Borneo Landing exhibition to offer glimpse into history

National 2 minutes, 17 seconds


MEMBERS of the public will get the chance to listen to first-hand World War II accounts from Australian and Bruneian veterans through a multimedia exhibition here.

The 70th Anniversary Borneo Landing Exhibition. – named Stories through Memories: 70 years of Friendship – will be launched tomorrow with videos of Bruneians sharing their experiences and stories during the war.

Dr Garth Pratten, visiting senior lecturer from Australian National University Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, said youth must engage themselves in learning more about how the Brunei was formed.

“History is very important, especially for the youth to know how the locals lived through the war, which is why it’s good to see Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) students’ video interviews on the locals’ experiences to share them to the public,” he said.

“These are untold stories not written in the history books, the youth will learn a lot about the atmosphere and the details during the war because it is an actual experience,” Dr Pratten added.

The lecturer was speaking on the sidelines of a press conference ahead of the exhibition at the Royal Wharf Art Gallery.

He hopes that youth will attend the exhibition to learn more on Brunei and veterans, as well as understand and respect those who lived through the war.

“The youth might not know what happened in that time, this is the opportunity for them to learn about it from these people who experienced it,” he said.

Janet Marles, senior lecturer of James Cook University in Australia, said the video features stories that are part of Brunei’s unknown history because they are memories not written in books.

Marles, who led the video interviews for two years, encouraged the youth to learn more about the history to strengthen their knowledge of the sultanate.

A team of historians and Universiti Brunei Darussalam students were also involved in producing the videos.

“We hope the videos will broaden awareness on the veterans’ and locals’ experiences and to ensure the youth understands and respects them,” said Marles.

“The youth will have more knowledge on the differences between these two periods of time, which is why I hope the locals will come to this exhibition to widen their knowledge of Brunei’s history,” she added.

According to a statement by the Australian High Commission in Brunei, the exhibition will showcase historical photographs of the Borneo campaigns drawn from the Australian War Memorial’s archives.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah will launch the exhibition.

Australian Minister for Veterans Affairs Michael Ronaldson, Australian and Bruneian veterans are also expected to be present.

The exhibition will be opened to the public from June 12-30.

The Brunei Times