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Defence Connect Podcast Network

Sep 7, 2023

In this episode of the Defence Connect podcast, senior journalist Robert Dougherty is joined by Australian Army Corporal (Ret’d) and Afghan veteran Matthew “ Willy” Williams (Order of Australia Medal) to discuss citizen conflict reporting and his coverage of the ongoing Ukraine War.

Corporal Williams was previously deployed as a private to Afghanistan with the Australian Army, leaving as a corporal in 2020 and undertaking a radical career change to operate the 130,000-subscriber Willy OAM independent journalism YouTube channel.

The pair discuss Willy’s experiences as a veteran, the support he received after leaving the Army, and his sideways career choice to become a travelling civilian conflict reporter.

They then discuss the impact of a terminal brain cancer diagnosis on his 22nd birthday, his efforts to promote brain cancer awareness initiatives, and receiving an OAM in the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List.

They also discuss his ongoing daily analysis of the Ukraine War through public crowd-sourced maps and how to split fact from fiction in the modern world of military propaganda.

They then detail Willy’s own interactions and interviews with military volunteers – from Australia, the US, and Russia – their motivations, and concerns.

Finally, the pair take stock of the conflict, discussing worst-case scenarios, what it’s like on the ground, and how it’s likely to end.

Enjoy the podcast,
The Defence Connect team