From Anzac biscuits to ARIA nominations: How Canberra music teacher CJ Shaw inspires his students

For a lot of Australians, the annual ARIA Music Awards stoke memories of Delta Goodrem, Silverchair and passionate Tina Arena speeches.

But this year, for Canberrans, there is a nominee to be found closer to home.

Palmerston Primary School music teacher CJ Shaw is one of just four people nominated for the ARIA Music Teacher award.

If he wins, it will be a first for the ACT — and a huge deal for the little community of kids who say he is the best teacher they have ever had.

From the road to the classroom

Music teacher CJ Shaw tackles tricky topics like war, through song.(ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

The ARIA Music Teacher Award was introduced in 2017, to recognise the huge impact music teachers have on kids throughout Australia.

With his fedora on and sticker-studded guitar in hand, Mr Shaw works hard to make singing a spiritual experience for his students.

His teaching career began five years ago, after spending his 20s touring as a musician.

“The family trade called me back,” Mr Shaw laughed.

“We are all teachers as far as the eye can see from aunts to uncles to brothers and sisters and mums and dads, we are all teachers.”

His songs are original and help make subjects that aren’t always fun a treat — perfect for Palmerston Primary in Canberra’s north, which is home to a lot of families with ties to the armed forces.

Earlier this year Mr Shaw wrote an original song about ANZAC biscuits to help students think about the complexities of war.

“Gonna bake my dad some Anzac biscuits, send them to the war,” the lyrics state.

“Gonna bake my dad some Anzac biscuits, make sure that he comes home.

“Gonna bake enough for my sister, gonna bake enough for my mum

“Gonna bake enough for my next door neighbour, who lost both his sons.”

“I wanted to give students access to understanding,” Mr Shaw explained.

The song did what it intended, and the students have gone on to record it in a converted studio classroom, make a stop-motion video to accompany it, and it has been picked up my the Australian War Memorial and ABC Radio Canberra.

“The kids felt like rockstars, there’s been great ownership from the whole school,” Mr Shaw said.

“There’s probably 30 voices on the track but you can go through and you can ask any number of kids and they’d swear it’s actually them.

“Even if I’ve never taught them … they’d be like, ‘Nah I think that’s me!'”

Principal Kate Smith, who nominated Mr Shaw for the award, said children are often heard rapping their times tables or singing a passionate rendition of the homophone song in the playground.

“The staff get into it as well,” she said.


‘When I grow up I want to teach people to sing like Mr Shaw’

Ms Smith called Mr Shaw “a magician”, and a quick look around his music room shows his students think so, too.

Heart shaped sticky notes stuck all over the walls tell a story of what music has grown to mean to the kids.

“When I listen to music, it makes me feel like myself,” one reads.

“I love music because it can change your mood!” writes another.

Year five student Alex said it was the happiness that Mr Shaw brought to music that made him such a good teacher. 

Skyla, grade two, said she looks up to Mr Shaw.

“He has taught me to express my voice better,” she said.

“When I grow up I want to teach people to sing like Mr Shaw.”

During lockdown when children weren’t in classrooms, Mr Shaw made regular appearances in the loungerooms of school families. 

“A lot of parents were actually really sad when the kids came back to school because it meant they weren’t getting a daily dose of CJ in their loungerooms,” Ms Smith said.

Jimmy Barnes and Jessica Mauboy
Rock legend Jimmy Barnes — performing here with Jessica Mauboy during the 30th ARIA Awards — announced Mr Shaw’s nomination.(AAP: Paul Miller)

From one legend to another

But while Mr Shaw is considered a rock star in his own right around the school yard, there is another rock star in this story.

When Mr Shaw was contacted by the ARIA team to see who he wanted to announce his nomination, only one name came to mind.

“There are only very few times in your life that you can just say ‘Jimmy Barnes’ and look them in the eye,” he said.

A few weeks later, Barnsey was beamed out through on a projector in Mr Shaw’s classroom.

“Music is a way of expressing how you feel inside,” he told the year five class.

With just under a month to go until voting for the ARIA Music Teacher Award closes, Mr Shaw’s school have issued a rallying cry to the Canberra community to get behind one of their own.

“The community is certainly behind him, and we would love to see the Canberra community get behind him as well,” Ms Smith said.

