In 2015, I wrote a children’s book, Two Pennies, I had no idea that it would find its way into a documentary or that I would become the co-producer and screenwriter of my first documentary, Never Forget Australia. Then I heard about the remarkable story of a little French war orphan’s journey from the battlefields of France to the Australian outback. I was spellbound; compelled to write about it.
It took us three years, hundreds of hours of research, editing and a couple of trips to France to make this film. The first day I went into the editing suite and worked with our talented editor, Marion Gibson, I knew I had found my tribe.
Click here to watch the introduction: https://vbstories.com.au
But this is more than a documentary; these powerful, poignant little-known Australian stories are all intimate parts of the amazing bond forged between Australia and France 100 years ago.
Come with me on my journey to find out how the French orphan was smuggled to Australia in an oat sack, then in a wicker basket. How two pennies helped to rebuild a school in France and the day Australian soldiers stole a tank, the Mephisto, from under the noses of the German Army and bought it back to Brisbane.
How Australia’s indigenous soldiers came to rest at Villers-Bretonneux and eventually came to be recognised for their part in Australia’s war effort. And how General John Monash contributed to the turning of the tide in WWI.
What I loved most about making this documentary, was getting to know the community in Villers-Bretonneux and experiencing their generous warmth and hospitality. This little part of Australia, which lies in the middle of France, has a public holiday on Anzac Day. It is their way of remembering the Australian Soldiers who liberated their village 100 years ago, and why the locals say, Noublions Jamais L’Australie…Never Forget Australia.
Never Forget Australia available at: http://www.vickibennett.com/shop/