My brand represents the research I do and how it benefits the community.
Each day, I work with archival materials to trace the story of a veteran.
The stories that emerge are unique, but initially service records can appear the same, parchment colour yellowed by time. It’s amazing that many of these documents have made their way back from the frontline more than 100 years ago to the Base Records Office in Melbourne, then into safe storage in Canberra.
The meticulous level of detail shown by clerical staff and men in the field yields the secrets of the past. Deciphering their handwriting and abbreviations can be quite a task but it’s always worth the effort.
Each time I open a folder at the National Archives of Australia, I subconsciously take a deep breath and wonder about the secrets that might unfold. I’m careful to handle the papers gently, to keep them in the original order, and hand them back just as they arrived.
The ink on these records is muted; red is the most enduring tone and it stands out among the faded black ink and pencil. In my experience, red ink was reserved by record keepers for the most salient of information – a death, an important addendum or a correction – and it was used on Red Cross Wounded & Missing files.
Lastly, I chose a deeper tone of red to represent what Australia’s founding father, Henry Parkes, termed the ‘crimson thread of kinship’, the shared bloodlines within the colonies.
It’s remarkable that in 1914 Australia organised a mass mobilisation to take part in the First World War (and earlier with the Boer War) and its people were catapulted to the other side of the world. Yet they managed to keep in touch with loved ones and in many cases find their way home to family and friends. As the old saying goes, blood is thicker than water.
I’ve chosen three ‘medals’ to represent the arms of the Australian Defence Force – the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force.
Military awards and decorations have been awarded since ancient times and the Australian military follows the imperial tradition, using campaign and service medals to recognise service, gallantry and bravery.
The ‘medals’ in my brand are rendered generic to encompass the broad roles that Australians have fulfilled in multiple conflicts, both in the battle zone and on the home front.
Whether your military ancestor was an Anzac at Gallipoli, a nurse in New Guinea, or a pay clerk in Melbourne, their service is worthy of investigation and commemoration.
I can help you ‘salute’ your ancestor, to recognise and respect their contribution and to reunite you with their story.