Reflecting On The ANZAC Spirit

25 April 2022

How do different generations of veterans think about the ANZAC Spirit?

As ANZAC Day dawns tomorrow, people will commemorate in a manner that is meaningful to them - by lighting up the dawn a home, or attending an RSL Sub Branch service. 

The day means different things to different people, as does the notion of ANZAC Spirit and the characteristics endurance, courage, mateship, humour and ingenuity.

Afghanistan veteran and Paralympian Cutis McGrath OAM PLY recently sat down with Dr Stan Mellick OAM, a veteran of World War Two, to discuss what the ANZAC Spirit means to them, and how they plan to commemorate ANZAC Day.

The ANZAC Spirit

On ANZAC Day we recognise the five characteristics of the ANZAC Spirit: courage, endurance, ingenuity, mateship and humour, and how we can continue the legacy by bringing these into our everyday lives.

Stan recalls the original ANZACs and their pride being described as Australians for the first time.

"Those early Anzacs, the thing that they were most excited about would be for the first time to described as Australians. Because before that they'd all been colonial people, West Australians, Victorians, Queenslanders, but there they were Australians" he said.

Wounded while serving in Afghanistan, Curtis said that both mateship and humour were especially relevant to his recovery but said it was hard to recall a specific moment when the ANZAC Spirit motivated him.

"It must be that the day that I was injured in 2012 and lying on the ground and needing the assistance of my comrades around me, my mates to come together and help save my life. And that's exactly what happened. Using humor as well. I think that's a value of the ANZAC Spirit. It bridges a lot of trauma as well. It helps alleviate pain and suffering and brings people together" he said.

Curtis McGrath and Stan Mellick


The ANZAC spirit lives on in us all, and on 25 April we invite you to commemorate in a way that is meaningful to you. On ANZAC Day, you can attend an RSL service, light up the dawn at home, participate online, or take the opportunity to connect with your local community.  

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