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ANZAC Day Under Fire: Coalition Slams Radical Push to Dismantle Sacred Holiday

ANZAC Day Werribee

Former Deputy PM and current Senator decry efforts to link WWI heroes with Gaza conflict, sparking national outrage.

The Coalition has strongly condemned the actions of a teachers’ group that has controversially called for the dismantling of ANZAC Day and inaccurately linked Australian World War I soldiers to the conflict in Gaza.


Former Deputy Prime Minister and current Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, expressed concern that radical anti-ANZAC sentiments were being fostered by a series of policies introduced by the current Labor government. These policies, according to Mr. Joyce, aim to reduce the significance of ANZAC Day, including proposals that would allow the ANZAC holiday to be optional and exchangeable for the nation’s 350,000 Commonwealth public servants.

Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson, the Shadow Minister for Education, along with Mr. Joyce, described the actions of the Teachers and School Staff for Palestine as “appalling”.

“The attempts to link the sacrifice of our ANZACs to this sort of activism is not only misguided but deeply disrespectful to the men and women who served our country, including those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Senator Henderson stated. “Our classrooms should be places of objective learning, not indoctrination. It is not the role of educators to push political agendas or promote divisive ideologies,” she added.

Mr. Joyce accused radical groups of following the lead of the Labor government, which he believes has initiated a pattern of policies that undermine the importance of remembering the sacrifices made by Australians in war. “They are watering down the seminal day of the soul of our nation, which is ANZAC Day,” Mr. Joyce remarked.

He continued, passionately articulating the expectations of national respect and remembrance. “If you live in this nation and benefit from the freedoms of this nation, then you better respect the people who fought and died; and those who were maimed; and their families who got turned upside down to give today’s generation the right to live life with all of our freedoms and liberties,” he declared.

Mr. Joyce also criticized the Prime Minister’s initial decisions upon taking office, which included removing the Minister for Veterans Affairs from his Cabinet and making the ANZAC public holiday optional for Commonwealth servants. He also noted the government’s efforts to politicise the Australian War Memorial by including exhibitions on the so-called frontier wars. “In this environment, it is little wonder radical teacher groups feel they have the green light to dilute the importance of ANZAC Day in our classrooms,” Mr. Joyce concluded.

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