First Nations veterans feature in documentary

Published 10:30am 14 December 2023

First Nations veterans feature in documentary
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Stories of First Nations veterans who served in wars and conflicts have been highlighted in a new documentary.

The documentary was made by North Lakes filmmaker Jeff Hughes through his not-for-profit charity organisation This Story Australia.

“I received a grant which was part of NAIDOC Week celebrations from the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) to help make the documentary,” Jeff says.

“This allowed me to travel up to Torres Strait, North Queensland and Central Queensland to interview a number of First Nations veterans and record their stories.

“I felt so privileged to be able to travel to Torres Strait. I travelled with a local elder and he introduced me to quite a lot of people.

“I hope this is the first step in preserving many more stories in remote communities.”

Also included in the documentary is an Indigenous veteran from Caboolture.

“After travelling up north I came back to Caboolture and spoke to Alan Thorp. He was a Captain and served in the Vietnam War,” Jeff says.

“It’s nice to also have that local connection, being that This Story Australia is a charity that was founded in Moreton Bay.”

Jeff then spent a number of weeks compiling the interviews to create a 35-minute documentary featuring all eight veterans.

The documentary was shown at a special screening at the ANZAC Square Gallery in Brisbane on November 22, which was attended by two veterans and their families, as well as representatives from NIAA, the RSL and Australian Communities Foundation. 

You can view this documentary on the This Story Australia website.

The full-length individual interviews will be available to watch in early 2024.

To see more photos from the screening, click through the gallery below.

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