Journalism

Mar 27, 2012

What the media must know about Anzac Day

It’s a little over a month away from one of those immensely important historic dates -- April 25 -- which prompt us to think about who were are and how we got here.

Noel Turnbull

Adjunct professor of media and communications at RMIT University.

It’s a little over a month away from one of those immensely important historic dates — April 25 — which prompt us to think about who were are and how we got here.

After all, April 25 is the birthday of Oliver Cromwell and within 89 years of it the Civil War he was decisive in, and the 1688 Glorious Revolution, had entrenched the parliamentary supremacy on which our democracy is built. April 25, 1846, saw the beginning of the Mexican-American War, which symbolically ended one North American empire and introduced another (although demography is currently reversing the result in much of the US border territories). And April 25, 1915, also marked the beginning of the end of another centuries old empire, the emergence of a remarkable new nation, and a significant step in the career of the nation’s founder, Kemal Ataturk.

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8 comments

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8 thoughts on “What the media must know about Anzac Day

  1. Meski

    I’m surprised there’s a Cromwell Association to be a life member of. That said, it was a good article.

  2. Diana Simmonds

    WHAT???? After all, April 25 is the birthday of Oliver Cromwell and within 89 years of it the Civil War he was decisive in, and the 1688 Glorious Revolution, had entrenched the parliamentary supremacy on which our democracy is built.

  3. Meski

    I’m not dismissing Oliver Cromwell, I just wouldn’t have thought there’d be an association here.

  4. mikeb

    “a lot of young people aren’t that keen on wars, that Anzac Day creates mixed feelings among many in our multicultural society and that not everybody accepts the dominant narrative of Anzac Day as the defining Australian experience.” Well duh.

    A lot of people don’t appreciate Christmas either but since when does every celebration or memorial have to please everyone. People who don’t like it can do their own thing but please don’t rain on the Anzac parade. If you’ve never been to a service (i’m not referring to the author here) you might not realise that it doesn’t celebrate war, and it doesn’t suggest that Australians are bronzed fella’s that work in the bush or who do life-guard duty at Bondi. It celebrates looking after each other and sacrifice for the common good – messages that are often overlooked.

  5. Gerry Hatrick, OAP

    Surely, in the words of Tony Abbot, the ANZACs have made their point, and should just move on?

  6. NeoTheFatCat

    I don’t have a problem with ANZAC Day as such, but I really it hate it when we identify values that we think are uniquely Australia. Mateship? Sacrifice for common good? Determined fighters? Many countries believe the same things about themselves.

    This is the biggest problem – our perpetual hang-up about defining what the true identity is.

  7. shepherdmarilyn

    It is now a celebration of our great “win” in Gallipoli. Ask the stupid gen y bogans who rock up to Gallipoli, sleep on the graves and drink all night.

    In fact it is about a failed illegal invasion with the resultant deaths of tens of thousands due to the worthless generals who couldn’t read maps.

    Howard turned it into a bloody disco, has forced Turkey to have all sorts of stupid roads and buildings to “commemorate” and yet Australia never mentions that Turkey won.

    What a stupid trashy day it is.

    Now we still have the maundering of “lest we forget” while the US uses us for more and more worthless “wars” of aggression – we never mention that Vietnam and Iraq beat our arses and Afghanistan has been beating our arses for a decade.

    WE just pretend that our soldiers are 10 foot golden heroes.

    If you want to be dissuaded of that notion get hold of Ghost Platoon by Frank Walker and Winter Soldier DVD.

    Get Joshua Keys book on his desertion and the atrocities committed or go and watch Dateline from Tuesday night.

    We have not been attacked by any nation since a bombing raid to bring the US into the Asia Pacific war used Darwin to do it.

    Yet we have helped to slaughter millions of Vietnamese, Cambodians. Laotians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Afghans and supported the US while Iraq massacred about 1 million Iranians, cheer when Israel blasts away more Gazans and Lebanese, prop up Indonesia while they torture and massacre hundreds of thousands of East Timorese and West Papuans, Achenese and Ambonese because we want Indonesia to jail baby refugees for us.

    The list of our complicity in war crimes is endless but still we maunder on.

    It’s all a hoax and a farce.

    Good heavens the other day the Advertiser in Adelaide even claimed that “illegal arrivals” aka refugees by sea must be linked to ANZAC day values.

    They didn’t mention of course that those values include jailing refugee babies here.

    This country has been hijacked by the likes of Howard militarising everything and it is sickening that the young are being trained to believe that we won.

  8. mikeb

    @shepherdmarilyn
    The appalling generalisation you include make you no better than the “boguns” who treat ANZAC day as a “win”. Your ignorance is astounding. It is obvious that you have absolutely no understanding of what ANZAC day means to the vast majority of Australians but instead lay your prejudices across everyone based on a few. I have been to many marches and have never seen the behaviour or interpretations that you suggest. Yes we all know that war is evil and no-one in their right mind wants a war (ask the diggers themsleves). Sometime however it needs to be done. The celebration of ANZAC day is not – again not – “a celebration of our great ‘win’”. To suggest that it is shows a total lack of understanding and comprehension.

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