New Gallipoli miniseries tells the story of Diggers from Ballarat

FORMER Ballarat actor Aaron Glenane stars alongside Sam Worthington in a new mini-series.

But it’s not Ballarat’s only starring role in the new two-part program.

The new miniseries, Deadline Gallipoli, follows the stories of war correspondents Charles Bean, Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, Phillip Schuler and Keith Murdoch, who share the trenches with Diggers from Ballarat on the front line in Gallipoli.

For Glenane, who plays the role of Ballarat man Stan Phipps, he said it was an audition he couldn’t pass up.

“I first heard about it from Sam, who was talking about it after we filmed Drift. It was in its early stages, but I thought the angle he was taking with the war correspondents was really cool,” he said.

“When the auditions came around in late 2013, I was pumped and when I read the first script, I was hooked. This was the role I was born to play, literally. 

“Every role I get to play is a huge privilege and to portray one of the Ballarat soldiers is something I hold very close to my heart.” 

Stan is a dairy farmer and one of a group of 22 Ballarat men fighting against Turkish soldiers at Gallipoli in 1915.

As part of his research for the role, Glenane made the journey back to Victoria, including a visit to Ballarat’s Arch of Victory.

“I came home and spent time on the dairy farm with my uncle in Dunnstown, milking twice a day,” he said.

“One of the guys , ‘The only girls we see out here are the ones in the paddock’, which helped me for the Cairo scenes.”

From encampment in Cairo to Anzac Cove and the evacuation, Deadline Gallipoli is the story of the journalists who did not accept the excessive censorship of the truth.

It highlights the actions of the men who helped change the course of the campaign, something Glenane said was a matter all Australians should want to learn more about.

“It blows a few myths out of the water,” he said.

But for Glenane, the entire experience was something he will never forget.

“Sitting for 10 hours in a trench ... obviously that wasn’t exactly the reality for them, but you start to feel a little depressed and claustrophobic,” he said. “You start to imagine the trauma they actually went through.”

Since leaving Ballarat, Glenane has also appeared in Drift, alongside Cate Blanchett in Truth and guest starred on Home and Away. 

Deadline Gallipoli will premiere over two nights – Sunday, April 19, and Monday, April 20, at 8.30pm on Foxtel’s Showcase channel.

alicia.thomas@fairfaxmedia.com.au