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   Battle for Australia Association
    The 2019 Battle for Australia Commemorations

Patron: Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of New South Wales

 Sydney Remembrance Day 2019  

Mr Geoff Brown, Secretary of the Battle for Australia Association, represented the Association at the Remembrance Day Service of the NSW Association of Jewish Ex-Service Men and Women held on 3 November 2019.

Also in the photo are Committee member Mr Darren Mitchell who represented the Anzac Day Dawn Service Trust at the Ceremony and Mrs Margaret Snodgrass OAM representing Families and Friends of the First AIF. Among those seated behind are Professor the Hon Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO and WO1 Colin Watego OAM who delivered the Commemoration Address.

 Sydney Wednesday 4 September 2019 - Commemoration at Martin Place

The Battle for Australia was commemorated at 11:00, Martin Place, Sydney, Wednesday 4 September 2019.

You can download the Order of Service HERE.

Darren Mitchell's opening remarks as MC can be downloaded HERE.

A very moving commemoration where every speech before Her Excellency the Governor was tailored to focus on how all Australians came togeteher in the dark days 1942 - 1945 to defend their homeland.

Gudjula Elder Harry Allie BEM, delivered the 2019 Battle for Australia Commemoration Address. A transcript of Harry's speech can be downloaded HERE.

Harry served for twenty-three years in the RAAF holding at discharge the rank of Warrant Officer. He received the British Empire Medal in 1980 for his military service which included postings to the United States and to Malaysia. Subsequently pursuing careers in the defence industry and in the public service in support of indigenous families and communities, he has continued in retirement to work for increased indigenous participation in tertiary education. He has held advisory positions at UWS and UTS. Numerous awards have been granted for this work and for his efforts in reconciliation.

Harry's efforts are especially recognisable to us in the field of commemoration. An original member of the Coloured Diggers Project that developed the Anzac Day March in Redfern and led to the Yininmadyemi Memorial in Hyde Park, Harry also served as a NSW Centenary Ambassador. He is an Indigenous Elder to the RAAF, and the Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans Commemoration Committee which established more than a decade ago the annual Indigenous commemoration at the Anzac Memorial, now an established ceremony on the city's commemorative calendar.

The video follows the ceremony and includes all speeches. The still images give an impression of what happened.

After the ceremony, a lunch was held at the Westin Hotel for Association members and guests.

 Sydney Friday 15 February 2019 - Address by Seumas Spark

For those of us who were educated in Australia, the war in New Guinea 1942 to 1945 was the battle that saved Australia. Fought by our countrymen, many of whom had already proven themselves warriors in Egypt, Libya, Greece and Syria; they were led by men who had crafted the victory before Amiens in 1918. Valiant they drove the Japanese from the shores of what was then Australian territory, colonies are not allowed by the Australian Constitution. The people of Papua and New Guinea, our history tells us, served with us. Sure footed angels, they willingly carried our wounded on the precipitous muddy trails leading from battle areas. Ferocious warriors, they stood beside us mainland Australians.

However, John Waiko, eminent Papua New Guinean historian, noted that the people most affected by the war in New Guinea were New Guineans. His statement seems an obvious one, but it is not often heard. Scholarship on the war routinely ignores New Guinean perspectives. This address by Seumas Spark at the Auditorium, Anzac Memorial, Sydney on 15 February 2019 discusses some of these perspectives, and their importance.

Please use the controls below to view the presentation, it runs 41 minutes and 7 seconds. It is a MUST SEE for all Australians.

DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT A full transcript of the talk is available for download using the link to your left.

The Audience were left thinking about the story told. There was an appreciation of the social disruption this war caused to the people in whose neighbourhood it was fought.

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