1988, 97 Minutes
In 1915, during World War One, when Australian soldiers were fighting in Gallipoli and casualties were high, a group of patriots from the NSW mid-western farming town of Gilgandra answered the call to serve God, King and mother-England. They set off to march to Sydney and to join the army, gathering volunteer troops for the Dardanelles from other farming communities along the way. They called themselves the “Coo-ees”. It was an act inspired by mateship and the march went down in Australian history as one of those acts of heroism which form the foundation of Australian character.
In 1987 a new band of “Coo-ees” set off to re-enact the march and put Gilgandra back on the map. Coo-ee captures the spirit and warmth of these true life characters from the enthusiastic send off by the townspeople of Gilgandra to their footsore and rain sodden arrival in Sydney three weeks later. The film captures the spirit of these latter day diggers and the loyalty and mateship which is still alive and well in rural Australia today.
© 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director: Graham Chase
Running Time: 97 Minutes
Curriculum Links: History - of particular relevance to NSW History Stage 5 Topic 2 'Australia and World War One'.