Geelong Voices

Stories of World War 1, World War 2 and the Vietnam War as told by Geelong residents.

During World War 1 and World War 2 Geelong residents - whether joining the Armed Forces as soldiers, nurses, pilots, or helping out at home on projects such as the Australian Women’s Land Army - were swept up in the action. Motivated by youthful enthusiasm, the desire for adventure, and intense feelings of patriotism, they joined in hordes. For many, however, the war was not what they expected.

These edited interviews focusing on war and war related experience are part of the Geelong Voices Oral History Project. You are free to download and listen to them on a portable device.

The Geelong Voices Oral History Project was established in 2001. The project collected recordings of diverse programs broadcast by a range of groups - including multicultural groups, women’s groups, trade unions, Aboriginal groups, youth groups and Senior Citizen’s groups - on 3YYR, Geelong Community Radio from 1988 to 2000.

Keeping in Touch and Koori Hour were two such programs. Keeping In Touch was a nostalgic program hosted by Gwlad McLachlan. Gwlad conducted interviews delving into historical aspects of Geelong and Geelong West, including world scale events such as WW1 and WW2, that shaped both the city and its people.

Koori Hour was a Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative Radio Program hosted by a range of people including Richard Fry and Gwenda Black, and consisted of talk about community activities, messages to friends and family, music and discussions about current events. One such event was the launch of “Forgotten Heroes” a book about the overlooked contribution of Aboriginal people to the Australian Armed Forces.

Over 200 of these interviews were recorded off the radio by Gwlad’s neighbour and her husband, Colin. Many of these recordings have been preserved and are available to listen to in digital format at the State Library of Victoria and the Geelong Heritage Centre.

For more digital stories about Victoria’s wartime history see Victorian Veterans Virtual Museum and In Our Words: Veterans' Digital Stories.