The Hon Matt Keogh MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Tomorrow marks 50 years since the 1973 proclamation of the end of Australian involvement in the Vietnam War.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh said 11 January also marks the beginning of the official Vietnam 50 commemorations for 2023.
“More than 60,000 Australians served in Vietnam, over 3,000 were wounded and 523 lost their lives in the longest conflict Australia was involved in during the 20th Century,” Minister Keogh said.
“This was a war that was at times contentious at home, and for some veterans their service not recognised as it should have been.
“In December we marked the 50th anniversary of the Whitlam Labor Government’s end to the last National Service scheme in Australia and the anniversary of the withdrawal of the Australian Army Training Team in Vietnam.
“The Australian Government is honouring those who served, and throughout this commemorative year will specifically recognise and honour the service and sacrifice of Vietnam veterans and their families,” Minister Keogh said.
All Vietnam Veterans and National Servicemen, even if they were not deployed, are eligible to claim through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and entitled to a White Card that includes mental health support.
DVA will recognise this significant anniversary through a broad awareness campaign throughout 2023 including a documentary series to be screened on the ABC, and providing historical and educational resources to schools, ex-service organisations and community groups.
This will culminate in a national commemorative service on Vietnam Veterans’ Day, 18 August 2023, in Canberra, recognising the service of all Australians who served in the Vietnam War and honouring the sacrifices that they and their families made.
For more information about acknowledging the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, visit the Vietnam War commemorative service on the DVA website.
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Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling provides 24/7 free confidential crisis support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families on 1800 011 046 or the Open Arms website. Safe Zone Support provides anonymous counselling on 1800 142 072. Defence All-Hours Support Line provides support for ADF personnel on 1800 628 036 or the Defence Health Portal. Defence Member and Family Helpline provides support for Defence families on 1800 624 608