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Defending with Pride Voices: Bridget

Shrine of Remembrance

Release Date: 08/28/2022

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 

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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. 

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Toys, Tales, Tenacity: Bep-Rie Gomperts show art Toys, Tales, Tenacity: Bep-Rie Gomperts

Shrine of Remembrance

Bep-Rie Gomperts was two years old when the war started in the Netherlands. It soon became clear that she and her family needed to go into hiding for their safety.  Bep spent the next several years moving from family to family and was seperated from her mother just shy of her sixth birthday.  Listen as Bep recalls her childhood with several different families and what life was like amid the uncertainty.   Music: If I Were You, Alsever Lake

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Toys, Tales, Tenacity: Silke Hesse show art Toys, Tales, Tenacity: Silke Hesse

Shrine of Remembrance

Silke Hesse was among more than 12,000 people who, at the peak of Second World War, were held in internment camps across Australia. She was almost six years old when she first stepped foot in Tatura internment camp.  Listen as she shares her story experiences of internment. Music: If I Were You, Alsever Lake

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Shrine Stories: The Poster show art Shrine Stories: The Poster

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 a poster on display in the Vietnam War section of our Galleries. The poster was originally made and distributed in the United States as a protest piece. However, the one hanging at the Shrine has been re-designed and adopts a whole different meaning despite its similarities to the original. Join the Shrine's Collections coordinator Toby Miller as he unpacks this story.  Music: Across the Line - Lone Canyon

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Toys, Tales, Tenacity: Garry Fabian show art Toys, Tales, Tenacity: Garry Fabian

Shrine of Remembrance

Garry Fabian was just eight years old when he and his parents were interned at Theresienstadt - a ghetto, concentration camp and transit camp used by Nazi Germany to house Jews from across Eastern Europe.  Of the 15,000 children who went through the camp, only 150 survived.  Listen as Garry shares his story and reflections on his childhood.   Music: If I Were You, Alsever Lake

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Shrine Stories: The Chocolate Box show art Shrine Stories: The Chocolate Box

Shrine of Remembrance

The Shrine Stories podcast takes you on a deep dive behind the objects on our gallery floor. In this episode, we get festive by exploring two Christmas tins that were sent to soldiers in the Boer War and the First World War.  Join Exhibitions and Grants Coordinator at the Shrine Katrina Nicolson as she uncovers the contents of these boxes and how they were sent to the troops.  Music: Across the Line - Lone Canyon

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Shrine Conversations: Vern Roberts on the surrender at Morotai show art Shrine Conversations: Vern Roberts on the surrender at Morotai

Shrine of Remembrance

Leading Aircraftman Vern Roberts was a fitter with No. 24 Squadron RAAF and was posted to Morotai during the Second World War.  On the 9th of September, 1945, Vern witnessed the Australian commander-in-chief Field Marshal Thomas Blamey accept the formal surrender of the 2nd Japanese Army.  Now 99, Vern has an impeccable memory and shares with Shrine curator Neil Sharkey his memories of service and life at Morotai. Music: Kevin Grahams, Together

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Shrine Stories: The Dyson show art Shrine Stories: The Dyson

Shrine of Remembrance

The Shrine Stories podcast takes you on a deep dive behind the objects in the Shrine's Galleries. In this episode, award-winning historian, storyteller and biographer Ross McMullin shares the story of Australia’s first official war artist, William Henry Dyson. Will Dyson created hundreds of drawings of Australia’s soldiers at the Western Front, and managed to capture something no other artist could. Ross references several of Dyson's paintings and lithographs, This episode also discusses the below artwork, Welcome back to the Somme, in detail. 

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Shrine Stories: The Snake show art Shrine Stories: The Snake

Shrine of Remembrance

The Shrine Stories podcast takes you on a deep dive behind the objects on our gallery floor. In this episode, we look at the craft of beaded snakes. These intricate objects were among the keepsakes made by Ottoman prisoners of war during, and directly after the First World War.   Listen as Shrine Exhibitions and Collections Officer at the Shrine Tessa Occhino reveals how these snakes were made, and why.  Music: Across the Line - Lone Canyon

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Bridget Clinch is a change maker. A former captain in the Australian Army, in 2010 she challenged the Australian Defence Force over its ban on transgender service - and won.

It was a hard-fought battle that paved the way for other transgender ADF service members to be able transition and to continue serving after her. High profile former Lieutenant Colonel and Group Captain Cate McGregor, was one of them.

Born in Sydney in 1979, Bridget Clinch’s military story began in Victoria as an Army cadet in the mid-90s, at the boys’ secondary college, Melbourne High School. She joined the Army in 1999, and went into officer training at Royal Military College Duntroon.

Bridget spent 15 years serving in the Australian Army and had a busy infantry career - in her words, she “crammed a lot in”, especially in her 20s. A combat leader, she deployed to East Timor twice on peacekeeping missions, first in 2003 then in 2008, receiving medals for her service. Amongst it all she commanded platoons, abseiled down mountains, did commando training – and that’s just for starters.

Bridget has a remarkable story to tell – not only about being the person who made the ADF repeal its ban on transgender service in 2010, but also about service life itself and what it means to look after and defend your country. “I wanted to transition, be true to myself and keep serving”, she said in a 2017 Guardian article.

The protracted process with the ADF took “a huge personal toll” on Bridget. In 2013, she made the difficult decision to discharge from the ADF. Bridget lost her career and the Army lost a dedicated career soldier.

Now based in Brisbane, Bridget Clinch describes herself as a “parent, veteran, nerd, writer, speaker and occasional political candidate”. She’s a passionate speaker with a genuine sense of social justice, a super-informed worldview and a progressive thinker. This is her story.

Defending with Pride: Voices is a podcast produced for the Shrine of Remembrance to accompany the exhibition Defending with Pride: Stories of LGBTQ+ service.

Content warning:

Parental guidance is recommended: this audio program contains adult themes and concepts.

Support:

If this program raises any issues for you, feel free to call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Qlife on 1800 184 527. Or scroll down for additional support services.

Disclaimer:

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

Speaker:

Bridget Clinch (former captain, Australian Army)

Huge thanks to Bridget Clinch for generously sharing her wisdom, candour, insights and lived experience for this project, and for her patience during the COVID period.

Interviewer/Producer/Sound:

Megan Spencer 

Image 

Walkom Photography

Additional sound:

“Timor-Leste audio” recorded by Teodosia “Dhesy” dos Reis, journalist and Trainer Radio Liberdade Dili. Used with kind permission.

“ADF in East Timor”, Department of Defence. Used with kind permission.

“Vice Regal Guard of Honour”, Shrine of Remembrance

Music

Original “Kissed” music: Philip Brophy

’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’). From The Diggers’ Requiem, co-commissioned by Australian War Memorial and the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The concert was 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, Wendy Love, Kon Velanis and Sean Gallagher at Defence Digital Media and Chris Latham.

Thank you:

Emma Masters, Sean Burton and the Shrine team: Tessa Occhino, Laura Thomas, Sue Burgess and Kate Spinks, curator of Defending with Pride exhibition.

Support:

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 Service  Defence 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

Watch:

Women’s Air Force History documentary series by Jessica Ferrari

Read:

Serving in Silence: Australian LBGT Servicemen and women by Noah Riseman, Shirlene Robnson & Graham Willett published by New South.

Pride in Defence: The Australian Military and LGBTI Service since 1945 (2020), Melbourne University Press 

Visit:

Defending with Pride: Stories of LGBTQ+ service exhibition at the Shrine of Remembrance, open from August 2022 until August 2023.

Episode duration:

57:53