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Kevin Sheedy calls for Sydney Swans, GWS Giants ANZAC Day game

Long-time coaches John Longmire and Leon Cameron both lamented this week the impact not having games in Sydney would have on the market.

More than 60,000 fans watched the two clubs play in the Giants’ maiden final in 2016 but attendances dropped off last year as it became apparent the Swans were on the decline.

The Swans and the Giants played a brutal, and memorable, qualifying final in 2016.

The Swans and the Giants played a brutal, and memorable, qualifying final in 2016.Credit:Getty

Battling the economic downturn of the pandemic and lower on-field expectations, the Swans’ membership is down by 24 per cent, from last year’s record of 61,912 to 46,935, while the Giants have signed 27,316 after making the 2019 grand final, down marginally on their best of 30,108 last year.

Sheedy wants to see the Sydney derby become an ANZAC Day tradition, just as his former club Essendon and Collingwood have made the fixture their own in Melbourne. The game would most likely have to be played at night if given the go ahead.

Under his plan, the match would be known as the Battle for the Bridge, in reference to the ANZAC Bridge, and be held at the SCG, with members of the armed forces to be invited.


The two clubs have clashed over the naming of their games, with the Swans preferring the traditional moniker of the derby.

“The Battle of the Bridge is still the best game if they get it right and they haven’t got the guts and the courage to run it that way,” Sheedy told the Herald.

“Can someone get it right and make ANZAC Day one of the great days in Sydney for AFL by always having the Swans play the Giants on ANZAC Day?

“It would always be at SCG, should be full house, and the military invited.

“Just imagine a packed house with the army, navy and air force at the game. That’s my Dreamtime game for the Swans and the Giants.”

Sheedy said the third club in Sydney should be based in the city’s south-west but cannot see the AFL agreeing due to likely fierce opposition from Tasmania.

“I give the Giants 10 years and the AFL should have a plan for a third team in Sydney within a decade, even after COVID,” Sheedy said.

“There’s that much room for improvement in Sydney it’s a joke. If they bring a third team in the other two [Swans and Giants] will wake up again.

Sheedy accused the AFL, which is fighting the biggest financial crisis to hit the sport, of not being “adventurous” in its strategy for Sydney, and said Swans and Giants administrators were too nice.


“Marshmallow administrators right through the AFL, Swans and Giants they’re all marshmallows at the moment,” Sheedy said.

As Essendon coach, Sheedy famously labelled former North Melbourne executives Greg Miller and Mark Dawson “marshmallows”, which fuelled the two clubs’ rivalry in the late 1990s. Kangaroos fans responded by pelting him with the candy after North beat the Bombers in a final in 1998.

Harley laughed off the marshmallow line and agreed with Sheedy on the point of growing the code in NSW but held a different view on a third team in Sydney.

“At grass roots level participation numbers in NSW have grown substantially in the past decade, especially female participation,” Harley said. “But before we talk about more teams there is still plenty we need to do, which will require investment, particularly in facilities.”

The AFL did not comment but pointed to improved TV ratings in NSW and Queensland this year.

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Australian War Memorial proposed development of Anzac Hall slammed as ‘wasteful’ ‘arrogant’ and ‘objectionable’

A half a billion dollar expansion of the Australian War Memorial (AWM) has been called “wasteful” and “arrogant” by academics, architects, public servants and family of those killed in war at a public hearing in Canberra.

A federal parliamentary committee began examining the controversial plans yesterday, which includes the demolition of Anzac Hall to make way for a much larger exhibition space at the War Memorial.

The committee heard from stakeholders on the project, who are concerned about the development plans, the cost of the project, the lack of community consultation, and the proposal’s effect on the War Memorial’s heritage status.

Historian Dr David Stephens from the Australian National University spoke on behalf of the Heritage Guardians, a group of 82 individuals, who made a submission to the inquiry.

“This has been a slipshod and arrogant exercise in public administration, a deeply flawed process,” he said.

“The work, the Memorial development, is unnecessary and has many objectionable features.”

Plans to demolish award-winning Anzac Hall

A bridge connects the new Anzac Hall with the main building
The proposed glazed courtyard would feature a bridge between the new Anzac Hall and the main building.(Supplied: Australian War Memorial)

At the heart of the “objectionable features” is the redevelopment of Anzac Hall, which the Heritage Gardens submission said “cannot be justified”.

