ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day is the anniversary of the landing of troops from Australia and New Zealand on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, in World War I on April 25, 1915. It is also a day of remembrance for those who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peace-keeping operations. The spirit of Anzac, with its human qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity. Dawn services, commemorative marches and remembrance services are held in cities and towns across Australia and New Zealand.
An estimated one thousand Aboriginal people volunteered to enlist in World War One despite not being recognised as Australian citizens at that time. In recent years the contribution of Aboriginal servicemen and women has begun to be acknowledged. For a brief history of Indigenous Australians at War click here. A Victorian Indigenous Remembrance Service is held each year on 31st May at 11am at the Shrine of Remembrance (Tuesday 31st May 2016 ). This Service was initiated by Aunty Dot Peters, a Wurundjeri Elder, who wanted to recognise the service of her father, who died on the Burma Railway, and to commemorate the service of all those Aboriginal service men and women who have served in the Australian Defence Force.
Jewish ParticipationOn ANZAC Day - Remembering Sir John Monash's impact on Australian military thinking was significant in three areas. First, he was the first Australian to fully command Australian forces and he took, as following Australian commanders did, a relatively independent line with his British superiors. Second, he promoted the concept of the commander's duty to ensure the safety and well-being of his troops to a pre-eminent position applying a philosophy of "collective individualism". And finally, he, along with staff officer Thomas Blamey, forcefully demonstrated the benefit of thorough planning and integration of all arms of the forces available, and of all of the components supporting the front line forces, including logistical, medical and recreational services. Troops later recounted that one of the most extraordinary things about the Battle of Hamel was not the use of armoured tanks, nor the tremendous success of the operation, but the fact that in the midst of battle Monash had arranged delivery of hot meals up to the front line.
Sikh's have been in Australia for nearly 200 years and at least 19 Sikh's enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) in World War One and continue to serve proudly in the Australian Defence Force today. Download the brochure Sikh Anzacs. The Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria serves Sikh communities all over Victoria - for further information go to their website: http://www.sikhinterfaithvic.org.au.
The story of Chinese Anzacs is often overlooked in the greater narratives of World War One. When war was declared, Australia issued a call to arms. The Chinese-Australian community rallied behind the war efforts. Over two hundred Australians of Chinese descent enlisted. One hundred and seven of these were from Victoria. Due to popular demand, the exhibition Chinese Anzacs: Chinese Australians and World War One has returned to Melbourne for a limited time 16th March– 3rd May 2016. Click here for more information.
Poppies and white crosses - the Field of Remembrance, Shepparton Cenotaph
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