Anzac Day Reflection – Tuesday 25 April 2017

Third Battle of Ypres

The Gallipoli Centenary Peace Campaign (GCPC) was formed to confront many of the misconceptions about Australia’s war experience, especially those associated with the Anzac legend. We reject the view that the nation was born at Gallipoli, that our national identity was established in war time and that our national values are military values.

GCPC invites the public to an Anzac Day Reflection on Tuesday 25 April between 10.30am and 11.30am in Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park (cnr Richards Avenue & Holt Crescent in Marrickville 2204).

Join us to:

  • Respect victims of war including those who died in battle, those who were maimed physically and psychologically, along with those who suffered on the home front during WW1 and in other wars;
  • Acknowledge those who opposed conscription and war in the past and for official recognition of the Frontier Wars and their impact on indigenous dispossession;
  • Reflect on the myth-making associated with the Anzac legend;
  • Consider the prospects of developing an independent foreign policy and a culture of peace at home together with a commitment to collective security internationally.

Download the Anzac Reflection leaflet here.


For a historian’s perspective on Anzac and WW1, refer to Douglas Newton’s post ‘The Centenary of the Great War – and Anzac’. This post contains links to articles on WW1 including ‘Lost opportunities for a negotiated peace during the Great War: from 1917 to 1918. Part 2’.

Photo: Four Australian soldiers walking along the duckboard track at Tokio, near Zonnebeke, in the Ypres sector, over a portion of the country captured by the Australians in the fighting of the Third Battle of Ypres (Belgium) in September and October 1917. (Source: AWM: Timeline: Australia in the First World War, 1914-1918).

Launch of The Honest History Book in Sydney

The Sydney launch of The Honest History Book took place at Gleebooks in Glebe on 12 April 2017.

Launched by Alison Arrow, contributors to the discussion included co-editors David Stephens and Alison Broinowski, together with authors Vicken Babkenian, Judith Crispin, Mark Dapin and Paul Daley. A Q&A session with an audience of about 80 people followed the discussion.

The co-editors question whether the ability to look beyond war as the central pillar of Australia’s history and identity has been a casualty of the rush to commemorate all things Anzac.

While not denying that war has been important to Australia – mostly for its impact on notions of nationhood – the co-editors argue that the capacity to question influential historical narratives needs to be sustained.

In the words of Alison Arrow, “the historical stories we tell ourselves as a nation must be based on evidence, not fantasy. In an age where ideology, rather than evidence, has become the filter through which people assess “truth”, it is more important than ever that we historians continue to insist on the importance of making judgements based on evidence.”

The Honest History Book, comprising 20 essays by 19 authors, is basically divided into two parts: ‘Part I: Putting Anzac in its place’ and ‘Part 2: Australian stories and silences’.

Topics in Part 1 include the Great War in a world context, the Armenian holocaust, the history of Anzac commemoration and Vietnam veterans and the Anzac tradition.

The wider ranging topics in Part 2 encompass environmental influences on Australian history, immigration and multiculturalism, economic booms and busts, the egalitarian myth, women’s leadership in war and peace, colonialism, the legacy of the frontier conflict, Anzac and republicanism, together with militarism and independence.

The full list of chapters and authors can be accessed here.

Refer to Honest History’s brief account of the Sydney book launch here. The full text of Alison Arrow’s address can be found here.

Anti-Conscription Commemoration

A number of events to mark the 100th anniversary of the defeat of the World War 1 Conscription Referendum held on October 28, 1916 took place in Sydney on 24, 26 and 28 October. The main venue for the anniversary was the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville which was a former military depot and site of anti-conscription and anti-war protests. Continue reading Anti-Conscription Commemoration

International Day of Peace Observed

un-sdgThe Marrickville Peace Park was the location for a local observance of the International Day of Peace on Wednesday 21 September. Organised by the Gallipoli Centenary Peace Campaign (GCPC), the lunchtime event gave participants an opportunity to reflect on war and violence in the world today together with strategies for achieving peace. Continue reading International Day of Peace Observed

National Sorry Day 2016

Sorry Day 2016A candle lit walk along the Cooks River in Marrickville was held to observe National Sorry Day1 on the evening of Thursday May 26. Organised by the Cooks River Valley Association (CRVA) and supported by Gallipoli Centenary Peace Campaign, the walk began at Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park and concluded in Steel Park. Continue reading National Sorry Day 2016

Anzac Day Reflection 2016

Tree Planting Anzac Day 2016An Anzac Day Reflection was held at Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park on Monday April 25 from 10.00am to 11.00am.

Organised by GCPC, this ‘Hour of Reflection’ attracted over 65 people. Unlike official Anzac Day commemorations, it offered 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;
  • Those who opposed conscription and war.

Continue reading Anzac Day Reflection 2016