“The extensions will destroy the Memorial’s character, affect its heritage status, and entail the demolition of Anzac Hall — opened in 2001 and winner of the 2005 Sir Zelman Cowen Award for outstanding public architecture,” the submission read.

Coins in the Pool of Reflection at the Australian War Memorial
The Eternal Flame is a sculptural feature of the Pool of Reflection in the courtyard of the Australian War Memorial.(ABC News: Gregory Nelson)

Peter Stanley, who worked at the Memorial for 27 years as their principal historian, said the AWM’s plan was based on a flawed notion that a bigger display of historic military aircraft and vehicles would help veterans heal from their experience.

“It has no medical or clinical or academic basis, I describe it as snake oil,” he said.

“I called it the hydroxychloroquine of the museum world.”

A blonde woman stares into the distance.
Since losing her husband in the Iraq war, Kellie Merritt and her children regularly visit the War Memorial, and are concerned about the new development.(Supplied)

For war widows like Kellie Merritt, whose husband was killed in Iraq, the imposition the new expansion will have on the Pool of Reflection is of concern.

“It’s the heart of the Australian War Memorial and sets an intangible but meaningful tone that will be changed by having a brutish building on its shoulders,” she told the inquiry.

Ms Merritt also raised concerns that demolition of Anzac Hall was wasteful, and the new proposal risked glorifying war.

“Replacing it with a gigantic structure to display decommissioned military hardware and an F-111 fighter jet serves to distract and distance us from the understanding of commemorating and honouring our war dead,” she said.

“This proposal, I feel, runs the risk of glorifying war.”

War Memorial head defends consultation process

Aerial shot of the Australian War Memorial
What the new Australian War Memorial would look like from the sky.(Supplied: Australian War Memorial)

Draft plans for the AWM development were announced by then-director Brendan Nelson in 2018.

At the time, Mr Nelson repeatedly referenced the “Invictus generation” of Australian servicepeople who had served in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Solomon Islands and East Timor, and his desire to have them acknowledged within the Memorial.

The AWM’s plans state that the motivation behind the development is “to modernise and expand our galleries and buildings so we can tell the continuing story of Australia’s contemporary contribution to a better world, through the eyes of those who have served in modern conflicts, connecting the spirit of our past, present, and future for generations to come”.

“The detailed plans will ensure the heritage facade remains unchanged.”

The plans also have bi partisan federal political support.

Current director of the AWM Matthew Anderson defended the process so far, and said the AWM “engaged in national consultations” with stakeholders and the community.

“We’ve visited 42 different cities to talk about what it is we want to achieve through the redevelopment,” he said.

Mr Anderson added that the project would have many benefits for Canberra’s economy.

“There is an economic benefit that’s going to flow from the building,” he said.

“We estimate that it’s going to create 300 hundred construction jobs, 400 additional jobs after the project is completed.”


Shannon Battison from the Australian Institute of Architects said she was not opposed to expanding the memorial, but demolishing Anzac Hall — a building that was already specially designed to modernise the AWM — set a wasteful precedent.

“It’s a very dangerous precedent to set if we allow our really important iconic public architecture to be redeveloped without the processes and safeguards,” Ms Battison said.

“A brief that dictates that [Anzac Hall] be demolished and something new put in its place feels unnecessary, and we could have experimented with some really wonderful ideas.”

The committee will now assess whether there is a need for the work, the cost-effectiveness of the proposal, the amount of revenue it will produce, and whether the work proposed is suitable.

It is unknown when the committee will deliver its findings.

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Native title organisation backs Anzac precinct for gallery – Alice Springs News



Front bencher Dale Wakefield says a letter of support from the native title organisation Lhere Artepe is giving the NT Government the mandate to build the national Aboriginal art gallery in the Anzac precinct, even if it needs to compulsorily acquire the rugby oval from the Town Council.


“We have gone through the proper consultation process,” Ms Wakefield told the Alice Springs News.


“Unfortunately what we have seen is political game playing by the Town Council who have not listened to the information.


“And when we do give them information they are changing the goalposts. I am hoping with this letter now we can re-set the conversation, but we are prepared to go ahead with compulsory acquisition.”


Ms Wakefield categorically denied that any financial or other inducements were offered to Lhere Artepe: “Absolutely not.”


