Dr Peter Stanley’s book ‘Quinn’s Post’ had a profound effect on me. At the launch in 2003 I met the family of Tom Logan who fought there at what was an impenetrable post on the Gallipoli peninsula where an untold story of the campaign became for Dr Peter Stanley a definitive book and a heartbreaking story and was for me a chance to not only read Logan’s private letters but to feel the anguish of a family whose grandfather died within three days of his last letter home. It is the epitome of the human face of conflict.
And as we reach a milestone in the Gallipoli story, many more will be remembered and commemorated when the ABC screens 'The War That Changed Us', one of many productions finding new perspectives and aspects of The Great War, as historians, directors, actors and creative talent re-create a pivotal time in our history. Their stories have been garnered from diaries and letters while the mood of the nation was recorded in speeches and newspaper stories.
The four part series about six Australians and the impact of the Great War on their lives was launched at Parliament House with the team behind this documentary production joining parliamentarians, representatives of the Department of Veterans Affairs, historians and Australian War Memorial staff for a preview and cocktail reception.
And as is the way in Canberra we have the grandmother of the member for Lalor Joanne Ryan in the documentary and Kate Barwick media adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister revealing to the gathered media team from the ABC that she is the granddaughter of another.
Director Don Featherstone, whose credentials include Kokoda, worked with historian, author and Stella Prize Winner Dr. Clare Wright to write the script. Historians including Dr. Peter Stanley contributed to the story filmed on the Western Front and Gallipoli while Director of Dramatic Reconstructions James Bogle was responsible for the re-enactments. It will all come together for a late 2014 screening as part of the major contribution of the ABC to their WW1 programming.
The launch put faces to the names of a formidable ABC team who produced The War That Changed Us in association with Electric Pictures Production and financed with the assistance of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs with the Minister for Veteran’s Affairs Senator Michael Ronaldson the guest of honour.