We will remember ... in portrait

In the frame: Murray Bridge RSL president Keith Wood meets photographer Deanna Dunbar, who is searching for the Murraylands and Mallee's surviving World War II veterans on behalf of the Australian War Memorial.
In the frame: Murray Bridge RSL president Keith Wood meets photographer Deanna Dunbar, who is searching for the Murraylands and Mallee's surviving World War II veterans on behalf of the Australian War Memorial.

Portraits of every surviving World War II veteran in Australia and New Zealand will be assembled for a book commemorating the 70th anniversary of the war's end this year.

An estimated 14,000 such veterans remain alive - the only trouble will be locating them.

Enter Tintinara photographer Deanna Dunbar, who volunteered to travel across the Murraylands, Mallee and South East to find them.

She said it would be one of the most ambitious photography projects ever undertaken in Australia.

"The AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) wanted to honour veterans, whether from Australia or elsewhere, as living tributes to a time of heroism and nationalistic pride, by capturing and publishing their portraits in print," she said.

"Letters and printed photographs meant absolutely everything to them back then, telling the story of their lives in their youth.

"It's only fitting to contrast this with their senior years in the same way."

Eighteen AIPP-accredited photographers will cover the length and breadth of South Australia, searching for veterans in nursing homes and the wider community.

Their assembled photographs will be printed in a book, "Reflections: Honouring Our World War II Veterans", to honour the promise from the Ode of Remembrance: "we will remember them".

Involved veterans will receive a free copy of their portrait, as will the Australian War Memorial, and profits from the resale of photographs will be donated to Legacy and the RSL Foundation.

- Details: To register yourself, a friend or a family member who served during World War II - whether living locally or interstate - visit www.aippveterans.com/veterans.

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