Blog

Two Amazing Franks and HMAS Perth

When I climbed into the bus it was near full. Onboard were the most amazing survivors – crew of the first HMAS Perth. I knew these men well by now after many interviews for my book Cruel Conflict: the triumphs and tragedies of HMAS Perth 1. I had delighted in their...

From ‘Women in Uniform’ to Xena (aka Lucy Lawless) : DC to New Jersey

My 2007 trip to Washington DC was for a Women’s Research Institute two-day conference organized admirably by Captain Lory Manning (USN Rtd). It wasn’t the first or last time Lory invited me to be a keynote speaker and it was always an honour, I was there in 1999 and...

The tragedy which killed Midshipman Megan Pelly

I first met Midshipman Megan Anne Pelly (RAN) during her final year at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), Canberra in 1997. I was teaching history at the UNSW campus and doing research on women in the military. Megan offered to be interviewed for that...

The tragedy which killed Midshipman Megan Pelly

I first met Midshipman Megan Anne Pelly (RAN) during her final year at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), Canberra in 1997. I was teaching history at the UNSW campus and doing research on women in the military. Megan offered to be interviewed for that...

Too Young to Die – Finding Michael Skarrett, RAAF 460 Squadron.

Too Young to Die – Finding Michael Skarrett, RAAF 460 Squadron.

It was a journey which took me from the Sydney harbourside to a quiet and distant Dutch church ground. I stood and listened to John Skarrett. His front yard was small but what a magnificent view. A cruise ship, something which became rare in 2020, reversed carefully...

Fun and Inspiration with Helen Reddy

Fun and Inspiration with Helen Reddy

The words from ‘I am Woman’ bounced around in my head. They had inspired me to stand up and have an opinion. Yes, I am one of the older generation, and yes, I had adolescent memories of being ignored because I was a girl. This might be hard to believe by later...

Controversy surrounds combat roles for women

Controversy surrounds combat roles for women

The Government has announced women will be allowed into elite front-line military units if they pass stringent physical and psychological tests. Kathryn Spurling spoke on ABC Lateline

Culture of Silence

Culture of Silence

ABC Four Corners Interview Mon 13 Jun 2011, 8:00pm Transcript of Interview KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: A former naval recruit recalls an experience in the Defence Force that she says has marred her life forever. Welcome to Four Corners. Back in 1970 Four Corners first...