She says Lhere Artepe has supported the Anzac Precinct “all the way through” including members who have “specific ties to that land”. The organisation’s three estates have provided the letter “to show their support”.


In the letter, delivered to the council yesterday, Lhere Artepe refers to the project’s “significant social and economic opportunities … benefiting the whole community” as well as job creation and tourism impact.


NEWS: Lhere Artepe is in charge of the native title determination area ordered by the Federal Court in 2000. Anzac Oval is not in that area (shown inside the yellow boundaries on the map).


WAKEFIED (at left): No. And they are not saying that in that letter. What they are doing is supporting the location as a broader body of traditional owners of the Alice Springs area. That determination under the Native Title Act was made some time ago. [They are giving their support] as an organisation I would say, with significant cultural authority.


[The Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority, an independent body, has issued a sacred sites clearance for the site.]


NEWS: Benedict Stevens is regarded as the most senior law man for the precinct. He is not a director of Lhere Artepe.


WAKEFIED: No, he is not. That’s my understanding.


NEWS: Has this decision been made under the exclusion of the most important person in the matter?


WAKEFIED: No, that’s not the case at all. There have been a range of other consultations. We have had recent and ongoing consultations with the Stevens Family and other key traditional owners. We are comfortable that we have majority support of people who speak for that country. Lhere Artepe would understand those people’s positions as well.


NEWS: You are saying Benedict Stevens was included. What was his position?


WAKEFIED: It is difficult at the moment because that family is in significant sorry business and I am really reluctant to speak on their behalf. We have kept them informed about all our steps.


NEWS: Before the sorry business started, has Mr Stevens given his green light for the location?


WAKEFIED: I am very comfortable that we have got support for that project. I am uncomfortable with putting pressure on individuals. You will never get a consensus view about this project from the non-Indigenous part of the community. Why should we expect it from the Indigenous community?


NEWS: Is this the break-through required to go ahead with the Anzac Precinct project including the compulsory acquisition of Anzac Oval from the Town Council?


WAKEFIED: The project is important for the whole community and the economic recovery of post-COVID. We have a Federal Government looking to invest in infrastructure projects. This is a perfect one to work on in collaboration with the Federal Government.


Note: Benedict Stevens was the lead signatory on a letter to the Town Council, dated 9 January 2019, that supported the gallery being built, but rejected the use of Anzac Oval as its location. The letter was co-signed by nine other senior Central Arrernte traditional owners, of the Stevens, Stuart, Rice, Sterling and Furber families. This followed a period during which Mr Stevens had publicly supported the gallery project for the Anzac site, appearing in the government’s promotional materials.




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War veterans face a new battle as coronavirus restrictions leave them isolated on Anzac Day


April 25, 2020 08:43:03

Lesley Brown was just 21 when he was sent to the Darwin battlefields in 1942. He watched his friends die while the Australian city was levelled to the ground.

Key points

  • Lesley Brown will be the only South Australian World War II veteran attending a service
  • Australians will be encouraged to stand in their driveways to mark Anzac Day
  • Ex-Military Rehabilitation Centre has organised care packages for veterans

Eight months after atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima, the British Commonwealth Occupation Force volunteer stood at ground zero, surveying the damage.

The 99-year-old World War II veteran has been marching at Anzac Day parades ever since. But today will be different.

“We didn’t have a weapon when they sent us to Darwin, we were just a bunch of kids going somewhere we’d never been before,” Mr Brown said.

“We’d never fired a rifle.”

With fond memories of watching an Anzac Day march from the age of seven, Mr Brown described serving his country with pride.

“To be part of the Australian Army is an honour, no matter what would happen, I would put my country first,” he said.

“The Anzac Day parade stirs something deep in every soldier. I do it, but I do it because of my battalion, the 27th South Australian, Scottish Regiment.”

There will be no Anzac Day parades due to the coronavirus restrictions, and Mr Brown will be the only digger in South Australia to attend a service.

He is going to read The Ode at the Repatriation Hospital service.

Jack Thomas is 99 years old. He was a prisoner of war in Java. This will be one of the first years he has missed a dawn service or marched in the Anzac Day parade.

He was disappointed he would not see his friends.

He lost many of them over the years, but he will still remember them all on Anzac Day. The same way he did as a young boy.

