Year 8 English and Year 9 Social Science students currently studying WWI, were audience to an engaging and thought-provoking performance and lecture from Dr Mark Cryle. Dr Cryle’s PhD topic is based on the ANZAC tradition and has a fellowship from the State Library of Queensland for the, Q ANZAC 100 : Memories for a new generation http://qanzac100.slq.qld.gov.au/ . This initiative commemorates the Queensland men and women who joined-up to engage in WWI.
Dr Cryle performed a poignant rendition of the song, ‘The band played Waltzing Matilda’ composed by Eric Bogle, as well as one of his own compositions. He explained the social history, as well as the cultural expectations of the era, which contributed to the sentiment that war was a heroic and romantic act. WWI poets changed their perspective from glorification, to that of melancholy and as the terrible slaughter raged on, to describing the horror and despair of the trenches.
Dr Cryle spoke about how ‘fake news’ is by no means a modern 21st Century invention and was used to promote propaganda before and during WWI. This reminded students of how they must think critically and be discerning when consuming today’s media.