I’m interested in how the adventure of war will be given meaning for the commemoration of the landing of Gallipoli at a time when were are trying to stop young men from travelling to find adventures in war.
How do we reframe our story of Gallipoli?
In 1824 Lord Byran fought for Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire and died. Should Byran have had his passport cancelled before he could fight overseas?
What of the Spanish Civil War, in which, it is estimated, 35,000 foreign volunteers fought? This was a cause supported by many mainstream writers between 1936 and 1939.
When I worked in the public service in 1984-5 I was friends with a man who had fought with the freedom fighters in Afghanistan. A lawyer, he was at the time campaigning for election as a Liberal candidate. I’m thinking this part of his background has since been expunged. He is a barrister.
Schools teach critical thinking (which I like to call ‘thinking’). Schools teach for social justice and encourage students to be active for change, by being good global citizens.
How do these fit with young Australians going off to fight in the Middle East? How do we redirect the energies of potential fighters, who may end up on the wrong side of history?