HISTORY channel presents Mateship: Australia & USA – A Century Together a one-hour documentary celebrating 100 years of the close bonds that unite Australia and America.
Since July 4 1918, the United States of America and Australia have never fought a major war without each other. It’s one of the longest alliances in modern history.
The relationship has not always been easy or even. Both countries have changed dramatically since 1918 when they first fought together at Hamel on the Western Front. The scale of US power has transformed the world. However, this friendship, forged in battle, shaped also by deep exchanges of ideas, art, people and trade, is a fascinating story of trust, difference, loyalty and respect what Australians would call mateship.
Hosted by respected journalist and broadcaster Mike Munro, the program explores, through key places, periods and personal ties, the history of the US-Australian relationship. Mike Munro encounters people and places that bring the past to life, even revealing some of his own experiences as a young journalist in Australia during the tumultuous Vietnam War.
In France with US historian Mitch Yokelson, Mike Munro illuminates the first shared war experiences between American and Australian troops on the Western Front – battles that helped secure the Allies victory in WWI. American and Australian Vietnam veterans explain how their lasting friendship was forged in the heat of battle, as they fly their lovingly restored Huey helicopter over San Francisco Bay.
The documentary also draws on the rich moving and still archives of Americans and Australians at war and at peace. Historians, cultural commentators, activists and military experts add their insights to the rich and complex 100-year bond between the two nations and embraces political, economic and cultural history.
Group General Manager, Entertainment & Factual, Jim Buchan said, “Most Australians have only a general idea of their shared connection with the United States of America. Few know the amazing depth and breadth of this history. July 4th 2018 will mark the centenary of a unique friendship between these two nations. Allies that have fought together in every conflict since the battle of Hamel in WWI where American troops fought and won in an Australian regiment under the leadership of General John Monash.
“Both country’s cultures have been significantly influenced by one another’s and continue to do so today. It’s therefore wonderful to be highlighting this tremendous history through incredible archive with WildBear productions, support from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Mike Munro who has been instrumental in capturing some incredible and moving interviews.”
In the lead up to the July 4 anniversary, HISTORY will also present an exclusive series of short form pieces including MATESHIP in the Fast Food Invasion, Television, Sport, Music, Retail, Vietnam, Music and Politics.
Some of the famous faces interviewed include former Prime Minister of Australia John Howard, world champion surfer Layne Beachley, cartoonist and social commentator Michael Leunig, musician Marcia Hines, film director Phillip Noyce and founding member of INXS Kirk Pengilly.