A massive new look theology unites all in Australia 5



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There’s a massive new look theology in Australia that is emerging in a way religion is not.  People want to follow it in droves, churches fill on their worship days with people spilling into the streets, big corporations want to support it and link their brands with it, and it has stories and passion to share like no other. We light torches, lay flowers and pray. We remember those who were martyred, and we give thanks. But should we do more, and make this more than a one-day per year creed, for the sake of our country and for the unity of people.  It is the only thing that unites all Australians, black, white, Greek, American, Catholic or Muslim.

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The iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, hailing our new morality.

It is far from new, and sits at the core of our country in a way that other religions do not.  Its founders died for their cause and were not properly appreciated for their sacrifice at the time.

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The crowds at my local RSL dawn service in 2015, at Norman Park QLD

Young people turn up once a year to worship at the altar of this new doctrine.  They don’t understand yet how they will play a role in building it in the future but they will.  They will carry the stories forward for generations, making sure they don’t die, perhaps even building their own bible. They will covet the possessions of their forebears like I do my grandfather’s medals.

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My grandfather’s medals

It’s been through a massive transformation, this ritual.  Just five years ago it was faltering and people were complaining that it had lost its honesty.  People didn’t turn up for the altar, didn’t understand the true meaning and worried it was an older generation memory in society.  Social media changed all that, sharing the stories along with a well-planned centenary celebration that reinvigorated it in the eyes of our nation.



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Norman Park RSL Dawn Service 2015

Much like other causes, the founding members often need to be martyred or to eventually die for them to be recogniSed as important.  The loss of our last, first generation of ANZACs might be the reason we see it coming to life now.  We can only remember because we can’t go back anymore and talk to them.

Like a good religion, the Spirit of the ANZAC is not without controversy.  Should we march or shouldn’t we on behalf of our elders?  Should we monetise or shouldn’t we, to help the veterans?   Have we done enough for those who fought to thank them for our freedom and their sacrifice?

Corporates tackily try to traverse the benefits of pinning themselves to it, to their advantage.

People in society want to talk about the ANZACs and its importance.

This is a doctrine we can all relate to.  This is an observance that formed our nation, and our people; their fight for life and their fight for freedom.  This is a devotion I want to be a part of.

Take that to the Census of 2016.  I’d rather be an ANZAC supporter than a Catholic, a Jedi or a Presbyterian.  Or a Liberal or Labor party supporter for that matter.


Let’s make ANZAC matter more and more and more.

Today we want to talk about it… Should ANZAC be our new national spirituality?

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. THAT IS ENOUGH!! I can ignore or by pass some of your hyperbole about some subjects, but not this.
    I thought that you might have got the idea that you were outnumbered last week with your diatribe on ANZAC Day.
    Now you have gone too far – A religion??? How dare you .
    GOODBYE – STARTS at 60 just lost me .

  2. Anzac day was started mainly by women (mothers) as a day of sorrow and a striving for peace. Many Australians were forced to go not through a desire to support the British, not for freedom, not for a cause. Many young men were picked up by the police, charged with loitering with intent then given a choice of gaol or the army. Many young men were treated as cowards, this happened to the man who should have been my grandfather, he had back injuries and was not fit for service. He was reviled for not wearing a uniform. So many cruel judgements made by people who were ignorant.
    Our soldiers were young, manly poor and desperate to have an adventure, they did not spout patriotic sentiment, fight for the flag, fight for the queen, public opinion forced them to go to a war that we had no reason to be part of.
    Strangely enough neither of my grandfathers, survivors of the first world war, including Gallipoli, ever marched on Anzac day.

  3. Who ever wrote this has written a pack of gormless rubbish! I agree with Linda and I am sure that the Anzacs would be appalled at the twiddle written here!

  4. First, the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, which lent its name to ANZAC, was not composed of just Australians and New Zealanders. In fact, it was a very multinational and multicultural force. When the Australians and New Zealanders went ashore, they were accompanied by troops from the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps, Jewish soldiers from the Zion Mule Corps, and Indian Mountain Brigade, who were all part of ANZAC.

    Second, Queenslanders played a significant role in the Gallipoli campaign. The most vital of the Allied positions was Quinn’s Post, since it controlled Shrapnel Valley, and therefore the beach at Anzac Cove. Quinn’s was largely defended by Queenslanders, and when the Turks exploded a mine under the Post in May 1915, it was a young lieutenant from Brisbane, Terence McSharry, who saved the position. McSharry is largely forgotten today, but he arguably saved the entire position at Gallipoli in one morning.

    Third, Anzac Day had its genesis in Brisbane in January 1916. The Mayor of Brisbane called a meeting to consider how to honour our troops. It was proposed that April 25 be made a day of solemn commemoration, and Canon David Garland, the committee secretary, put together a plan for the ceremonies. This plan was adopted by each of the other states, and became what we now know as Anzac Day.

    Fourth, while Australian and New Zealand soldiers took terrible casualties, the British suffered far more. There were 8709 Australians and 2721 New Zealanders killed at Gallipoli, but 34,072 soldiers from Britain died there too.

    Finally, stories of ANZAC courage are well deserved. Australian and New Zealand soldiers were highly regarded for their fighting qualities. Albert Jacka, who won a Victoria Cross at Gallipoli, exemplifies the Australian courage.

    He was in a trench with four other men when it was heavily attacked. One by one, the others were killed or wounded until only Jacka remained. The Turks then rushed the position and seven of them got into the trench. Jacka singlehandedly attacked them and killed all seven, five with rifle fire and two with his bayonet.

    When the war was over, almost 275,000 of these men returned home to build a nation. The traces of war were everywhere. Nearly one in three households sent a man away, but 55,000 Australians were killed and 155,000 were wounded.

    Imagine if that happened today. In an age when we are largely untouched by war, we should spare an hour or so on Anzac Day to honour those who have served to keep our nation free.

  5. My father (deceased) and I are both RAAF veterans. Like millions of others, we served and survived while many didn’t. We owe a debt of gratitude to those brave men and women who fought so we might live in a free, democratic, decent and tolerant country.
    As increasing numbers of Lefties, Muslim sympathisers, Dhimmis, and Muslims work to undermine our very society, ANZAC Day needs to be a force to hold our community together on that One Day of the Year. During the rest of the year, we need to be vigilant to put people in power who will maintain our values and traditions as the fight to maintain our society is not going to end anytime soon. Violent jihad is not the only enemy.

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