New podcast shares the experiences of modern veterans

5 mins read

Up Close: Conversations with modern veterans is a new podcast series – available today – that explores the lives and experiences of Australia’s modern veterans.

The Australian War Memorial and LiSTNR have worked in partnership to develop the six-episode series which explores the lives of our modern veterans as they answer the question: What does it mean to be a veteran?

From enlisting in the Australian Defence Force, to the personal challenges involved in training, conflict and life after the uniform, Up Close takes listeners through the experiences of four veterans: Fred Campbell OAM, former Royal Australian Navy Warrant Officer; Aunty Lorraine Hatton OAM, Quandamooka Elder of the Noonuccal and Ngughi tribes in South-East Queensland and Indigenous Elder for the Australian Army; David Nicolson, former Australian Army Trooper; and Dr Kim Morgan-Short, a former Royal Australian Air Force Reservist who has twice been widowed.

Hosted by Walkley Award-winning journalist Adam Shand, Up Close: Conversations with modern veterans is the fourth podcast series to be released by the Australian War Memorial.  

Australian War Memorial Director Matt Anderson said, “Up Close is, as the name suggests, a way for Australians to understand what it means to join and work in the military. They are our veterans’ stories, in their words, up close and personal. The podcast allows us to gain a strong appreciation of the very human aspect of our Australian Defence Force. Listeners will hear, through raw conversations, the real stories, challenges and rewards of military life.

“It has never  been more important for Australians to have a variety of ways to connect with our military history, in addition to visiting the Memorial in person. Podcasts enable us to reach and engage with people all over Australia and the world,” Mr Anderson said.

Host Adam Shand said that when producing Up Close he was “deeply interested in hearing the motivations and experiences of these veterans in their own words, as well as to understand the impacts of modern warfare on them and their families.

“It was a privilege to speak with four people who, at one point in their lives, all made a very conscious decision to put themselves in harm’s way to serve their country,” Mr Shand said.

“Each one is an everyday Australian who joined the military for individual reasons and each of them has gone on to do extraordinary things.”

Up Close: Conversations with modern veterans was produced with support from Lockheed Martin Australia. Lockheed Martin Australia continue to show their commitment to honouring Australian service personnel through their support of this podcast.

Up Close premieres today, Monday 31 January 2022 on LiSTNR’s website:

Episodes will be released weekly on the Memorial website and through all major podcast platforms.

The trailer for episode 1 is available to view on the Memorial’s Youtube channel:

CONTACT:  Media team on 02 6243 4575, 0409 600 038 or



Notes to Editor

Podcast interviewees:

  • Fred Campbell OAM (Male, Royal Australian Navy, Warrant Officer, NSW)

A strong veteran advocate, Fred and his wife followed long careers as non-commissioned officers (NCOs) with the Royal Australian Navy. Fred led crews in aircraft maintenance and had multiple postings as ship’s warrant officer. He speaks frankly about mental health issues occasioned by the suicide attack on USS Firebolt in April 2004.

  • Aunty Lorraine Hatton OAM (Female, Army, Warrant Officer, QLD)

A 21-year veteran of the Australian Army, Aunty Lorraine is the first Indigenous woman to be promoted to Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2). Following deployments to Irian Jaya for humanitarian and famine relief and the Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai, she left the service in 2007. Aunty Lorraine is the second Indigenous Elder for the Australian Army and serves on the Memorial’s Indigenous Advisory Group. She has appeared in the Australian War Memorial’s For Country, For Nation exhibition.  

  • David Nicolson (Male, Royal Australian Navy and Army, Trooper-Cavalry, ACT)

Mr Nicolson was included in the Australian War Memorial’s Ink In The Lines exhibition. He initially joined the Royal Australian Navy before moving to the Australian Army. While serving in Afghanistan as a Bushmaster driver, he was blown up by IEDs four times. He works in disaster recovery operations alongside other veterans.

  • Dr Kim Morgan-Short (Female, Royal Australian Air Force Reserve, Officer-Doctor, QLD)

Dr Morgan-Short’s late husband Squadron Leader Anthony Short was killed in an F-111 crash in 1999, after which she battled an air crash official inquiry that sought to blame pilot error for the crash. Her second husband, also a pilot, lost his battle with a terminal illness. Kim’s children have gone on to become pilots. After leaving the RAAF Reserve, she became a Director at the War Widows Guild, Queensland.


Podcast host:

  • Adam Shand

A journalist with 40 years’ experience across newspaper, television and podcasts, Adam has covered high finance and gangland wars in a varied career that took him to Africa as a freelance correspondent for historic events in South Africa, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. More recently, Adam has investigated criminal organisations and law enforcement for national media, winning a Walkley Award for his reporting on police corruption in Victoria in 2007. Over the past decade he has focused on radio and investigative podcasting.


  • Episode One: Choosing a life in uniform
    What draws someone to a life in the Defence Force? The answer to this question is as varied as the people that enlist.
  • Episode Two: Finding a new family as training begins
    Investigates the training stage of veteran’s careers. 
  • Episode Three: Australia goes to war
    The nature of the job changes as Australia goes to war, and veterans put their training into action.
  • Episode Four: Support in a time of need
    Having felt the physical and psychological impacts of a life in uniform, the veterans discuss the support they received during their deployments and when they came home.
  • Episode Five: Returning home – life after service
    After experiences that were far from normal, the veterans discuss their return to a life that was supposed to be. 
  • Episode Six: Always a veteran
    Reflecting on what it meant to serve, each of the veterans speak honestly about their time in uniform and how it impacts them today.

Media Contact

Contact Name

Media team

Contact Email

Contact Phone Number

02 6243 4575

Contact Mobile Number

0409 600 038

Last updated: