Laurel Williams' interview in Newcastle

Laurel Williams speaks about the service of Indigenous men and women from around the NSW Central Coast area, including Forster, Coffs Harbour and Taree. Working from a collection of photos, she speaks about family and wider community members who have served in all the major conflicts from World War 1 through to Afghanistan. Describing the post-war life of her relatives who served in World War 2 in particular, Laurel recalls once going to the RSL club in Forster for lunch with her Uncle who served in New Guinea, where she was astounded to see him asked to produce a membership card, and she thought to herself ‘this man has fought in the war, has lived here all his life and here is this person really questioning [his right to enter the RSL] … and he wasn’t very happy, but he didn’t make a big deal … he just produced his membership badge and off we went in.’

This interview took place on 11 March 2014 in Newcastle and was conducted by Professor Mick Dodson and Professor John Maynard 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), Laurel Williams. 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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Updated:  16 July 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, Serving our Country/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team