The Ex-Services Human Rights Association of Australia, the Vietnam War and the remaking of the Anzac tradition

Journal article


Piccini, Jon. (2021). The Ex-Services Human Rights Association of Australia, the Vietnam War and the remaking of the Anzac tradition. Australian Journal of Politics and History. 67(4), pp. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajph.12720
AuthorsPiccini, Jon
Abstract

The Ex-Services Human Rights Association of Australia (ESHRAA) emerged in 1966, supporting conscientious objectors to national service and opposing the Vietnam War. Unlike the cornucopia of similarly focused groups, ESHRAA members publicly identified as ex-servicepeople, a privileged category of citizen in Australia with particular purchase on public debate. In this article I locate ESHRAA within the long tradition of Australian opposition to conscription and national service, describe how the expulsion of its leading personality from the Returned and Services League in mid-1967 contributed to perceptions of that organisation as increasingly outdated, and finally argue that it sought to refashion the hallowed Anzac tradition from the veneration of brave soldiers to equally valiant resisters. In so doing, I unearth an under-examined protest organisation during the Vietnam War, challenge the notion of a monolithic ex-services community, and complicate emerging scholarly understandings of how Anzac was re-invented in the late twentieth century.

Year2021
JournalAustralian Journal of Politics and History
Journal citation67 (4), pp. 1-17
PublisherWiley
ISSN0004-9522
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/ajph.12720
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-17
Output statusIn press
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Oct 2021
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