Library of Australia Magazine, June 2017 A biographical article on this feminist and anti-conscription campaigner during Australia’s Great War. She was an indefatigable worker in radical causes

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Johnstone, Ian M.: Armidale and the Great War

Ian M. Johnstone Armidale and the Great War, The author, Armidale NSW, 2017 The book describes the impact of World War I on this New South Wales town and its people. The author has previously written on aspects of New

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Armidale and the Great War (review of Johnstone)

‘Armidale and the Great War’, Honest History, 21 September 2017 Frank Bongiorno* reviews Armidale and the Great War, by Ian M. Johnstone One of the positive aspects of the centenary of World War I has been the stimulus it has

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Torsh, Daniela & Max Humphreys: On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967

Daniela Torsh & Max Humphreys ‘On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967‘, Honest History, 19 September 2017 This extended interview transcript is provided as a primary source for readers interested in the history of protest in

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On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967: Daniela Torsh interviews Max Humphreys

‘On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967: Daniela Torsh interviews Max Humphreys’[1], Honest History, 19 September 2017 Kirribilli House from the Harbour (Wikipedia/Stephen Bain) Daniela Torsh: So Max, I’ve got a question to start with: tell

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Australian Peacekeeping: 70th anniversary and unveiling of memorial

This week marks the 70th anniversary of the first deployment of Australian forces in a peacekeeping role. After many years of effort and fundraising, a memorial to Peacekeepers will be dedicated in Canberra on Thursday, 14 September. Details are in

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Tatz, Colin: Australians may well love their sport, but why don’t we delight in success elsewhere?

Colin Tatz ‘Australians may well love their sport, but why don’t we delight in success elsewhere?‘ The Conversation, 6 September 2017 The Australian nation and nationalism, we often proclaim, began at Gallipoli. This is a nonsense, as that sets aside the

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Ariotti, Kate & James E. Bennett, ed.: Australians and the First World War: Local-Global Connections and Contexts

Kate Ariotti & James E. Bennett, ed. Australians and the First World War: Local-Global Connections and Contexts, Palgrave-Springer, New York & Heidelberg, 2017; e-book available by chapters This book contributes to the global turn in First World War studies by

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A war fought and felt around the world (review of Ariotti & Bennett, ed.)

‘A war fought and felt around the world’ (review of Ariotti & Bennett, ed.), Honest History, 4 September 2017 Martin Crotty* reviews Australians and the First World War: Local-Global Connections and Contexts edited by Kate Ariotti and James E. Bennett

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Handasyde, Kerrie: Anzac theology and women poets under the Southern Cross

Kerrie Handasyde ‘Anzac theology and women poets under the Southern Cross‘, Colloquium: The Australian and New Zealand Theological Review, Vol. 49 No. 1, May 2017, pp. 17-30 (pdf courtesy of author; open access) During the Great War Australians lived within

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Korea, the war that never ended, might be starting up again: some useful source material

Update 19 August 2017: Michael Leunig on being ‘joined at the hip’ in ANZUS (‘Australia and New Zealand’s Unquestioning Subservience’) As one who was almost jailed under the ANZUS treaty for resisting a notice of military conscription in the Vietnam

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (27): Recruitment problems in Gippsland 1917 despite patriotic appeals, God and martial music

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (27): ‘Recruitment problems in Gippsland 1917 despite patriotic appeals, God and martial music’, Honest History, 10 August 2017 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series We have made use previously in this series and elsewhere of the

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Stanley, Peter, ed.: Charles Bean: Man, Myth, Legacy

Peter Stanley, ed. Charles Bean: Man, Myth, Legacy, UNSW Press, Canberra, 2017 Proceedings of a 2016 conference at UNSW Canberra. Australia’s official war correspondent during WWI, Charles Bean was also Australia’s first official war historian and the driving force behind

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From the Honest History archives: Lest We Forget Hiroshima 72 years ago this week

Repost from last year. Why? Well, we faithfully and annually commemorate wartime events involving Australians. Some of these events are relatively insignificant, even trivial, in the scheme of things or when compared with other wartime events. It seems only right

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Black Mist Burnt Country: touring exhibition tells the story of the Maralinga tests and their impact

The recent death of Yami Lester brings to prominence again the long struggle of activists regarding the impacts of the British atomic tests at Maralinga in the 1950s. Black Mist Burnt Country is a national touring exhibition, which commemorates the 60th

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Newton, Douglas: The centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres

Douglas Newton ‘The centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres‘, Pearls and Interpretations, 3 August 2017 The carnage at Ypres and Passchendaele is ‘an object lesson in what happens when an Australian government allows our Allies to dominate in the

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Lockhart, Greg: What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front?

Greg Lockhart ‘What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front?’ (Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5), Pearls and Irritations, 24-28 July 2017 updated Update 15 August 2017: Lockhart’s further thoughts,

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Dark irony and dishonesty of Dunkirk: misrepresentations, exaggerations, and clunky bits

‘Dark irony and dishonesty of Dunkirk: misrepresentations, exaggerations, and clunky bits’, Honest History, 1 August 2017 Peter Stanley* reviews Dunkirk  Just as Theresa May’s government writhes over the implications of Brexit, there is a dark irony in the appearance of

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Nolan, Christopher (dir.): Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan Dunkirk, Syncopy, Warner Brothers and others, UK, US, France, Netherlands, 2017 Set during the Second World War, [the film, with an ensemble cast] portrays the Dunkirk evacuation … Nolan wrote the script, told from three perspectives—the land, sea, and air—to contain

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

Honest History ‘Some extracts from Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial, Second edition, June 2017’, Honest History, 25 July 2017 updated We have produced the second edition of Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial.

