Radio National explores modern warfare in Retrospect

As Australians honour the Centenary of Gallipoli, ABC Radio presents stories from a modern, very different war. Retrospect: War, Family, Afghanistan is a major digital project exploring the impact of the war in Afghanistan on the lives of six former Australian Defence Force personnel and their families.
The project includes a dedicated website and series of six radio documentaries to be broadcast on Earshot, ABC RN’s flagship documentary program.
Later developments will include an interactive cinema exhibition, produced by one of the projects partners, the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research, UNSW.

Michael Mason, Director ABC Radio said “Retrospect enables a new generation of Australian veterans and their families to share their experiences with the nation. The stories will surprise, move and perhaps challenge community assumptions about the Afghanistan veteran experience. Three years in the making, this collaboration goes to the core of ABC Radio’s place in Australian culture. I’d like to thank our partners for the opportunity to work with them on this significant project. It will have an enduring legacy.”

The project features in-depth interviews with participants and their families; portraits by photo journalist Stephen Dupont; and video shot on location by Neale Maude for ABC television.
Former ADF personnel featured in the project are:

  • Corporal Martyn Ansell, Explosive Ordnance Disposal
  • Captain Andrew Wegener, Liaison Officer, Provincial Reconstruction Team
  • Major Louise O’Sullivan, team leader, 1 Psychology Unit
  • Corporal Tyson Murray, commander, high risk search team, 2 Combat Engineer Regiment
  • Major Susana Fernandez, commander, CH-47 (Chinook) Rotary Wing Group
  • Private Robert Cashman, attached to Special Airborne Service Regiment 

“Retrospect is a world first innovation that captures the experiences of recently returned Afghanistan ADF veterans and their families, at a time when the ‘conventional letter home’ has disappeared and been replaced by interactive forms of digital communication,” said Professor Dennis Del Favero, Director of iCinema, UNSW.

Retrospect will officially launch on Friday March 20, 2015 at 11.00am—the eve of the Defence Department’s Operation Slipper Welcome Home Parades. 

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