OTHER SOCIAL ISSUES

Welcome home: reconciliation, Vietnam veterans, and Anzac during the Hawke government

Article

This article examines the Hawke government’s role in the reconciliation of the Australian public with Vietnam veterans in 1987, and the opportunities that this resolution created to mark Anzac Day free of the complicating tensions that had characterised the day in the period since the Vietnam War.

Abstract

Recent studies regarding reconciliation have argued that restorative justice creates depoliticised consensus. This paper tests this argument by exploring the Hawke government’s role in the reconciliation of the Australian public with Vietnam veterans in 1987, and the opportunities that this resolution created to mark Anzac Day free of the complicating tensions that had characterised the day in the period since the Vietnam War. It argues that the restorative justice evident in the reincorporation of Vietnam veterans into national narratives of Anzac provided opportunities for political elites like Hawke to convincingly employ Anzac as an ideograph and inscribe the day with new meaning. This process had profound continuing effects for the marking of Anzac Day that demonstrate the politically limiting effects of restorative justice.

Full Reference

Bromfield, N.. 2017. Welcome home: reconciliation, Vietnam veterans, and Anzac during the Hawke government. Australian Journal of Political Science. 52:2, 288-302.