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20 April 2010
ANZAC Day is now viewed from so many perspectives, site and event managers need to take this into account if they are to successfully manage the surge in interest as Australia approaches the 100-year anniversary of the Gallipoli landing in 1915, academics say in a new book.
In their book, Reflections on ANZAC Day – From One Millennium to the Next, co-editors Deakin University’s Professor Ruth Rentschler and Victoria University’s Associate Professor Anne-Marie Hede bring together a range of views about ANZAC Day, including the New Zealand and Turkish perspectives, to show how this is the case.
Professor Rentschler said Anzac Day is now an occasion which embraces military sentiments but celebrates our national identity, linking with former enemies as new friends and planning for the future.
“People use ANZAC Day to dig deeper and find an experience that touches their soul and seek to get spirituality back into their lives,” she said.
“For many people, the changes in the celebration of ANZAC Day and war sites more generally would elicit feelings of discontent - nothing will ever been the same again,” she said.
“For others the changes are exciting, new things are possible.”
Associate Professor Hede said the way Anzac Day is commemorated in Australia, New Zealand and Turkey is evolving.
“There is a greater diversity in the people who take part, the places they gather and the memories and reflections they bring to the day,” she said.
“Over the past few decades the symbolic representation of the Anzac battle has shifted so that it is no longer solely a commemoration of a military engagement – the day now has meaning for people as spectators at sporting events, as families whose ancestors may have served in the armed forces, and in local community gatherings.
“The difficulties people face in travelling to Gallipoli this year because of the air lock down in Europe could present opportunities to hold more events in their home towns.”
Professor Ruth Rentschler
Chair Arts and Entertainment Management
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