Anzac spirit, unity and biscuits

Anzac spirit, unity and biscuits

Australia and New Zealand often tend to be lumped together in the upper hemisphere’s mind: those two beautiful countries down under that rarely make the world news. They don’t start wars, they don’t have massive protests or reforms; basically, they don’t get into trouble.

Anzac message

I woke up bright and early on Anzac Day to attend a dawn service at the Shrine of Remembrance. Dawn services began spontaneously in the 1920s, with soldiers and loved ones wanting a simple, silent observation as an alternative to massive parades and marches.

As an American, it was impressive to see the show of national spirit and unity on Anzac Day: the close relationship that Australia and New Zealand have isn’t always obvious to outsiders, but it shines through in their shared military history. Australia and New Zealand have sacrificed their lives to support wars they didn’t start: most famously at Gallipoli, but during WWII, the Korea and Vietnam wars, and most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Anzac biscuits were baked for care packages for Australia and New Zealand Armed Corps forces during World War 1. Here’s my favorite recipe for these delicious and simple cookies–recommended and tested out by my favorite Australian friend. Take a moment, enjoy a cookie and be thankful for the sacrifices the Anzac forces made–even when they didn’t start the trouble.

Anzac biscuits

  • 1 cup (150g) plain flour
  • 1 cup (90g) rolled oats
  • 1 cup (85g) Ward McKenzie desiccated coconut
  • 3/4 cup (155g) brown sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 2 tbs golden syrup
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

renee eggers with anzac biscuits

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the oats, coconut and brown sugar.
Put the butter, golden syrup and 2 tbs water in a small saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until melted. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.
Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls. Place on the trays, about 5cm apart.
Press with a fork to flatten slightly. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Set aside on the trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack so it cools completely.


  • Claire

    Actually, ANZAC Day services were begun quite intentionally by a Reverend White, as I found out while attending the Dawn Service at the War Memorial in Canberra this year. You can find out lots of information about it at this link:


  • Felicity

    “They don’t start wars, they don’t have massive protests or reforms;”

    You may want to look into your history before making such sweeping statements, Christine.

    Australia was the site of a massive genocide. Look into the history of the Australian Aboriginals.

    Australia was instrumental in the inception of the United Nations, look in Dr. Evatt.

    Australia was key to peacekeeping in Cambodia and Rwanda, where the USA refused to help.

    Australia was the only nation to take a stand against Indonesia in East Timor and helped birth the new nation in 1998.

    New Zealand won’t allow US Nuclear ships on its shores – and left the ANZUS alliance due to protest against US Nuclear ships in the region. How’s that for protest?

    Australia was home to MASSIVE anti-war protests.

    The only way you would think such obviously fallacious arguments is that you are a molly coddled American who is failing to learn about the countries you visit. Please, fact check before making broad and bogus statements.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting! I got my information from an Anzac Day special section from The Age, but apparently they were wrong! Thanks for sharing that link.

  • Anonymous

    I certainly appreciate you pointing out some of these events to me. I’ll be sure to research them to learn more about each one. I do think that it’s unfortunate that much of Australian news isn’t reported in America: our media is so self-centric that it’s difficult to get a broader, objective view on things.

  • Claire

    Hehe, The Age, wrong? Surely not!