Our migrant series, Faces of Frankston (working title) will be broadcast on Channel 31, Melbourne in September this year. We are not sure of the broadcast times just yet, but are hoping for an evening spot. The 5 x 30 minute episodes focus on the diverse life stories of prominent migrants in the Frankston region. We will update the show times when as we get closer. Each show will be edited to 25 minutes plus ads. The episodes are currently 0ne-hour long. The extended versions will be available at the the show’s website.
After a successful teaching career, Grace Edwards came to Australia from the Philippines with her two young children. Adjusting to life here was a challenge at first, but her community work and business skills enabled her to thrive in her adopted home. This is the third in our Faces of Frankston series.
Our 2014 film follows a group of secondary students as they prepare for Anzac Day, 2013. Along the way they travel to Gallipoli, meet with war veterans and eventually develop a real understanding about the tragedy of war. First television broadcast November 18, 2013.
In 1973, Rosalindo Cerda and his family escaped Pinochet’s brutal regime in Chile. They migrated to Australia in 1973. He has contributed enormously to his adopted country and has assisted many other migrants to make the sometimes difficult transition to life in Australia. This is the second film in our Faces of Frankston documentary interview series.
Lionel Smith is one of the few remaining Australian veterans of the Kokoda Campaign. During the Second World War, Lionel served in The Middle East, New Guinea, The Philippines and Japan. He talks here about his war experiences.
John Sullivan, Martin Tozer, Des Williams and Mark Ryan
John Sullivan, Martin Tozer and Des Wiliams
Raising a rum toast to the 17 men who drowned on the Coramba
On Sunday, September 8, divers from Southern Ocean Exploration joined relatives of the men who drowned on the TSS Coramba in December 1934 in an emotional service at the site of the Coramba shipwreck.
In December 1934, the Coramba was en-route from Warnambool to Williamstown with a cargo of condensed milk and wool, when Captain John Dowling attempted to find shelter in Westernport.
The ship was no match for the huge seas that also swamped much of the mainland between November 30 and December 2, 1934.
17 men drowned in what was one of Victoria’s worst hurricanes.
The Coramba’s sinking was a huge blow to a state already reeling from a crippling depression. Relatives received little compensation and many children grew up in poverty after losing their family breadwinner.
Shipwreck hunters and maritime archaeologists, Southern Ocean Exploration (SOE) discovered the wreck in May 2011, after eight years of searching.
Since then many relatives of the 17 men who died on the steamer have contacted the dive team.
SOE leader team leader Mark Ryan felt that his organisation should honour the memory of the victims.
“Our job is to find shipwrecks, but we’re also very much aware that these places are gravesites, where people died in the most horrendous circumstances. Our work is becoming more and more about the relatives.” he said.
John Sullivan, grandson of Able Seaman John Loring Sullivan, attended the memorial onboard SOE’s new search vessel; recently renovated World War 2 patrol boat, Airview.
“This is a very special day for me. My father was only a boy when he lost his father. It would have been terribly difficult for him growing up. Today we placed his ashes next to his father’s resting place. Hopefully my ashes will be placed here after I’m gone” Mr Sullivan said.
SOE researcher and stonemason, Peter Taylor recently made two elegant granite boxes to hold the ashes of John Sullivan and Jack Dowling, son of Coramba Captain John Dowling.
At 12.30pm, SOE divers carefully placed the boxes in the ship’s engine room.
Des Williams, author of two books about the Coramba, represented the Dowling family.
“Over the last 30 years I have come to know the Dowling family very well. Audrey, the captain’s daughter lives in Adelaide. She’s 91 and couldn’t make it today. Norma Dowling, Jack’s wife also couldn’t make it.” Mr Williams said.
Des Williams spoke about the 17 men who died, before placing a bouquet of flowers on the water.
“Today closes the book on the Coramba story” he said.