Anzac Day Reflection – 25th April 2021

Jennifer Newman & John Butcher – click to enlarge

This year’s Anzac Day Reflection was held in Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park.

The occasion offered participants an opportunity to remember the loss of all Australian servicemen and women in WW1 and subsequent wars, together with those harmed physically and psychologically and the grief endured by their families.

As the name suggests, however, Anzac Day Reflections aim to do more than recognise Australian casualties resulting from military service in foreign lands. In the spirit of genuine remembrance, they offer participants the opportunity to ask some hard questions, such as how our nation became involved in these wars, what purposes were actually being served, and what mistakes may have been made in prolonging hostilities. Continue reading Anzac Day Reflection – 25th April 2021

NAIDOC Week celebrations 8-15 November 2020

The focus of this year’s NAIDOC Week is Australia’s identity as an ancient land occupied by the oldest cultures on earth. “Always was, always will be” is this year’s theme.

Events around the country will celebrate First Nations peoples’ history, culture and achievements, recognising that Indigenous Australians have occupied the continent for more than 65,000 years.

NAIDOC Week 2020 acknowledges that Australia’s story did not begin with European contact connected with the arrival of Captain James Cook and HM Bark Endeavour in 1770, nor with the arrival of the Dutch on the western coast of the Cape York Peninsula in in 1606.1

Continue reading NAIDOC Week celebrations 8-15 November 2020

Anzac Day and the coronavirus

Marrickville Peace Park

Due to the coronavirus, no public gatherings to commemorate Anzac Day will be held around the country this year. This has also resulted in the cancellation of the alternative Anzac Day Reflection which was scheduled to take place at the Marrickville Peace Park in Sydney.

This circumstance, however, opens up an opportunity for the Australian community to move away from Anzac Day ceremonies that have become so commercialised and politicised in recent decades.

In particular, it offers the opportunity for people, young and old, to critically reflect upon the Anzac legend and the historical distortions that this myth entails.

Continue reading Anzac Day and the coronavirus

Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History

Myths of War is an eight-part history podcast series that ‘looks for the truth in Australian military history — and explores why we sometimes believe the opposite.’

Hosted by historian Mark Dapin, author of Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History, the series tackles some of the biggest misconceptions of Australian military history, examining their origins and why they have persisted into the present.

The episodes can be heard on ABC Radio National on consecutive Mondays at 11.30am or via podcasts on the ABC’s website. Each episode lasts for about 25 minutes. Continue reading Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History

NAIDOC Week – July 7 to 14, 2019

The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week is ‘Voice, Treaty, Truth’. Events based upon this theme will be held around the country from 7 to 14 July. The three elements of the theme refer to key reforms articulated in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

According to National NAIDOC Co-Chair Pat Thompson, for generations Indigenous Australians have campaigned for their unique place in Australian history and society to be officially recognised. She says “(t)he 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart built on generations of consultation and discussions among Indigenous people – we need to be the architects of our lives and futures.” Continue reading NAIDOC Week – July 7 to 14, 2019

Council’s response to proposal for Pemulwuy Cooks River Trail

Map of proposed Pemulwuy Cooks River Trail

On 15 August 2018, the Cooks River Valley Association (CRVA) lodged a petition with Inner West Council that called for the establishment of a Pemulwuy Cooks River Trail.1

A letter, dated 2 November 2018, was issued by Council in response to CRVA’s petition. The letter noted that Council had engaged Tocomwall Aboriginal Consultancy “to undertake a critical investigation into the Gadigal and Wangal landscape” and that the “aim of this investigation is to build a wider and clearer understanding of the former landscape including the flora, the fauna, Aboriginal history, culture and heritage of the Inner West Local Government Area.”2 Continue reading Council’s response to proposal for Pemulwuy Cooks River Trail