Home About Background Cast & Crew Trailer Facebook Poster
Brad Manera Prof. Roland Perry
Brad Manera is the CEO of the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney, the premier war memorial in NSW. He is also the senior historian on the NSW Centenary of Anzac official history publication and is developing the Education and Interpretation Centre for the ANZAC Memorial. Brad was an historian for the award-winning documentary Gallipoli - The Front-Line Experience (2005) and more recently for the exhibition Our Friend the Enemy; Gallipoli landscapes 1915 – 2015. These projects are the latest in a long career as curator and historian in some of Australia’s finest museums, including the Australian War Memorial, The National Museum of Australia and the Western Australian Museum. “The Waler: Australia’s Great War Horse offers a fascinating fresh perspective on an Australian icon. The film has bought together an innovative and diverse range of expertise and experience of the horses Australians rode to the Great War. The filmmakers have made a discovery of international significance in uncovering documentary evidence of the liberation of Damascus in 1918 that will turn a century of popular perception on its head. This film will have international appeal as it is interesting, entertaining and beautifully filmed, a fitting tribute to the men who rode to war and the animals that carried them - but did not return.I am very pleased to be associated with this very fine Australian documentary.”
Dr Jean Bou
Professor Roland Perry began his writing career as a journalist on The Age, Melbourne from 1969 to 1973.
He has published twenty-seven books, several of them international best sellers, and in a variety of genres from biography and politics to espionage and the military, sport and fiction. Professor Perry has specialised in history, and has written six bestsellers on World War I and World War II. He is the only author to have produced books on both the major battle zones of the Great War (1914-1918): the Western Front and Eastern Front (Middle East). His books include Bill the Bastard: The Story of Australia’s Greatest War Horse (2013).
Dr Michael Tyquin Dr Tyquin is a consulting historian based in Canberra. He has published extensively in the areas of Australian social, medical and military history. He is a serving member of the Australian Army Reserve, which he joined as a medical assistant with the 4/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse. He is the official historian of the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland’s Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health.
He is the author of Forgotten Men: The Australian Army Veterinary Corps 1909-1946, a long overdue account of the significant contribution to the Australian Army of the Australian Army Veterinary Corps in two world wars.
Dr Jean Bou is a lecturer at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University.
His teaching duties include lecturing at the Australian Command and Staff College and in the undergraduate program at Acton. A historian, he is a graduate of the University of Queensland and holds a PhD in History
from the University of New South Wales (at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra). He is the author or co-editor of several books on Australian military history, including Light horse: a history of Australia’s mounted arm, and Australia’s Palestine Campaign.
Jill Mather Jill Mather is a former freelance journalist who worked for various international newspapers before becoming a television presenter, writer and contributor of many short stories and articles for the ABC. After writing several books, Jill scripted a documentary about rescued Walers. Subsequent books followed, including Forgotten Heroes; The Australian Waler Horse, The Old Campaigners, War Horses, Twelve Terrible Tales for Children, and recently released Gallipoli’s War Horses. Jill was an experienced horsewoman in earlier years.


Bradley Olden Bradley Olden was born in Geelong in 1957 and grew up as the eldest of four boys. Bradley was passionate about family history from a young age, often found at family gatherings quizzing elderly aunts and uncles about their origins.
He is the grandson of Major Arthur Olden, who served
with the Australian Light Horse. Damascus was officially surrendered to Major Olden before Lawrence of Arabia’s arrival. Although his grandfather passed away long before he was born, Bradley is extremely proud of his achievements and would have been inspired to have met him.
Peter Haydon
Mesut Uyar Mesut Uyar graduated from the Turkish Military Academy in 1991, and achieved an MA in politics and PhD in international relations from the Faculty of Political Sciences at Istanbul University. As a career officer, he served at platoon leader and company battalion commander positions in various infantry units, and held posts in Georgia and Afghanistan. He was an assistant professor
of international relations at the Turkish Military Academy for ten years, and is currently working as an Associate Professor of Ottoman military history at the University of New South Wales, Canberra.
Terrence Shanahan Terrence Shanahan was born in Queensland on the 6th of August 1945, the day the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. His grandfather, Major Michael Shanahan, served with the 2nd Australian Light Horse in WW1, and was master of ‘Bill the Bastard’, one of the most celebrated and mythologised war horses. Terrance joined the Australian Defence force in 1964, the year his grandfather died. He served for 46 years in both the Army and Air Force. He is a father of four and has retired to a farm in Queensland with his wife.
Peter Haydon was born in 1955 in Scone, the Horse Capital of Australia. He’s a fifth generation horseman from Bloomfield Homestead, which was settled by the pioneering Haydon Family in 1832. Peter currently owns and operates Hayden Horse Stud with this wife Alison and sons Henry, Nick and David. It is one of the oldest continually run family horse studs, and produces top quality horses that perform on the world stage. Peter has managed the polo stables for HRH The Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle as a professional player, and was Scone Horse Festival VIP in 2009 in recognition for his services to the horse industry. He has compiled a book about his great uncle Guy Haydon and his horse Midnight, who died saving his life in the Charge of Beersheba.
Keith Saunders John Saunders
Horses are in the blood of the Sanders family. Keith is a retired stockman who spent his life on the land, managing stations in Esperance (WA) and elsewhere. Horses are Keith’s great passion, something he’s passed to his son John. Both father and son were in the saddle soon after they could walk. John has followed in his father’s footsteps and recently managed Juna Downs station in WA’s remote Pilbara where descendants of the Great War ‘Walers’ still roam.
