SBS’s Go Back To Where You Came From: Kim Vuga, Nicole Judge, Andrew Jackson ‘at risk’

Written by admin on 05/07/2018 Categories: 南京夜网

Andrew Jackson, Kim Vuga, Nicole Judge on location for Go Back To Where You Came from in Syria. Terror … Kim Vuga and Andrew Jackson scramble for cover after mortar rounds hit the abandoned school in which they are filming. Photo: SBS
Nanjing Night Net

Risky … security expert Justin Bowden. Photo: Ben Rushton

Andrew Jackson, Kim Vuga, Nicole Judge on location for Go Back To Where You Came from in Syria.

Andrew Jackson, Kim Vuga, Nicole Judge on location for Go Back To Where You Came from in Syria.

Go Back touches a raw nerveKim Vuga’s hardline views unchanged

 Crew and participants in the SBS documentary Go Back To Where You Came From were ill-equipped and placed at “substantial risk” when they were shot at by Islamic State in Syria, according to an expert on security in the region.

Footage from October 24 last year shows a terrified Kim Vuga, Andrew Jackson and Nicole Judge being evacuated from an abandoned school after insurgents less than 1km away began shelling them with mortars.

They had been driven to the disputed area by Kurdish militiamen when the firing started.

“Rightio, that’s rounds coming in. Stay down, OK,” says their escort. “We don’t want them to know we’re here. They are just in front of us.”

The trio and crew make their escape in the back of a ute with a machine-gun mounted in the tray.

“There was substantial risk associated with the deployment,” said former Army officer and consultant Justin Bowden after Fairfax Media asked him to review footage of the incident in the Al-Rawiya region in Syria’s north.

“The video provides evidence that the appropriate controls were not implemented, and the resultant incident requires further investigation to determine responsibility and culpability,” said Bowden, from the Beltin Group.

In particular, he said that Vuga, Jackson, Judge, who are shown wearing body armour, should also have been given helmets.

“If the situation warrants the wearing of a ballistic armour vest, then so too a ballistic helmet is to be worn,” said Bowden.

This week, Judge said the incident, which features in the final episode of the three-part series, had left a deep impression on her.

“I was genuinely afraid for all of us,” she said. “It wasn’t until after the fact that I really realised how dangerous it was. People might think that’s a stupid thing to say but they weren’t there and they can’t comprehend the feeling that we had.

“We’re just normal people. We don’t go to war on a daily basis.”

Vuga was also shocked by the proximity of Islamic State (also known as ISIS) fighters.

“Probably the worst part was going as close as we could and knowing that their bullets could reach us,” she said. “We were told to listen for any whistling sounds coming through the air and that would mean a mortar had been fired. We were told we had 30 seconds to run 100 metres.

“It was surreal I actually felt I’d climbed though my News 24. It was crazy to actually see a black flag in place.”

An SBS spokesman confirmed that one member of the film crew had elected not to travel to the frontline because of safety concerns.

“Participants and crew were given the same information in security briefings,” said the spokesman. “During security briefings, participants and crew were given the same choice to continue or not without jeopardising their position in the show, or their jobs, respectively.”

The spokesman added that safety of the crew and participants was “paramount” to SBS and production company CJZ.

“When tracing the refugee journey in Syria, the group was accompanied by a private security team who are experts on the ground and constantly monitoring the every-changing security risks from armed forces in the area, including ISIS,” he said.

“The situation captured on camera where the group were shot at was not planned, but not unexpected in a war zone. The armed security team were prepared for an event like this, and quickly took action to move the participants and crew to a safer location.

“The producers followed all instructions from the security team. The security team did not instruct the participants and crew to wear helmets.”

– with Kate Aubusson

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Comments Off on SBS’s Go Back To Where You Came From: Kim Vuga, Nicole Judge, Andrew Jackson ‘at risk’