In this episode of the Defence Connect podcast, senior journalist Robert Dougherty is joined by Australian Army Corporal (Ret’d) and Afghan veteran Matthew “ Willy” Williams (Order of Australia Medal) to discuss citizen conflict reporting and his coverage of the ongoing Ukraine War.
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Corporal Williams was previously deployed as a private to Afghanistan with the Australian Army, leaving as a corporal in 2020 and undertaking a radical career change to operate the 130,000-subscriber Willy OAM independent journalism YouTube channel.
The pair discuss Willy’s experiences as a veteran, the support he received after leaving the Army, and his sideways career choice to become a travelling civilian conflict reporter.
They then discuss the impact of a terminal brain cancer diagnosis on his 22nd birthday, his efforts to promote brain cancer awareness initiatives, and receiving an OAM in the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List.
They also discuss his ongoing daily analysis of the Ukraine War through public crowd-sourced maps and how to split fact from fiction in the modern world of military propaganda.
They then detail Willy’s own interactions and interviews with military volunteers – from Australia, the US, and Russia – their motivations, and concerns.
Finally, the pair take stock of the conflict, discussing worst-case scenarios, what it’s like on the ground, and how it’s likely to end.
Enjoy the podcast,
The Defence Connect team
Listen to previous episodes of the Defence Connect podcast:
Episode 410: SPOTLIGHT: Securing leading talent in the defence industry, with Shelley Willsmore and Miranda Van Hooff
Episode 409: PODCAST: Government commitment to defence based on considered, direct action, with Meryl Swanson MP
Episode 408: PODCAST: Improving ICT Hardware Sustainment essential to the future of Defence and National Security by Nick Asscher and Bill Freeman, Touchpoint
Episode 407: PODCAST: Opposition Defence team scathing of government’s commitment to Defence and defence industry
Episode 406: PODCAST: The lead up to Indo Pacific 2023
Episode 405: PODCAST: Military aircraft news around the world, with the Australian Aviation editor Adam Thorn
Episode 404: PODCAST: The lingering impact of Defence of Australia in our defence policy, with the Hon Kim Beazley AC
Episode 403: PODCAST: Facilitating defence industry innovation, with Professor Emily Hilder
Episode 402: SPOTLIGHT: Driving forward Australia’s maritime capability, with Sir Nick Hine
Episode 401: PODCAST: Setting veterans up for success, with Bravery Trust CEO Belinda Wilson
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