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PC spat erupts over word ‘mateship’ on war memorial on Kokoda

A spat has erupted between a former war veteran and the foreign affairs department over its decision to remove the word ‘mateship’ from a Kokoda memorial.

It’s been replaced with ‘friendship’.

Vietnam veteran Charlie Lynn has been running tours on the trail for 25 years and blasted the move as political correctness gone mad.

He accused DFAT of trying to rewrite history.

‘I think in the current environment they’ve got a bias against the male connotation of mateship,’ he told Neil Mitchell.

‘Therefore, they think the interpretation of ‘friendship’ is more politically correct.’

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told 3AW Mornings the word friendship had been chosen because it was understood by the locals in Papua New Guinea.

‘That’s rubbish,’ Mr Lynn responded.

‘I’ve been going up there for 25 years and every Papua New Guinean I meet calls me mate, they don’t call me friend.’

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