Warren Rodwell: former soldier, university teacher, hostage survivor, speaker, and songwriter, is the longest held Australian captive outside war. For more than fifteen (15) months, Warren was hidden and starved in island mangrove jungles with the constant threat of beheading if the terrorists’ original ransom demand for $US2 million was not paid.
When asked how he ever survived he responded with "resilience, adaptability, versatility, pragmatism, perseverance, and a dry sense of humor"
"Warren Richard Rodwell (born 16 June 1958 Homebush NSW) a former soldier in the Australian Army, and university English teacher, grew up in Tamworth NSW He was shot through the right hand when seized from his home at Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines on 5 December 2011 by Abu Sayyaf (ASG) militants. Rodwell later had to have a finger amputated.
The ASG threatened to behead Rodwell if the original ransom demand for $US2 million was not paid. Both the Philippine and Australian governments had strict policies of refusing to pay ransoms. Australia formed a multi-agency task force to assist the Philippine authorities, and liaise with Rodwell's family. A news blackout was imposed. Filipino politicians helped negotiate the release. After the payment of $AUD94,000 for "board and lodging" expenses by his siblings, Rodwell was released 472 days later on 23 March 2013. The incumbent Australian prime minister praised the Philippines government for securing Rodwell's release. Tribute was also made to Australian officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Australian Federal Police and Defence. Rodwell subsequently returned to Australia."
You can ask Warren any questions you may have by connecting with him here
Warren's story in a music video on YouTube
SITUATION NOT NORMAL – Lyrics by Warren R Rodwell / Composed and Performed by Mad Cowboy Disease
You can listen here to his story of how he escaped what he thought was certain death and how he stayed sane!