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Aktar, Ayhan: Rewriting the history of Gallipoli: a Turkish perspective

Ayhan Aktar * ‘Rewriting the history of Gallipoli: a Turkish perspective‘, Honest History, 25 July 2017 updated The history of the Gallipoli campaign has been contested in Turkey for many decades. The commemorations of the Ottoman naval victory of 18

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Rewriting the history of Gallipoli: a Turkish perspective

Ayhan Aktar * ‘Rewriting the history of Gallipoli: a Turkish perspective’, Honest History, 25 July 2017 updated [This piece draws upon my article originally published in the Turkish daily newspaper Taraf (Istanbul), 18 March 2014. An earlier English translation by

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Arms spending and war: which comes first, at home and abroad?

Christopher Pyne, Minister for Defence Industry, has been talking up the possibilities of Australia growing its arms exports industry. Fairfax’s David Wroe says Pyne ‘wants Australia to become a major arms exporter on par with Britain, France and Germany and

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (25): The Free Religious Fellowship: anti-conscription – and unexpected family history

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Chris Wade’s article, ‘Practical idealists: the Free Religious Fellowship, the Great War and conscription‘, reminds us of the breadth and depth of feeling against conscription in Great War Australia: the cause was taken up by

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Reynolds, Henry: Memories and massacres

Henry Reynolds ‘Memories and massacres‘, Pearls and Irritations, 10 July 2017 For over 30 years, Henry Reynolds has been writing about massacres of Indigenous Australians. The culmination of his research was the well-received book Forgotten War in 2013. This brief

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Cain, Frank: The Wobblies at War: A History of the IWW and the Great War in Australia

Frank Cain The Wobblies at War: A History of the IWW and the Great War in Australia, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2017; first published 1993 Driven by Marxist ideology, the Industrial Workers of the World sought to draw the Australian

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The Wobblies at War (review of Cain)

‘The Wobblies at War’ (review of Cain), Honest History, 11 July 2017 Rowan Day* reviews Frank Cain’s The Wobblies at War: A History of the IWW and the Great War in Australia This is a republication of Frank Cain’s 1993

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Stephens, David: Hidden in plain sight: Aboriginal massacre map should be no surprise

David Stephens ‘Hidden in plain sight: Aboriginal massacre map should be no surprise‘, Pearls and Irritations, 7 July 2017 updated Follow-up to Professor Lyndall Ryan’s map, unveiled at the Australian Historical Association conference, of settler massacres of Indigenous Australians. The

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Wahlquist, Calla: Map of massacres of Indigenous people reveals untold history of Australia, painted in blood

Calla Wahlquist ‘Map of massacres of Indigenous people reveals untold history of Australia, painted in blood‘, Guardian Australia, 5 July 2017 updated Reports a paper by Professor Lyndall Ryan (University of Newcastle) at the Australian Historical Association conference in Newcastle.

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This week in the Russian Revolution 1917: courtesy of the World Socialist Web Site – and Alexander Kerensky

We have previously respectfully drawn readers’ attention to the resources of the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS), which tracks world politics from the perspective of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). The Fourth International was founded by Leon

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Highlights reel: Hilary Mantel, historical novelist, on what history is all about

Dame Hilary Mantel (author of Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies and other books) is this year’s Reith Lecturer for the BBC. You can find transcripts and audio of the lectures (weekly, 13 June 2017 for five weeks) on the

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Menadue, John: By accepting funding from weapons suppliers the Australian War Memorial demeans Australia’s war dead

John Menadue ‘By accepting funding from weapons suppliers the Australian War Memorial demeans Australia’s war dead‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 June 2017 John Menadue, former senior public servant and businessman, wrote to Brendan Nelson, Director of the War Memorial, to

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Hayes, Sarah: Gold Rush Victoria was as wasteful as we are today

Sarah Hayes ‘Gold Rush Victoria was as wasteful as we are today‘, The Conversation, 29 June 2017 Archaeological excavations across Melbourne have uncovered masses of rubbish dating back to the Gold Rush era of the 1850s and 1860s. Artefacts recovered

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Australian War Memorial’s $16.1 million shed for big war things: money well spent?

As reported in the Canberra Times, the Australian War Memorial is making its case to the parliamentary Public Works Committee to build a $16.1 million facility at Mitchell in Canberra. On past form, the PWC will put a tick on

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Piccini, Jon: Amnesty International and conscientious objection in Australia’s Vietnam War

Jon Piccini ‘Amnesty International and conscientious objection in Australia’s Vietnam War‘, JHI Blog, 13 June 2017 This small case study provides insights into how the idea of human rights has been contested over time. Australia’s two Amnesty Sections – not

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Stephens, David: Graham Freudenberg, elegant and erudite scribe of an important era in Australian politics – and earlier

David Stephens ‘Graham Freudenberg, elegant and erudite scribe of an important era in Australian politics – and earlier’, Honest History, 22 June 2017 Norman Graham Freudenberg AM is 83 years old this year. He has written speeches for Labor leaders,

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Democratic opposition to war: the 1916-17 anti-conscription campaigns – impacts and legacies

Barry Jones ‘Democratic opposition to war: the 1916-17 anti-conscription campaigns – impacts and legacies (Keynote address, Brunswick-Coburg Anti-Conscription Commemoration Campaign Conference, 20 May 2017)’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 The conscription referendums as a turning point in Australian politics I

