A Call to Peace
Remembering the war dead and promoting peace at the Anzac Centenary

For four years now in the lead up to the centenary of the Gallipoli landing, Canberra has seen a collaboration between A Chorus of Women, lantern maker Graeme Dunstan and their friends to re-imagine the Anzac commemoration.

We have done this is in recognition that the consequence of massive government funding of military commemorations is a continuing preference for war to solve international conflicts.

Our citizen initiative response has been to make art and create new ceremonial paradigms. We have sought alternative narratives and new ways for commemorating the war dead which are more inclusive, which seek and find the common ground of lament, which promote peace and which build and bond ethos

What has evolved from our four years of rehearsing is a songbook of beautiful songs, some beautiful public place spectacle, some artful community rituals, all bundled in a series of connected but independent events.

If you too yearn to draw forth peace in this time of endless war, if you want Anzac to be a remembrance of all the dead of all wars including Australia's frontier wars, come join us.

Here below the program for Anzac 2015.

People, hear the law
of the seeds in your lament --
Dark seeds in the fire
humming like a new song growing ...
-- from A Chorus of Women's 'Spirit Songs for Anzac Eve'

Kindling the Peace Fire
from 5.30 pm Friday 24 April
on top of Mt Ainslie

Meeting at the top of the mountain at sunset to light peace lanterns, welcome to country, community singing, an offering poetry, 'Spirit Songs for Anzac Eve' led by A Chorus of Women and a ceremonial smoking at the entrance to the mountain path.

Walking into darkness
departing 6.15 pm
from on top of Mt Ainslie

Walkers begin their lantern-lit procession down the mountain track. The walk is shared as a meditative walk and the metaphor is of each of us carrying a light down into the darkness of grief. Not for everyone, only the sure footed. Candle lit lanterns provided.

At the end of the path, walkers will pause in Remembrance Park and gather in some community singing before proceeding into the Australian War Memorial precinct.

Sharing the Peace Fire, Sharing Lament
About 7.15 pm
Forecourt, Australian War Memorial

The lantern procession will join with other participants in the Australian War Memorial Forecourt about the Peace Fire for the main ceremony of the Vigil. With song, poetry and personal storytelling, we will re-imagine Anzac, seek, find and share our common ground of lament. For all the dead and maimed of all the wars.

Night Vigil around the Peace Fire
From about 8.30 pm
at the lake end of Anzac Parade
(outside West Block)

Departing the War Memorial for a final lantern walk down Anzac Parade and gathering outside West Block for a campfire with stories, poetry, singing and conversation all through the night. Warming soup will be offered, and also after the Anzac Dawn Service next morning. Remember to BYO mug, rug and chair.

Lest We Forget the Frontier Wars Anzac Day March
assembling from 11 am
outside West Block, Anzac Parade

This is an Aboriginal led march which joins on the end of the Anzac Day March and parades up Anzac Parade to the Australian War Memorial singing songs and bearing flags, banners and placards naming the battles and massacres of Australia's frontier wars. An idea whose time has come. Come be there.

Johanna McBride, Musical Co-ordinator,
A Chorus of Women 0402 050 885

Graeme Dunstan, Master Lantern Maker,, 0407 951 688

Downloadable flyer (488 Kb)

Ellie Gilbert's vimeo of inaugural Anzac eve Peace Vigil
and Anzac Day Frontier War Memorial March

Terry Quinn's Photo album of same

Clair Hochstetler's Photo album

If you can't be there and want to make a donation, direct deposit:

Account name: Graeme Dunstan
BSB: 728-728
Account Number: 22289702