Anzac Day Reflections

Anzac Day Reflection 2024

The Anzac Day Reflection 2024 will be held in Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park (cnr Holt Crescent and Richards Avenue, Marrickville) on Thursday 25th April starting at 10.30am.

This year’s reflection will feature a range of speakers together with songs performed by ‘The Voices from Next Door’ choir.

Refer to the event’s leaflet.

All welcome.

Anzac Day Reflections

Anzac Day Reflections have been regularly held in Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park since the launch of the Peace Park on 8 November 2015.

Unlike official Anzac Day commemorations, these reflections offer participants an opportunity to reflect on all victims of war including:

  • Those who died in battle;
  • Those who were maimed physically and/or psychologically;
  • Those who suffered on the home front.

It also offers participants an opportunity to reflect on the causes of war and the possibility of building a culture of peace and reconciliation.

As well, Anzac Day Reflections provide the opportunity to reflect on the suffering and death of First Nations people in the Frontier Wars that resulted in their dispossession and the long drawn out conquest of Indigenous Australia.

Remembrance without the add-ons

While it is perfectly legitimate to remember those that were killed or brutalised during war, there is absolutely no reason why we should respect the add-ons that seem inseparable from Anzac Day commemorations.

These add-ons refer to the Anzac legend and the historical distortions that this myth entails.

What does the insidious Anzac legend assert? It asserts that:

  • The nation was born at Gallipoli;
  • It was our first blood sacrifice;
  • Our national identity was established in war time;
  • We fought at Gallipoli for freedom and democracy;
  • Our national values are military values.

To quote the historian, Prof. Marilyn Lake, this is the “puff, the promotion, the propaganda … that falsifies history and does no honour to those that died”.

Furthermore, by numbing our critical intelligence, it makes people more amenable to Australia engaging in foreign wars in the service of “great and powerful friends”. In the past this was Great Britain; since WW2 it has been the United States of America.

Previous events

GCPC post on Anzac Day Reflection – 25th April 2022.
GCPC post on Anzac Day Reflection – 25th April 2018.

Debates

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas debate between Marilyn Lake and Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Opera House, ‘Anzac Day: Best We Forget’, Sep 2012.

More information

Marilyn Lake, ‘Fight free of Anzac, lest we forget other stories’, Sydney Morning Herald, Apr 23, 2009.
Henry Reynolds and Marilyn Lake, ‘Myth over what matters’, Sydney Morning Herald, Apr 3, 2010.
Henry Reynolds, ‘Anzac Day’, Pearls and Irritations, Apr 24, 2019.
Henry Reynolds, ‘Thoughts on an unusual Anzac Day’, Pearls and Irritations, Apr 24, 2020.
Douglas Newton, ‘The hard questions we should face on Anzac Day 2016’, Pearls and Irritations, Apr 20, 2016
Douglas Newton, ‘The fantasy that haunts our cult of the fallen’, Pearls and Irritations, Apr 24, 2022.
Paul Daley, ‘This Anzac Day, beware politicians glossing over war’s evils to justify further military adventurism’, The Guardian, Apr 25, 2023

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