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Jones, Barry: Democratic opposition to war: the 1916-17 anti-conscription campaigns – impacts and legacies

Barry Jones ‘Democratic opposition to war: the 1916-17 anti-conscription campaigns – impacts and legacies (Keynote address, Brunswick-Coburg Anti-Conscription Commemoration Campaign Conference, 20 May 2017)’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 This one day conference addressed a number of aspects of the

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Rosen, Sue: Scorched Earth: Australia’s Secret Plan for Total War under Japanese Invasion in World War II

Sue Rosen Scorched Earth: Australia’s Secret Plan for Total War under Japanese Invasion in World War II, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2017 In 1942 the threat of Japanese invasion hung over Australia. The men were away overseas, fighting on other

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Britain, Australia, New Zealand, SEATO, the secret war in Laos, and counter insurgency expert Colonel “Ted” Serong

Willy Bach ‘Britain, Australia, New Zealand, SEATO, the secret war in Laos, and counter insurgency expert Colonel “Ted” Serong’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 updated Australia’s war in Vietnam has been relatively well documented. Less is known, however, about what

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

Honest History ‘Second edition of Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial‘, Honest History, 13 June 2017 updated Update 1 October 2017: the For Country, For Nation exhibition (discussed in the Alternative Guide) closed in Canberra in September

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Bach, Willy: Britain, Australia, New Zealand, SEATO, the secret war in Laos, and counter insurgency expert Colonel “Ted” Serong

Willy Bach ‘Britain, Australia, New Zealand, SEATO, the secret war in Laos, and counter insurgency expert Colonel “Ted” Serong’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 updated Update 28 June 2017: Willy Bach died yesterday. Honest History sends condolences to his friends

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Scorched earth flames are fanned again (review of Rosen)

‘Scorched earth flames are fanned again’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 Derek Abbott* reviews Sue Rosen’s Scorched Earth: Australia’s Secret Plan for Total War under Japanese Invasion in World War II The reality of the threat of a Japanese invasion

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Sparrow, Jeff: Internment is so hot right now, but it’s nothing new in Australia

Jeff Sparrow ‘Internment is so hot right now, but it’s nothing new in Australia‘, Guardian Australia, 10 June 2017 Pauline Hanson and others have discussed the possibility of interning perceived suspicious persons. Sparrow recalls how internment was carried out in

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (24): Soldiers’ farewells and welcomes 1917

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Phil Cashen shows in this post on the excellent Shire at War blog (‘Soldiers’ farewells and welcomes in the first half of 1917’) how intense agendas ran deep beneath the apparently simple gesture of farewelling

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Blight, David: The Battle for Memorial Day in New Orleans

David Blight ‘The Battle for Memorial Day in New Orleans‘, The Atlantic, 29 May 2017 Examines the recent Memorial Day oration of Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, at a time when the former Confederate states of America are again

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Gallagher, Emily: The first war for country, for nation

Emily Gallagher ‘The first war for country, for nation‘, Inside Story, 18 May 2017 A review of the For country, For Nation exhibition at the Australian War Memorial. Another review, by David Stephens for Honest History, is here and should

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Stephens, David: Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (23): ‘A wartime police state’: Australia’s War Precautions Act during the war for freedom

David Stephens ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (23): ‘A wartime police state’: Australia’s War Precautions Act during the war for freedom’, Honest History, 19 May 2017 updated The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Every country at war takes measures to protect

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Ross, Fiona: Humane and intimate, how the Red Cross helped families trace the fates of WW2 soldiers

Fiona Ross ‘Humane and intimate, how the Red Cross helped families trace the fates of WW2 soldiers‘, The Conversation, 11 May 2017 The University of Melbourne Archives now holds the series ‘Missing, Wounded and Prisoner of War Enquiry Cards’, which

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Moss, Tristan & Tom Richardson, ed.: New Directions in War and History

Tristan Moss & Tom Richardson, ed. New Directions in War and History, Big Sky Publishing, Newport, NSW, 2016 (download full text) Papers from a Canberra conference (February 2016) held by the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and

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Phillips, Richard: Australia: Anzac Day and the official silence about anti-war opposition in WWI

Richard Phillips ‘Australia: Anzac Day and the official silence about anti-war opposition in WWI‘, World Socialist Web Site, 4 May 2017 The article notes the dominance this Anzac season of the received view of Anzac in Australia and, by contrast,

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Three Anzac season stories from the University of Melbourne’s Pursuit research report

The University of Melbourne does a regular report, Pursuit, on research being undertaken at the university. Recently, it posted: Michelle Moo on women doctors who fought to be able to provide medical services during World War I; Phill Cobbin on

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Hassan, Toni: Why does the War Memorial proudly display this booty from an illegal war?

