All posts by Jon Atkins

Anzac Day 2023

Anzac Day Reflections have been regularly held at Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park since 2014.

These events, organised by Gallipoli Centenary Peace Campaign and the Marrickville Peace Group, have offered participants the opportunity to ask some hard questions, such as how our nation became involved in wars abroad, what purposes were actually being served, and what mistakes were made in prolonging hostilities, especially in relation to WW1.

This local tradition was broken in April 2020 due to COVID-19 and the restrictions imposed on public events to combat the spread of the virus.

Unfortunately, despite the popularity of the event, no Anzac Day Reflection was held this year due to Marrickville Peace Group’s resources being wholely devoted to organising the highly successful ‘War or Peace?’ forum in the Marrickville Town Hall just a few weeks prior to Anzac Day. Continue reading Anzac Day 2023

Anzac Day Reflection – 25th April 2022

Clr Justine Langford. Click to enlarge.

This year’s Anzac Day Reflection was held in Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park. This was the eighth time that the event has been held in Marrickville Peace Park since 2014, with no event occurring in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Organised by the Marrickville Peace Group, the event attracted around 50 people. In the spirit of genuine remembrance, these events offer participants the opportunity to ask some hard questions, such as how our nation became involved in wars abroad, what purposes were actually being served, and what mistakes were made in prolonging hostilities especially in relation to WW1. Continue reading Anzac Day Reflection – 25th April 2022

Anzac Day Reflection – 25th April 2021

Jennifer Newman & John Butcher at Anzac Day Reflection 2021 – 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 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