TRANSCRIPT – RADIO INTERVIEW – ABC DRIVE DARWIN – MONDAY, 10 AUGUST 2020
ABC DRIVE DARWIN WITH LIZ TRAVASKIS
MONDAY, 10 AUGUST 2020
SUBJECT: Teddy Sheean.
LIZ TRAVASKIS, HOST: Luke Gosling is the Federal Member for Solomon. Luke tell us about your interest and your involvement in the campaign for recognition for Teddy Sheean.
LUKE GOSLING OAM, MEMBER FOR SOLOMON: Hi Liz, just before I start I want to acknowledge Dr Tom Lewis, it was great to listen to him just then. He wrote the book ‘Honour Denied’ and he, like a lot of people, particularly in the Navy, have been fighting for many years for this. For me, I remember first seeing that famous painting of Teddy Sheean strapped to the gun firing at the enemy planes as the ship was sinking, trying to protect his mates in the water; I saw that as a young boy at the Australian War Memorial and I’ve never forgotten it.
And, as I became more involved in Timor and serving in the Commandos, knowing about the WWII Commandos that the HMAS Armidale was resupplying and the evacuation of wounded troops from Timor – that’s the work the Armidale was doing north of Darwin, when it came under attack. So over the years, learning more about this young hero Teddy Sheean and then to find out that the Honours and Awards Tribunal had recommended, unanimously, that Teddy Sheean should be awarded the VC and then fighting to get that agreed to. This happened today, which is fantastic news.
TRAVASKIS: Luke, you’ve spoken with Ray Leonard today, the last survivor of that attack. What was his reaction?
GOSLING: He was overjoyed. I’ve been speaking with Ray for a little while now. He is, as you say, the last survivor of the HMAS Armidale. He was one of the sailors in the water being strafed by the Japanese fighters as the Armidale was sinking. Ray knew that Teddy Sheean had given his life, he kept firing, took down at least one of the Japanese planes, which gave the survivors in the water some reprieve. Ray’s now 97, living down in Melbourne. I had a conversation with him this morning he was overjoyed and sends his thanks to everyone up in the Northern Territory that has been following this issue, advocating for the Prime Minister to finally agree that Teddy Sheean deserves the VC.
TRAVASKIS: We’ve got to wrap it there to head to the five o’clock news, thanks Luke Gosling, Federal Member for Solomon.