Students retrace the steps of World War I Diggers

Monash journalism students are retracing the footsteps of Australian soldiers as part of the Herald Sun’s Great War Centenary project.

Interns Robert Moseley, Louise Almeida, Elizabeth Johnson and Jason Walls are researching the Australian stories behind World War I, under the guidance of senior journalist Nick Richardson.

Robert Moseley.
Robert Moseley.

Mr Moseley said the Herald Sun internship had been an exciting experience.

‘We’re trying to pull back the myth and uncover the human stories,” Mr Moseley said.

“Old newspapers, letters, war records and photos from the Australian War Memorial are our main sources of material.”

Mr Moseley contributed to a key story, Diggers bring footy to London, published as an digital interactive special on April 22.

“The story is about a wartime football game played by Australian soldiers in Britain,” he said.

“It’s exciting when all the research and writing finally takes form and you see it published with your name attached.”

Louise Almeida.
Louise Almeida.

Ms Almeida said the Great War Centenary project was a challenging and exciting.

“My time at the Herald Sun allowed me to flourish as a journalist in a professional setting,” she said.

“The hard work paid off – I will never forget the rush that came with seeing my first published article in the paper. The experience was truly exhilarating.”

Ms Johnson said she enjoyed the “taste of real-world” journalism.

“Having a name like the Herald Sun behind me has helped to really find the story and people have been really helpful,” Ms Johnson said.

Elizabeth Johnson.
Elizabeth Johnson.

“I’ve also been given a fair amount of freedom when it comes to angle of the story and finding the right story.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how our trip to Gallipoli and the Western Front will help us with exclusive work at the Herald Sun.’

Mr Walls said the opportunity to work with the resources and know-how of a major metropolitan newspaper on a significant project was an enormous privilege.

“Nick Richardson has worked closely with us all to guide us through the process and draw on his wealth of experience,” Mr Walls said.

“The opportunity to work alongside the guy who edited the text book for one of the units you’re studying while you’re still at uni is pretty special.”

Jason Walls
Jason Walls.

The students will travel to Gallipoli and the Western Front in July to experience the historical significance of World War I.

Professor Bruce Scates, who is the director of the National Centre of Australian Studies, is overseeing the exciting Arts unit in Europe.

Prof Scates has also led several historical tours of the battlefields and commemorative sites of the Great War, including the Premier of Victoria’s Spirit of Anzac.

He is the author/co-author of five titles with Cambridge University Press, including Return to Gallipoli: Walking the Battlefields of the Great War, A New Australia, and Women and the Great War.