Ask about Fred Smith
Key Points
  • Fred Smith’s broad knowledge of the world, warm humour and agile mind make him a great speaker for every occasion.
  • He draws on a broad range of experiences, interest and skills in his presentations, which affords him the flexibility to prepare a presentation tailor made for your audience.
  • With Fred’s diplomatic background and experience on festival stages across Australia, he is as comfortable with a room full of senior bureaucrats as he is with a bar full of soldiers!
  • He often complements his presentations with a song or two from his broad repertoire ranging from touching ballads to outrageous comedy.
  • His songs and stories from the front line of Australia’s war in Afghanistan are compelling and insightful.
  • If you like, he can bring his band and keep your audience dancing into the night.
Topics
  • Cross-cultural awareness
  • Australia in Afghanistan; Australia in peacekeeping
  • Music in healing; music and PTSD
  • Singing in Papua New Guinea pidgin
  • The power of storytelling
  • The art of songwriting
  • The value of authenticity
  • Creativity
Testimonials

Fred was excellent.  A real surprise package! We thank him for his contribution to our annual dinner.  Our guests were overwhelmingly complimentary about his story and messages, particularly his comments linking mental health of soldiers and pharmacy. We are all very grateful to him for giving so generously of his time and energy to make the experience lasting and memorable for us.
Pharmacy Guild of Australia ACT

Dear Fred, On behalf of all at the Asia Education Foundation I would like to thank you for your contribution to the 2014 AEF National Conference.  As our final presenter, you inspired all those who attended through your presentation and music. Delegate feedback and evaluations indicate that the conference was overwhelmingly a great success.  

Individual comments regarding your session included * Fred was amazing, and I know from Australian Story that he is outstanding and has such wisdom. * Lovely to hear a non-educator's/politician's perspective on intercultural understanding. His closing remarks were gold. I was moved to tears. * Fred was the best!

I encourage you to view the short videos that capture the activities on both Day 1 and Day 2 of the conference available at http://www.asiaeducation.edu.au/national_conference_2014_landing_page.html.  I have also attached photographs of you at the conference. 

I extend my deepest gratitude to you for giving so generously of your time and expertise to both attend and contribute to the conference. Time and again, it was the extraordinary calibre of the presenters that delegates found most valuable – we certainly couldn't have done it without you.
Asia Education Foundation National Conference, 2014
Kathe Kirby
Executive Director
Asia Education Foundation, The University of Melbourne

Twitters
Through songs about conflict Fred Smith shows why intercultural understanding is crucial for harmonious relations
Jennifer Ure

From laughter to powerful moving images & info thru music. You can hear a pin drop. Fascinating
Katrina Turner

Listening to Fred Smith serves as a reminder as to how powerful a skilled and articulate story teller can be
Narissa Leung

Dear Fred, your presentation on Sunday was an extraordinary collage of history, politics, warfare, religion, tribalism, poetry, geography and the raw, horrible  truth of boys dying in a foreign land.  These precious boys in mortal conflict,  and their parents , as you would know,  far, far better than  I,  must have questioned the wisdom of such a gift, no matter how much appreciated by so many of their country and that other foreign land.

You addressed difficult questions. ( Heavens – I’ve had women acquaintances lecture me on the value of my daughter just visiting troubled places). You took a wise approach. An inspiring approach, with intellectual questioning alongside emotional need to do something for fellow creatures in need. (Under that heading, not just fellow creatures, but as you testified, girls and women in schools and parliament.) 

You have an extraordinary talent for listening, for feeling, for processing, for appealing to the knowledgeable and the innocent, for words and for song. Your team was part of a seamless story telling (My goodness Liz has the voice of an angel – but what a modern angel, tapping out the images in perfect harmony with the gentle heartbeat of the percussion and the words). 

Take care, and follow that star.
Susie Clune
Afghanistan Hidden Treasures – State Theatre Centre Perth 24 August 2014

On Sunday, singer/songwriter, diplomat, peacekeeper and raconteur Fred Smith played to a packed State Theatre Centre in Perth. His concert was one of a series of events organised by the Western Australian Museum and the University of Western Australia’s Institute of Advanced Studies to accompany the Museum’s stunning exhibition, Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul.

It was a most memorable experience and Fred, who has spent many months in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province with Australian and Dutch special forces, spoke powerfully and passionately about the place, the people, the country, the war and the future.

Central to the event were Fred’s songs from his critically acclaimed album Dust of Uruzgan. Achingly beautiful, acutely insightful and deeply respectful – both of Afghanistan and its people, and of the many nationalities who make up the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) – Fred’s performance was spellbinding.
Alec Coles, CEO
WA Museum

Good Evening Fred, On behalf of the RHAG - SA, I wished to express our gratitude and thanks once again for your presentation to the group in May, and your additional presentation at the evening dinner. 

Since the activity, I have received numerous highly positive comments from those attending in respect of your presentation and performance. 

Thank you again for your time and diligence both in putting together such a though provoking presentation, together with a highly entertaining after dinner performance. 
Presentation on music and PTSD followed by comic after-dinner speech at ADF Regional Health Advisory Group convention, Adelaide May 2016
Geoff Matthews, COLONEL
Army Representative
Regional Health Advisory Group - SA