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Defending with Pride Voices: The Power of the Wreath Part 2

Shrine of Remembrance

Release Date: 07/28/2022

Shrine Stories: The Roof show art Shrine Stories: The Roof

Shrine of Remembrance

Have you ever paid attention to the Shrine's roof? If not, now's your time! In this episode of Shrine Stories, you'll hear about a big change that was made to the roof in the '60s and why it was needed.  Listen as the Shrine's Education and Volunteer Manager Laura Carroll uncovers a story that's been hidden in plain sight.  Music On this Day - Richard Smithson   

Shrine Stories: The Victoria Cross show art Shrine Stories: The Victoria Cross

Shrine of Remembrance

The Victoria Cross is the highest award for acts of bravery during wartime, and to date, only 101 Australians have been presented with this prestigious medal. One of them is Captain Robert Grieve, whose medal is on display in the Shrine Galleries. Join us as Philip Powell unpacks the story behind Grieve’s VC, his unlikely meeting with the Queen and how the medal survived a large fire. Music: Across the Line, Lone Canyon 

Shrine Conversations: How did Tim Fischer's military service influence his political career? show art Shrine Conversations: How did Tim Fischer's military service influence his political career?

Shrine of Remembrance

Over the course of his life, Tim Fischer wore many hats: deputy Prime Minister, politician, diplomat, farmer, chairman, patron and advocate for many causes. But one that often goes under the radar is that of a Second Lieutenant in the Australian Army. In this episode, author Peter Rees unpacks Tim's military service and how it impacted his life as a politician.  Music: 'I've Been There' by Alsever Lake 

Shrine Stories: The Charlton Window show art Shrine Stories: The Charlton Window

Shrine of Remembrance

How does a window go from being boxed up in a shed to on display at the Shrine?  In this episode of Shrine Stories, you'll learn the story of the John Charlton Memorial Window, and it's rather tumultuous journey over the last century.  Listen as art historian and author Dr Bronwyn Hughes OAM unpacks the window's history, significance and journey to the Shrine.  Music:  Across the Line - Lone Canyon  Special thanks to the generous support of The Copland Foundation towards the design and installation of the window

Shrine Stories: The Afghanistan Mountains show art Shrine Stories: The Afghanistan Mountains

Shrine of Remembrance

Kat Rae is an artist and veteran of the Australian Army who has transformed her experiences with Defence into striking art.  In this episode of Shrine Stories, we learn about the inspiration, process and message behind Kat's series of reduction linocut prints that depict the mountains of Afghanistan.  To follow Kat's work, head to katrae.net Content Warning: This episode discusses themes of mental health and suicide that may cause distress. If you need support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For a full list of support services, head to shrine.org.au/wellbeing-resources. Music: Across the...

Shrine Conversations: What's it like photographing the Belgian Army's Bomb Disposal team? show art Shrine Conversations: What's it like photographing the Belgian Army's Bomb Disposal team?

Shrine of Remembrance

Artist Ian Alderman spent seven years photographing the Belgian army’s bomb disposal team as they recovered ammunition from land that was once the battlefields of Passchendaele. Once a shell was identified, he had just two minutes to capture the moment before the team moved on to their next call.  This intricate work culminated in Recovering the Past—a unique photographic exhibition that connects these Belgian men with men of the Australian Imperial Force who fought during the First World War. The two groups are united through the art of photomontage, which results in a...

Shrine Conversations: What happened in Stalag Luft III after The Great Escape? show art Shrine Conversations: What happened in Stalag Luft III after The Great Escape?

Shrine of Remembrance

The Great Escape has gone down in history as one of the most crafty, yet ultimately tragic, escapes from a prisoner of war camp (listen to our other episode, 'Shrine Stories: The Great Escape', to hear the full story!). But what happened in the camp after the escape? Were the remaining planned escapees punished? And how did the men cope with the news that 50 of their own had been killed? Flight Lieutenant James Anthony Cathcart 'Tony' Gordon was 180th in line to escape, and his son Drew Gordon joins us for this episode to share his father’s story, and what life was like after the Great...

Shrine Stories: The Great Escape show art Shrine Stories: The Great Escape

Shrine of Remembrance

The Shrine Stories podcast takes you on a deep dive behind the objects on our gallery floor. In this episode, we explore the story behind a Norwegian language certificate that sheds light on the lengths some prisoners of war went to to escape captivity during the Second World War. The certificate belonged to Squadron Leader James Catanach, and for fans of the movie ‘The Great Escape’, this episode is sure to interest you. Music: Across the Line - Lone Canyon

Shrine Stories: The Peace Graffiti show art Shrine Stories: The Peace Graffiti

Shrine of Remembrance

The Shrine Stories podcast takes you on a deep dive behind the objects on our gallery floor. Just before Anzac Day in 1971, Melburnians woke to the news that the Shrine had been graffitied. Officials were understandably furious, but the identities of those involved remained a mystery. Shrine curator Kate Spinks-Colas joins us on this episode to unpack what happened, and why.  Music:  Across the Line - Lone Canyon Image: Reproduced courtesy State Library Victoria 

Trailer: Shrine of Remembrance podcast show art Trailer: Shrine of Remembrance podcast

Shrine of Remembrance

Whether you're a history lover or someone looking to learn more about Australia's wartime history, this podcast is for you. 

More Episodes

This podcast is part of a powerful two-part series that explores the history of LGBTIQ+ military service in Australia, produced by award-winning podcast maker, Megan Spencer.

