Current Exhibition at the Australian War Memorial

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Kris Kerehona, Last man standing, 2019.

My father, James Bruce Taawhi Kerehona, was a gunner from 161st Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery. He was based with the 1st Australian Task Force at Nui Dat, Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. He fought in the Battle of Coral–Balmoral. But his hardest battle was his ten-year fight with leukaemia. He was exposed to Agent Orange. He passed away on 9 August 2019, and was one of the last original members of his unit.

I hope this picture speaks powerfully to such a real and awful situation for many Vietnam vets. It depicts the impact of the war on this man as an individual and I hope it speaks both to a collective silent experience. I think this photo does something important...it avoids cliche and valourism and gets closer to the truth about living with the experience of war. I wanted to capture our Dad’s legacy for the family. I look at this photograph now and it is so obvious to me that he was a soldier right until the very end.

I am so thankful to be his son. I would like to say thank you Dad.

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The Australian War Memorial Napier Waller Art Prize Highly Commended artists.