OTHER PROJECTS INCLUDE
The Thai Burma Railway Expedition 2005 under the Patronage of His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery AC, CVO, MC Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia. This project was part of the official commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the end of WW11 (15th August 1945).
The aim of the project was for an Australian team to walk from Changi Prison Chapel, Singapore retracing the route of the Death Railway through Thailand to the Burma/Myanmar border. To commemorate and in remembrance of those POW’s who were taken as forced labour to work on the construction of the Thai / Burma Death Railway in 1942 – 1943.
The project required adherence to strict protocols in dealing with the offices of the Governor General, the Premier’s Department, the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA), Australian Defence Forces, Embassies, Sponsors, Ex POW and other official bodies.
(1) The official launch by the Premier of Queensland, the Hon. Peter Beattie MP Premier and Minister for Trade. Afternoon tea at Parliament House Brisbane, 14th July 2005 attended by sponsors, Ex POW’s and print and electronic media representatives.
(2) Official farewell by Maj-Gen Michael Hindmarsh, AM, CSC (SOCAUST) at Changi Memorial Chapel, Royal Military College Duntroon, ACT on the 3rd August, 2005.
Attended by The Ambassador for Thailand,High Commissioner for Malaysia, High Commissioner for the Republic of Singapore, Rear Admiral Simon Harrington, AM, RAN (Rtd) Repatriation Commissioner, Mr Jon Court, Manager Corporate and Government Affairs Telstra, Mr Fredrick Hodel, Federal President National Ex Prisoners of War Association, Maj-Gen William Crewes AO, RSL National President.
Lt Colonel James Mc Mahon DSM, Commanding Officer, Special Air Service Regiment (SAS), Brigadier Chris Appleton, Commandant Royal Military College of Australia Duntroon. (All channels) television news, all local radio and press in attendance.
(3) Dawn service at Kranji War Graves Singapore (15th August) with His Excellency Michael Kupa, Australian High Commissioner in Singapore and Ex POW’s in attendance.
(4) Changi Prison (15th August) as above.
(5) Kanchanaburi Commonwealth War Graves Memorial Service with Ex POW’s. 25th August 2005.
(6) Hellfire Pass Memorial Remembrance Service 26th August 2005 coordinated with the Department of Veteran Affairs.
(7) Official Welcome Home Ceremony hosted by His Excellency Maj- General Michael Jeffery AC, CVO, MC Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia at Government House, Canberra.(6th September)
Among those in attendance were: The Hon De Anne Kelly MP, Minister for Veteran Affairs and Acting Minister for Defence • Ambassador for Thailand,• Ambassador for Burma/Myanmar • High Commissioner for Malaysia • High Commissioner for the Republic of Singapore • Rear Admiral Simon Harrington, AM, RAN (Rtd) Repatriation Commissioner • Mr Jon Court, Manager Corporate and Government Affairs Telstra • Mr Fredrick Hodel, Federal President National Ex Prisoners of War Association • Maj-Gen William Crewes AO, RSL National President • Lt Colonel James Mc Mahon DSM, Commanding Officer, Special Air Service Regiment • Brigadier Chris Appleton, Commandant Royal Military College of Australia Duntroon • sponsors • members of the walking team and their families.
This involved research, collating list of media contacts, writing of media releases and speech writing, planning and scheduling of media coverage and communication with:
(a) Australian and international television news media.
(b) Australian and international print media.
(c) Scheduling of Radio and television interviews with team members.
(d) Oversaw the design and construction of a state of the art website www.ourheroes.com.au created to facilitate live interaction between the wider international communities, including schools, tertiary institutions and the expedition team.
(e) Responsible for the negotiation of joint media coverage between Strut Media / Network Ten News / Courier Mail / Telstra and the expedition team.
This involved writing of proposals, presentation, negotiation and follow up.
Department of Veteran Affairs