ANZAC Eve Vigil

 People, hear the law 

of the seeds in your lament ––
Dark seeds in the fire
humming like a new song growing … 


–– from A Chorus of Women’s ‘Spirit Songs for Anzac Eve’


A new event has added to the Anzac commemorations - an Anzac eve Peace Lantern Parade and Vigil.


"When people start to sing, things are changing. Our intention is to share songs of lamentation and songs of yearning."


"On Anzac eve, we seek to evoke the sacred as we remember the war-dead, the environmental destruction of war and the traumatic impacts of war on individuals, families and our culture through generations," said Graeme Dunstan of, master lantern maker for the event and long-time cultural activist Graeme is deeply influenced by the critique of Anzac in the book of Marilyn Lake, Henry Reynolds etal, "What's Wrong with Anzac?"  


They assemble on top of Mt Ainslie and parade down the mountain, past the Australian War Memorial assembling again for an all-through-the-night Lantern-lit Vigil in Anzac Parade.


It's a project of Canberra people seeking new and artful ways to recall the voices of peace as we express our respect for the war-dead and our heartsickness about the trauma of war.


Over 200 candle-lit lanterns have been prepared for the event in community lantern making workshops over the past six weeks.

Canberra's A Chorus of Women and Jude Kelly, a Yamajti-Noongar woman from West Australia composed laments for the Vigil.


"Like many others I am concerned about the way Australian history is being militarised and national identity fabricated as a product of the forges of war. This is further reinforced by the massively funded cultural policies of recent Labor and Coalition Governments," he said. "These policies seem to bolster Australian Governments' unwise engagements in wars against peoples who are not our enemies." "Time to re-vision Anzac," he said. "This Anzac we will create a new event which will artfully acknowledge the frontier wars and the ongoing suffering of Aboriginal people, refugees and migrants, remembering that almost everyone in this land has a family story of trauma and loss through war."

Breath of Life: moments in transit towards Aboriginal Sovereignty from Eleanor Gilbert on Vimeo.

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