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Re-living ANZAC tales

Think Local

Maggie Lattin has a proud history, with a family tree littered with war veterans. But it isn't the relative that was shot down by the Red Baron who inspired her latest project, nor was it her Vietnam-serving father. "I just saw the [ANZAC Centenary Grants] were on offer and I really wanted to come up with a photographic project that honoured the ANZACs, and I love doing portraits and the ANZACs  and I love doing portraits and I love putting unusual people together," Ms Lattin tells Peninsula Living.

Alongside reputable producer Julie Kimberley and cinematographer Alyssa Orvis Ms Lattin will film and photograph children and the elderly as they talk together about objects brought back from World War One.

The combination of portraits and one minute video clips (played on a loop) will be on display at RSL Liiecare (War Vets) in Collaroy to coincide with Remembrance Day, with the opening to be held on Wednesday, November 4.

And judging by some of the World War One objects they have already received from the public, it is sure to be a fascinating exhibition full of memories.

“We‘ve got some pebbles from the beach at Gallipolli, we've got a bugle and a bullet that came back in a man and he lived with the bullet in him and when he died they cremated him and made a necklace. We've even got a bit of a German plane which was shot down, so there's some cool stuff that people have kept for 100 years," she reveals.

Ms Lattin, who is an award-winning photographer, says this project will immortalise the stories of our veterans.

"A lady today came along with a thimble, an old matchbox and dog tags as well. It's so important for her to tell her father’s story because she feels that when she dies no one will remember him," she says.

"Then there's our neighbour who's totally unsentimental has thrown everything out that belonged to her forebears, medals, photos, everything. And you think 'Wow in a few years when she dies no one will even know he existed that will be the end of him'.

"So I guess just things like that, just getting those little stories out that if we didn't record them might not be known anymore."

Ms Lattin says the conversation between the 'innocent' children and the elderly is compelling viewing.

"At first it's a bit of an awkward dynamic introducing a young kid to an older person they've never met before, but then it's really interesting because the kid has this weird object they don't know much about and the questions simply stem from there.

"You have to get people that are good conversationalists and tell a good story and that kids are a bit out there and curious. Once you witness that, they go off on all these wonderful little tangents."

Ms Lattin and the team are still looking for at least ten more seniors to join the project, with 12 already pencilled in for interviews at the time of writing. They are also looking for anyone with World War One memorabilia to get in touch with either herself on 0410 207 426 or Ms Kimberley on 0450 926 921.


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