Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State


The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, today announced a one-off school competition to honour Australia’s Vietnam veterans.

The Honouring Australian Vietnam Veterans secondary school competition encourages students in years 9 and 10 to explore the service of Australia’s Vietnam veterans, and to reflect on the importance of remembering their involvement in the conflict. 

The Vietnam War saw some 60,000 servicemen and women deployed overseas, and more than 500 Australian lives lost, in the longest 20th century conflict in which Australia participated.

“Today, as we mark Vietnam Veterans’ Day and the 49th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, I encourage secondary school students to participate in this opportunity to learn more about the bravery and determination of our Vietnam veterans,” Senator Ronaldson said. 

“By entering the competition, students will learn about the many battles and engagements involving Australians, including the most significant battle for us, the Battle of Long Tan, which sadly took 18 Australian lives.

“They will also learn about the difficulties many of our Vietnam veterans endured when they returned from service,” Senator Ronaldson said.

The competition is open from today until Friday, 8 April 2016, giving students two full terms to participate. Winning students will be invited to attend a three-day Canberra Commemorative Programme in August 2016 where they will visit cultural institutions and attend the national commemorative event marking the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

“The Honouring Australian Vietnam Veterans schools competition is one of several initiatives linked to the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary national programme. A key aim of this programme is to improve education and awareness about Australia’s wartime history, especially among younger Australians, and initiatives such as this one are vital to its success,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Further information, including entry details, the competition question, guidelines and frequently asked questions, is available at www.anzacportal.dva.gov.au/competitions

Media enquiries:

Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381

Department of Veterans’ Affairs media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

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