The essence of being Australian?

13 February 2015

[Gallipoli] has left Australia with a very vivid image of the Australian soldier, partly accurate partly confected but very vivid.

Gallipoli. One word that conjures millions of emotions. Often described as the birthplace of modern Australia, the First World War battle in which Australian and New Zealand forces aimed to take Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey for the Allied forces was a brave, but ultimately costly, one.

By the time Allied forces left Gallipoli, more than 8,700 Australian soldiers and 2,700 New Zealand soldiers had died. The UK lost 21,255 soldiers and about 10,000 French soldiers were killed.

This April marks 100 years since the storming of Gallipoli. Since then, the Anzac legend has grown, creating a culture of ‘mateship’ and it is a defining moment in Australian history. Each year on 25 April, millions of Australians commemorate the day in dawn services and thousands travel to Turkey.

To mark the centenary, ANU Reporter asked four prominent ANU academics – Professor Hugh White AO, Professor Angela Woollacott, Dr John Blaxland and Professor Joan Beaumont – on the subject one question: What does the centenary of Gallipoli mean for Australia?

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