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25 April is a very important day for Australians and New Zealanders. It is called ANZAC Day.

We have these things called Australia Day and Waitangi Day but the left buggered them up. So our last man standing is ANZAC Day.   I reckon that ANZAC Day should replace both National Days but that is just my opinion. 
Should we be offended because I dare to feel pride in my Nation of birth or adoption? In fact, if my country of heritage is from the old traditional countries, is it right that I am condemned to be a misogynist, a rapist, a sexist and a racist?  I am also homophobic and I should be on my knees apologizing forever for having had the audacity to live?   
That is our current state of play. Only the ANZAC Day man stands, in the rain, alone and trying to shield us from the storm.

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A while ago, I watched a movie ( Australian ) called William Kelly's War.

It was based on the true story of two  brothers who fought in WWI.

The brothers had come from a farming background  in rural Queensland Australia and their father only gave them one bullet to use when shooting "roos. " ( for my American readers that means kangaroos.) 

As a result, the young William, or Billy as he was called, became a damned fine shot. 

In the war, this served him well and he became a sniper.

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When our leaders and politicians sign us up to these global accords, declarations and agreements, do they realise what the consequences will be? 

Decades on, their moment in the sun and on the front page can have far reaching consequences. 

One little known, but very impactive decision is now showing us just how damaging these signatures can be.

Nearly 50 years ago, Australia signed up to the Lima Declaration.


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It has been truly said that Australia arrived in Gallipoli as six separate States and returned as a Nation with its own national identity. In achieving this, of the over 50,000 Australians who served at Gallipoli during a period of 260 days, there were 8,159 deaths in total, comprised of 5,482 killed in action, 2,012 deaths from wounds, and 665 deaths from disease.   

To the armchair Revisionists, these are merely numbers and not men who gave their lives for their country and are buried in a far-off land.  

Recently, a young man I know preparing for the HSC had to write an essay contrasting the saying that Australia discovered its identity at Gallipoli from both a traditional and revisionist viewpoint.

The traditional viewpoint is said to be a statement of history favourable to the march of civilisation with the facts altered to suit, while the revisionist viewpoint is said to be a statement of what actually happened according to the facts. In order to promote the revisionist viewpoint, it was pointed out that the first war fought by the white Australians was with the aboriginals, and in any event, Australia was defeated at Gallipoli.

What the Revisionists ignore is that until Federation in 1901, the present Australia consisted of six separate British colonies, each with its own Governor and laws, even in relation to customs duties between the States-to-be. By the time of the Gallipoli campaign, Australia had only existed as a nation on paper for 14 years.

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Cats have been a part of ocean going ships since time immemorial being needed to keep the rat population under control. 

I love Cats whether they fly through the air or doze at our feet, they are always ready to take flight or stand and fight. Are we? 

The most famous one of course was Matthew Flinders’ cat which has been the subject of a book of the same name.

The ship’s cat has always been a favoured mascot among the crews of warships except submarines.

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In 1942, my late Uncle was a metallurgist in Papua New Guinea. At the height of WW2 , he was living in the jungles of one of the hotbeds of the conflict. Unable to serve in the War due to being deaf ( years of working in a goldmine in New Zealand) he served in his own way by doing his bit and carrying on.

I always remember with great excitement going down to Mechanic's Bay in Auckland where a big Flying boat was due to land  on the water.    We were there because my mother's brother was due to arrive back from the war torn area of New Guinea .   He was a metallurgist , and had walked out of the jungle with others to safety.   

It is so sad that we have forgotten some of the  really terrifying things some of our relations have gone through.     Not just our servicemen but civilians that worked in places that we couldn't even imagine.

Some years ago, Shaydee and I went through some family archives   I think you might call them that . Pieces of paper and  so often sent to the bin. My late husband spotted it and rescued it.   Had he not looked and said " This is worth saving. "  it might have been lost forever.

That is how we stumbled on this .    I have to wonder how many more things like this lie buried in a box of memories?   

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We seem to have an outbreak of mental health issues throughout the world. Yelling “allah hu akbar “  is not terrorism, apparently it is a mental health issue. Running in to a shopping centre and stabbing women and babies is not an act of terrorism - it is a terrifying act, but not an act of terrorism. Apparently there is a difference. {sarc}

People murdering others, massacres carried out – mental health issues.

There are people whose brains have been addled by drugs and they have mental health issues. Or addled by religious zealous or fanatical indoctrination. Or addled by greed and the desire for power. 

Which makes me wonder if it is time to re open the asylums and get those pesky people who commit terrifying acts ( not acts of terrorism you understand  - heaven forbid) off the streets and into the asylum that they seek so much? Because it seems to me that we are turning our nations into gigantic open air mental asylums and we, the citizens and taxpayers, are funding terror. 

In our homes, our streets, our shopping centres and our places of worship. 

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Imagine this: 

It is the 25th April, and a German man and his wife from Munich are taking a motoring holiday to the South of France. They pass through the northern French city of Amiens. 

They observe much gaiety among the populace and are wondering what it is all about. 

They pass through the city and 15 km down the road they approach a small town. 

On the outskirts, they pass a cemetery which has a sign “Adelaide Cemetery”. 

Says the man, " that is not a French name. What does it mean? " 


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It was about 30 years ago when I was living in a tiny town in the Channel Country. I was married to the local copper. We had only arrived in the town of 30 residents a few weeks before..... we still didn't have a handle on how to " fit in " with this isolated and unusual community of people.

We were coasties: people who came from a far distant place that never knew about things like kangaroo shooters, feral pigs and opal mining.

In fact, in those days, I knew nothing about life in the Australian Outback. All I knew was that my husband was a policeman and he had applied to become an officer serving a remote community in one of the most extreme places in Australia. Where walking across the road could make you collapse from heatstroke.

I was in for a rude awakening. A baptism of fire. Literally. It was high summer and the heat was extraordinary. 

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Many years ago, about half a century in fact, I played netball with my friend Mary.

She was my best friend and a nicer, sweeter girl you would never meet. We played netball in our primary school team.

In spite of her goodness, she was a lousy netball player. It would not have mattered if she was nice, or not nice. The fact that she was pretty hopeless at netball was indisputable. 

So you may well be asking: why is Shaydee writing about a game of netball in these troubled times? Surely we have more important things to consider right now? 

And yes, you would be right. So here is the story about a game of netball and how it still resonates all these decades later. 

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Some time ago, I watched a fascinating documentary about the history of tanks.

I did not know that they were originally to be called landships, because they were modeled on the early warships used by naval forces around the world. But allies felt that the name would give an hostile WWI Germany a hint of what was being planned, so the name tank was coined. 

Because it looked somewhat like an old water tank.

From their humble beginnings in the early 20th century to the sophisticated armored behemoths of today, tanks have evolved significantly, shaping military strategies and battles along the way.

The concept of armoured vehicles dates back to ancient times, but it wasn't until World War I that the modern tank was born. In 1916, the British unveiled the Mark I tank, a tracked, armoured vehicle designed to break through enemy lines and traverse difficult terrain. These early tanks were primitive by today's standards, with rudimentary armour and limited mobility, but they represented a revolutionary leap in military technology.

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