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form y separately published work icon Odyssey of a Warrior single work   film/TV  
Issue Details: First known date: 2014... 2014 Odyssey of a Warrior
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The story of Reg Saunders MBE (1920-1990) - the Australian army's first Aboriginal Officer is a story of courage, humility and huge adventure. This film tells Saunders' life story - from growing up in Lake Condah Mission in western Victoria to leaving Melbourne on a troopship as a 19-year-old Digger in the opening days of WWII. It tells of his time in Crete in 1941 - fighting the Nazis, and then going on-the-run - an extraordinary chapter in his life, when, with the help of mountain villagers, he evaded capture for a year. Deliverance from the hands of the Germans in Europe meant that he would go on to fight in the jungles of New Guinea, and after WWII in Korea. In each case, his return to civvy street was a harrowing indictment of Australian society at the time. This war hero - loved by those he led, who fought for his country out of a sense of duty and pride - returned to a society blighted by injustice.'

'Out of uniform he suffered the indifference and outright hostility of a society where institutional racism was endemic. After challenging the genocidal evil of the Nazis, the Japanese as they advanced towards Australia, and the communist uprising in Korea - Saunders had one last opponent to fight - Australia’s own inequitable system of entrenched racial prejudice. As the nation’s social conscience and political system began to evolve and intervene on the welfare of all Australians, in 1969 Saunders took up a position in the newly-created Office of Aboriginal Affairs as one of its first liaison officers. There he helped change the behaviour of the Australian public service in its interactions with Indigenous people.'

'A multi-layered story this drama-documentary will use rarely-seen archive material, dramatic reconstruction, and sequences filmed in Greece and Victoria.The film will use footage already shot in Crete - of Saunders' daughters recent meeting the villagers who saved their father's life - a deeply emotional and dramatic event - symbolising a powerful contemporary multicultural message of kinship. In Crete, Saunders witnessed the selfless courage of another ancient rural people. The experience informed his views on social justice ever after. His experiences in Crete are central to the film. This documentary is made with the assistance and support of the Saunders family and has exclusive access to personal records, documents and photographs.' (Source: Documentary Australia Foundation website)


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Last amended 21 Jan 2015 13:51:54