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Misleading and Inaccurate Diatribe – ‘Toning Down’ Anzac Day 2015

by Brett M. Christensen


Bitter and inflammatory political diatribe claims that Australia’s Federal government is intent on toning down the Anzac Day 2015 centenary because the event may offend immigrants to Australia. 

Brief Analysis

The claims in the message are misleading and inaccurate. A Department of Veterans’ Affairs study to determine community attitudes about Anzac Day raised concerns about inappropriate behaviour among some Anzac Day event participants. It also warned of potential problems resulting from Australia’s multicultural makeup. However, Prime Minister Gillard has publicly rejected the report’s criticisms. The Gillard government is not in any way attempting to “tone down” Anzac Day. Nor was the purpose of the study in any way related to questioning the need for having Anzac Day as claimed. Moreover, the message was not written by RAAF Association QLD State President John Carlile as claimed. Mr Carlile has stated that he did not write the piece, nor did he attach his name to it or even forward it. Sending on false and misleading information of this nature is counterproductive and un-Australian.


Subject: ANZAC DAY

Do me a big Favour Pass it on even if you do not agree

I am sending this to everybody on my mailing list and sincerely hope that they do likewise !

The mentality of the current Labor Government is questionable at the best of times, but to question “why have an ANZAC DAY” is beyond the pale. Roll on September 2013!!!

It cost the Federal Govt $500,000 to find out how to best celebrate 100 years of the Gallipoli landing and this is what the dickheads came up with that we would upset some people in the community by celebrating Anzac Day (you know who they meant).

My God, we have Japanese and Germans, Vietnamese, Polish, Poms and Sth Africans march on Anzac Day, as well as our own veterans, a day to commemorate their mates who did not return.
Now are you ready for this?…..The Federal Government. is now going to throw another $100,000 to someone to find out WHY it was suggested we tone down Anzac Day.
What a bunch of commie treacherous unpatriotic bast*&ds that govern our country!

What the Hell is this bullshit about ‘toning down’ ANZAC day because it may offend immigrants in Australia ?

What an absolute crock of shit!

This is “Our Wonderful Free Australia” because all our forefathers fought for it and us..

This is one special day that ‘we’ proud Aussie’s Pay our respects to the many heroes lost fighting for our freedom and OUR! Country!

So who cares if some DAMN ILLEGAL immigrant that’s funded by OUR taxes gets offended because of tribute we rightfully pay to OUR ANZACs!

If you’re a proud Aussie too – please send this on just to remind them whose country they’re in!!


State President
Queensland Division
AFC & RAAF Association


Detailed Analysis

According to a political diatribe that is making its way around Australian social networks and political forums, raising angst and consternation as it travels, the Federal Government is looking to “tone down” Anzac Day plans for the 2015 centenary because it might offend immigrants to Australia. The message decries the amount of money spent on examining how best to celebrate the Anzac centenary and rallies against a government it labels as a “bunch of commie bastards”.

However, the claims in the message are highly misleading and are far from a fair and accurate analysis of the issues being discussed.

Here is a break-down of the issue without the deliberate lies, the inflammatory rhetoric and the juvenile name calling.

A report detailing the results of a Department of Veterans’ Affairs study into Australian attitudes to Anzac Day has generated considerable debate. The study cost around $370,000, not $500,000 as claimed in the message. A March 2012, article about the report noted:

A study for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to determine community attitudes ahead of Anzac days 100th centenary used 36 focus groups of eight people totalling 288 participants from all age brackets 18 and over at a cost of $370,000.

According to the report participants talked about “controlling the increasingly excessive use of alcohol and ‘yobbo’ behaviour during Anzac Day commemorations” which they said “detract from the original spirit of the day and negatively impact on the veteran commemorations and traditions”.

The report also raised concerns that migrants might potentially feel left out of the event and suggested that “a fair balance between all sections of the community was needed”. 

However, Prime Minister Julia Gillard slammed the report’s findings, noting that enthusiasm for Anzac Day continues to grow in the Australian Community. A March 2012 The Telegraph report on the issue noted:

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says enthusiasm for Anzac Day is growing as she rejected criticism in a new report.

Her comments come after the Federal Government was warned that celebrating the centenary of Anzac Day could provoke division in multicultural Australia – and told there were “risks” in honouring our fallen soldiers.

The centenary is a “double-edged sword” and a “potential area of divisiveness” because of multiculturalism, a taxpayer-funded report has found.

But Ms Gillard said as the nation gears up for the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, there will be a great sense of national identity.

“I completely disagree with all the conclusions of that report,” she said.

Thus, the implication in the email that the “commie bastard” Australian Government condoned criticisms in the report and is intending to act on them by toning down the Anzac Centenary to cater to migrant groups clearly has no factual basis. Excitement and enthusiasm for the upcoming centenary continue to grow and there is no evidence to back up the claims that the government has any intention whatsoever of “toning down” the event. In fact, the claim is an outright lie.

Furthermore, the claim in the message that the government initiated the study to question why we should have an Anzac Day is also nonsense. As noted earlier, the purpose of the study was to examine community attitudes to Anzac Day in preparation for the upcoming centenary. Discussions about removing Anzac Day were never part of the study’s agenda.

The message also claims that the Federal Government spent a further $100,000 to find out WHY it was suggested that Anzac Day be toned down. However, there are no reports about such a study. The message appears to be a deliberately misleading reference to focus group studies that discussed branding concepts for the 2015 centenary. These focus groups reportedly cost a further $103,000.

The message is supposedly authored and endorsed by John Carlile, State President of the Queensland Division of the RAAF Association. However, in response to queries about the message, Mr Carlile has noted:

The email was not written by me, I did not attach my name and details to it and I did not forward it to anyone. It is a hoax, I gather either someone dislikes me intensely or more likely someone has decided my name may give it some sort of authenticity although I don’t know how. When the first person sent it to me I never read past the first few lines before I gave up in disgust. I do not send political rantings against any party or individual from my official RAAFA site.

I would appreciate it if you did not forward the email and informed whoever sent it to you re my answer.

John Carlile

And in a response to my own direct enquiry, Mr Carlile adds:

I certainly did not write any email concerning Anzac Day, I did not attach my name or any details to it and I have not forwarded it to anyone. I would certainly appreciate your placing it on your site as a hoax.

Apparently, someone has made a rather desperate and lame attempt to make the claims in the message seem more credible by tacking on John Carlile’s name without his permission or knowledge.

Sending on false and inflammatory information such as contained in this diatribe serves only to raise anger and resentment against migrant groups and further divide communities. Deliberately creating and circulating lies and misinformation is certainly not patriotic and is un-Australian.