While I was away, I have given a lot of thought about proposal by RSL Queensland to include the acknowledgment of country for Anzac Day ceremonies is not only misguided but also disrespectful to the solemnity and purpose of the occasion. Here’s why this proposal deserves strong criticism:

Anzac Day stands as a solemn national tribute, a sacred occasion to honour the valour and sacrifice of Australian and New Zealand servicemen and women. Yet, RSL Queensland’s proposed alteration hijacks this solemnity, shamelessly exploiting it as a platform for political posturing. Such brazen politicization desecrates the memory of those who gave their lives for their country, reducing their noble sacrifice to a mere tool for ideological agendas.

The proposed acknowledgment veers dangerously away from the core ethos of Anzac Day, diluting the reverence owed to our fallen heroes. By prioritizing a vague, politically correct narrative over the solemn tribute to our servicemen and women, RSL Queensland betrays the very essence of this national commemoration. This erosion of tradition and sacrifice is a disgraceful affront to the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of our nation.

The vehement backlash from veterans underscores the profound lack of consensus and consultation surrounding this ill-conceived proposal. Critical decisions regarding such sacred commemorations demand meticulous consultation with all stakeholders, particularly veterans and their families. RSL Queensland’s failure to heed this imperative demonstrates a callous disregard for the sentiments of those whose sacrifice Anzac Day exists to honour.

Anzac Day holds profound significance for veterans and their families, serving as a poignant testament to the indomitable spirit and unwavering courage of those who served. Yet, RSL Queensland’s proposed revision threatens to betray this legacy, relegating the sacrifices of our servicemen and women to the periphery of the commemorative narrative. Such a betrayal of veterans’ legacy is utterly reprehensible and demands resolute opposition from all who hold dear the values of remembrance and respect.

RSL Queensland’s feeble attempts to justify this revision as an homage to Traditional Owners and Indigenous heritage ring hollow in the face of widespread condemnation. The purported desire for a more “veteran-centric” acknowledgment crumbles under scrutiny, revealing instead a thinly veiled attempt to appease political sensitivities at the expense of solemnity and tradition. Such disingenuous justifications only serve to deepen the outrage and underscore the profound betrayal of Anzac Day’s sacred legacy.

In summation, RSL Queensland’s proposal to include their acknowledgment of country for Anzac Day ceremonies is an egregious betrayal of our nation’s sacred duty to honour and remember the sacrifices of our servicemen and women. It represents a shameful capitulation to political expediency, a callous disregard for tradition and sacrifice, and a profound betrayal of the veterans whose memory Anzac Day exists to honour. This proposal must be unequivocally rejected, and the sanctity of Anzac Day vigorously defended against such crass attempts at politicization and revisionism.

Ray Payne OAM

2 April 2024


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  • Alan Price April 2, 2024   Reply →

    Ray, Well said and utterly truthful. I have refused to attend any ANZAC Day or Remembrance Day service that includes the so called and utterly undeniable fabrication of a welcome to country. It is divisive and has no place in the history of the aboriginal people. It is a total farce. I include schools in my refusal to attend. where previously I attended and was guest speaker at sometimes four schools prior to ANZAC Days.

  • James A Fraser BEM. April 2, 2024   Reply →

    I for one do solemnly support the above comments, ANZAC DAY is to important a day to all Australians to be denigrated by a so called ceremony devised by a so called TV person.

  • Anthony Lowe April 2, 2024   Reply →

    Hear, hear.

  • Rodney parker April 2, 2024   Reply →

    Absolute bloody disgrace i will not attend another RSL Anzac day service if this goes ahead ???? 7B

  • Michael Connolly April 2, 2024   Reply →

    I agree, this smacks of appeasement. It further creates the division that has been perpetuated by certain political parties and left activists. There is no place for this in any ANZAC Day speeches/diatribe that seems to be the norm every year on ANZAC Day. The Aboriginal people were not a nation, they never fought in any wars since Federation or before. I would strongly support any Digger or Veteran to turn their backs to any weasel who mouths those words that the RSL Qld Pres has proposed,

  • John PATERSON (1731916 ) April 2, 2024   Reply →

    Our branch of ex NASHO’s attend the local State College to commemorate Nasho Day each year by invitation to speak to the students about Nasho Day , we have nashos that did a tour of Vietnam, as well as 2 years on home soil in the regular army. The organisers intended to have a Welcome to Country and a Smoking Ceremony as a prelude to the function, however they were told beforehand that as a Branch we had voted not to partake in any official ceremony that has those actions. On the day of the event we arrived to find that these happenings were NOT going to take place and the ceremony carried as normal with no detrimental consequences.
    This then proves that the world won’t stop when common sense is applied. We were sincerely thanked for bringing the matter to the fore as it really was inappropriate for it to happen on that day of honour and rememberance.
    So Exservice men and women Speak up and you will surprise yourself with the results.

  • Phillip Munt April 2, 2024   Reply →

    As Pres. of Euroa RSL sub-branch in Vic. I refuse to attend the Monthly Regional Meetings held as before each Meeting they are acknowledging that we are occupying the Land of the local Aboriginal Tribe and must therefore pay our respects to their past and present People. At our Annual Anzac Ceremonies I have not done this and never will. If I should be criticised for my actions I will politely state what an American media personality said when the same shit came up about occupying the Indian Land. Give it back or shut the fuck up.

  • John (Jack) Snell April 2, 2024   Reply →

    Thank you, Ray, for spreading the word.

    I have been pondering this issue and you have crystalised my thoughts with your sage words. The Anzac tradition embraces all Australians equally, let us not yield to those who would use base politics to degrade our commemoration.

  • John Cotter April 3, 2024   Reply →

    Ray, I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. It amounts to, and is, an insult to those who have served. The fallen died in the service of one country, Australia, not to a country within a country.

  • Bob Kennedy April 3, 2024   Reply →

    I am in total agreement with all of those who have spoken out against that abo bullshit on ANZAC Day, or any other day. As far as I’m concerned that welcome to country rubbish died with albo’s referendum. When 60% of people vote against something, that MUST count for something!!!
    ANZAC Day is a special day to commemorate the soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice in all of the conflicts that we have been involved in. That also includes those who have been incapacitated and unable to carry on a normal life after that service.

  • Elliot Bishop April 5, 2024   Reply →

    Welcome to Country and smoking ceremonies are but links in a chain that starts with “Sorry”, continues to “truth telling” and treaty, and ends with reparations. Show me the money!

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