Marian Bartsch, Producer (Mago Films) Marian Bartsch has many successful television documentaries and series to her credit through her company Mago Films. A feature length version of the documentary The Waler: Australia’s Great War Horse has been selected as a finalist in the 2014 CinefestOZ Film Prize. One of her other productions, Life Architecturally (an ABC Arts documentary, aired in February 2012), was selected to screen at the New York Architecture and Design Film Festival in October 2012 and at FIFA in Montreal 2013. It was also nominated for Best Arts Documentary at the prestigious ATOM Awards. Marian established Mago Films in 1999, starting out with the ABC-commissioned film XPats - the Alien Connection (2000). She has since produced across a range of genres, including the documentaries What in the World is Feng Shui? (2001), Hoover’s Gold (2006) and The Fabulous Flag Sisters, which jointly won the Best Documentary award at the 2008 Roma Film Festival, plus four major awards at the Western Australian Screen Awards in 2009. Matching commercial and creative acumen, Mago Films productions are characterised by Marian’s ability to pick unique Australian stories and to discover new talent, a formula that has resonated with audiences world-wide. This includes the hit travel/adventure/food series Surfing the Menu with Curtis Stone and Ben O’Donoghue (Series 1, 2, 3 & 4, 2003-2006) which has sold to over 50 territories globally; the top rating The Best in Australia (Series 1, 2 & 3, 2007-2009) which continues to find new markets internationally; Quickies in my Kitchen with Anna Gare for the Lifestyle Food Channel; and, most recently, Recipes That Rock series 1 & 2 for the UK Food Network and National Geographic People Channel Australia in 2013 and 2014. Contact details; MAGO FILMS Phone +61 8 9443 4554 Mobile +61 413 524 650
Russell Vines, Writer & Director Russell began his work as a documentary maker with the film Fungimentary: The Magic Mushrooms of Balingup (1995). With this film he was named best young filmmaker at the Western Australian Film and Television Awards. Russell has continued to work in documentary with
films including Brothers and Sisters (1997) which looked at sibling relationships and how birth order can shape personality, The Fortune Teller (1998) which profiled flamboyant millionaire Rene Rifkin, Riots of Passage (1999) a satirical look at the life of a serial activist and her attempt to disarm the NSW police force and then the more confronting Welcome to Intimacy (2000) about relationships and addiction. In 2004 Russell directed on the highly successful Desperately Seeking Sheila project and then The Seven Network’s My Restaurant Rules in Perth (2005). He directed the ‘Mickelberg brothers’ episode about the infamous Perth Mint swindle for The Two of Us series (2005) and The Junction House Blues (2006) described as ‘one flew over the cuckoo’s nest meets spinal tap’. The documentary series The Eco House Challenge (2006) earned him a nomination for best director of a factual series at the inaugural Australian Director’s Guild awards. In 2007/08 Russell directed Desperately Keeping Sheila then Stress Buster about a “super nanny” for stressed out corporations, and Navy Divers a high stakes series following new recruits in the RAN’s elite Clearance Diving Branch. In 2009/10 Russell directed Heartbreak Science about new ideas around the emotional heart, multiple episodes of the highly regarded Who Do You Think You Are and the AACTA Award winning SAS The Search For Warriors, a behind the scenes look at the SAS selection process. In 2011 Russell directed the documentary The Man Who Jumped, nominated for an AACTA award, produced the blockbuster telemovie The Great Mint Swindle and he series produced Do Or Die, a formatted reality adventure series. He is currently series directing Life On The Edge for Prospero Productions – a multi part program for National Geographic exploring Australia from a maritime perspective. Mobile +61 413 677 358
Barry Strickland, Researcher & Writer Barry has variously enjoyed careers in teaching, broadcasting and arts administration, and has been freelancing across multiple disciplines since 1999, including writing for television and indulging his passion for the history of WA’s transformative gold rush era. For Mago Films, Barry conceived and co-wrote the top-rating Hoover’s Gold and the multi-award-winning The Fabulous Flag Sisters. His many radio credits include the 13-part series Writing the Nation: Australian Literature to 1950 (ABC Radio National). He is the author of Perth Sketchbook (UWA Press) and the much-admired Golden Quest Discovery Trail Guidebook. He has contributed to The Historical Encyclopaedia of Western Australia and An Everyday Transience: The Urban Imaginary of Goldfields Photographer J.J. Dwyer, both for UWA Press. Barry is a former board member of the Perth International Arts Festival, the WA Chamber for Culture and Arts, Deckchair Theatre, and Artrage Inc, the producer of the Fringe World Festival. In 2013, Barry was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by The University of Western Australia. Mobile +61 420 498 904
Torstein Dyrting, Director of Photography Torstein Dyrting ACS is a talented, multi-award winning cinematographer who has built an innovative body of work across many genres with many directors. Torstein’s career in the film industry spans more than 15 years, with experience in drama, documentary and commercial cinematography.
Torstein’s style brings a unique and artistic feel to his work creating powerful pictures for which he has received critical acclaim, including the coveted Australian Cinematographers Society Golden Tripod Award, which Torstein has been awarded four times in recent years. In 2008 Torstein received the honour of being accredited as a member of the Australian Cinematographers Society. John Carozzi, Editor Australian educated and trained, John spent his early years in the industry in Western Australia before heading to Europe where he spent eight years freelancing in London, principally as an editor and a colourist, but
also doing scriptwriting and occasional cinematography. His numerous UK credits include documentaries and series for the BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic, Discovery Channel and many others. One of his many documentary credits, World’s Tallest Man (2010), won the Golden Ace Award at the Las Vegas Film Festival and Best Documentary at Philadelphia’s New Hope Festival. Since returning to Australia, John has been busy working on the likes of In Search of the Ocean’s Super Predators and Recipes That Rock.