The 2022 Battle for Australia Commemoration was held in beautiful conditions, no rain or bushfire smoke. It was the first time we have been able to hold the commemoration without some COVID restrictions for two years; it was great to be able to gather un-masked with our fellow citizens and mark that time in 1942-45 when our nation was threatened by foreign invasion. The commemoration was notable for the Acknowledgement of Country speech by Uncle Harry Allie BEM, singing of the National Anthem in Dharawal and English by the Alexandra Park Community School, the prayers by Geoffrey Usher, musical contributions by the NSW Police Band and soloist, and the Sydney Women's Vocal Orchestra, the catafalque party provided by RAAF Richmind; and the thought provoking keynote address by Lieutenant General Peter Leahy AC Retd. Our MC Dr Darren Mitchell again excelled himself as did Junior Legatee Jordan Burey and his mum in reciting the ode.
Those who made it to the luncheon in the Fullerton Hotel enjoyed good company.
A great commemoration, hope you will look for us when the Oration is published in February 2023 and we again commemorate the saviours of our nation in September 2023.
The buttons below permit you to download a copy of General Leahy's speech, and the event Programme.
The Battle for Australia Association's 2022 Oration was presented by Professor Frank Bongiorno AM on Thursday 17 February 2022 at 1030 Eastern Australia Summer Time at the Anzac Memorial, Sydney.
Dr Bongiorno is Professor of History at the Australian National University, where he recently completed a term as the Head of the School of History. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List 2019 for services to history education at tertiary level. A social historian of Australian politics, labour and culture, Dr Bongiorno is widely published in popular and academic circles. His address "Arguing About 1942" considers historical debates over the meaning of 1942 in Australian social history. In the eightieth year since Australia's wartime leader Prime Minister John Curtin, coined the term "Battle for Australia" (on 17 February 1942), Dr Bongiorno's expertise in studies of labour and politics bring especial insight into how we remember the challenges faced by Australians during the Second World War's Asia-Pacific conflicts.
Uncle Harry Allie gives the Acknowledgement of Country, if you watch the video, don't skip it, most pertinent and moving.
The button below permits you to download an edited voice to text copy of Professor Bongiorno's presentation, and some notes on our orator.