While there has been recent discussion about the role of Anzac Day in culturally diverse 21st Century, Australians emphatically support it. A national survey by McCrindle Research, completed by more than 1000 Australians shows that 95% still support setting aside a day to remember this part of our history.
The study found nearly half (49%) fully support Anzac day, 22% strongly support, and further quarter (23%) somewhat or slightly support it. Just 6% strongly agreed that Anzac Day is not relevant to a multicultural Australia (while 11% agreed), yet almost 14 times as many (83%) agreed that it unites people from all backgrounds due to the freedoms gained through the sacrifice of people from all cultures.
Director of McCrindle Research, Mark McCrindle, said, “In our era of fast change and non-stop innovation, Australians have a yearning for something significant, solid and solemn. Anzac Day is one of the few dates in our calendar that gives us ceremony, tradition and time for reflection. Australians recognise that the timeless qualities of courage, mateship and sacrifice are worthy of remembrance and are key to our national identity.”
Supporting this, 95% of Australians agreed to some extent with the statement, “The spirit of Anzac Day (with its human qualities of courage, mateship and sacrifice) continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity.” Over 3 in 5 strongly agreed with this statement (63%).
Australians see Anzac Day as a time to reflect on freedom more than anything else. 95% agreed to some extent that it is an important day to remember and honour those who have and still do fight to defend our country and freedoms, and while 7% feel strongly that Anzac Day commemorates violence and glorifies war, 53% feel strongly that it does not. Indeed 82% in total disagree with the “glorifies war” view.
There was also a significant knowledge of Anzac Day with 57% able to fill out the ANZAC acronym unprompted. However while 25 April was officially proclaimed in 1916, just 12% of respondents could correctly place this, with a quarter (25%) having no idea and 1 in 6 (16%) believing that it began after WW2.
“Despite being hazy on some of the facts, Australians are clear that they value Anzac Day and support it” stated social analyst Mark McCrindle. “There is a recognition that change is not the same as improvement and sometimes advancement is best achieved by looking back and reflecting, not just looking forward and innovating.”
The research supporting this report was conducted by McCrindle Research in April 2012 through a national study of Australians which received 1009 completed surveys.