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Launch of Marrickville Peace Park

The Solidarity Choir

The official launch of Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park took place on Sunday November 8. The event attracted around 80 people.

Speakers included John Butcher (GCPC Convenor), Allan Barnes (Marrickville Aboriginal Consultative Committee), Clr Sam Iskandar (Mayor, Marrickville Council), Clr Sylvie Ellsmore (Marrickville Council), Linda Burney MP and Jo Haylen MP.

The Solidarity Choir sang a number of songs during the launch. Continue reading Launch of Marrickville Peace Park

New signage installed in Marrickville Peace Park

Marrickville Peace Park Signage

Congratulations to Marrickville Council for recently installing new signage in Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park. Refer to the photos of the signage below.

The original proposal to have Richardson’s Lookout re-named a Peace and Reconciliation Park was initiated by the Gallipoli Centenary Peace Campaign (GCPC) in early 2014 in anticipation of the Gallipoli Centenary commemoration in April 2015.1

The reasons for this initiative were set out in GCPC’s Mission Statement which stated:

“The Gallipoli Centenary Peace Campaign does not believe that Australia as a nation was born in war. We honour and respect all Australians who have died and suffered in war both overseas and in Australia’s frontier wars and respect the contribution and suffering of their families and loved ones. We also honour and respect all those who have pursued the path of non-violent resolution of national and international conflicts. Continue reading New signage installed in Marrickville Peace Park

On Forgetting the Second Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945

Prof Rana Mitter
Prof. Rana Mitter

China will be holding a major military parade in Beijing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of WW2 on September 3, one day after the anniversary of Japan’s official surrender on September 2, 1945.

Noteworthy is the fact that the Japanese Prime Minister Shinz? Abe won’t be going, neither will US President Barak Obama, nor British Prime Minister David Cameron or any major western leader. Australia will be represented by Senator Michael Ronaldson, the Minister for Veterans Affairs. Continue reading On Forgetting the Second Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945

In Support of Adam Goodes

Adam Goodes
Adam Goodes

The racially charged booing and denigration of Sydney Swans star player, Adam Goodes, has reached a crescendo in recent weeks. His detractors include supporters of rival AFL clubs as well as some conservative commentators such as radio shock jock Alan Jones, journalist Miranda Devine and TV host and journalist Andrew Bolt.

On Channel Seven’s Sunrise program, Jones was reported as saying that opposition club supporters were reacting negatively to Goodes because they simply did not like his behaviour, including his “spear throwing and the running in and doing a war dance and so on and provoking people”. Continue reading In Support of Adam Goodes

“Whose side are you on?”

E D Morel (Wikimedia Commons)
E D Morel (Wikimedia Commons)

A timely response to Prime Minister Abbott’s infamous challenge “Whose side are you on?” has recently been written by Douglas Newton, historian and author of Hellbent: Australia’s Leap Into The Great War.

Newton argues that casting doubt on the patriotism of people who eschew a “hate-the-enemy auction” has a long and dishonourable history.

Newton refers to debates in Britain over the Boer War (1899-1902) – “that vultures’ frenzy provoked by gold and diamonds” – where those who questioned the war were roundly smeared and accused of treachery. Continue reading “Whose side are you on?”

Lest We Forget – Recognising the Frontier Wars

Henry Reynolds Forgotten WarThe NSW Fabians held a public forum on the Frontier Wars on Friday June 26 in Sydney. The key speaker was the historian Prof Henry Reynolds, author of Frontier War (NewSouth Publishing, 2013) and A History of Tasmania (CUP, 2012).

In promoting the event, the NSW Fabians noted that the Australian Frontier Wars were fought from 1788 to the 1920s between Indigenous Australians and an invading coalition of white settlers, militia, police, and colonial soldiers and that the conflict claimed an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Aboriginal lives and the lives of between 2,000 and 2,500 Europeans.

Despite the significance of the Frontier Wars to our shared history, the Australian War Memorial in Canberra continues to reject calls for these wars to be granted the recognition that other wars involving Australians have been officially given. Continue reading Lest We Forget – Recognising the Frontier Wars