“I must have been in the pusher; these were horse and cart days. They were not the days of motor cars, there was probably a band playing with all these men marching,” he said.

RSL SA ambassador Bill Denny said he hoped Australians stood in their driveways at dawn this morning as part of the national “Light up the Dawn” movement.

“It becomes particularly important on a day like today because our World War II generation are fast vanishing sadly, there’s probably in South Australia 1,500 surviving, only 70 marched last year,” he said.

“Every year is important because it’s our time to say thank you and recognise the strength and adversity and resilience of a generation that delivered so much to us and more importantly recognise those that gave their lives in our service.”

The Adelaide dawn service — which was broadcast live for people to watch from home — still took place but with only a few guests invited to pay their respects on behalf of the community.

Coronavirus forced ex-military support service to close

The coronavirus restrictions have not only impacted dawn services across the country, but it has also forced the Ex-Military Rehabilitation Centre (XMRC) to close its doors.

The centre could no longer provide services such as a men’s shed and workshops, so Dion Cowdray decided to support veterans by running a care package delivery service.

Adelaide veteran Alice Theunen now relies on that care package.

She is a double amputee, losing both her legs after leaving the army, is unable to leave her home and struggles to complete some tasks.

“I can’t sit straight and to get in my car and drive up the shop, it’s a real big job,” she said.

A few months ago, the pain increased, leaving her unable to drive right as the coronavirus hit. The worst part for Ms Theunen was losing her independence.

After seeing a social media post by the XMRC, she reached out and was later provided with a package of fresh fruit, vegetables, a meat tray and supermarket essentials like toilet paper.

It has become a lifeline for ex-servicemen and women like Ms Theunen.

“I’m over the moon. It’s going to set me up for weeks, I haven’t seen bacon for so long,” she said.

Mr Cowdray started the care packages when he was looking for a way to support members, and he received a small grant from Veterans SA to buy products from local suppliers.

“It all came together and then once I had it there ready to go I had trouble finding anybody to deliver it to,” he said.

That all changed when his Facebook post was seen by 15,000 people and shared throughout the tight-knit veteran community.

“It’s totally gone a bit gangbusters on the approach of people asking for care packages now,” Mr Cowdray said.

There is such a high demand he’s even delivering to veterans living two to three hours away but the small amount of funding has run out.

Your questions on coronavirus answered:

‘Social isolation exacerbates psychological issues’

Veterans SA spokesman Justin Brown said the coronavirus measures had put increasing pressure on some returned servicemen and women who were doing it tough.

“That social isolation really exacerbates any kind of emotional or psychological issues they might be having,” he said.

Mr Brown called on the community to do what they can to support the delivery service, adding the basic supplies will be needed by many veterans until the coronavirus restrictions were lifted.

The care packages also provide a socially distant but friendly face to people like Lesley Brown, showing them they are not forgotten, especially in the lead-up to Anzac Day.











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Anzac Day in Belmore Park, noon, Saturday April 25 | Goulburn Post

news, local-news, anzac day, belmore park, honour roll, blake robertson, margaret murdoch, len mcgrath

