Tom Uren lived an incredible life and I had the privilege of speaking with him in 2007 prior to his trip to Maitland to deliver the annual Harry Boyle Memorial Lecture for the National Trust.
Tom served during WWII and witnessed the bombing of Hiroshima. He was a prisoner-of-war on the Thai-Burma railway with Sir Weary Dunlop.
Coming from a very poor Newcastle family but raised in Balmain in Sydney, Tom’s greatest concerns as a leading Australian politician included environment, heritage and the ‘national estate’.
In this interview he speaks of his fondness for the Japanese in spite of his war experiences, his determination to protect Australia’s environment and heritage, and his affection for Gough Whitlam.
Tom Uren was 86 when we recorded this interview but sounded as enthusiastic about life as he ever did. Indeed he said, “I’m 86! That’s 86 springtimes!”
I hope you get time to have a listen, I greatly enjoyed speaking with him.
You can listen on Soundcloud:
or via YourListen: