Gallipoli Centenary – A Year to Remember?
The Defining Moments project strives to highlight pivotal moments in Australia history. The latest event, on 29 October 2015, was a lecture titled ‘The Gallipoli Centenary – A Year to Remember?’.
April this year marked the centenary of the 1915 Gallipoli Landing. An estimated 120,000 people flocked to the dawn service at the Australian War Memorial. Yet historian Clare Wright claims that Australians are suffering from ‘Gallipoli fatigue’: “…people are feeling like it’s been turned into a kind of circus sideshow”.
Are people tired of remembering events from 100 years ago? Is Gallipoli still as symbolically potent as it was 100 years ago? What is the value of Australia’s largest and most public of commemorations since the Centenary of Federation?
National Museum of Australia director Dr Mat Trinca had a spirited discussion about these issues with a distinguished panel comprising Brad Manera, Dr Carolyn Holbrook and Prof Peter Stanley.
Brad Manera – ANZAC Memorial, Sydney
Brad Manera is the senior historian and curator of the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney. Before being asked to join the Anzac Memorial to lead its centenary of the Great War project, his museum career included curating the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, working as a historian at the Australian War Memorial and as a curator at the National Museum of Australia and the Western Australian Museum.
Brad is a keen public historian who leads biannual battlefield tours to the old Western Front and Gallipoli and is featured in recent documentaries including The Power of 10; Anzac VCs at Gallipoli; and Waler: The Great Australian War Horse and is an editor of the History of NSW in the Great War 1914–18.
Dr Carolyn Holbrook – Faculty of Arts Monash University, Author of ANZAC: The unauthorised Biography
Carolyn completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2013. Her thesis was published as Anzac: The Unauthorised Biography in 2014.
She is currently working with Professor James Walter on a project that examines the history of Australian policy-making. The project compares policy case studies from the 1940s, the 1980s and the current period in order to determine how policy-making has changed, and what factors lead to good policy-making.
Carolyn has previously worked as a food and wine journalist and as a policy adviser in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Professor Peter Stanley – Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Canberra
Peter Stanley is one of Australia's most active military-social historians. He has published 25 books, mainly in the field of Australian military history. Peter worked at the Australian War Memorial from 1980 to 2007, where he was its senior historian, and there curated or contributed to many exhibitions, such as Gallipoli, Soldiers of the Queen, Echoes of the Guns and the Second World War galleries. In 2007, he became the inaugural head of the Centre for Historical Research at the National Museum of Australia.
In February 2013, Peter joined UNSW, Canberra, as a Research Professor in the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society. He is completing the social history chapters of one of the multi-volume series marking the centenary of the First World War, a book Lost Boys of Anzac and other minor projects, including the first book on Indians and Gallipoli. His major research venture at UNSW will be a history of the Australian military.