A sprig of rosemary; a flower chain of poppies. These were among the simple tributes placed at the Belmore Park Honour Roll today. As communities continue to live under pandemic restrictions, Anzac Day commemorations could have become a casualty to the virus. But small gestures still have big meaning for those who took the time to stop in silence and remember the sacrifice of loved ones. From driveway dedications at dawn, lit by candles and torches, to a trickling procession of tributes in the park, Goulburn did not forget. Margaret Murdoch of Goulburn placed a sprig of rosemary for her brother Len McGrath, whose name is immortalised on the roll. She was just a girl when her brother, late of Mackay in Queensland and 18 years her senior, was sent to New Guinea as a WWII medic. He never spoke of his wartime experiences on his return, she said. The New Guinea campaign in the Pacific began in January 1942, lasting three and half years until the end of the war in August 1945. Australian and US forces defeated the surrendering Japanese. Margaret was one of five children, including Len and three sisters, all of whom have now passed. She was also widowed in 2018. Len moved his family to Mackay many years ago, and it’s where he is now buried. Margaret was not able to travel to attend his funeral. She said she came to the Honour Roll in Belmore Park on Anzac Day every year, and found comfort in remembering Len and others. Blake Robertson of Taralga, accompanied by his mother, Valerie, also came to the Honour Roll in the early afternoon of Saturday. He gently place a flower chain of poppies, having observed dawn with a dedication at the end of their driveway among neighbours. Blake, a member of the Goulburn Mulwaree Youth Council, trekked the 97-kilometre Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea last year. Goulburn Soldiers Club had sponsored Blake and fellow trekkers Jack Burke and Alex Parlett (Trinity Catholic College) and nursing student Elise Thorthwaite (Australian Catholic University) on the 10-day trek led by Charlie Lynn’s Adventure Kokoda. The Goulburn High School graduate had been looking forward to several speaking engagements this year about his experience. But his talks had to be cancelled during the coronavirus pandemic. Blake, a military history buff who had sought out the headstone of Victoria Cross recipient Private Bruce Kingsbury while in PNG, had said on his return last October that the trek was “emotional”. Kokoda was no longer just something he had read about in books, he said. It had “changed me, and everyone who has been on it.” In Belmore Park, Blake stood for a moment with his mother Valerie to silently remember family who had served various theatres of war. Blake wore a striped knitted beanie he had bought from Papua New Guinean craftswomen, who now eke out a living along the famous Trail where, from July to November 1942, the Kokoda Track campaign was fought between Australian and Japanese forces.

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Western Australia marks Anzac Day with tributes from homes and neighbourhoods


April 25, 2020 12:24:01

West Australians throughout the state have marked Anzac Day in unique ways, as the threat of coronavirus continues to dictate the way we live.

Key Points:

  • People across Western Australia have marked Anzac Day at home
  • Many gathered at the end of their driveways or on balconies to pay respect
  • Few turned out at the State War Memorial, after crowds were urged to stay home

The State War Memorial at Kings Park held no official ceremony and police were on standby to ensure crowds did not gather.

Fewer than 100 people trickled into the park before dawn, while suburban and regional memorials were also off limit.

Instead, families and neighbours gathered at 6:00am outside their homes, on driveways and on balconies, in order to mark the day while maintaining social distancing.

Some people donned their Anzac Day finest, or medals marking their service or that of relatives who had passed away.

In Perth, rain did not dissuade many.

In some streets, a bugle was played — or another instrument took its place.

Elsewhere, people tuned into radio, television and social media broadcasts for an Anzac service.

Tradition providing comfort in ‘difficult times’

In a pre-recorded video message, the Premier Mark McGowan acknowledged how different this April 25 would be to years gone by.

“This is obviously a very different kind of Anzac Day. The fact that we are marking this solemn occasion separately, self-isolated and socially distanced, these are challenging and difficult times,” he said.

“Anzac Day is a time when West Australians of all ages, of all walks of life came together in the cold dark mornings and found comfort and solace in remembrance.

“This year, coming together in person just isn’t possible — the health risks are just far too great, especially for the older members of our community, especially our older veterans.

“However, I take comfort in the fact that all around this great state, West Australians will mark Anzac Day in their own ways.”

Anzac of the Year bugled for his neighbours

At a retirement village in the Perth suburb of Menora, one of five recipients of the Anzac of the Year award, retired Lance Corporal David Scott, performed The Last Post for his neighbours.

Mr Scott gave 39 years of service to the army and has played the bugle at services and ceremonies all over the world.

He said it was always an honour to perform The Last Post and this morning was no different.

“It’s an absolute privilege, it’s hard to explain, my grandfather fought on the Western Front and it’s just a great opportunity to say thank you for those sorts of people,” he said.

“People that have been before us and prepared to put their life on the line for us, I don’t think we’d be doing this today if they hadn’t.

“It’s just a great pleasure to do it, especially for the elderly guys who had been to war, they left a lot of mates back on the battlefield that they’ll never see again.”

The sounds of dawn service unchanged

One of Mr Scott’s neighbours who helped to organise the retirement village service was 80-year-old blind man Jeff Keegan.

“I miss out not being able to see what’s going on, I have to keep whispering to my wife and she explained the flag going up and down and at half-mast and the laying of the wreath,” he said.

But Mr Keegan said there was no missing out on the poignant sound of the bugle, which he said was such an iconic and moving part of honouring Australia’s servicemen and women.

“You can’t miss it, there’s nothing like it,” he said.

