Affiliated with the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia
THIS PAGE REPRESENTS OUR LEGACY AND BRINGS TOGETHER A FOCUS ON THE RIGHTS OF VETERANS. FOR ACADEMICS AND STUDENTS ALIKE, THE INFORMATION PROVIDED HERE WILL ENABLE THE MOST DISCERNING TO GAIN AWARENESS INTO ONE OF AUSTRALIAS MOST TURBULENT PERIODS, AND THE AFTERMATH THAT FOLOWED.
FOR TODAYS SOLDIER AND THE YOUNGER VETERAN IT WILL GIVE AN INSIGHT INTO WHAT HISTORY HAS TAUGHT US, AND GIVE YOU THE ENCOURAGEMENT TO CONTINUE THE FIGHT TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS.
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WHEN WE CAME HOME
Not for us, the march down capital city streets. Not for us, the bands playing, or the flag waving, and the sounds of a cheering throng. Yes, some returning soldiers marched in battalion formation as they disembarked from HMAS Sydney in their home port States. Many, many more, like National Servicemen, doctors and nurses, were more likely to arrive at Sydney's airport on a late night flight direct from Saigon, then dispersed among their waiting families, or wait hours for a connecting flight or train ride home.
Read about it HERE
IN THE BEGINNING
During November and December 1979 meetings between veterans began to take place in Victoria, Sydney and Brisbane. In January 1980 organised meetings between Australian Vietnam Veterans took place in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. By the end of January1980, at a meeting held at ANZAC House in Melbourne it was decided that the veterans should link up nationally, and the name Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (VVAA) was adopted.
Why these men came together is a chapter in history that is worth learning...read or download HERE
THE BIRTH OF THE FEDERATION
For several years between 1981 and 1989 there was an ill wind between the NSW Branch, the Victorian Branch and the National Executive of the VVAA. This was to come to a head when, after several attempts at mediation, the VVAA National Council refused to respond to questions put to a National Meeting, by the NSW President.
Those wishing to know why there are two Vietnam Veterans Groups in Australia, should read HERE
THE VIETNAM WAR-An Australian perspective
What is referred to as the Vietnam War began for the US in the early 1950s when it deployed military advisors to support South Vietnam forces. Australian advisors joined the war in 1962. South Korea, New Zealand, The Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand also sent troops.
The war ended for Australian forces on 11 January 1973, in a proclamation by Governor General Sir Paul Hasluck. 12 days before the Paris Peace Accord was signed, although it was another 2 years later in May 1975, that North Vietnam troops overran Saigon, (Now Ho Chi Minh City), and declared victory.
But this was only the most recent chapter of an era spanning many decades, indeed centuries, of conflict in the region now known as Vietnam.
A study of the Vietnam War for academics and students. Download the full story HERE
THE AGENT ORANGE LEGACY
For many of Australia’s Vietnam veterans, the term ‘Agent Orange’ prompts an emotional response, as they recall their lengthy battle to determine the true impact of their wartime exposure, both on their own health and that of their children. It would therefore seem reasonable to assume that any historical account of the Agent Orange controversy would provide some insight into this hard-fought campaign.
Curiously, this has not been the approach of the Australian War Memorial, whose official histories have tended not to underscore the veterans’ experience so much as to isolate and even malign those seeking the truth.
Read the amazing insight, 'HONEST HISTORY' paper by Jacqueline Bird, HERE
AGENT ORANGE - THEN
Read our National Researcher's, Graham Walker AM, account of our battle to get the government and DVA, firsly, to recognise that indiscriminate spraying of toxic chemicals affected Australian service personnel in South Vietnam, and secondly, that accounts recorded in official historical records are incorrect.
Along the way Grahams' experience, and that of former VVFA and NSW Branch President, Tim McCombe OAM (deceased), uncovered disturbing undermining tactics DVA used to deny Vietnam Veterans, and their children justice.
Read more HERE
AGENT ORANGE NOW
For more than twenty years we have been fighting for a new and accurate official history of the Agent Orange controversy to be commissioned. In 2015 our efforts were rewarded.
In 2016, the project of writing a new official history titled The Medical and Health Legacy of the Vietnam War began. It would take three and a half years and cost one and a half million dollars and be carried out by historian Dr Peter Yule.
Read our July 2019 update report HERE
Read our review of Dr Peter Yules book, 'The Long Shadow' HERE