Liz Cosson - Y2K

Running time
1 min 45 sec
Date made
Place made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


The decision that was taken back then to deploy the force unarmed, and that was a really important decision that our nation made to say that we want to find peace and in Bougainville and we're trusting the peace process that we are sending our forces unarmed to the island but what that also required of our force is that situational awareness because you are unarmed and you therefore had to have a greater connection in the way you approached it, knowing what was happening and being aware and being alive to any risks.

And the commander would certainly rely on his chief of staff, myself in this case, to, every day, when we had our ops briefing, to get reports from our different team sites across the island to know what was happening, where there were risks and we were certainly very focused on risks around New Year's Eve.

There was a little sense of unrest on the island the year 2000. You might remember Y2K, there was a lot of planning here in Australia as well, but over there, some in the community felt that that was the end of the world. So there was a little bit of a groundswell that was occurring leading up to it, New Year's Eve. And just being aware of that and communicating with the community and communicating with the factions, which our commander did really well, and he was always talking to them to make sure we always had awareness of what was happening on the island.

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