It begins in 1982 with the unsuccessful attempt of five gay ex-servicemen to lay a wreath at the Shrine of Remembrance on Anzac Day, to honour their “fallen gay and lesbian brothers and sisters”. Forty years later, on ANZAC Day 2022, the story comes full circle with the annual Rainbow Wreath-laying service by DEFGLIS uniformed members and allies, in the Shrine’s hallowed Sanctuary.

In between these two landmark moments, the story of LGBTIQ+ service unfolds through the voices and lived experience of current and former ADF service members, pre- and post- the 1992 ban on “homosexual service” in Australia’s military.

The Power of the Wreath podcast accompanies the Shrine’s new exhibition, Defending with Pride: Stories of LGBTQ+ service, on from August 1st 2022 - August 2023.

Content warning:

Parental guidance recommended: this audio program contains adult themes, mild coarse language and sexual references. It also contains references to suicide. If you need support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. A comprehensive list of support services is also included below.


The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Shrine of Remembrance.



Squadron Leader Nathan White

Professor Noah Riseman

Stuart Martin (former Flight Lieutenant)

Max Campbell (former Warrant Officer, dec.)

Flight Lieutenant Lachlan Saunders

Phil Neil (former Leading Aircraftman)

Group Captain Mick Janson

Grateful thanks to each speaker for generously sharing their insights, research and/or lived experience for this podcast.

Interviewer/Producer/Sound: Megan Spencer

Feature image: 

DEFGLIS members and supporters: From left: GPCAPT Mick Jansen, FLTLT Danie Bunting, FLGOFF(AAFC) Dan Morris, FLTLT Brad Milsteed, FLTLT Lachlan Saunders, Stuart Martin, Bron Richardson, LTCOL Kristy Hudson, Sameer Mane

Archival audio:

Max Campbell: oral history interview with Noah Riseman. Recorded 13 March 2015. Donated to the Australian Queer Archives used with kind permission.

Additional audio:

Excerpts of The Dawn Service at the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, ANZAC Day, 25th April 2022, recorded by the Shrine of Remembrance.


Didgeridoo: Bunurong man Eric Edwards. Live recording from the Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Service 31st May, 2022, recorded by the Shrine of Remembrance. Used with kind permission.

Original “Kissed” music: Philip Brophy

Selected tracks from The Diggers’ Requiem: arranged, curated and conducted by Christopher Latham (musical artist in residence at the Australian War Memorial) with soloists. Used with kind permission.

  • ’62,000 Bells For 62,000 Australian Dead’, recorded at the ANU School of Music by Veronica Bailey, Thomas Laue and Chris Latham (in Movement 12: ‘Lux Aeterna – In Paradisum’).
  • ‘Dead March from Saul’, for accordion, choir, soloists & orchestra. Composer: GF Handel (in Movement 1: ‘Requiem Aeternum / Rest Eternal’).
  • ‘Lament For The Pipers Who Fell In The Great War’. Composer: Pipe Major John Grant  (in Movement 12: ‘Lux Aeterna – In Paradisum’).

The Diggers’ Requiem was co-commissioned by Australian War Memorial and the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The concert performed in Amiens, France, on April 23, 2018, by Orchestre de Picardie and the Jena Philharmonic and with Australian soloists, conducted by Chris Latham. Listen here

Audio mastering:

Kris Keogh

Special thanks:

Professor Noah Riseman; Nick Henderson, Ange Bailey and Graham Willett from the Australian Queer Archives.

Bunurong man Eric Edwards for sharing his didgeridoo music in this program. Read more about his grandfather Uncle Henry “Harry” Thorpe (Brabuwooloong), who fought in WWI and was awarded a Military Medal.

Chris Latham and The Flowers of Peace project, and the musicians from The Diggers’ Requiem.

Thank you:

Department of Defence and Defence Media; Nathan White, Rachael Cosgrove and DEFGLIS; the Shrine team: Sue Burgess, Laura Thomas and Kate Spinks, curator of Defending with Pride.

See the Defending with Pride: Stories of LGBTQ+ service exhibition now at the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, until August 2023.

Wreath-laying at the Shrine:

We welcome all members of our community to lay wreaths or other floral offerings at any of the many memorials at the Shrine. The Shrine hosts more than 150 official commemorative services each year to remember the service of Australian men and women, particularly Victorians, and we welcome our community to attend and participate. To find out more about remembrance services, or to apply to hold your own, visit this link. 


If this podcast raises any issues for you, support is available from the following services:

  • QLife Australia’s first nationally-oriented counselling and referral service for LGBTI people. Phone: 1800 184 527
  • Defence Gay and Lesbian Information ServiceDefence Gay and Lesbian Information Service provides policy and community information to gay, lesbian and bisexual, transgender, intersex and non-binary serving and ex-serving members of Defence and their families.
  • Discharged LGBTI Veterans' Association (DVLA) A support and advocacy association for Australian Defence Force personnel, their family and their friends who were adversely impacted by Defence's historic anti-LGBTI policies. Phone 0400 124 213.
  • Thorne Harbour HealthProvides professional, affordable counselling for members of LGBTIQ+ communities and individuals or couples who are affected by or at risk of HIV.
  • Open Arms Free and confidential, 24/7 national counselling service for Australian veterans and their families, provided through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). Phone: 1800 011 046 
  • Lifeline Suicide and crisis support. Phone: 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue Free, immediate, short-term counselling advice and referral. Phone: 1300 224 636 
  • Suicide Call Back Service 24-hour counselling service for suicide prevention and mental health. Phone: 1300 659 467 



Victorian Pride Centre 

Episode duration: