Australians to commemorate ANZAC Day virtually in tribute to Veterans

From coronavirus isolation, Australians will this year commemorate ANZACs and Veterans past and present virtually after physical events were cancelled around the nation.

Australians to commemorate ANZAC Day virtually in tribute to Veterans

Campsie RSL wears the misery of coronavirus on its façade, like its brother and sister clubs around the country.

Signage apologising, in three languages in this polyglot suburb, pledging to meet again like Vera Lynn pledged.

Across the road is a park, a square in the English tradition, forged in the post First World War suburban expansion. It's where Anzac Day is traditionally marked. Not this year.

But there is a plan; we may not be able to watch them march, but we can still stand by them. Virtually.

Josh Landis is CEO of the umbrella organisation representing clubs in NSW, called, somewhat unexpectedly, ClubsNSW.

"Just because we're closed, doesn't mean our hearts can't be open," he said.

"While we can't all get out and do it together, we can still show our feelings, and we should do that."

The group has quickly built an internet based support network based on public submissions at its website, calling it "Shoutouts for Veterans" - 20-second videos shot on camera phone by the audience the veteran and the serving, to know their work and their history is not forgotten.

"Create a video of yourself with your family, with your friends, talking about how you would normally celebrate Anzac Day," Mr Landis said.

"And outline what they normally do to commemorate Anzac Day."

Many already have.

"For the past 20 years we've gone down to Juniors at the Junction to commemorate the Anzacs," he said.

"Usually I would be in town with my family watching my father in law march. He served in the navy in WW2."

"His grandkids then march with Pa for the last 500 metres."

Meanwhile, many just want to say thanks.

"This year isolation is not going to make Anzac Day any less important," Mr Landis said.

"To all of our amazing Anzacs, and our war vets - Thank you for fighting for our country."

"It is sad that we can't go to our local dawn service, but we are going to be holding one in our street."

Geoff Evans is CEO of Team Rubicon Australia, a group of veterans who are combining their skill as a relief organisation.

Mr Evans is well placed to register if this would work. He was a commando in Afghanistan, wounded in action.

"Although we can't come together in person, we can still come together in spirit" he said.

"Anzac Day is not just a day for veterans, it's a day for the entire community.

"What this initiative is about is about telling those older veterans, and the younger ones, and the ones that currently serving overseas, that the Australian public care, that we know that they are there, and that we are thinking of them, that they matter."

Gwen Cherne was married to Peter Café. He too was a commando, as far back as East Timor.

Those long memories would spark PTSD. Peter would take his own life in 2017.

Anzac Day means much to Ms Cherne as well.

"We say our husbands and our loved ones names, the boys tell stories about Pete that they don't always want to tell. It'll be a day that we truly miss this year."

Gwen says it's important to stand in solidarity, virtually.

"There are lots of people deployed right now; there are lots of people in Defence helping with COVID-19, who aren't with their families."

Gwen also spoke of her two young children.

"They consistently ask me throughout the year if people remember their daddy, and Anzac Day is a way I tell them, yes they do," she said.

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Source : 9 News More   

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PM talks with Trump, Merkel, Macron about virus fallout, WHO future

Scott Morrison has spoken with global leaders about the need for political transparency and improvements for global institutions such as WHO in their response to pandemics.

PM talks with Trump, Merkel, Macron about virus fallout, WHO future

The prime minister has spoken to Donald Trump about the economic impacts of coronavirus and the performance of the World Health Organisation.

Scott Morrison and the US president on Wednesday discussed the need for transparency, in a clear reference to China, and the need to improve global institutions such as WHO in their response to pandemics.

Mr Morrison raised Australia's focus on supporting countries in the Pacific and Southeast Asia, where the United States also holds a keen strategic interest.

He also spoke about the role of the WHO with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Mr Morrison has been scathing of the United Nations agency for its handling of COVID-19 after it criticised Australia for closing its borders to Chinese tourists and took two weeks longer to declare a pandemic.

He has also challenged its decision to support China reopening wet markets, which were the likely cause of the deadly disease.

Asked if the WHO should have the power to compulsorily enter countries at a time like the present, Mr Morrison said world organisations need to be able operate without being "fettered in any way".

There is a clear view among other leaders that a transparent and independent process is needed to examine what has happened and what needs to change, Mr Morrison told Sky News on Wednesday.

"One of the things that would have been very helpful to the rest of the world is if there wasn't any delay and if there was the ability to get this information very early on - that could have alerted the rest of the world to the greater risk that was occurring there. It did take a while," Mr Morrison said.

"It would be very helpful... that if there is a virus of this nature that is believed to be of pandemic potential and very dangerous to the world, well, we need to know what's going on and very fast.

"If we have that ability that could potentially save thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of lives, and we need to have that sort of ability and so that's why I am an advocate of that case."

Global organisations have to be able to continue their good work without being "fettered in any way in the way they find out what's going on so the rest of us can take action".

The prime minister discussed co-operation on repatriating stranded citizens with Ms Merkel and the pair also talked about negotiations on a free trade deal between Australia and the European Union.

He and Mr Macron discussed the need for greater international co-operation in response to pandemics, including on developing a coronavirus vaccine.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said he hoped Mr Morrison raised with Mr Trump Australia's concerns with the US withdrawing funding from the WHO.

"The decision by the United States to withdraw funding is a very short-sighted decision indeed," Mr Albanese told ABC television.

"It isn't in Australia's interest and it's not in the world's interests to undermine the World Health Organisation."

He said the WHO should be given unfettered access to records in order to get to the bottom of how the pandemic occurred and ensure it cannot happen again.

For breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the and set notifications to on at the or

You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the , and the .

Source : 9 News More   

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