Toni Hassan ‘Why does the War Memorial proudly display this booty from an illegal war?‘, Canberra Times, 3 May 2017 Also in other Fairfax and in Canberra Times hard copy. Reports the disappointment of former Australian War Memorial education officer,

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Brunswick-Coburg Anti-Conscription Commemoration Campaign Conference, 20 May

This important conference is to be held in Brunswick on Saturday, 20 May, at roughly the half-way point between the centenaries of the two unsuccessful conscription plebiscites during World War I. This all day event will cover details of the

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Lest we forget Lest We Forget: Rudyard Kipling’s Recessional: Honest History document

‘Lest we forget Lest We Forget: Rudyard Kipling’s “Recessional”: Honest History document’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 updated Update 4 June 2017: an Army musician sang ‘Recessional’ at the opening of the Boer War memorial in Canberra last week. Last

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Turnbull, Noel: Anzac Day at Port Melbourne

Noel Turnbull ‘Anzac Day at Port Melbourne‘, Noel Turnbull Blog, 25 April 2017 Noel Turnbull, a Vietnam veteran and former media and communications executive, spoke at the Anzac Day service at Port Melbourne. Most of those young men didn’t enlist

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Piggott, Michael: Indigenous war service: two exhibitions at the National Archives of Australia

Michael Piggott ‘Indigenous war service: two exhibitions at the National Archives of Australia’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 A review of two exhibitions, Indigenous Australians at War from the Boer War to the Present (touring from the Shrine of Remembrance,

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Indigenous war service: two exhibitions at the National Archives of Australia

Michael Piggott* ‘Indigenous war service: two exhibitions at the National Archives of Australia’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 Showing at the moment in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra is an exhibition of work by the renowned World War

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Markwick, Roger D.: The “sacralisation” of history and state legitimation

Roger D. Markwick ‘The “sacralisation” of history and state legitimation’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 The furore over the recent remarks of Yassmin Abdel-Magied raises important issues about the possibility of dissent against received – and state-promoted – views of

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The “sacralisation” of history and state legitimation

Roger D. Markwick* ‘The “sacralisation” of history and state legitimation’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 This is a slightly edited version of a paper presented to a conference, History and Authority: Political Vocabularies of the Modern Age, Humanities Research Centre,

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Stephens, David: ‘Afghanistan: The Australian Story shows war is about much more than “love and friendship”

David Stephens ‘Afghanistan: The Australian Story shows war is about much more than “love and friendship”’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 A review of Chris Masters’ double DVD for the Australian War Memorial. (Trailer; ABC story.) The DVDs contain footage

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Afghanistan: The Australian Story shows war is about much more than “love and friendship”

David Stephens ‘Afghanistan: The Australian Story shows war is about much more than “love and friendship”’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 Serendipity can be illuminating. This reviewer began to watch Chris Masters’ double DVD, Afghanistan: The Australian Story, on the

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Stephens, David: Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (22): The Finland Station and Flinders Street

David Stephens ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (22): The Finland Station and Flinders Street’, Honest History, 16 April 2017 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Today (16 April) is exactly one hundred years since Lenin arrived at the Finland Station in

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McMullin, Ross: Bill Leak and Will Dyson: cartoonists and artists compared across a century

Ross McMullin* ‘Bill Leak and Will Dyson: cartoonists and artists compared across a century’, Honest History, 10 April 2017 When Bill Leak delivered a typically engaging presentation in Sydney a decade ago on the remarkably talented Australian cartoonist Will Dyson,

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Babkenian, Vicken & Judith Crispin: Australia’s Armenian Story

Vicken Babkenian & Judith Crispin ‘Australia’s Armenian Story‘, Inside Story, 6 April 2017 This is a long extract from chapter 3 of The Honest History Book, published by NewSouth. It deals with the Armenian Genocide, which commenced 24 April 1915

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Daley, Paul: Narcha’s remains have been repatriated. But colonialism’s malevolence lingers

Paul Daley ‘Narcha’s remains have been repatriated. But colonialism’s malevolence lingers‘, Guardian Australia, 3 April 2017 Douglas Grant is perhaps Australia’s best known Indigenous Anzac. The remains of one of Grant’s close relatives – Ngadjon elder Narcha, also known as

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Does this Advance Australia Fair? The Australian War Memorial’s new marketing slogan

Update 25 April 2017: Sue Wareham in Pearls and Irritations on the War Memorial’s reliance on funding from arms manufacturers. Update 15 April 2017: Canberra Airport is renowned already for its hosting of advertisements for arms manufacturers. The No Airport

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Wearing three hats, an interesting collection of pressers from Minister Tehan

The member for Wannon, Dan Tehan, is minister for a number of things, although we mostly track his activities as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac. A clutch of media releases from the Minister this week

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Long white clouds of Atatürk myth over Aotearoa New Zealand

Long white clouds of Atatürk myth over Aotearoa New Zealand The other day at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, New Zealand Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Maggie Barry, and Turkish Ambassador, Ahmet Ergin, unveiled a sculpture

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Allen, Christopher: Artists of the Great War: the pity and the propaganda

Christopher Allen ‘Artists of the Great War: the pity and the propaganda‘, The Australian, 18 March 2017 A review of a current exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (closes in June). We have not ceased to be fascinated

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Stephens, David: Allusions in Beanland: two exhibitions at the Australian War Memorial

David Stephens ‘Allusions in Beanland: two exhibitions at the Australian War Memorial‘, Honest History, 21 March 2017 updated This is a combined review of For Country, for Nation, about Indigenous service in defence of Australia, and A Home on a

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Allusions in Beanland: two exhibitions at the Australian War Memorial

David Stephens ‘Allusions in Beanland: two exhibitions at the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 21 March 2017 In September 2016, the War Memorial opened For Country, for Nation, an exhibition about Indigenous service in Australian defence forces from the Boer

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Flora, Steve & David Stephens: Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (21): Australia reacts to the February 1917 Revolution in Russia: a look at newspapers of the day

Steve Flora & David Stephens The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (21): Australia reacts to the February 1917 Revolution in Russia: a look at newspapers of the day’, Honest History, 21 March 2017 Australia during the

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Yip, Andrew: Friday essay: video games, military culture and new narratives of war

