Anzac: the Landing, the Legend, the Law by Catherine Bond – Book Review

There are clear regulations around the use of the word ‘Anzac’ under the Protection of Word ‘Anzac’ Act 1920 and penalties apply for the incorrect use of the term.

North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing 2016
Paperback 204pp RRP $44.00

Permission from the Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel is generally required to use the word ‘Anzac’ in a commercial context. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs issues the Use of the Word ‘Anzac’ Guidelines to help Australians comply with the legal restrictions on the use of the word ‘Anzac’.

Bond explores these restrictions. Common usage relating to the eponymous biscuit and to RSL headquarters buildings seem to indicate that the controls are far from watertight. Should that be so?
This book reaches several conclusions. It firstly suggests that a review of the regulations should be undertaken. Times change – this seems a reasonable suggestion. Next it suggests that there should be greater accountability for ministerial decisions relating to “Anzac”. This is also logical given the detailed examples in this book. Next the author seeks repeal of the prohibition on the use of the word for the name of a private house, boat or vehicle. This conclusion is less supported by argument. And lastly, the author supports the continuing probation on business use of “Anzac’.

This is a logical and very supportable conclusion.

Catherine Bond examines the use of a word and sensibly asks whether restrictions on its use adopted 100 years ago should continue. Her book is logical, well researched and a timely raising of this question.

Reviewed for RUSIV by Mike O’Brien, April 2020

Contact Royal United Services Institute about this article.

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