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A look at conflict through the eyes of war's unsung workers

Noosa Library Service brings Queensland academic Irene Rogers and Coast-based author Ian Mansfield to Cooroy in the lead-up to Anzac Day to offer a unique perspective on war.

Irene Rogers, a humanitarian nurse, will tell the story of the WWI Australian Bluebird Nurses – the subject of her PhD thesis Breaking Bread with the Dead.

“Irene Rogers worked for many years as a humanitarian nurse in areas of conflict and post conflict. She was fascinated with the diaries and letters of the WWI Australian Bluebird Nurses and wanted to know more,” says Noosa Library Service Programs Officer Liz Bleechmore.

“As the only group of trained and registered nurses sent to the Western Front by the Australian Red Cross during WWI the Bluebird Nurses’ story is unique and one all Australians can be proud of.”

In his book Stepping into a Minefield: A life dedicated to landmine clearance around the world, Ian Mansfield recounts the dangers and tragedies of landmine clearance and the dedication and humour displayed by the brave men and women involved in this risky work.

“A former Deputy Director of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, an army engineer officer of 22 years and a humanitarian consultant, Ian Mansfield is no stranger to conflict and he’s spent much time personally involved in landmine clearance efforts,” says Ms Bleechmore.

“In 2010 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his humanitarian work.

“We’re very pleased to welcome both speakers to the April 23 event, in conversation with award-winning ABC Radio journalist Bruce Atkinson.

“We’re thrilled to have the support of Cooroy RSL and the Cooroy Pomona Sub Branch for this event. The Sub Branch will join us on the day to talk about the support services it provides to local returned servicemen.”

Ms Bleechmore said the Library created the event to honour Anzac Day, share some of the lesser-told stories of conflict and promote the good work of the Cooroy Pomona RSL Sub Branch.

Unsung Workers of War starts at 2pm, April 23 at Cooroy RSL, Maple Street, Cooroy.

Entry is free but bookings are essential via (07) 5329 6555 or via the Noosa Library Service website.

12 April 2018

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