About Forward Scout Films

As Executive Producer of Forward Scout Films, Dr Bruce Horsfield is especially suited to exercising the duty of care required for researching and producing an authoritative television history of Australia’s exemplary Special Air Service Regiment.

Bruce’s life has combined adventure, intellectual achievement and successful documentary making. Bruce served in the University of NSW Regiment and 1 Commando Company, Sydney, where he was awarded the green beret and attained the rank of corporal. He completed the SCUBA diving course, the submarine-kayak small-scale raids course and the RAAF basic parachute course. He was teacher-lieutenant commanding the J.J. Cahill Memorial High School Cadet Corps. Bruce marches on Anzac Day with 1 Commando Regiment Association.

1 Commando introduced Bruce to sport parachuting, which became his great love for many years. He has completed 340 jumps, including two without reserve parachute, night free falls, water jumps and two failures of his main parachute. He was a pioneer of civilian HALO parachuting in Australia in the ’60s, setting an Australian High Altitude Record of 25,000 feet and a Southern Hemisphere High Altitude Record of 31,000 feet. He was runner-up to the NSW State Parachute Champion and member of the NSW Parachute team at the Australian Championships. Bruce may be the only person ever to have discarded his parachute and completed a parachute jump (into water) under an open umbrella. He later took up field hockey and represented Queensland in the Australian Veterans’ Championships.

Bruce was awarded a Personal Professorial Chair in Media Studies and Communication at the University of Southern Queensland. He holds a Bachelor of Arts of the University of New England, Master of Arts of the University of Sydney and a Doctor of Philosophy (research) of the University of Exeter, England. He retired from USQ in 2007 as Honorary Professor and is currently Executive Producer of Forward Scout Films Pty Ltd, specialising in well-researched, high quality, military history documentaries.

After extensive field research in Australia, Vietnam and New Zealand into the legendary battle of Long Tan Bruce produced his first television documentary, Long Tan: the True Story. Acclaimed as a Vietnam War “classic” and as “one of the five best Australian documentaries” by the then SBS International, Long Tan has been broadcast by SBSTV three times, ABCTV twice, the Australian History Channel eight times, the Canadian History Channel twice, TVNZ, and was acquired by Australia Television for its Pan-Pacific cable and re-broadcast networks. It has been distributed by the AWM, Film Australia and Siren Visual and has been acquired by universities, libraries and individuals in Australia, the United States and Europe.

Bruce was awarded a University Medal and Grant for Excellence in Research for his Long Tan documentary, and for his social impact study for UNESCO, Paris, of new televisual forms in the Pacific Islands Nations. Long Tan: the True Story led to a unique approval to make a documentary history of the Australian SAS by the Director of Special Forces, who cited the “accuracy and balance” shown by Long Tan. The SAS documentary project Patron is the former Governor-General, Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC [Ret’d], who served as a CO of SASR, first Director of Special Forces and Honorary Colonel of the SAS Regiment.

The eleven-part series The Australian SAS: the Untold History tells the history of the SAS Regiment, which began in scepticism and rejection but attained “force of choice” status as it diversified and grew in operational maturity through East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq. The documentary format is oral history, with SAS soldiers recalling a wide range of experiences and perceptions with the enrichment of historical and archival film. The Australian SAS: the Untold History is already widely regarded as a national treasure, and as a work of unique historical value to SASR, the Defence community, to the nation and to posterity.

In 2018, “in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to SASR and the Australian SAS Association”, Bruce was honoured with an Associate Membership of ASASA (NSW Branch). On Australia Day 2018 Bruce was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for (1) his preservation of military history in his SAS and Long Tan documentaries, and (2) his pioneering of HALO (high altitude low opening) free-fall parachuting in the 1960s.

Bruce Horsfield completes a parachute jump under an umbrella.
Bruce Horsfield leaves his parachute harness and completes a water jump under his umbrella.