video (3400K)

read the review


Winner Australian Graphic Design Association 1998
Winner Australian International Multimedia Industry Award 1998

This interactive CD ROM enables users, especially young people with no direct exposure to war, to discover and investigate four major experiences of Australians at war during World War Two:

  • the Siege of Tobruk, Libya, North Africa April-December 1941;
  • the Battle of Kokoda Track and the Battle of the Beachheads, Papaua, 1942-43;
  • RAF Bomber Command and the Battle of Berlin, Europe, August 1943-March 1944;
  • the Sandakan-Ranau Death Marches, Borneo, 1945.

These stories of Australians at war are told using historic footage, interviews, photographs, paintings, objects, letters, diaries and original archival material. 

The Siege of Tobruk
The Scrapbook belongs to Mrs Edmondson, the mother of Jack Edmondson, the first Australian to win a Victoria Cross during the Second World War. Through the Scrapbook you can find out what it was like to be a 'Rat of Tobruk': you can climb into a digger's rathole, unpack his kit, read his letters, sample bully beef stew, hear the BBC news and read the Tobruk Truth. Or you can find out why the Siege of Tobruck was important , and what Jack's last words were to his mother before he sailed off to war. 

The Kokoda Track
Reporter's notebook

Travel with a wartime reporter to the war zones of Papua New Guinea to witness an extraordinary military campaign. Listen to Nurse Hilda Lumsden's experiences with the injured and dying, go on patrol with diggers, attack enemy bunkers at Buna, Gona and Sanananda, listen to stories of burying hundreds of young men along the Track. 

Bomber Command and the Battle of Berlin
Photo album
John Worley's story was typical of thousands of young Australians who flew with Bomber Command on operations over Europe. You have to place five photographs in sequence to explore each of the five themes: Don't Clip His Wings, London Leave, Ops Berlin, Failed to Return, and John and Joan.

You can see where the crew sat in the Lancaster Bomber, fly with them on a typical operation, experience the loss of mates who failed to return and visit their graves at the Berlin War Cemetery. 

The Sandakan-Ranau Death Marches

Click the clipboard to retrace the steps of the prisoners of war who were forced to go on the Sandakan Death Marches. Search for evidence of what happened and discover paybooks, dixies, false teeth, identification disks and other scant remnants of lost lives. Listen to accounts of events that took place and admire the courage of the six survivors, the bravery of native people who gave these men food and comfort and the determination of those who fought against the cruelty of war.

Voices from a War is the third title from the Commonwealth Government's Australia on CD program.

System Requirements
- Minimum requirements: Colour capable Macintosh computer, double speed CD ROM drive, hard disk, System 7.1 or above, QuickTime (supplied). Requires 2.5 MB of RAM above system requirements.
Windows - Minimum requirements: MPC2 standard computer running Windows 95, 8 MB of RAM, double speed CD ROM drive, hard disk, mouse, Soundblaster compatible sound card, 256 colours, QuickTime (Supplied).

This product is available for Macintosh CD ROM and Windows 3.1+ CD ROM
Recommended for Year 4 and up (10 years +)

RRP AU$60.00 (includes GST, postage and handling)

[back to top of page]

FAX your order to +61 2 6254 3883

Voices from a War

by Jenny Millea- ACT writer and editor

While I was growing up I watched a lot of war movies. My mum loved John Wayne so Sands of Iwo Jima Back to Bataan were part of my family's staple movie diet. Australia didn't figure much in Wayne's march across the Pacific and my knowledge of Australia's involvement in World War 2 was gleaned only by eavesdropping when my grandfather complained about his bad shoulder. His shoulder, my mother told me secretly, had been hit by a Japanese bullet in Borneo.

When I asked him about the war for a school assignment he refused to tell me anything Like many men, his response to his war experiences was to keep them to himself. It seemed that the legendary Australian reticence, that laconic endurance of hardship, that masculine reserve, would result in a blank where our Australian war experiences should have been. All that would remain would be an American, John Wayne, striding unbeatable across the Pacific.

It's a relief then to see something like Voices from a War the latest CD ROM in the 'Australia on CD' series which presents Australian war experiences in an accessible and interesting format. The
'Australia on CD' series came out of the former Labor Government's Creative Nation statement and has been strongly supported by the current government as part of their commitment to utilising new
technologies to showcase various elements of Australian culture and history. Both parties are to be commended for the commitment, and for the results.

Voices from a War is an entertaining as well as a learning experience. Not entertaining in a flippant, belly laughing sort of way, but in a way which brings a terrible global experience to a human level and makes the horror something we can feel, not something distant we can dismiss.

The CD is designed around four major areas of Australia's involvement in World War 2: the seige of Tobruk, the Battle of Berlin, the Sandakan Death Marches and the Kokoda Track. Archival video, still photos, maps, sketches, voiceovers and extracts from real letters and documents illustrate, illuminate and instruct - but more than that, the CD engages the user in the personal stories of endurance, fear and courage which underpin military campaigns. The CD is peppered with short videos of diggers' reminiscences which are both moving and powerful.

But it's not all grim. Australians are renowned for their sense of humour in adversity and even in the horrible conditions of Tobruk they didn't lose it. The rules of a cricket game include:

  • Hours of play: Play to be continuous ... play will NOT rpt NOT cease during shellfire
  • Umpires: One Umpire to be supplied by each side. Unbiased umpires preferred, but these may be changed if things are going against team concerned.
  • Remarks to umpires on receipt of adverse decisions to be confined to those words used during dive bombing attacks.

Voices from a War will be a very personal experience for many people. For participants in the war particularly it puts on public record their courage, endurance and sacrifice - without them having to say a word.

[back to top of page]

[About us] [CD ROM Products] [Web Projects] [Clients] [Services] eMail