“I was very emotional about it, I quite enjoyed the fact that Dave was our bugler, a live bugle is very touching.

“It’s just spine-tingling, and Dave has got a beautiful touch, and I enjoyed the national anthem.”

Vernon Daulby, 93, is one of the last remaining veterans in Bridgetown and took to his driveway this morning with his wife Beth Daulby to mark the occasion.

Mr Daulby served in the navy during World War II.

“What happened in Borneo was shocking and I’ll never forget it,” he said.

“It’s a terrible thing that happened but it’s a wonderful thing that Anzac Day is still going.”

Intimate service to remember a loved one

In the South West town of Australind, Janette Thomson held an intimate driveway dawn service, wearing full WWI military regalia and holding her horse by her side.

Australian and New Zealand flags and candles sat atop wheelie bins on the edge of the street.

Ms Thomson has been a member of one of Australia’s largest Anzac re-enactment groups, the Bunbury 10th Light Horse Troop, for a decade.

On a normal Anzac Day, she and her fellow riders trot past the memorial and RSL in full uniform as a sign of respect to veterans.

“I ride to remember my great uncle, John Brown,” she said.

“He died at Dardanelles in Gallipoli, and I always ride with his photo in my pocket, just to remember.”

But this year is different.

“This year really tugs at the heartstrings because we think about the older generation,” Ms Thomson said.

“They come out on Anzac Day, and to have some of them sitting at home on their own is really sad.

“But at least we can respect and support them by doing this.”










First posted

April 25, 2020 11:49:35

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Anzac Day in Melbourne took a turn this year but one woman is grateful for what it brought her


April 25, 2020 10:52:09

Anne Gregory has never been to a dawn service.

“I’ve always said I want to go before I die. I hope this counts,” she said.

Anne has lived in Lysander Street in Brighton East for 47 years, across the road from World War II veteran Frank Sims.

Standing in the dim light of dawn, next to tealight candles and paper poppies taped to her fence, she listened to Mr Sims’s story for the first time:

Frank was in the Royal Australian Air Force for just over three years.

He joined on his 18th birthday — something his mother was not too happy about.

“Three years and four months in the air force, she worried about me the whole time,” Frank said.

The now-96-year-old flew a Sunderland flying boat with a crew of 10 men from the north of Scotland to the coast of Norway.

“It was a very big plane, I was the observer navigator and bomb aimer. We were looking for German U-boats — submarines.”

After Norway, Frank was never posted to a squadron and instead became part of a group of pilots flying missions, reconnaissance and “odd jobs” for the air ministry crew in the United Kingdom.

Frank’s son Rob suspects his father was secretly flying for MI6 before it was officially recognised in the 1990s.

He fought alongside men from England, Scotland and Ireland. He was the only Australian.

Anzac Day has always been a sacred tradition in which Frank remembers those men.

He would usually meet with the few remaining members of The Odd Bods Association; formed in 1947 by ex-RAAF and Allied Air Force members who had served in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

At its peak there were 500 members.

“We gather around to meet old friends and it’s always a great feeling. There’s not very many of us now, maybe five or six,” he said.

“There’s one chap who is the son of a dear, a very dear old friend and I meet him once a year on Anzac Day.”

This year, Frank stood in the driveway, five medals and a poppy pinned to his lapel, outside the home he built himself after returning from the war in 1948. He held a candle alongside his son Rob and three grandchildren.

“It’s really strange this year. I’m disappointed I couldn’t go, it’s not the same. This is a good way of doing it but it’s not the same.”

While the pool of war veterans in Australia continues to shrink, Frank hopes the next generation carries on the tradition of Anzac Day long after he is gone.

“Anzac Day is special. I had two uncles in World War I, one received the Military Medal as a truck driver doing the same thing with his truck that Simpson did with his donkey; he went to the front line and brought back the dead and the wounded for 48 hours without stopping,” he said.

“I always think of them and my two cousins who were both in the war when I was, they’re long dead now but we all came back.”

His three grandchildren, having grown up hearing the stories of Grandad’s adventures overseas, understand the significance of April 25.

Grandson Marlowe said the day was about “remembering and celebrating our fallen soldiers and what they’ve done for us”.

“It’s great to be able to spend time with Grandpa so it’s lovely to march with him and this isn’t the same but it’s good enough.”

