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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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An interpretive centre to commemorate Australia's war on the Western Front

In May 2015 the Parliamentary Library highlighted in its Budget Review 2015–16 plans by the Australian Government to build an interpretive centre adjoining the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux in France at a cost of more than $100 million. On 13 August 2015, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works issued its report regarding the proposed ‘Sir John Monash Centre’ (SJMC). Following the release of this report and evidence provided at a public hearing on 26 June, further details are now available. Read more...

Parliamentary Library Lecture—Aboriginals in the First Australian Imperial Force, a secret history

On 28 May, the Parliamentary Library hosted a public lecture by Gary Oakley, the Indigenous Liaison Officer at the Australian War Memorial. Mr Oakley’s ongoing research into Aboriginal service during the First World War painted an absorbing picture of the experiences of Aboriginals serving in the First Australian Imperial Force (1st AIF) as well as dispelling a number of preconceptions.    Read more...

The 70th anniversary of the Second World War events of 1942— ‘Australia’s perilous year’: April to December

On 19 February 2012, the 70th anniversary of the first bombing of Darwin, Prime Minister Julia Gillard described 1942 as ‘the darkest year in Australia’s history’. Throughout 2012, 70th anniversary commemorations will be held for some of the most crucial events in Australian military history. Following on from a previous post noting some of the important 70th anniversaries occurring in February and March, this post highlights important anniversaries from April to December 2012. Details of special 70th anniversary commemorative events are included where they are known, but all the incidents discussed below are commemorated in some way every year.     April–May The sinking of HMAS Vampire (9 ... Read more...

The 70th anniversary of the Second World War events of 1942— ‘Australia’s perilous year’: February and March

'For there can be no doubt that 1942 was for Australia—as a nation and as a people—the most important single year of all those two hundred [since White settlement]. It was the turning point in the making of modern Australia. In the fire of that tremendous crisis were forged all the elements which have shaped our national life and destiny, to this day....Above all, 1942 was the year in which Australians first achieved a genuine sense of national identity and national unity.'This is how Prime Minister Bob Hawke described the historical significance of 1942 for Australia in the Forward to a special 1988 edition of the Defence Force Journal entitled ‘Australia’s perilous year’.Throughout 201... Read more...

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