Chronicle exclusive a finalist
THE CHRONICLE'S exclusive national story on the Fraser Coast's most secret Vietnam Vet, Peter Barham, has been announced as a finalist in the prestigious 2010 United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace awards.
Mr Barham's amazing story featured in the newspaper in April in the lead-up to Anzac Day, when the retired army sergeant broke a 44-year silence to talk about his involvement in the infamous water torture case of October 1966.
Mr Barham, who lives in Maryborough, told Chronicle chief reporter Toni McRae that he had been muzzled by army chiefs and the incident covered up at the highest levels of government, after he was medi-vacced out of 'Nam the following year “a wreck”.
“I had gone on from the water torture incident at Nui Dat, when two of our soldiers poured water down their prisoner, To Thi Nau, a young woman accused of working with the Viet Cong, to be an observer with the South Vietnam forces.
“Imagine every atrocity on the human mind and body and you may come somewhere near to what they did and what I saw.”
The Chronicle's scoop was published throughout the APN News and Media group and followed up on television and radio.
Ms McRae was thrilled to be named as a finalist.
“This shows that a regional paper like ours can play a significant role not just in the local community but at state, and even national, level.
“It is particularly pleasing recognition for Peter Barham who is a courageous man.”
The awards will be announced in Melbourne on October 22.