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Beyond the ANZAC spirit: Commemorating civilian experience of war

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alison Atkinson-PhillipsORCiD


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Australia's emotional register of war tends to be measured by commemorations of military service in Australia's major overseas conflicts. But, hidden in plain sight, there exist a number of alternative memorials that expand the story of the impact of war by focussing on civilian experiences. This paper explores ways in which the narrative of 'service' and 'sacrifice' found in Australia's early war memorials - unusual for their commemoration of those who served as well as those who died - has been expanded in the post-Vietnam era to become a narrative of experience adopted by civilian commemorations of painful experiences. Western Australia's memorials to lived experiences of loss and trauma tells an alternative war history, including civilian internment; the importation of British war 'orphans' for the post-war nation-building effort; and the arrival of refugees from war-affected nations overseas.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Atkinson-Phillips A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Studies in Western Australian History

Year: 2017

Issue: 32

Pages: 135-147

Print publication date: 30/04/2017

Online publication date: 30/04/2017

Acceptance date: 09/12/2016

ISSN (print): 0314-7525

Publisher: University of Western Australia, Department of History