Across the road, Anne stood in her driveway listening to Frank and the faint sounds of someone playing the bugle a block away.

She is grateful that even though the coronavirus pandemic stopped Frank from celebrating in the traditional manner, it allowed her to hear stories from a man she had wondered about for decades.

“This has been quite moving,” she said.

“My father-in-law moved to Australia after the war in a converted Sunderland plane, just like what Frank flew. It took him nine days to get here.

“He liked the Australians he fought with so much that he moved here. I never knew all that about Frank.

“What a wonderful man.”


























First posted

April 25, 2020 10:16:15

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Anzac Day tribute remembers Australian and New Zealanders who served | The Canberra Times

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The Anzac Day service looked very different at the Australian War Memorial this year, with only a small number of attendees gathered for the live streamed service at dawn. Prime Minister Scott Morrison reminded the pared back service and those watching from home that this was not the first time Anzac Day traditions had been interrupted. “On Anzac Day 1919, the first after the Great War, there was no city marches or parades for the returning veterans because Australia was battling the flu pandemic. Though our streets were empty the returning veterans were not forgotten,” Mr Morrison said. As part of his commemorative address, Mr Morrison acknowledged the small group of Australians who gathered on the shores of Gallipoli that year to honour those who had served. He said, like this year, it was a quiet affair. “We are all in this together, but we always have been. We always will be,” Mr Morrison told the audience. Instead of the usual dawn service on the steps of the memorial facing out onto Anzac Parade in front of tens of thousands of people, just a few gathered outside to acknowledge the solemn ceremony inside. Taking place in the commemorative area and hall of memory, the ABC broadcast the official ceremony to individuals and families celebrating in isolation. “Australians all, Lest We Forget. Those who were so young and made us so free. Today is our most sacred day,” Mr Morrison said. “On these walls we touch and see the names of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers who gave their lives for this country and the people they loved. “Today at this dawn, in this place or wherever you are today let us listen let us open our hearts again to their stories and draw from them their inspiration.” Mr Morrison paid tribute to his grandfather, gunner Leslie John Smith who served the country as part of the First Australian Imperial Force in World War II. “I remember the quiet pain of war he endured and worked so hard to hide from a young boy who he hoped would never know war, a pain that would haunt him and wake him in the night,” he said. Following his address, Mr Morrison and wife Jenny Morrison took part in a laying of the wreaths alongside Governor General David Hurley and his wife Linda, the High Commissioner for New Zealand Dame Annette King with Raymond Lind, the leader of the opposition Anthony Albanese, Chief of Defence Force General Angus Campbell, a representative for the Returned and Services League of Australia John King, Legacy Youth representative Stephanie Kindness, the chairman of the War Memorial Kerry Stokes and wife Christine Stokes. Returned service nurse Wing Commander Sharon Brown was part of the small congregation inside, providing a response on behalf of the veteran community. An Australian veteran, Ms Brown paid tribute to her grandfather private Arthur Albert Reader, who served as a stretcher bearer. “After rescuing the wounded under fire for two long years he was killed on the Western front,” she said. “His name is listed on the roll of honour alongside the friends who he served.” Ms Brown’s address was followed by the recitation of an extract of the poem In Flanders Fields by Stephanie Kindness, chosen to represent the Legacy Youth. Chief Commissioner for the Salvation Army Red Shield Defence Services Major Brett Gallagher called on those present and those watching to join in the prayer of commemoration. Master of Ceremonies Scott Bevan invited Don Spinks to recite The Ode; “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.” Those present and all those unable to attend, including many who stood at the end of their driveways as the sun came up the morning, were invited to observe one minute’s silence after The Last Post was played. Lest we forget,” Mr Bevan said before the national anthems of New Zealand and Australia were played. The ceremony concluded with a lone piper, the noise from his bagpipes carrying across the near empty memorial site to the few people gathered outside to observe the tradition alongside those taking part. From 11.30am, the Anzac Day ceremonies will continue, with all Australians encouraged to tune in to local television and radio stations. The four-minute commemoration will include the Ode, The Last Post, one minute’s silence, and Rouse. A tribute to acknowledge the more than 102,000 Australians who lost their lives in war, conflict and peacekeeping operations, and the service and sacrifice of those who have worn our military uniform.

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