John Frewen's story

John Frewen is a career infantry officer whose father and grandfather also served in the Australian Army. He completed Year 12 at Xavier College in Melbourne and graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 1986.

John's first appointment was as an infantry platoon commander in the First Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR).

When the Australian Government decided to send a contingent to help the United Nations (UN) mission in Rwanda, John was assigned to the headquarters group in the advance party. Then the 1st Australian contingent United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda II (UNAMIR II) arrived in Rwanda in late August 1994.

John worked mostly in Kigali but was also sent to Butare. He witnessed many horrendous scenes of the aftermath of the massacres that had taken place in Rwanda.

John said members of the contingent was not psychologically prepared for the work they had to do and the sights they saw. But he thought it was an extraordinary mission and a formative experience in shaping his outlook on subsequent deployments.

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DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) ( ), John Frewen's story, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 25 June 2024,
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