Andrew Yip ‘Friday essay: video games, military culture and new narratives of war‘, The Conversation, 10 March 2017 Argues that ‘the relationship of video games to history, politics and modern military cultures is no mere child’s play … [I]n video

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New TV documentary chronicles refugee crisis during Armenian Genocide

From the United States comes news of a television documentary, They Shall not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief. The documentary describes the humanitarian efforts of Americans who saved a generation of orphans and refugees after the collapse of

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Moses, John: Know your enemy: German war aims and Australian involvement in the Great War

John Moses* ‘Know your enemy: German war aims and Australian involvement in the Great War’, Honest History, 10 March 2017 The author argues that any discussion about the origins and significance of Anzac commemoration will be baseless if it fails

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Hundred years on from the February Revolution of 1917: five lectures, many perspectives

This week is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the February Revolution of 1917 in Russia. (We know it is March now but that is due to a calendar glitch which need not detain us further.) Honest History will

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Australian War Memorial frames its own view of Indigenous Australians’ fighting past

Why did the Australian War Memorial spend $366 000 on a painting depicting a massacre of Indigenous Australians by white settlers (when it refuses to commemorate the Frontier Wars)? The Australian War Memorial has acquired and unveiled the 1985 painting

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (20): The soldiers’ vote denied: making sense of the first conscription plebiscite

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (20): The soldiers’ vote denied: making sense of the first conscription plebiscite’, Honest History, 28 February 2017 During 2016 our ‘Divided sunburnt country’ posts (linked above) tracked events in the

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Wroe, David: The secret Iraq dossier: inside Australia’s flawed war

David Wroe ‘The secret Iraq dossier: inside Australia’s flawed war’, The Age, 25 February 2017 updated Long article, with illustrations and video, on Australia’s Iraq involvement, the key point being that the motivation – why we fought – was to

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Marlow, Karina & Luke Pearson: 8 war heroes you didn’t learn about in school

Karina Marlow & Luke Pearson ‘8 war heroes you didn’t learn about in school‘, SBS, 21 February 2017 This NITV repost from 22 April 2016 presents, without editorial comment, brief biographies of Pemulwuy, Musquito, Windradyne, Yagan, Jandamarra, Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner,

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The Fitzkrieg reaches Darwin: Honest History and Peter FitzSimons

The Northern Territory government was pleased to welcome leading ‘storian (his term), Peter FitzSimons to Darwin for the weekend’s commemoration of the bombing of that city in 1942. This was of interest to Honest History, since we had put up

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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

Update 20 February 2017: The Strategist has three articles on the Fall of Singapore, from James Goldrick, Joan Beaumont and Hugh White. On Wednesday in Ballarat, Minister Tehan will attend a national service in Ballarat to commemorate the 75th anniversary

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Cashen, Phil: Enlistments in the second half of 1916: background characteristics Part 2 – religion, units and service history

Phil Cashen ‘103. Enlistments in the second half of 1916: background characteristics Part 2 – religion, units and service history‘, Shire at War, 5 February 2017 We have often linked to the sterling work of Phil Cashen of the Shire

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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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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 Running for fun and Anzac I am an historian of Australia at war, a frequent commentator on the way Australia commemorates

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Bown, Sharon: One Woman’s War and Peace

Sharon Bown One Woman’s War and Peace: A Nurse’s Journey in the Royal Australian Air Force, Exisle Publishing, Wollombi, NSW, 2016 In 1999, idealistic 23-year-old Registered Nurse Sharon Bown left her comfortable family life in Tasmania and joined the Royal

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A personal view of war and peace (review of Sharon Bown)

‘A personal view of war and peace’ (review of Sharon Bown), Honest History, 7 February 2017 Pamela Burton* reviews One Woman’s War and Peace: A Nurse’s Journey in the Royal Australian Air Force by Sharon Bown This is an introspective

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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 ‘There has always been an element of myth-making and myth-peddling in the Memorial’s work; it should not extend to its

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Rushbrook, Peter: Lest We Forget: the Kapooka tragedy 1945

Peter Rushbrook ‘Lest We Forget: the Kapooka tragedy 1945‘, History of Education Review, vol. 37, no. 1, 2008, pp. 48-55 (pdf made available by author) This article explores an incident that raises questions relating to the making and unmaking of

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Babkenian, Vicken: Gladys Berejiklian, the Great War, Gallipoli and the Armenian Genocide

Vicken Babkenian ‘Gladys Berejiklian, the Great War, Gallipoli and the Armenian Genocide‘, Independent Australia, 30 January 2017 Marks the election of Australia’s first premier of Armenian ethnicity. Ms Berejiklian’s grandparents were among those liberated by Allied forces in 1918, surviving

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McDonald, Neil with Peter Brune: Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent

Neil McDonald with Peter Brune Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent, NewSouth, Sydney, 2016 Chester Wilmot (1911–1954) was a renowned Australian war correspondent, broadcaster, journalist and writer. Covering the first triumphant North African battles of Bardia,

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Shield, John: Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent (review of McDonald with Brune)

‘Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent‘, Honest History, 12 January 2017 John Shield* reviews Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent, by Neil McDonald with Peter Brune There is a lovely sequence in

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Silent Centenary: Australian voices questioning the war of 1914-18

Our regular correspondent, singer-songwriter, Tony Smith, has sent us a CD wrangled by himself and musical and poetical colleagues. It is called ‘Silent Centenary: Australian voices questioning the war of 1914-18’. It includes a mixture of sung songs, recited poems,

