With the centenary of Gallipoli approaching in 2015, the ABC is planning a number of projects to mark that and other milestone events in the Great War.
The aim is to use the ABC’s rich archives, its cross-platforms skills and its deep connections with other Australian institutions to provide the most comprehensive live coverage of the ANZAC Cove commemorations, plus an unparalleled range of World War One centenary programming.
ANZAC Day 2014 will mark the start of this ambitious exercise. Programming will run through to the centenary of Armistice Day on November 11 2018, with the centrepiece being the official dawn service from Gallipoli in April 2015. Accompanying the extensive live coverage will be a comprehensive cross-platform offering of dramas, documentaries and personal stories. The programming will reflect Australian culture and history, inviting broad and inclusive discussion of Australia’s role in World War One and other conflicts. It will provide an opportunity to honour those men and women who served in conflict and, in many cases, made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The ABC’s Managing Director Mark Scott said: “The ABC is delighted to be working in partnership with key Australian institutions like the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Australian War Memorial, the Australian Defence Force Academy, the Museum of Victoria, the University of NSW, the independent production sector and international broadcasters, such as BBC, TVNZ and Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, to help deliver these initiatives.”
“The Centenary of the Great War provides Australia with a precious moment to commemorate this significant period in modern history – a war that changed the world and helped to forge Australia as a nation.”
Programming highlights over the coming year include:
ANZAC Day (2014 & 2015)
ABC TV will cover the Gallipoli dawn service and Lone Pine memorial service live from Turkey, the Villers-Bretonneux dawn service live from France, offer extensive live coverage of local services and complementary documentary programming.
ABC Local Radio will deliver live coverage from Turkey as well as broadcasts of dawn services and marches in Australian cities. There will be an ANZAC Day pop up digital radio station – also streamed online – featuring live broadcasts from the Gallipoli dawn service and Lone Pine memorial service and other local dawn services and marches.
Based on letters and diaries of five real Australian and New Zealand nurses, and Peter Rees’ The Other Anzacs, ANZAC Girls on ABC1 delivers a dramatised portrayal of a lesser-known story of Australians at war. In January 1915, five young nurses from Australia and New Zealand were among the war-bound contingent diverted to the Middle East in preparation for a secret campaign. This compelling, six part drama series follows the nurses through their experiences on the war fields of Gallipoli and the Western Front in Europe.
War and Peace (28 – 29 June 2014)
As the centenary of the start of World War One approaches, ABC Radio National will present a weekend of story-telling and analysis on the war and its far-reaching consequences. War and Peace will provide a critical context for understanding the causes of the war, the nature of the war itself, and its transforming impacts across fields as diverse as literature, technology, the redrawing of the map of the Middle East and popular music.
The War That Changed Us
This is a dramatic, four-part ABC1 documentary series examining Australia’s role in World War One. It follows the life-changing stories of six distinctly different Australians in a time of war – a soldier, nurse, general, pro-war campaigner, anti-war activist and female politician. Their transformative journeys through conflict on the war and the home front are brought to life through a moving blend of personal testimony, drama, expert analysts, location filming and archive.
The Albany Convoy Commemorative Event (1 November 2014)
This will mark the 100th anniversary of the departure of the first convoy of ships carrying the Australian Imperial Force and New Zealand Expeditionary Force to the front. Working with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the ABC will offer unparalleled live event and news coverage of this significant commemoration across TV, radio and online.