Christmas at the WWI Front - December 2014

The Sydney Morning Herald / The Canberra Times
Professional writer: Chris Sheedy
1500 words

'The Great War: Christmas at the Front'

The Great War rolled mercilessly onward, but Australian troops often managed to make their Christmas Day just a little bit special.

A few days before Christmas in 1915, Australians at home were presented with wonderful news. Their brothers, sons and fathers in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), men who had been carrying out a desperate, deadly and ultimately futile eight-month campaign against the Turks, had been evacuated from the Gallipoli Peninsula. Instead of spending Christmas in trenches and facing countless dangers, they would instead be safely ensconced on ships, at the Army base on Lemnos Island or in Egypt. READ ON

Are some executives more valuable than others? - December 2014

Business Think
UNSW Australia - AGSM

'Just who are the crucial Mad Men?'
Freelance journalist: Chris Sheedy
1200 words

New research into the advertising industry dispels the assumption that the senior executives who cause the most pain to a firm when they leave are those managing external relationships. Forget the stars - it's the back-room execs you really need. 

The Conscription Contradiction - November 2014

The Sydney Morning Herald / The Canberra Times

'The Conscription Contradiction'

Professional writer: Chris Sheedy
1500 words

When National Service was reintroduced 50 years ago, it proved to be a surprisingly popular but strangely contradictory political decision.

In 150 interviews conducted with national servicemen - "conscripts" by another name - award-winning writer and UNSW Canberra PhD scholar Mark Dapin says it was not at all unusual for interviewees to be moved to tears as they recalled their experiences.
All had served in Vietnam. Some had seen action and had watched their friends die on the battlefield. Some had supported the war effort in other ways on various army bases.
The strong emotion of interviewees'  some 45 to 50 years after their National Service experience was not related to the level of action they had seen. Nor was it connected to the violence and bloodshed they witnessed. Something else brought the sadness on. Dapin says it was a sense of loss.