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Letters to the editor

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February 14, 2018

Hands off ANZAC Day

THIS Sub-Branch views with grave concern the recently reported discussions by the Victorian government to alter the focus of both ANZAC and Remembrance Days to include acknowledgement of the sacrifices made by indigenous Australians during the “frontier wars”.

Those two days mark unique events in Australia’s history during which all who served, including indigenous service personnel, are honoured and commemorated.

Neither of those dates have anything to do with uniquely indigenous issues.

Altering the focus of the commemoration on these two days would detract from the intent of the commemorations.

There may well be justification for acknowledgement of the rights of indigenous Australians and commemoration of those who died defending those rights but neither ANZAC nor Remembrance Days are suitable for that purpose.

Combining two very different issues of focus would be confusing, divisive and detrimental to both causes.

A day to honour those indigenous Australians should be focused on reconciliation and harmony, not division.

Those who have served in the defence of Australian territory and our way of life served to preserve our freedom of speech among other values.

We support the right to discuss this contentious issue but we urge respect for preservation of the traditional values associated with ANZAC and Remembrance Days.

We reject any concept that these special days should even be considered for change.

The Australian democratic political system allows many points of view but the overriding principle of government should be unity, not division.

John Glover, Rochester RSL President

Red Cross is calling again

EVERY March for 70 years, thousands of volunteers have made a wonderful contribution to our community during Red Cross Calling. They’ve knocked on their neighbours’ doors, said g’day and their combined efforts have raised millions.

All of that effort has gone a long way, allowing Red Cross to help where we’re needed most; from fires to floods, reducing suffering, while keeping people safe and secure.

So many extraordinary volunteers here in Victoria have also gone the extra mile – not just raising money but also reaching out to their neighbours, asking how they’re going and checking on their wellbeing.

Red Cross Calling is more than a fundraiser – it gives us a reason to connect and volunteer. I’d like to send a massive thanks to all those thousands of schools, businesses, community organisations and individuals who’ve answered the call over the years.

This year we aim to double the number of volunteers in Victoria. Will you be one of them? Join the fun today: redcrosscalling.org.au or call 1800 RED CROSS.

Wenda Donaldson, Director, Victoria, Australian Red Cross

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