Sydney Writers' Festival | The reality of war: Reconciling two worlds



20 May 2016


Walsh Bay, Sydney

What’s it like to be in a war? James Brown facilitated a panel of seasoned veterans and writers to discuss the myth, media and reality of conflict, and the challenges of re-entry into civilian life. Former commando and soldier Jamie Zimmerman’s memoir The Promise reveals his experiences of war and the power of mateship within a brotherhood. Mark Dapin interviewed more than 150 Vietnam veterans for his history, The Nashos’ War. Major-General John Cantwell’s Leadership in Action describes the leadership lessons he learned on the frontline.


  • Mark Dapin
    Author of R&R

    Mark Dapin was a visitor at the US Studies Centre in May 2016.

    He is the author of the novels King of the Cross and Spirit House. King of the Cross won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction, and Spirit House was longlisted for the Miles Franklin...

  • Jamie Zimmermann
    Former Special Forces Soldier and Author

    Jamie Zimmermann was a visitor at the US Studies Centre in 2016. Zimmermann is a former special forces soldier, and author of The Promise - Three Wars, Two Mates (Macmillan, 2015). In this book, Zimmermann seeks to enhance society's general understanding of the modern soldier's profession and the impact of service on families, friends and returning service people. In addition, Zimmermann has combined his passion for fitness, advocacy for ADF members in transition and his Commando Special Forces background to create a unique and special fitness challenge for everyone - The Australian Hero Games. He currently owns and operates a Sydney-based real estate business.

  • James Brown
    James Brown
    CEO, Space Industry Association of Australia

    James Brown is CEO of the Space Industry Association of Australia. He was previously a Non-Resident Fellow at the United States Studies Centre.