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Anzac Day Kids Ban

Anzac Day Kids Ban
Anzac Day Kids Ban
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Descendents of diggers will be banned from marching alongside their elderly grandparents in the 2010 Brisbane Anzac Day parade this year.

Parade organisers have defended the decision as necessary for the elderly veterans' health and well-being.

In previous years the youngsters were allowed to march alongside ex-servicemen behind each unit banner. Under strict policy introduced by the Anzac Day Combined Parade Committee, descendents will this year be required to march at the back of the parade instead.

Ex-Servicemen have strongly criticised the move with many being appalled at the idea of having to march without their grandchildren at their side.

But the man who has co-ordinated the march in Brisbane for the last 28 years, Anzac Day Combined Parade Committee chief marshall Les Lupuljev, said the elderly diggers would struggle waiting in the sun for more than an hour while the large numbers of descendents of veterans began the march before them.

Vietnam veteran Mr Lupuljev said."It's not as harsh as what it seems," He said the best interest of the diggers was kept in mind when the decision to ban veteran's next of kin marching throughout the parade was made.

Mr Lupuljev went on to say, "We haven't stopped [descendents of veterans] from marching. They can march towards the end of the parade if they wish to,"

The plan for this year is to have the veterans march at the front of the parade, behind a cluster of unit banners. With the march covering two kilometres, those veterans who are unable to walk will be able to travel with a carer in a military jeep.

Mr Lupuljev said next of kin could march behind representatives of Legacy Queensland this year at the end of the parade.

However, President of the Mudgeeraba RSL sub-branch, Peter Franklin ,said the decision to separate veterans from the grandchildren ran the risk of alienating the wider community. But Mr Franklin said he did understand the need to restructure the parade.

He said, "It's a hell of an ask to stand in Brisbane in the heat of the day for two and a half hours and veterans should not be asked to do that, it's a long march. We need to make sure that we look after the people who are entitled to march there."

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh agreed it was a pity not to have children march alongside the diggers in Anzac parades. She said "I am always personally moved when I see small children accompanying their grandfathers, to me, that's very moving and I am a bit surprised by this decision."

South Australian Anzac Day organisers will also require descendants of living veterans to march at the back of the parades, while the NSW branch will not enforce a ban, it has asked that descendants march in an allocated group in the Sydney parade. Melbourne, the Victorian RSL has decided to allow one descendant per veteran.

ANZAC DAY commemorations occur on the 25th of April each year and are conducted to remember those who have served Australia in time of war.

Michael Palmer

Date: 08/03/2010


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