Dave Cook's interview in Newcastle

Dave Cook, a member of the Stolen Generations, served two tours of duty in Vietnam. Dave was taken away and sent to Kinchela Boys Home when he was 8 years old and then adopted out to a foster family. Quite early on in high school Dave had decided he wanted to join the armed forces, and did so just after leaving school. At 18 in the early 1960s Dave was serving in an Army Construction Squad in New Guinea, and not long after that his squad was in Borneo supporting the British army. Around 1965 Dave volunteered to serve in Vietnam and was absolutely shocked at the level of institutional racism he saw there in the US army ranks, but experienced no racism whatsoever with his Australian comrades serving in Vietnam. Leaving the Army in the late 1960s, Dave had a lot of trouble adjusting to domestic civilian life, he was often in trouble with the law and speaks about experiencing racism and harassment from police in particular. Dave admits he was no angel during this time, but it is clear to him that his problems stemmed from the volatile mix of being taken away as a child and suffering PTSD from his time in Vietnam.

This interview took place on 20 January 2010 in Newcastle and was conducted by Dr Noah Riseman.

The interview recording above is made available to be listened to here by permission of the interviewee(s), Dave Cook. 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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