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Production   /  Jeff Hughes

Our Veterans Stories

Our Veterans personal stories create a human connection between history, the present and our future.

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Impact areas

ARTS

HEALTH & WELLBEING

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

INDIGENOUS

YOUTH & EDUCATION

 

 

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Jeff Hughes

  • PRODUCER Jeff Hughes

Synopsis

DURATION: 30 MINUTES

This Story Australia was founded in 2019 as a Charity to preserve the personal stories of our Veterans in documentary video interviews. We have interviewed 31 Veterans to date from a range of conflicts including WWII, Vietnam and the Malayan Emergency. These stories are not only integral to the preservation of Australia’s history, but they serve as testimonials to the character and morals that make up our servicemen and women. These interviews take us beyond memorial dates and conflicts and offer a us an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the Veterans who have served our country.

Support this project

7.69% funded
  • $325,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
  • $25,000.00

    FUNDS RAISED
  • 2

    SUPPORTERS
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Donations

The Lottery Office $20,000.00
Tim Fairfax $5,000.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Our Veterans all have a different story to tell ... one that we should be listening to. Whether it was joining the service in WWII because of adventure, serving during peacetime or describing what it was like to come home from Vietnam to no crowds, no thank you and no understanding ... our Veterans have helped shaped this country.
Memorials, plaques and commemorative gardens are signs of how we use to remember, but in this digital rich age we need to do more. We need to listen, to take in their smiles and laughs and to feel the pain in their voices as they talk about loss. That can foster the connection in our society that we so desperately need. We owe them that much.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

This project aims to make a difference to the engagement of people in our communities. By watching and listening to the stories of our Veterans we can develop an understanding that we are not alone in our own life struggles and celebrations. These documentary interviews can serve as a catalyst to bring us together. Each one of us has a part to play in our community and the sharing of personal stories can act as examples of how we can be united.

Outcomes

What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Short Term • Includes an immediate feeling of recognition and connection with the Veteran as they share their personal stories of life, their service and Australia. An increased awareness and perspective are measured immediate outcomes. Medium Term • Involves a verbal acknowledgement of Veterans within the community through our project's growth. The public will recognise that none of us are really that different, and that a greater tolerance and understanding should be fostered in society. There will develop a deeper respect for the elderly in our community, a recognition of Veteran’s dedication to our way of life and a hopefully a stronger support for charities and commemorative events such as ANZAC Day. Long Term • Adaptive approaches to community projects that highlight the diversity in our society. A result of this could be more acceptance of mental health issues and we could see a safer, more trusting and more accountable society.

Activities

How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

General outcomes within the larger community include the development of a strong sense of empathy and renewed sense of value towards our Veterans. Screenings of the documentary interviews in aged care facilities or retirement communities would facilitate a feeling of pride and self worth among our older Veterans. They would ensure the ageing population that there is a deep respect for not only for what our Veterans have been through, but how they lived their lives. Screenings at educational institutions would inspire students to learn from past life lessons, and live up to the legacy that our older generation fought hard to attain. In essence, by sharing and listening to these stories we can become better understanding people.

Stakeholders

How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

There are no current partnerships in place. We are eagerly seeking both public and private donations to ensure this project continues.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

1. Donate to This Story ... and as such help us preserve our Veteran's stories
2. Spread awareness regarding the importance of Australia’s history, the involvement of our Veterans and the similarity found in all of our struggles and successes. This can be done through word of mouth and through social media channels.
3. Attend commemorative ceremonies like ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day services and encourage questioning and enquiry in our children and youth. This can be accomplished by involving the documentaries into Social Studies or History within schools.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

The largest indicator for success for this project is engagement. This is best measured by the numbers generated through either donations or social media statistics. One qualitative indicator of success are the direct comments that people have made regarding the project. For example, on a Facebook post highlighting WWII Veteran Laurie Woods and PTSD, one member of the public commented: “ I used to know this man 25 years ago. I remember him as happy, but could quickly go to grumpy, sour and become very authoritarian. I knew his role in bringing a bomber back to base in England after all the other crew had been killed by German fighter aircraft, but I didn’t know this part of it; of course, how could I? I always felt that there was more to him, that there were other reasons for his ways and now I know. I always treated him with respect though.” A statement such as this resonates with us and makes all of the efforts of completing these documentaries worthwhile.