Dangerous Places

Benjamin Gilmour reflects on 26 years as a paramedic, a poet, and a filmmaker - including in Afghanistan.

Benjamin Gilmour’s book The Gap recounts a very intense summer working as a paramedic out of Bondi Ambulance station in Sydney. He comes face to face with violence, drugs, domestic disputes, brawls, heart attacks, emergency births. There’s even a kidnapping!

The trauma, death and distress inevitably take their toll on Benjamin and his colleagues. The gallows humour can only take you so far.

Benjamin describes his love for the job, his patients, and his deep empathy for humans and their fallibility. 

That same empathy has taken him to far away places of danger, conflict and also searing beauty, where Ben’s compassionate eye as a poet and filmmaker have provided him with extraordinary stories and experiences.

His film Jirga, filmed in Afghanistan, explores the complexities of war, guilt and the pursuit of forgiveness. The film reflects Benjamin’s own spiritual journey and search for the best of humanity in all its messiness and glory.