Fred Leftwich discusses his father’s 20 years of service in the army, and the effect that this had on family life. Fred’s father suffered from PTSD and alcoholism, he functioned normally in the community and was held in great respect but at home was a hard man with many issues. Fred sees his fathers service as a double edged sword, the family was protected from the racist policies of the government because of it, and got to travel and have decent housing, but it brought with the PTSD, alcoholism and related issues. Fred explains how this impacted his life and his siblings and mother. Fred joined the Army Reserve himself in the early 1980s and shares his experiences with racism, training and the opportunities this service afforded him.
This interview took place on 16 December 2015 in Canberra and was conducted by Professor Mick Dodson with Craig Greene as part of the Australian Research Council-funded research project Serving our Country: a history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the defence of Australia.
The interview recording above is made available to be viewed here by permission of the interviewee(s), Fred Leftwich. The recording may not be copied, reproduced or communicated in whole or in part without the prior permission of the interviewee(s). Requests for permission for use of this material should be made to the Serving our Country research project: our contact details.
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