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Thu 24 Sep 2015, 5:30pm–6:45pm

Where: National Library of New Zealand, 70 Molesworth Street, Thorndon, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


The Anzac spirit and ‘common values’ - How young people make sense of Gallipoli and war remembrance.

A talk by Mark Sheehan Thursday 24 September from 5.30pm – 6.45pm at the National Library corner of Aitken and Molesworth Streets, Thorndon.

“The Anzac spirit remains a critical part of who we are. It is still defined by those common values that sustained our soldiers fighting in foreign lands 100 years ago: mate-ship, courage, equality, self-sacrifice, and loyalty.” - New Zealand Prime Minister John Key: Speech at the Albany Convoy commemorations. 1st November 2014.

Young people are seldom encouraged to think critically about what Gallipoli and the ‘Anzac spirit’ means to them in this day and age. The version of the Anzac story that they are exposed to in schools (and in the popular media) is typically selective and minimalizes aspects that are controversial or contested. This has implications for how well young people are educated to make independent, reasoned judgments about the way significant historical events such as Gallipoli are aligned with present concerns. How well prepared they are to be informed, critical thinkers who can participate constructively in conversations about the past, the present and the future. This talk draws on the first phase of a Victoria University research project that examines the extent to which 13/14 year olds share the underlying assumptions that underpin official initiatives to generate war remembrance about the First World War.

Dr Mark Sheehan (Victoria University of Wellington) -
Mark is the Secondary Programme Director in the Victoria University Faculty of Education. He has been involved in teaching and learning history for almost 40 years as a teacher, lecturer, textbook writer, researcher, museum educator and curriculum designer.

Please RSVP to with Mark Sheehan in the subject line.

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