Margaret Beavis Lecture

5 June 2019
Woolnough Lecture Theatre, Geology Building, UWA
General Public, Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni

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The Rise of Militarism in Australia and What We Can Do About it.

A public lecture by Margaret Beavis, GP and secretary of the Medical Association for Prevention of War.

In the last few decades there has been an inexorable rise in military themes and influence in Australian society. Anzac Day commemorations have morphed from solemn respectful marches to youth pilgrimages to Gallipoli and an overall romanticisation of the “Anzac spirit” and World War I. Defence spending is being massively ramped up while diplomacy and foreign aid expenditures fall to shameful levels. The influence of weapons companies is pervasive, ranging from partnerships with educational institutions and extensive political lobbying and donations through to government subsidies to support the industry. Australia exports weaponry to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, when many other countries have condemned and banned such sales due to the terrible war in Yemen. MAPW works on these issues to bring about policy change.  

Margaret Beavis is a Melbourne GP who joined the Medical Association for Prevention of War after recognising the huge (often preventable) loss of life, loss of health and environmental devastation caused by warfare. She has many interests, including climate change, the creeping militarisation of Australia and the undue influences affecting political decision making. Margaret believes all too often political expediency overrides good decisions, and working with MAPW gives her an opportunity to advocate for practical measures that will reduce conflict. She is currently secretary of the Medical Association for Prevention of War and Co-chair of Australian Management Committee of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. She was fortunate enough to go to Norway for the ICAN Nobel Peace Prize events in 2017.