Australian War Memorial stops using gender neutral pronouns

Nationals’ leader David Littleproud has welcomed the Australian War Memorial’s decision to stop using gender neutral pronouns when highlighting the contributions of fallen service personnel.

Each day the War Memorial, located in Canberra, hosts a last post ceremony to honour fallen soldiers. At the same time each day the organisation highlights the contribution of a particular person on its Twitter account.

From January 1st the organisation switched to using a gender-neutral wording in their posts, thanking people for “their” service rather than “his” or “her”. The organisation reportedly began doing this to avoid mixing up the genders of fallen soldiers, but it brought on criticism from Coalition MPs.

Barnaby Joyce, the opposition’s Veteran’s Affairs spokesperson, said the decision to use gender neutral wording was “woeful wokeism”, describing it as the “worst form of disrespect”.

Joyce said that while the posts were grammatically correct, there was no need for the use of the word ‘their’.

Yesterday, after a week of using the gender-neutral phrasing, the War Memorial reverted to their previous practice of using gender specific phrasing.

Nationals’ leader David Littleproud has welcomed the decision telling Sky News that the War Memorial director Matt Anderson had assured him that there had never been an official change in policy, and the move to gender neutral phrasing had been undertaken by staff who did not have the authority to make such a change.

“It was an individual who took license, that didn’t have the authority to take that license with pronouns, and I can tell you the only silver lining out of this is it has shone a light on the nonsense that carries on in some of these institutions.” Littleproud said.

The Nationals’ leader said the Director of the Australian War Memorial had given him his personal assurance that there would be no change towards using gender neutral words in the future.

“I think that’s a good thing for our country, and to honour those who have come and served our nation and paid the ultimate sacrifice in particular.” Littleproud said.

A spokesperson for the Australian War Memorial told OUTinPerth that they had now updated their procedures.

“Our posting processes have been reviewed and only he and she will be used on social media, unless otherwise requested by the family of the person we are honouring.” a spokesperson said.

OIP Staff

Update: 12:00 11-01-23 Comment from Australian War Memorial added.  

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