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Spark, Seumas: Ken Inglis and the Dunera: a seventy-year history

Seumas Spark ‘Ken Inglis and the Dunera: a seventy-year history‘, Inside Story, 12 December 2016 Discusses the work of Inglis and the American historian, Jay Winter, on the Dunera boys, mostly Jewish internees from Britain, who made such a contribution

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Mein Smith, Philippa: The ‘NZ’ in Anzac: different remembrance and meaning

Philippa Mein Smith ‘The “NZ” in Anzac: different remembrance and meaning‘, Journal of First World War Studies, vol. 7, 2016, pp. 1-19 This article examines differences of emphasis in Australia and New Zealand in the rituals of Anzac Day, 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 updated Update 26 February 2020: expanded exhibition opened by the Treasurer. Update 29 April 2019: speech by War Memorial Director Nelson

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Scates, Bruce & Melanie Oppenheimer: The Last Battle: Soldier Settlement in Australia, 1916-1939

Bruce Scates & Melanie Oppenheimer The Last Battle: Soldier Settlement in Australia, 1916-1939, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2016 When Australian soldiers returned from the First World War they were offered the chance to settle on “land fit for heroes”. Promotional

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Settling for less (review of Scates and Oppenheimer)

‘Settling for less’ (review of Scates and Oppenheimer), Honest History, 13 December 2016 Michael Piggott* reviews The Last Battle: Soldier Settlement in Australia, 1916-1939 by Bruce Scates and Melanie Oppenheimer At last the book is out. Its official genesis dates

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What Honest History read and reviewed during 2016: a round-up of book reviews (and reviewers)

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (19) The 1916 coal strike

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Daley, Paul: The Armenians and the Warlpiri: two genocides that sparked a pilgrimage to the outback

Paul Daley ‘The Armenians and the Warlpiri: two genocides that sparked a pilgrimage to the outback‘, Guardian Australia, 8 December 2016 Describes the journey of two Armenian priests into Warlpiri country. The visit was organised by Judith Crispin, who has

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National Film and Sound Archive: Melbourne Time Capsule: Marvellous Melbourne: Swanston and Collins Streets

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Minister releases preliminary results of study into veterans’ suicide; but are priorities still skewed?

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Australian War Memorial opens permanent display on Holocaust

The Australian War Memorial has opened a permanent display on the Holocaust. (SBS report.) The exhibition, The Holocaust: Witnesses and Survivors, builds on the memories of 30 000 Holocaust survivors who made their homes in Australia after World War II.

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (18): The Prime Minister is determined to carry on

The Divided Sunburnt Country series ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (18): The Prime Minister is determined to carry on’, Honest History, 26 November 2016 The referendum (plebiscite) had been held on 28 October. Prime Minister Hughes was the guest of

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Braithwaite, Richard Wallace: Fighting Monsters: An Intimate History of the Sandakan Tragedy

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At war with the Braithwaites (review of Braithwaite, Fighting Monsters)

‘At war with the Braithwaites’, Honest History, 23 November 2016 Peter Stanley reviews Richard Wallace Braithwaite, Fighting Monsters: An Intimate History of the Sandakan Tragedy Around the end of the 1960s the twenty-year-old Richard Braithwaite, then a university student, wore

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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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Green, Jonathan: Why must a war define us? Honest History highlights reel

Green, Jonathan ‘Why must a war define us?‘ ABC The Drum, 24 April 2014 (Honest History highlights reel) Over the last three years Honest History has tried to collect significant pieces written about Australia’s relationship with war. We have commissioned

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The Conscription Conflict and the Great War (review of Archer, Damousi, et al)

‘The Conscription Conflict and the Great War’ (review of Archer, Damousi, et al), Honest History, 16 November 2016 Derek Abbott* reviews The Conscription Conflict and the Great War, edited by Robin Archer, Joy Damousi, Murray Goot and Sean Scalmer. See

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Archer, Robin, Joy Damousi, Murray Goot & Sean Scalmer, ed.: The Conscription Conflict and the Great War

Archer, Robin, Joy Damousi, Murray Goot & Sean Scalmer, ed. The Conscription Conflict and the Great War, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2016 Collection with articles by the editors, Douglas Newton, Frank Bongiorno, John Connor and Ross McKibbin. While the Great

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Stanley, Peter: Three Great War histories review: was the slaughtering really worth it?

Stanley, Peter ‘Three Great War histories review: was the slaughtering really worth it?‘ Sydney Morning Herald, 12 November 2016 Honest History’s president reviews Victory at Villers-Bretonneux, by Peter FitzSimons, The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End, 1917-1923,

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Reid, Richard: ‘That famous army of generous men’: some stories and reflections for Remembrance Day

Reid, Richard ‘“That famous army of generous men”: some stories and reflections for Remembrance Day‘, Honest History, 11 November 2016 An extended article about six men who fought in the Great War and the reflections their stories provoked in the

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Stephens, David: When a motley crew of Canberra stirrers protected the War Memorial from competition

Stephens, David ‘When a motley crew of Canberra stirrers protected the War Memorial from competition‘, Honest History, 11 November 2016 Tells the story of the Lake War Memorials Forum, a group which fought for two years to prevent the building

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‘The Call to the People of Australia’, Remembrance Day, 1951: highlights reel

‘” The Call to the People of Australia”, Remembrance Day, 1951: highlights reel’, Honest History, 11 November 2016 This Remembrance Day is the 65th anniversary of one of the stranger documents of early post-war Australia. Titled ‘The Call to the

