Friday 28 October is the centenary of the first vote against conscription. Spot a 1916 posters in the street, book for 1916 the play, come to a talk on the history . . .
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1916-1917 Anti-Conscription News

Issue 13

The Brunswick Coburg Anti-Conscription Commemoration Campaign is being organised by local residents to commemorate, research and discuss aspects of WW1 often underplayed or ignored in official histories.  The centenary of the first referendum is on Friday 28 October, so there's lots happening. Please pass on the news!
1916 posters are back on the streets
They're up! Dozens of historic 1916 anti-conscription posters, up on walls in Brunswick, Coburg and nearby. Thanks so much to everyone who made this possible.


The two designs we've had reprinted (both on display here in Union Street Brunswick near the Sydney Road corner) are:
  • "To Arms" - the poster that got its designer Tom Barker jailed (the judge rejected the argument that it was a recruiting poster!). There are 100 of these displayed in the streets, and 300 smaller ones inside cafes and shops.
  • "Vote No Mum  . . . they'll take Dad next" . This poster reflects the importance of the women's vote. (It must have been successful, as pro-conscription campaigners re-printed a "Vote Yes Mum" version arguing that married men would be exempt.)
Please take photos of the posters whenever you see them, and share them with your friends through whatever social media you have access to. (Pictured right, Albion Street East Brunswick). There are lots more pictures, and details of some of the locations, on our Facebook page and on our Wordpress site.

We will have some extra copies printed so if you have a place to publicly display one, or if you'd also to buy one for a suitable donation (we have the Tom Barker posters in A2 as well as the giant A0 as pictured: A2 is the size of an unfolded 2-page sheet of The Age), please emall us now on

We raised over $2000 through our Pozible campaign and direct donations. We thanked most of our major donors last time - we'd like to add here a thanks also to Siobhan Hannan and Alex Pierce for their very generous donations.
Book now: 1916: The "No case" for conscription
Tickets are selling fast for this exciting new play, which follows Adela Pankhurst and Vida Goldstein two women's peace activists, as they debate and organise the 1916 campaign for a "No" vote against conscription.

It  opens Tuesday 25 October for two weeks. It's been written for the Brunswick Coburg Anti-Conscription Commemoration Campaign to mark the centenary, by well-known playwright Neil Cole.

The play is full of poetry and songs from the time, with the Brunswick Secondary College Young Women's Choir accompanying an all-women cast: Harlene Hercules as Vida Godstein, Marissa Bennett as Adela Pankhurst, together with Carmelina Di Gudliemo and Emma Walsh. (Pictured right)

Director is Natasha Broadstock.  Book now as it's a small theatre!

When: Tuesday 25 October to Sunday, 6 November. 8pm nightly except Sundays when there are 2pm matinees.
Where: Brunswick Mechanics Institute (Metanoia Theatre)
Bookings:  or call  9387 3376. $30 a ticket.
Help publicise the play: Invite your friends and colleagues through our Facebook event
Wednesday: 1916, Conscription and Mannix – in Coburg
This Wednesday, 19 October, the Coburg Historical Society is hosting a talk by Dr Val Noone on "2016: Conscription in the northern suburbs and Daniel Mannix".

All those interested in the topic are very welcome to attend to hear Val speak. He's a very interesting and informative speaker, and is an expert on Irish Australian history and on Daniel Mannix.

WHEN: Wednesday 19 October, 8 pm
WHERE: Coburg Library meeting room
The meeting room is at the rear of the library, with its entrance facing Victoria Street mall. The library is at the corner of Victoria and Watergate Streets Coburg. It's close both to the Coburg station and the No 19 tram.
When Australians Said No to War: Brunswick library centenary night talk
On the 100th anniversary of the day when Australians voted no in the 1916 Conscription Referendum, Emeritus Professor Michael Hamel-Green (Victoria University) will talk about the success of the 1916-17 anti-conscription movement and the refusal of Australians to send conscripts to First World War Battle fields.

Michael will explain the important roles that Brunswick and Coburg played at the time, and the implications for continuing Australian opposition to war and conscription.

When: Friday 28 October 2016, 6-7pm. (The anniversary of the first referendum, 28 October 1916)
Where: Brunswick Library, Dawson Street Brunswick (off Sydney Road).
Bookings: Free entry but the library folk would still like you please to book.
  • You could probably attend this, grab a quick bite, and see the play (above) at 8pm.
It's worth going past Trades Hall at the bottom of Lygon Street in Carlton to see the display of fabulous 1916 anti-conscription banners that have been hung around the historic building. Here's one.
Serenading Adela: dates for Community Song Project
Join us in November and December to create and learn a new song to commemorate peace and mark the centenary of the 1916 vote against conscription. This project will be in two stages: developing the song with your input into its themes ; followed by two workshops to learn the songs.

Please put the dates in your diary now. All welcome. At this stage we are just asking you to sign on to our song project e-list here:

Date and time of song workshops
There will be two workshops to collect ideas for the song, followed by two workshops where we learn the song:
Sunday 27 November, 2pm OR Wed 30 November 7pm (choose one date to share your ideas)
Sunday 11 December 2pm (song learning workshop)
Wed 14 December 7pm (song learning workshop)
  • For more information, or to share your ideas, offer help manage this project, or put us in touch with your choir or brass band, email us at
This project is supported and funded by the Moreland Community Grants program.
Centenary walks around Brunswick
We're planning some walks around historic sites in Brunswick, on the weekend of 5-6 November. Check our next newsletter for the exact times!
Getting involved
Working groups
We have three main working groups:
  • Conferences, meetings and research. This group is currently planning a conference for late May 2017. Their next planning meeting is at 5.30pm on Tuesday 25 October.  (Early enough to still catch the first night of the play, above).
  • Art, culture and communications.
  • Education and schools
In particular we'd  love to hear from
  • people who can distribute flyers and postcards for the play, and the song project
  • people with experience in organising events;
  • with graphic arts skills;
  • people with web writing skills or history research skills to update our website/blog
If you'd like to play a more active role, please email us at
Organisation and donations
If you'd like to donate to now help our work, the account details are:
Name: Brunswick Coburg Anti-Conscription Commemorative Campaign
BSB:   633-000
Acnt No: 157288200
Please note your name on the transfer, and let us know by email on:
Invite others
Please share this newsletter with your friends and colleagues by clicking the facebook, twitter or email icons below.

Welcome to new readers who donated to our Poster campaign – if you didn't  want to receive this email please unsubscribe below.

Encourage others to sign on to receive this newsletter, and to like our Facebook Page, with others interested in this history, and encourage them to sign on. We will not spam you – though this is our busiest time leading to the anniversary on 28 October.

Email sign-up (to share or to edit your own details):
Email us: or the working group contacts above.
Copyright © 2016 Brunswick-Coburg Anti-Conscription Commemoration Campaign, All rights reserved.

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