Alex Salmon

In The Shadow of Gallipoli: The Hidden History of Australia in World War 1
By Robert Bollard
New South Publishing, 2013
223 pages (PB), $32.99

Every year, around ANZAC day on April 25, hordes of Australian tourists and backpackers descend on the shore of Gallipoli in Turkey to commemorate the first battle in which Australians took part in World War I in 1915.

ANZAC day has experienced a resurgence in popularity over recent years. Governments have helped by promoting nationalistic myths about how the unsuccessful campaign was “where Australia was born”.

Refugee rights activists from around Australia will converge on the Yongah Hill detention centre near Northam on April 26-28. Yongah Hill is near Northam, about an hour and a half from Perth.

Protesters will be highlighting the fact that thousands of refugees locked in detention centres around Australia are being denied their basic human rights. The decisions to reopen detention centres at Nauru and Manus Island have made this situation worse.

Searching for Sugarman
Directed by Malik Bendjelloul
Starring Rodriguez, Malik Bendjelloul
Music by Rodriguez
Now showing at selected cinemas

Director Mike Malik Bendjelloul’s film Searching for Sugarman, which has been nominated for best documentary film at this year’s Oscars and the British Film and Television Awards, traces the efforts of two South African fans to find out what happened to the mysterious Mexican-American folksinger known as Rodriguez.

Eureka: An Unfinished Revolution
Peter FitzSimons
William Heinsmann Press, 2012

“And so I call you, all my fellow diggers, irrespective of nationality, religion, and colour, to salute the ‘Southern Cross’ as the refuge of all the oppressed from all countries on Earth.” So said Raffaello Carboni at the Eureka Stockade, Bakery Hill, on November 29 in 1854.

With these words, Carboni and the diggers on the Victorian goldfields raised the Eureka flag and launched their rebellion against the unjust licence fees imposed on miners by the Victorian government.

Activists expected that a new “anti-association” law would be passed by the Western Australian parliament on May 1. Instead, the law has been debated inside and outside parliament since then.

The new law would give power to a judge to declare an organisation to be a “criminal association”. Members of declared organisations can be given “control orders” restricting their contacts with other people and could even prohibit their use of telephones or email.

Debt of Honour: Australia’s first commandos and East Timor
Exhibition at the Western Australian Museum
Until May 20.

When the Japanese entered World War II after the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbour, they swept through south-east Asia and the Pacific.

The Lorax
Starring Danny Devito, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift & Ed Helms, directed by Chris Melandandri and Kyle Balda
Now showing in cinemas.

Adapted from the 1971 Dr Seuss book of the same name, The Lorax is a great analogy for the destructive nature of capitalism.

The story is set in “Thneedville”, a walled city in which everything is made of plastic, metal and synthetic material. It is controlled by the mayor and owner of a bottled oxygen company, Aloysious O’Hare, who sells the residents their bottled water.

More than 50 people rallied outside the Perth headquarters of British multinational corporation Serco on March 9 to protest against the company's ongoing push to privatise and take over public services.

Serco runs Australia’s immigration detention centres and is responsible for implementing the oppressive government policy of mandatory detention.

In addition, the company has contracts to run prisons and hospitals and other public services. The protest was calling for all of these privatised enterprises to be returned to public hands.

Sixty people rallied outside Western Australia’s Parliament House on September 8 in a protest organised by the homeless rights supporters. The rally called on the Barnett Liberal government to provide proper funding to the state’s homeless people and support and shelter all year round.

The state government has set aside $112,500 for temporary accommodation and meals for homeless people during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in late October.

Oranges & Sunshine
Written by Rona Munro, directed by Jim Loach
Starring Emily Watson, Hugo Weaving & David Wenham
Showing now in selected cinemas

Oranges and Sunshine is a film adaptation of the book Empty Cradles, written by Margaret Humphries.

Humphries was a Nottingham part-time social worker (played by Emily Watson), who investigated the forced relocation of British children to Australia from British orphanages.

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