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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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When a motley crew of Canberra stirrers protected the War Memorial from competition

David Stephens ‘When a motley crew of Canberra stirrers protected the War Memorial from competition’, Honest History, 11 November 2016 updated Twelve years ago, some Canberra citizens conceived the idea of building in the city new war memorials, one for

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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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‘That famous army of generous men’: some stories and reflections for Remembrance Day

Richard Reid* ‘”That famous army of generous men”: some stories and reflections for Remembrance Day’, Honest History, 11 November 2016 In early November 1993 I stood at 8.00 am in the misty cold of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Adelaide

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (17): Three post-mortems on the first conscription referendum

The Divided Sunburnt Country series Note: No. 16 in the series was updated on 7 November to include a short speech by Michael McKernan on the impact of conscription in Jugiong, NSW, and a paper by Frank Bongiorno on why

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (16): Conscription miscellany – and mainstream avoidance

The Divided Sunburnt Country series ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (16): Conscription miscellany – and mainstream avoidance’, Honest History, 4 November 2016 updated Update 16 November 2016: review of Archer, et al, ed., The Conscription Conflict and the Great War.

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (15): Final thunderous appeals, pro and con, on the eve of the conscription plebiscite

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (15): Final thunderous appeals, pro and con, on the eve of the conscription plebiscite 100 years ago’, Honest History, 27 October 2016 The Divided Sunburnt Country series Pro Prime Minister Hughes’s final appeal appeared in

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Possibly coming to a theatre near you: a movie about the Armenian Genocide

The Promise is a new movie about the Armenian Genocide. Directed by Terry George, starring Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon, it has been expensive to produce and is now facing distribution issues in the United States, partly

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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 updated In our previous article we looked at the structure, themes and

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (14): No conscription! Facts for doubting boneheads

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (14): No conscription! Facts for doubting boneheads’, Honest History, 16 October 2016 The Divided Sunburnt Country series Here are some extracts from a piece in Direct Action for 14 October 1916 (just two weeks before

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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: ‘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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Honest History highlights reel: Nick Dyrenfurth’s Mateship: A Very Australian History

‘Honest History highlights reel: Nick Dyrenfurth’s Mateship: A Very Australian History’, Honest History, 11 October 2016  Nick Dyrenfurth’s book Mateship: A Very Australian History, was published by Scribe in 2015. This highlights reel picks out some key paragraphs. We used

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (13): DVA materials help children today debate conscription then

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (13): DVA materials help children today debate conscription then’, Honest History, 11 October 2016 updated Update 21 October 2016:  Queensland Government Anzac Centenary website has a useful summary on conscription in 1916. The Divided Sunburnt

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Honest History goes to the pictures: movie and TV reviews from the Honest History archives

Quite early in the Honest History project we realised that it was important to review movies and television series that came within our areas of interest. (We even explained why we were doing it.) Practically (due to resource limitations), this

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (12): The conscription battle hots up

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (12): The conscription battle hots up – 100 years ago’, Honest History, 30 September 2016 The Divided Sunburnt Country series Our intrepid researcher, Steve Flora, has worked his way through the National Library’s excellent Trove

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Dando-Collins, Stephen: The Hero Maker: A Biography of Paul Brickhill

Dando-Collins, Stephen The Hero Maker: A Biography of Paul Brickhill, Penguin Random House, Melbourne & Sydney, 2016 In The Hero Maker, award-winning historical author and biographer Stephen Dando-Collins exposes the contradictions of one of Australia’s most successful, but troubled, writers.

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Paul Brickhill: chronicler of bombers, busters and a great escape (review of Dando-Collins biography)

‘Paul Brickhill: chronicler of bombers, busters and a great escape’ (review of Dando-Collins biography), Honest History, 22 September 2016 John Myrtle* reviews The Hero Maker: A Biography of Paul Brickhill by Stephen Dando-Collins In the 1950s Australian-born Paul Brickhill wrote

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Koopman, Catharina: Campo 78 – the WWII Aussie camp in Abruzzo

Catharina Koopman* ‘Campo 78 – the WWII Aussie camp in Abruzzo‘, Dante Alighieri Society, Canberra, 29 June 2016 updated A review of the bilingual book, Campo 78: The Aussie Camp, by Gabriella Di Mattia (Accademia degli Agghiacciati, Sulmona, Italy, 2015).

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Woods, Martin: Where are Our Boys? How Newsmaps Won the Great War

Woods, Martin Where are Our Boys? How Newsmaps Won the Great War, National Library of Australia Publishing, Canberra, 2016 A selection of maps from the National Library’s collection along with detailed explanatory text. The war produced more maps than any

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Fighting against the tide? (review of Martin Woods on World War I maps)

‘Fighting against the tide?’ (review of Martin Woods on World War I maps), Honest History, 15 September 2016 Peter Stanley reviews Martin Woods, Where are Our Boys? How Newsmaps Won the Great War The National Library of Australia, uniquely now

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Broinowski, Alison: Review note: What was all that about? Abe Forsythe’s Down Under

Broinowski, Alison ‘Review note: What was all that about? Abe Forsythe’s Down Under’, Honest History, 12 September 2016 A longer version of this article, taking up more general issues to do with Afghanistan, is here on Pearls and Irritations. A

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Stephens, David: We go to Rio: questioning received war history

Stephens, David ‘We go to Rio: questioning received war history’, Teaching History (History Teachers’ Association of New South Wales), 50, 3, September 2016, pp. 4-6 Pdf accessible here made available by courtesy of HTANSW, which holds copyright. Anzac may be

