Cowra Voices

Winner of the Oral History NSW Community History Award 2020

Honorable Mention in the History Council NSW Awards 2020

Highly Commended in the National Trust Heritage Awards 2020

Cowra Voices storytelling app was launched on August 3, 2019 as part of the 75th anniversary commemorations of the Cowra Breakout.

Cowra Voices project is based in the Central West region of NSW, Australia, and began in February, 2018. This project’s main aim was to link people and places with a geo-locative app – much like a heritage trail app – exploring Cowra’s unique story of civic peace and reconciliation.

Cowra Voices’ other aims included facilitating a deeper, more intimate engagement with Cowra’s history through audio/multimedia storytelling. Cowra is the home of the famous Cowra Breakout by Japanese prisoners of war, one of the largest attempts at escaping prison during WWII.

Cowra Voices app includes stories of the Wiradjuri elders as well as personal histories of people buried at Cowra Japanese War Cemetery, and local narratives of grassroots peace building by members of the local Cowra community.

Cowra Voices project also involved students from Tokai University, Sapporo Campus who contributed to the design of the app. Students visited Cowra in February, 2018 to learn about Cowra’s unique history, immerse themselves in the local community and culture.

Cowra Voices was a partnership between Arts OutWest, Nikkei Australia, Cowra Council, Cowra Tourism Corporation, and Tokai University with support from ABC Central West NSW and app developer Sazae.

Cowra Voices was partly funded by the Australian government through the Australia-Japan Foundation Grant 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Cowra Council, The Bruce and Margaret Weir Trust, the Nancy Shelley Bequest Fund, the Cowra Breakout Association and the Japan Foundation, Sydney.

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To download the Cowra Voices app, go to


Android-Google Play

Android-Google Play-qrcode_201907240747

iPhone-Apple Store

iPhone-Apple Store-qrcode_201907280950

Cover Image: Mayu Kanamori / Nikkei Australia


The Bruce and Margaret Weir Trust

Japan Foundation

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