Hunted Australia’s deputy of operations Reece Dewar OAM has been hunting down real fugitives for over two decades. Now, the “civilian” has revealed just how “real” the show actually is.
Speaking on Mediaweek and Chattr’s The Entertainment Hotline podcast before the show premiered on July 17, Dewar said that the Powers of State used are forms of technology that were previously operated by the Australian Special Forces.
“The Powers of State that we replicate for the hunting of the Fugitives, those are things that have been used in the past,” he said. “I’m not saying they’re being used now or [will be] in the future, but definitely in the past.”
Dewar also revealed the importance of protecting what they call “T.T.Ps” (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures), which are currently in use.
“We don’t want to shine a light on things that are being conducted now,” he said. “Because if we do that, then we could compromise those people that are still in the job today of serving our nation.”
And just like the technology, the cast of Hunters are also very real and former operatives.
“The people in the room and the people on the ground, they’re true operatives,” he said. “They’re intelligence operatives, they’re analysts, they’re psych analysts, they’re cybersecurity professionals, every one of them has a very illustrious career and are at the front of their expertise.”
The Hunters on Hunted Australia 2023 “flick the switch”
While the Fugitives may have a clear vision of what to expect after the success of the 2022 season, Dewar said that it’s also not new to the HQ staff and ground Hunters.
“The dynamic within the teams and the dynamic within the headquarters is quite real,” he said. “And we get straight into it this time, there’s no break.
“I don’t know if you’ve watched Special Operations movies, or army movies or military-type style movies, but they often coin a phrase called ‘flicking the switch’ and that’s when you are in immersed in an operation, you’re immersed in a task or a mission. I found that was the same thing that happened on the show. It was one of those things that once we walk on the floor, that’s it, we’ve flipped that switch, and we’re on.”
The former Australian Defence Force officer also said that he used his former knowledge to hunt down the Fugitives by using the psychological tools he learned.
“In my previous life, being a member of special forces, hunting down live terrorists, or real terrorists, you have to start thinking like them. And one of the things that I was always taught during my military career is that if you want to defeat an adversary, you’ve got to start thinking like them, so that’s what we’ve got to do. And that’s no change to how the Fugitives work. Once we find out who they are, where they come from, and what their backgrounds are, then we can start looking at what their psyche is. How they’re going to operate.”
Can Reece Dewar OAM head back into the Special Forces?
One of the main points to note is that Dewar is not an “actor”, in fact, his previous profession required anonymity and “didn’t allow” him to be in the public eye.
“I haven’t really done anything like this in the past,” he admitted. “And obviously, my previous work life, my previous profession, didn’t allow me to do it. I’m no longer associated and I was brought in as a civilian, but it was quite a daunting thing.
“I was actually meant to come in as a trainer and an advisor, not so much as being on camera, if that makes sense,” he added. “So, I was really taken aback by the offer to be in front of the camera. It was an easy decision to make in regards to being part of the show but it was a hard decision to be on TV.”
As for whether he would join the Special Forces again, he said: “Look, I would love to but I’m not 20 years old anymore. It’s a young man’s game or a young woman’s game. You’ve got to be extremely fit. It’s a very different lifestyle.”
He added: “The other side of it is that your mindset changes. I’ve said this to my own family. It’s a very ‘self career. It’s all about self. It’s all about the mission, it’s all about the job. That’s the way it is. And the reason why I say that now is because I didn’t realise it when I was in the job.
“There’s one thing we always say. You never want to be a liability to a team. The day you think you’re a liability is the day you need to take your boots off and step aside and you’ve just got to have the moral courage and the ability to be able to identify that and then move on.”
Listen to the full interview with Hunted Australia’s Reece Dewar on The Entertainment Hotline Podcast.
Hunted Australia premieres on Monday, July 17 at 7.30 pm on 10 and 10Play.