ANZAC Day Service 2019
Updated: Aug 19, 2019
Since my return to Australia I have been going to the dawn service and 2019 was no exception. This year was different.
Maybe I had not got enough sleep or more likely the fact that I had a book about my past that would soon be released and had consumed so much of my attention. ANZAC day in Australia is also World Parental Alienation Awareness Day which is only known to a minority in Australia and when the movement to recognise parental alienation in Australia began it was deemed an inappropriate date due to the conflict with the national day and moved to October.
The memories of ANZAC day in the Netherlands flooded back as would often take the children to the service which was supported by the Dutch Armed Services. A fellow service club member and pastor participated one year and had all the children say “The Lords Prayer”. We had enrolled Jasmine into a Dutch Christian Primary school and were all puzzled as to why she did not know the Lord’s Prayer until we realised she may not have heard it in English before and only know ‘Onze Vader’ (the Dutch version).
I also thought of my grandfather’s brother Cecil that I had met several times. My mother had told me about how he returned to Australia after spending time in Changi, the notorious prisoner of war camp and had handed down the story that he was so malnourished when he was freed, that it was surprising he was still alive.
I also thought about the freedoms we have. While I was still in primary school at the time I recalled that at the end of the street where I was raised, one young person lost his life in the Vietnam war and my older brother was attend a rally against that war (skipping school and cannot recall if his truancy was ever reported or if they found out).
As I walked up toward the epitaph at the RSL, I saw a police officer in his flak jacket which was something I had not seen in previous years. Maybe I had simply not seen the police presence in the past years or maybe they were at a heightened state and in attendance due to the recent terrorist church bombings in Sri Lanka. While his presence dismayed me it also showed the fight for our freedom is never over.
During the proceedings the statement that our serviceman ‘fought for what was right, regardless of the cost’, also took on new meaning. I have spent enormous time writing the book on what occurred in my life and at times found myself ashamed at what my daughter has endured. The events that had led to my separation from my daughter, the death threats and while I have done nothing wrong that I should be ashamed of I nevertheless found myself both sad and ashamed that I am using pseudonym to tell my story of the facts associated with those events. That the Australian government has legislated against my freedom of speech some decades ago under the Family Law Act. I feel that I have betrayed those that have fought and died for my freedom and unworthy of being at one of the many sacred services held across Australia and across the world.
The book “The Pinball Machine, The Family Law Industry and Parental Alienation” is about to be released and perhaps the book may make a difference to the industry that causes so much harm. Perhaps I will be given the freedom to disclose who I am and parts of my story that had to be excluded as would clearly identify me will be made available in a future edition.