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (11): The Case for Universal Service

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (11): The Case for Universal Service‘, Honest History, 8 September 2016 The Divided Sunburnt Country series   When Prime Minister WM Hughes announced the first conscription referendum there was already plenty of literature in circulation

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Turnbull, Noel: Leadership in the face of Anzackery

Turnbull, Noel ‘Leadership in the face of Anzackery’, Noel Turnbull (blog) 29 August 2016 Another to add to our series ‘Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context‘. The author has been a journalist, academic, public relations consultant, and

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Diamadis, Panoyiotis: Friendships are based on truths: looking again at the crime of crimes (Hellenic genocides 1914-22)

Diamadis, Panayiotis ‘Friendships are based on truths: looking again at the crime of crimes’, Honest History, 30 August 2016 Analysis of recent press articles on the genocides of the indigenous Hellenes, Armenians and Assyrians of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Two

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Diamadis, Panayiotis: Friendships are based on truths: looking again at the crime of crimes (Hellenic genocides 1914-22)

Panayiotis Diamadis ‘Friendships are based on truths: looking again at the crime of crimes’, Honest History, 30 August 2016 In recent weeks, there have been three major pieces published in The Australian and the Daily Telegraph (Sydney) on the genocides

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Lord Northcliffe (egged on by Keith Murdoch) talks up the Anzacs after Pozieres: Honest History document

‘“These young giants from the furthest corner of the earth”: Lord Northcliffe (egged on by Keith Murdoch) talks up the Anzacs after Pozières: Honest History document’, Honest History, 30 August 2016 The document below is taken from The Sun (Sydney)

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From the Honest History archives: ‘Defining Moments’ at the National Museum of Australia (September 2014 and since)

Honest History has tracked the ‘Defining Moments’ project at the National Museum of Australia pretty much since it began. The project was an expression of the NMA’s claim to be ‘Where our stories live’ – ‘stories’ plural – which we

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (10): Prime Minister Hughes announces the first conscription referendum, 100 years ago today

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (10): Prime Minister Hughes announces the first conscription referendum, 100 years ago today’, Honest History, 30 August 2016 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Just after 3.53 pm on Wednesday, 30 August 1916, on a cold

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Hell No! We Won’t Go anti-conscription project goes to the Australian War Memorial

Australia’s Vietnam War had many facets, some of which we explored in our recent Honest History series. One of these facets, local Australian opposition to the war and to conscription, gets some coverage in the galleries at the Australian War

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Bach, Willy: A “kick in the guts”? A final look at Long Tan

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series Willy Bach ‘A “kick in the guts”? A final look at Long Tan’, Honest History, 30 August 2016 I am happy to say there were others who

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Butler, Richard: Nuclear disarmament – Australia’s profound and cynical failure

Butler, Richard ‘Nuclear disarmament – Australia’s profound and cynical failure‘, Pearls and Irritations, 23 August 2016 updated The author looks at Australia’s distinguished history in nuclear disarmament negotiations, before commenting on the recent decision by Australia to insist that there

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Moses, John: The fallacy of Presentism in Australian history

John Moses ‘The fallacy of Presentism in Australian history‘, Honest History, 23 August 2016 The paper seeks to illustrate that historiography can be misused for promoting political agendas. It uses examples from Marxism-Leninism, particularly in the then East Germany and

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ABC Conversations with Richard Fidler: Liz Tynan on the secret history of Maralinga

ABC Local Radio ‘Liz Tynan on the secret history of Maralinga‘, Conversations with Richard Fidler, 9 August 2016 The ABC (actually Sarah Kanowski) talked to science journalist Elizabeth Tynan (49 minutes) about her book on the British nuclear tests at

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (9): Billy Hughes girds his loins for the conscription battle

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series On 31 July 1916, Prime Minister WM Hughes returned to Australia (Fremantle) after six months in Britain and Europe, where he had raised Australia’s profile in Allied war councils. He spoke at the Melbourne Town

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Viet Thanh Nguyen : Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series ________________________________ Viet Thanh Nguyen Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 2016 This is the final post in our series

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From the Honest History archives: People who turn up – nurses in Vietnam (June 2016)

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series ________________________ This week’s commemoration of Australia’s Vietnam War (hanging off the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan) underlines that history is made by those who

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Stephens, David: We need to talk about how we commemorate our wars in other people’s countries – and our own

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series _______________________________ David Stephens ‘We need to talk about how we commemorate our wars in other people’s countries – and our own’, Honest History, 18 August 2016 updated

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Broinowski, Richard: The Battle of Long Tan turns fifty – but not without a hitch

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series Richard Broinowski ‘The Battle of Long Tan turns fifty – but not without a hitch’, Honest History, 18 August 2016 updated An article by Mark Schliebs in

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From the Honest History archives: What happened to Australians after the Vietnam War (June 2015)?

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series _____________________________ Parades, recognition and misremembering Part of the narrative of Australia’s Vietnam War in the more than 40 years since our commitment ended has been that Australian

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (8): Jennie Scott Griffiths: ‘She Fought Where She Stood’

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Victoria Haskins writes in her Anzac Her Story blog about Jennie Scott Griffiths, born in Texas in 1875, mother of ten children, newspaper editor, and anti-war campaigner in World War I Australia and just after

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From the Honest History archives: Agent Orange – Vietnam scourge of soldiers and civilians alike (March 2015, March 2016)

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series   Honest History has published a number of posts on the effects of Agent Orange, the chemical defoliant used by United States forces during the Vietnam War.

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