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The Lucky Country becoming the Land of Whingers, as complaints roll in about ANZAC Day services

This makes my blood boil. In my local paper this week was a page full of complaints from participants at our local dawn service last Saturday. I read similar reports on a number of regional papers I follow on line. What is going on in this country????? Surely we’re better than this?

mosman_daily_lettersSo there weren’t enough loud speakers and entertainment to keep participants happy (yes my son was bored, I told him to suck it up and be thankful he’s not a soldier!). People couldn’t see enough of the service (given it was DARK I’m not sure what they were expecting to see??) Really, is this what we’ve become? A nation of whingers? Shame on you, letter writers and anyone else who whinged about the quality of their local service.

I attended the service that was the source of these complaints.  Yes, it was challenging to hear the speakers.  But I didn’t need fancy speeches to remind me of the sacrifices our soldiers and their families have made for this nation.

The Dawn Service is a time to remember, a token gesture to honour those who have served.  Loudspeakers aren’t a necessity to achieve this.

Pop Pop war service_jpgDuring the quiet of the morning and as the sun peacefully rose over the harbour, I was remembering my maternal grandfather Sergeant Arthur Leslie Parker, who served on continuous full time war service in WW2 for 1,579 days with the AIF.  For four years, three months and twenty-seven days he endured what no man should ever endure. He saw his friends blown apart in Egypt, Palestine, Tobruk and New Guinea.  He suffered horrific injuries. He left a wife and small child behind when he enlisted, and though he returned to Australia’s shores after the war he was in every respect a broken man.  Every member of his family bore the scars of his service.

Yes, the RSL sub-branches all over the country could have planned things a little differently for the Gallipoli centenary.  Or, members of the community could have stepped up, volunteered to help on the day, and supported the dwindling RSL membership with this.

It’s so very easy to complain afterwards, but let’s not become a nation of whingers.

As a regular participant at Dawn Services across the country, I have never seen numbers anything like those that turned out this year. I wonder how many of those that complained had attended a service last year, and how many will be there next year?

The Master of Ceremonies at my local service expressed his surprise and great delight as the dawn exposed the sheer scale of residents who were up early to see in the day and honour the diggers. I must say I felt a real sense of community at being part of such a gathering too.

Let’s make a commitment to all turn out in full force again next year, loudspeakers or not.

Lest we forget.


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2 months ago

Jen Dalitz

What are the lessons you’re teaching your kids? We took the opportunity of a holiday long weekend to visit my mum interstate as the timing of the trip coincided with my son’s favourite AFL team battling it out against my mum’s beloved team. Perhaps only those of you with the love for AFL will appreciate why we’d plan a long distance trip around a game of footy, but suffice to say it was a passion project! With every ounce of anticipation, the game was a tough, tight duel and could easily have gone either way. Yet when the final siren sounded, it wasn’t our team that was smiling. It sure is tough for a 10 year old boy to sit within a crowd 41,000+ people all cheering for the opposite side. It was tough for him to see the exhaustion and disappointment on the faces of the players he adores. And yet, it’s so important for him to learn that his team won’t always win. There’s so many lessons in that, but the one I chose to instil is that you won’t always back the team that wins but you’ll always back the team that you love. That’s why I asked him to wear his team colours home the next day, and show his support even when the chips are down. That’s the kind of commitment I want my son to learn and the kind of team player I want him to be. PS. #gotheGiants @GWSGiants #neversurrender ... See MoreSee Less

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4 months ago

Jen Dalitz

I haven’t been here in a while as the writing has been on hold. But I was reminded today that there are things in our life that light us up. That might take us out of our comfort zone but, once you sit with it, bring you both joy and a sense of “I can do this” achievement. These moments are such a gift. So I’m curious, what’s your special thing that lights you up?

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It’s hard to describe the adrenaline and joy they bring to my life. But I’d love to know, what lights you up??
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And so, maybe time does change some things. Or women do.

Skavlan Talkshow
– They let me go at 42 because they told me I was too old to represent women's dreams. #kvinnedagen

Watch our talk show interview with Isabella Rossellini here:
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