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Production   /  Rachel Dutton

Stories from our Australian Veterans

Our WWII Veteran’s personal stories create a human connection between history, the present and our future.


Impact areas








  • DIRECTOR Jeff Hughes

  • PRODUCER Jeff Hughes



This Story’s WWII Documentary Series aims at allowing WWII Veterans, through their own personal expression, to share stories of their lives during WWII, life after the war and the lessons they have learnt. We will interview Veterans within their homes or residential care facilities, allowing them to share stories of their youth, service and civilian life. The interviews in short form (30 min approx.) will be made available to the general public through the Queensland State Library. The more significant project sees the emulsion of these interviews into a focus documentary series aimed for broadcast within in the wider global community.

Support this project

12.50% funded
  • $200,000.00

  • $25,000.00

  • April 2020

  • 2

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





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

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Our World War II Veterans are all in their 90s and as such we are close to losing them and their stories. This Story’s WWII Documentary Series aims to preserve their stories by interviewing remaining Veterans and documenting the indelible contributions they have made to Australian Society. This project provides recognition and respect to our Veterans, the impact of the trauma of war and serves to highlight issues facing our returned service people within the community. In 2019 we interviewed 16 WWII Vets, and sadly 5 have passed on since. This is an urgent project that needs to be continued in order to preserve Australia's history.


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 WWII Veterans we can develop an understanding that we are not alone in our own life struggles and celebrations, and these docos 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.


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

Short Term • Include an immediate feeling of connection and protectiveness to the WWII Veteran as they share their personal stories of life, their service and what Australia was like as a country many years ago. An increased awareness and perspective are potential immediate outcomes. Medium Term • Would involve a verbal acknowledgement of the film and Veterans in general. 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 would be 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 • Include there being an adaptive approach 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.


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 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.