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Active Retirees : Active Retirees April-May 2012
30 | www.probussouthpacific.org FEATURE 1984 Hawke government introduces Sex Discrimination Act. The military is exempt. 1992 Navy and Air Force recruit first female pilots and submariners. 2005 Women cleared for deployment in battalions that are unlikely to engage in hand-to-hand combat. 2011 All gender restrictions removed from military positions. Physical Employment Standards (PES) introduced. seems politics is overtaking histor y as the primar y lens through which Australians view the past. For Flight Lieutenant Franklin, “what has been formulated out of Gallipoli is much bigger than a single historical event”. A recent publication by three of Australia’s leading historians – Henry Reynolds, Marilyn Lake and Mark McKenna – attempts to re- focus the debate. The University of Sydney’s Mark McKenna believes that it is time the nation examined the history of Anzac critically: “we’ve got to ask ourselves ‘ what is the history of the event’ and then ‘what do people believe about the event’, which are often two different things.” Terribly interesting? For most Australians, the debate between politics and history is irrelevant. For them, Anzac Day is a time to spend time with family reflecting on the terrible fact of war. Beryl Speakman, who has been involved with the Penshurst Probus Club for about 18 years, has attended the Anzac Day marches for the past 10 years, often with her son and young grandson. She perfectly expresses the uneasy sentiment of Anzac Day when she says “young people of today are terribly interested in it”. Around Anzac Day, Beryl’s grandson often spends time with her, reading books and asking questions about Australia’s military history. Beryl has an old book, which has been passed down to her, that contains photos of Australian servicemen from World War I. “He can see how dreadful it all is and what the soldiers must have gone through. I guess it makes him feel lucky.” Probus member Arthur Blatch was born before the Second World War and remembers being marched around the schoolyard by his teachers, some of whom were Gallipoli veterans. Arthur received a unique education from the ex-ser vicemen: “we learnt that at times you’ve got to do things that in normal life you would never think of He can see how dreadful it all is and what the soldiers must have gone through. I guess it makes him feel lucky. RECENT CHANGES Australian Government Department of Defence Thinkstock
Active Retirees Feb-March 2012
Active Retirees June-July 2012