Episode 05: “Defending Country”

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners are advised that the this episode (and its associated material) contains the names of, references to, voices and images of people who have since passed away.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have served in every conflict, peacekeeping and humanitarian operation in which Australia has been engaged.

One of the most celebrated soldiers is Gunditjmara man Captain Reginald Saunders. While it’s not known whether they knew each other, “Reg” and Megan’s grandfather Harry served in the same battalion (2/7) during the Second World War, fighting the very same battles against the German forces in Libya and Greece, with both eventually stranded on Crete.

As soldiers they were equals, sharing very similar experiences. Back home it was a different story. In spite of his service Saunders and his young family faced continual discrimination and disadvantage due to his race. This did not happen to Harry.

Continuing further down the road of remembrance and historical empathy, in Episode 05 Megan explores the extraordinary yet unheralded story of Indigenous service and sacrifice for Australia – and the important recovery work being done to ‘square the ledger’ when it comes to this ‘quieter’ aspect of Australia’s military history.

Lest we forget.

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