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Media Releases 10 Sep 2021

RSL says Anzac spirit not contestable

Australia’s peak veterans’ organisation, the Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL), says the importance and sanctity of the Anzac Day commemoration and the Anzac spirit is not contestable and it is deeply concerning Australian educators would suggest this was the case.

RSL National President Greg Melick said it was seriously disappointing that the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) would even suggest this in its latest review.

He said Anzac Day does not commemorate war, rather it marks the day Australian and New Zealand forces landed at Gallipoli and honours the sacrifice of the men and women who served Australia in armed conflicts.

“While it is important school students are able to study and debate the nation’s history, the significance of the Anzac legend should not be up for debate.

“To say that its nature and significance is a contested debate is incorrect and an insult to those service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and all those who have served in our defence forces.

“While the historic decisions made by governments to involve Australian service personal in wars and armed conflicts may be open to debate and are worthy of study, the contributions and commitment of those who served should never be questioned.”

Greg Melick said ACARA must amend it latest Australian Curriculum Review to ensure the Anzac tradition was considered in a fitting and respectful manner and not listed as an ideal that should be ‘contested’.

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