By Brendan Rees
Former Home and Away actress and acclaimed author Judy Nunn is making her way to Bunjil Place.
She will discuss her new best-selling book, Khaki Town on Thursday 21 November at 7pm at the Bunjil Place Function Centre.
The historical novel is set in Queensland during World War II, and is inspired by a true wartime story that has remained a well-kept secret for over 70 years.
It’s March 1942. Singapore has fallen and Darwin has been bombed. Australia is on the brink of being invaded by the Japanese Forces.
“It’s a pretty terrifying time,” Ms Nunn explains, adding there were “huge racial problems” in Townsville between America’s white and black soldiers.
“Segregation was a very big part of course in America. The Civil rights Act didn’t come in for well over 20 years later,” she says.
“Many black American soldiers arrived very early on. They were there literally as a labour force to build the airstrips that would acquire for the massive amount of aircrafts -the bombers and the fighter planes”
But Nun says the black soldiers were welcomed by the people of Townsville, who didn’t care “what colour’s going to save us”.
“They could walk into a pub and have a beer with a white bloke who didn’t mind at all.
“But the white Americans didn’t like it. They were accustomed to the practice of segregation so they took it out on the black soldiers,” she says.
The Australian Government, she says, also stood by their White Australia policy at the time, saying they didn’t want America sending any black soldiers to which the American president at the time Franklin D. Roosevelt said “well if you don’t take our black soldiers you’re not getting any soldiers” Ms Nunn says.
“There’s a whole ground of racism that formed the basis of this book”.
Judy Nunn’s career has been long, illustrious and multifaceted. After combining her internationally successful acting career with scriptwriting for television and radio, Judy decided in the ’90s to turn her hand to prose.
Her first three novels, The Glitter Game, Centre Stage and Araluen, set respectively in the worlds of television, theatre and film, became instant bestsellers, and the rest is history, quite literally in fact.
To book the evening with Judy Nunn at Bunjil Place visit: https://www.bunjilplace.com.au/an-evening-judy-nunn. Tickets $5.
Books will be available for purchase and signing on the night. Ticket includes beverage on arrival.