Cowra Voices is a geolocative app – much like a heritage trail app – exploring Cowra’s unique story of civic peace and reconciliation. This project’s main aim was to link people and places and to faciliatate a deeper, more intimate engagement with Cowra’s history through audio/multimedia storytelling. Cowra is the home of the famous Cowra Breakout by Japanese prisoners of war, one of the largest prison escapes during World War II.
Cowra Voices was completed and launched on 3 August 2019 as part of the 75th anniversary commemorations of the Cowra Breakout.
The app was recognised by three awards in 2020: It was the winner of the Oral History NSW Community History Award 2020.
Received an Honorable Mention in the History Council NSW Awards 2020
Received a Highly Commended in the National Trust Heritage Awards 2020
Cowra Voices app includes stories of the Wiradjuri elders as well as personal histories of people buried at Cowra Japanese War Cemetery, and local narratives of grassroots peace building by members of the local Cowra community. It also involved students from Tokai University, Sapporo Campus who contributed to the design of the app. Students visited Cowra in February, 2018 to learn about Cowra’s unique history, immerse themselves in the local community and culture.
Cowra Voices was partly funded by the Australian government through the Australia-Japan Foundation Grant 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Cowra Council, The Bruce and Margaret Weir Trust, the Nancy Shelley Bequest Fund, the Cowra Breakout Association and the Japan Foundation, Sydney.
The project team consisted of the following Nikkei Australia members:
Download the Cowra Voices app here
More information about the project is here
Other stories about Cowra Voices:
The Bruce and Margaret Weir Trust