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Preserving the stories of Australian veterans with $20,000 donation

The Lottery Office has pledged a $20,000 donation to ensure the stories of veterans are heard and preserved for generations to come.

‘This Story Australia’ is a Queensland based not-for-profit organisation that collects personal stories of war, told through documentary style interviews with veterans.

The funds will allow the collection to expand to the Northern Territory, recording the history of veterans of the Korean War, Vietnam War and the Malayan Emergency.

General Manager of This Story Rachel Dutton said the donation will go towards the preservation of important stories from our Northern Territory Veterans.

“We rely on donations to ensure we can preserve as many of our veterans’ stories as possible,” Ms Dutton said.

“We have more than 30 veterans who have contacted us since ANZAC DAY this year, expressing their desire to share their stories for the benefit of Australians.”

Ms Dutton said aside from securing funding, time is one of the greatest challenges the charity faces.

“Our WWII Vets are well into their 90’s and are on borrowed time so there’s a great sense of urgency to capture as many stories as we can before the opportunity is lost forever.”

Ms Dutton said veterans around the country have been severely impacted by the pandemic.

“Many of our Veterans live alone, stoically holding on to their family homes and their independence. Some have outlived spouses and mates, and in some cases their own children. 2020 and the Co-Vid pandemic has really highlighted their feelings of loneliness and isolation due to social restrictions, cancelled community activities and aged care facility closures to visitors. These feelings are stronger now than ever before” she said.

“With restrictions continuing to ease we are eager to get back to visiting veterans and reminding them that their country cares deeply for their sacrifices and are interested in watching and listening to their stories.”

The Lottery Office CEO Jaclyn Wood said that due to the limited funding for charities during the pandemic it was important to direct funds towards This Story so they could continue their time-critical work.

“We’re honoured to play a role in helping This Story preserve the memories of Australian Veterans,” Ms Wood said.

“Our donation will make sure that veterans living in the Northern Territory are heard and their interviews included in public archives for all Australians to see.”

This Story interviews are available on the Queensland State Library website. Stories captured in this new venture will be made public on the State Library of the Northern Territory’s website.

The Lottery Office urges anyone interested in donating to ‘This Story’ to head to This Story website.