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M.F.A., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Theater and Dance Department, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
Besides Macalester College Eldredge has taught and directed theatre in colleges and professional schools including Justin Morrill College (the Experimental Liberal Arts College at Michigan State University); Earlham College; The Drama Studio, London and Berkeley, CA. He is the author of two books, Mask Improvisation for Acting Training and Performance (Northwestern Univ. Press, 1996), and the multi-media, Captive Audiences/Captive Performers: Music and Theatre as Strategies for Survival on the Thailand-Burma Railway 1942-1945 (Digital Commons, Macalester College, 2014).
With his presentation, Eldredge will complete the “Changi by the sea: Rice and Shine” blog he has been writing for the RFHG website. It will detail the final year and a half the FEPOWs spent in Changi Gaol, and the extraordinary music and theatre they produced for the incarcerated POWs when the need was most great.
Gen-Ling Chang is the former associate director of Toronto District School Board and currently the deputy executive director with ALPHA Education. As an active education leader and volunteer, she has an unwavering focus on equity and humanity issues and education. Making a difference for young people and their families who experience bias, discrimination, and stigmatization characterizes her years of service leadership in education and not-for-profit sectors.
Gen Ling’s service leadership then, and volunteer work now, are grounded in understanding education as an important institution of democracy, at the same time, its role in contributing to peace education. Working with ALPHA Education team, in building programs on critical understanding of WW2 in Asia, often overlooked in school curriculum, has further her work on youth engagement and leadership. ALPHA Education’s bold and necessary project to establish a peace museum dedicated to remembering, education, and world peace has been profoundly meaningful experiences for Gen Ling.
In 1974 Arlene read Betty Jeffrey’s biography, White Coolies, the diary of her time as a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II in Indonesia. She was profoundly moved by the story of the Australian nurses.
She began her training at The Royal Melbourne Hospital in 1978. Following her training, she completed a Staff Year and then commenced a Coronary Care Course also at the RMH. She followed on and did her midwifery training at the Royal Women’s Hospital,
Melbourne. She returned to the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where she held the positions of Charge Nurse (Nurse Unit Manager) and Nurse Educator. She completed a Graduate Diploma in Adult Education at the University of Melbourne.
She is the Treasurer of the Lemnos – Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, which commemorates the Australian Nurses who served in Greece during World War I, a member of the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Heritage Advisory Committee and is also an active member of Friends of Banka Island who assists the local community with aid as well as conducting the annual commemorative service for the nurses lost in the massacre on Banka Island. She was the immediate past president of the Australian Nurses Memorial Centre and remains on the History and Heritage Committee. She is an active participant in the commemoration of all nurses who have served from before Federation and, in particular, those nurses who lost their lives in Indonesia or were imprisoned during World War II and was recently interviewed by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federations ANMJ journal for their ANZAC Day remembrance of Vivian Bullwinkel. She has a close relationship with many of the families who had relatives in the camps or who had been massacred on Banka Island.
She has travelled to all of the sites in Indonesia where the camps were during World War II and has recently returned from Java, Banka Island and Sumatra.
Dr Terry Smyth was awarded a PhD in Sociology from the University of Essex in 2017; since then, he has been a Community Fellow in their Department of History (an honorary role). From his earliest days, he wondered how his own childhood had compared with those of other children of FEPOWs. After careers in the NHS and in further and higher education, this curiosity led to a PhD based on in-depth interviews. Terry has spoken about his research at conferences in the UK, Japan, and the Netherlands and has also written two chapters for edited volumes.
His single-authored book, ‘Captive Fathers, Captive Children: Legacies of the War in the Far East’, was published in November 2022 in hardback; the paperback edition is due in July 2023.
Terry’s father, Edwin, was captured in Java and then spent three years in Japan in Hiroshima 6B camp, slaving as a coal miner, where he felt the rumble of the first atomic bomb.
With a life-long interest in geography and environmental issues, Jackie Sutherland graduated with a degree from Aberdeen University. Her professional career has been varied. She has worked for a major conservation charity, lectured on environmental studies, and, most recently, was head of a large secondary school geography department.
She developed a broad interest in military history after she met her husband, a military historian and author. Together they have visited and studied several sites ranging from the Somme to Gallipoli and the Crimea, from Singapore to the Falkland Islands.
In Singapore, her increasing awareness of the broader historical context led her to see her late father’s POW diaries in a different light and to understand better the magnitude of her parents’ wartime experiences.
It was this new insight that led to the decision to publish
James Reynolds is the grandson of the late Eric Cordingly, and the son of FEPOW speaker Louise Cordingly Reynolds. James has worked as a BBC journalist since 1997. He was posted as a foreign correspondent to Santiago de Chile, Jerusalem, Beijing, Washington, Istanbul, and Rome. He is now a presenter on the World Service.