Radio news

Vision Australia Radio commemorates Anzac Day 2019

23 April 2019

As Australia and New Zealand stop to reflect on April 25, Vision Australia Radio will be paying tribute to veterans past and present with a series of special programs to commemorate Anzac Day for 2019 across our three major stations in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

This will include specials from regular shows such as Seeing Without Eyes and Cover to Cover, as well as one off content including samples from our collection of audio books, some interviews, wartime music and poetry, and much more.

Interview with Patrick Connolly on Vision Extra

Vision Extra host Peter Greco will be interviewing Patrick Connolly on Vision Extra. Patrick served in the Navy, was originally from South Australia, moved to Sydney many years ago, and since losing his sight has received services from Vision Australia, and he reports that he was very pleased and appreciative of these services. He will chat about his time serving, life since and now with Peter on Vision Extra, tomorrow on Vision Australia Radio Adelaide at 7pm Adelaide time.

Special on the ferry pilots

Robert Hargreaves from 2RPH will be presenting an Anzac Special to be broadcast on VAR Melbourne at 5pm on Anzac Day. The principal story concerns the ferry pilots who flew damaged and repaired aircraft to and from maintenance bases in England, and while the service had over 1,500 male pilots and 176 female pilots, the women received most of the English media coverage.

The pilots were people with physical limitations that would exclude them from front line service. Pilot applicants with arm and leg movements, eyesight below the standard required front line fighters and bombers were accepted into ‘ferrying’ units and flew many, many different types of aircraft.

In the early days of the service the planes being ferried were unarmed, but after encounters with German fighters, their guns were loaded and those in the larger aircraft manned.

Samples from our audio books

This Anzac Day we will feature samples from our wonderful collection of audio books.

Our women at war

The following four audio book samples feature stories of our women at war:

  • Nancy Wake: a biography of our greatest war heroine by Peter Fitzsimons
  • Girls with Grit: memories of the Australian Women's Land Army by Jean Scott
  • Women and the Great War by Bruce Scates and Raelene Frances
  • Heroic Australian Women in War: astonishing tales of bravery from Gallipoli to Kokoda by Susanna de Vries

We also feature a letter written by an ANZAC nurse from Gallipoli and published in an Australian newspaper, read by one of our Vision Australia Radio volunteers.

Our men at war

Our men at war also feature in another series of four audio book samples including:

  • Cruiser: the life and loss of HMAS Perth and her crew by Mike Carlton
  • Turn Around and Run Like Hell by Joseph Cummins
  • Catalina Dreaming by Andrew McMillian
  • Bill the Bastard by Roland Perry

We have a letter, again published in an Australian newspaper, from an Australian soldier in the trenches, read by one of our VAR volunteers.

Music and poetry from the archive

In addition to Vision Australia Perth presenter Gemma Sidney’s interview with poet Dave Gallagher, and an Anzac episode of Cover To Cover, Vision Australia Adelaide will also air a special archive program featuring one of our former volunteers, Ian Fletcher.

Ian passed away 2 years ago and was a well-known voice on Adelaide radio stations 5EBI, 5AA and ourselves in the 5RPH days. His wife Dorothy is still a volunteer with us and brought in a recording of Ian presenting a special Anzac Day program of music and poetry from 1995.

The original audio came from an AM recording to cassette and was of limited quality, however it has been carefully restored by Vision Australia programming director Alan Curry, who contends that the end result lends itself to a warm sense of nostalgia. There will also be a short introduction to the program presented by Dorothy.

Seeing without Eyes

Our Anzac week episode of Seeing Without Eyes features host Kenneth Phua talking to veteran Mark Blowers, airing this Friday on Vision Australia Radio Perth.

Mark served in the 10th Light Horse Army Reserve from 1990 to 1993 as a Recon Trooper, and was injured during training at the end of his military career. In 2012 Mark suffered a spinal injury that prevented him from participating in sports and other activities.

Thanks to the Invictus Games in Australia last year, Mark learnt a lot of adaptive sports which he says is helping with both his physical and mental health, plus enables him to help others in the community.

You can hear all of these programs and more this week on Vision Australia Radio, as we pause to reflect all throughout the week with special programs paying tribute to the Anzacs, and the themes of war and remembrance.