'How I survived 472 days as a hostage to terror group'

A TOOWOOMBA university alumnus and a former soldier will team up together to explain how Warren Rodwell survived as a captive of terror group Abu Sayyaf for 472 days.

In 2011 Mr Rodwell, a former Australian soldier and English teacher from Sydney, was kidnapped by rebels from his home on the island of Mindanao, in the southern Philippines.

He was held hostage for the next 15 months making him the longest held Australian captive outside of official prisoners of war.

Residents are invited to join USQ alumnus Dr Bob East for an intriguing workshop where he will discuss his most recent book "472 days Captive of the Abu Sayyaf" which details Mr Rodwell's tale of terror.

Throughout the presentation, Mr East will outline the methods he used to research and write the book, including gaining permission from the Australian Federal Police.

Abu Sayyaf is an Islamist militant group based in and around Jolo and Basilan islands in the southwestern part of the Philippines.
Abu Sayyaf is an Islamist militant group based in and around Jolo and Basilan islands in the southwestern part of the Philippines.

His special guest Mr Rodwell will recount his version of events, adding another layer to this compelling and complex story.

Mr East's research specialises in insurgency and associated criminality in the southern Philippines, a region he travels to frequently.

He has had three books published on the Abu Sayyaf organisation.

These scholarly books are held in the libraries of many leading international universities, as well as major world libraries.

Mr East has also published papers and addressed national and international conferences on this niche subject. He lives on a rural property in south-east Queensland with his Philippine-born wife, Maria.

The talk will be at the Refectory, USQ Toowoomba from 11am on July 23.


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