25 September 2023

Archive videos bring life stories to life

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The National Archives of Australia (NAA) has produced a series of new videos bringing to life the stories of Australia’s returned World War I service personnel.

Director-General of the Archives, David Fricker (pictured) said that for thousands of service personnel, the effects of the war continued long after the signing of the Armistice in 1918.

“Repatriation records held by the Archives reveal the impact of war on the mental and physical health of returned service personnel and the experiences of their families,” Mr Fricker said.

He said the videos had been developed to help families search, access and interpret the thousands of repatriation records held in the NAA collection.

“The project was developed and delivered with financial assistance from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs [DVA] throughout the Centenary of World War I period,” Mr Fricker said.

“We are proud of these videos, which use rich archival records and storytelling to bring postwar experiences to life, revealing the legacy of war.”

He said a reading of repatriation records challenged the dominant narrative of the Anzac legend — courage and mateship on the battleground — to illuminate the mental and physical toll of war on those who served.

“This project has drawn on the combined education resources of the Archives and DVA to deliver innovative school and community-focused learning tools and resources,” Mr Fricker said.

“The Archives will deliver professional development to teachers on the use of the resources, which are linked to the Australian History curriculum for Year 9 students.”

The new videos can be accessed on the Archives’ Discovering Anzacs website at this PS News link.

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