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Some ANZAC Day thoughts


This report from last night’s ABC TV news is well worth watching: Western Australian students visiting Passchendaele, and taking on the roles of real WW1 soldiers for a day.

The emotional moment in the story is as the connection with their forebears is really nailed, when late in the day, they learn of “their” soldier’s fate.

Video: WA teens relive Anzac journey

Radio version with transcript: Belgian museum recreates the horror of war for history students


ANZAC badgeI’m certainly not knocking it, but does anybody know why ANZAC Day badges are a tax-deductible donation, when most payments to charities where you get something in return (such as a badge or raffle ticket) are not?

As the ATO says, the donation must “truly be a gift”.

Examples of payments that are not gifts include:

purchases of raffle or art union tickets
purchases of items such as chocolates and pens

So is there some specific exclusion for ANZAC Day badges?

Update: See comments. An item which is purely for promotional purposes is excluded.

Why remember?

A great piece from John Birmingham:

[ANZAC Day] doesn’t celebrate men and women who were somehow different to us. It merely pays homage to those who were, and remain, just like us but who, through the disadvantages of history, were called upon to do things all but beyond our comprehension.


If you missed it, check the opening sketch from last night’s Mad As Hell, which did a great job of satirising football games on ANZAC Day.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

4 replies on “Some ANZAC Day thoughts”

@Marcus, great find, thanks!

So in other words, if the item is purely promotional (unlike say a pen, which is functional), then it doesn’t count.

If anybody’s wondering, I’d started thinking about this after noting that I bought a badge this year, but would have been happy just to make a donation.

Hi Daniel,
After having a read of the Taxation ruling, I believe the answer is found in section 43., where the ruling explains the concept of receiving a benefit or advantage from having given the gift to the Deductible Gift Receiver (DGR). If you receive a chocolate or a pen, you receive the benefit of being able to eat the chocolate or write with the pen, whereas the receipt of either a poppy, or a small badge that simply shows that you have given, but is not useful in any other way fits into more than 1 of the items in the list below.

43. Each of these is not a material benefit or advantage:
one that has no link with the transfer;
one that is insignificant in relation to the value of the transfer;
one that only constitutes advertising for the DGR;
one that cannot be put to use and is not marketable;
one that does not create any rights, or confer any privileges or entitlements;
one that merely accounts for the use of the funds;
one that is mere public recognition of the giver’s generosity; or
one that confers membership of a DGR which was neither sought nor known by the giver at the time of making the transfer.


I have a slightly uneasy relationship with ANZAC day (and Armistice Day). On the one hand, I think it is very important for society to remember the human sacrifices of war. This includes both those who died and were injured. Both military and civilian. And whether I agree with the war or not. On the other hand it seems it is easy to cross the line and glorify war or to descend into jingoism. Sadly, I think the latter is a particular issue today with ANZAC day.

A quote from a (I think) Canadian war museum sums up how I think we should remember war: “No-one should ever feel comfortable in a war museum.” Similarly, if ANZAC day is comfortable or affirming, it’s being done wrong.

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