ADSO Media Statement – ‘Contesting’ Anzac Day

17 Oct 2021

Many parents will undoubtedly know at least something about the Australian Curriculum
Assessment and Reporting Authority
. It is instituted to ‘….inspire improvement in the
learning of all young Australians through world-class curriculum, assessment and reporting’.

But what is ‘world class’ about the Authority looking for a fight?

Veterans and many other Australians are curious about why there is now an impetus by the Authority to question and indeed to transform the way the nation commemorates such historically defining events as ANZAC Day.

Why is the Authority seeking to pressure students and their teachers to ‘contest’ the notion of ANZAC Day?

Authority Chair Belinda Robinson has spoken of “a commitment to, and respect for, knowledge, facts, truth and respect”. Yet the current Draft Curriculum emphasises, indeed demands, that such defining moments in the nation’s history be “contested”.

The words contest, contesting or contested are mentioned numerous times in the draft report. But the words are not defined, nor is there guidance to allow teachers to structure their lessons accordingly.

Is the Curriculum Authority promoting the notion that such defining events as ANZAC Day and facts around it be disputed?

Is the Authority having a bob each way in expressing support and commitment but then encouraging teachers to dispute the fact and to question the significance of ANZAC Day?

The group of 18 ex-service Associations that make up the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO) calls on the Chair of the Curriculum Authority to be upfront with veterans’ and the broad Australian community to explain why the facts around ANZAC Day and other significant historical events are being disputed.

Kel Ryan
National Chairman
Alliance of Defence Service Organisations