An aged care provider has launched a podcast series this Remembrance Day to celebrate the veterans in its care.

The podcast My Life at War features interviews with Uniting NSW ACT aged care recipients about their experiences of World War II.

The series, which launched today to coincide with the 75th Remembrance Day since the end of the WWII, includes six weekly podcasts.

It shares the stories of Allen Alcock, who as a 15-year-old boy lied about his aged to join the Air Force, and Colin Watego (pipctured above), a Bundjalung Torres Strait Islander and South Sea Islander man who recently retired after 43 years in the Australian Army.

It also includes the account of Bruce Robertson, a wireless operator at the Royal Australian Air Force’s Richmond base who first heard Japanese midget submarines off Sydney, and Jean Turnbull, a signals clerk who received Morse code and teleprinter messages for distribution to various units.

Uniting NSW ACT executive director Tracey Burton said the podcast was a reminder of the important contributions of older Australians.

“In a year when our elders are enduring a pandemic, it’s more important than ever to remember how incredibly valuable they are to our community,” Ms Burton said.

Tracey Burton

“We need to listen to these stories and remind ourselves about the sacrifices they have made and how they helped build and enrich our country.”

Uniting staff members Lee Taylor and Jefferson Spratt, who host the episodes and conduct the interviews, produced the series over 11 months in collaboration with Kellie Riordan from Deadset Studios, audio sound designer Bryce Halliday and historian David Wilson.

The podcast also received funding support from the Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants program and the Australian Department of Veteran Affairs.

The podcast series include:

  • Episode 1 – Enlistment
  • Episode 2 – This is war
  • Episode 3 – Attack on Australia
  • Episode 4 – Women of the War
  • Episode 5 – Indigenous soldiers
  • Episode 6 – Life after war

The first podcast was released today and the final episode will available on 14 December.

Remembrance Day is observed in Commonwealth member states on 11 November, the day that marked the end of World War I in 1918.

Access the series here.

Main image: Colin Watego.

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