Vietnam Veterans' Federation of Australia Inc.


An Australian perspective of the Vietnam War for students

What happened when we came home

Successful research and achievements



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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. We begin our story during WW11, when Japan invaded the French colony of Indo China, including Vietnam.

Download the full historical account HERE


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 embarked from HMAS Sydney in their home port States. Many, many more, like National Servicemen, doctors and nurses, were more likely to be flown into Sydney's airport on a late night journey, then dispersed among their waiting families, or wait hours for a connecting flight or train ride home.

Reported in some historical pieces as more anecdotal, and summarily dismissed, it is this type of reporting that provides an insight into the root causes that became an undesirable aftermath of a dreadful war.

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The Vietnam War was a complicated one and not open to purely military solutions. It was a war where politics, ideology and military warfare were woven into a single pattern. It was a war in which military commanders needed an understanding of political matters to make good decisions and where similarly, politicians needed an understanding of military matters to give effective direction.

The need for this dual understanding came from the nature of the war. There were many senior US and allied commanders, civilian and military, whose failure to understand the nature of the war resulted in tragic military mistakes, harmful political direction and dramatically wrong predictions of the progress of the war.

Couple these factors with changes to political parties, the ideology of the general public, and even an unsympathetic mindset among determining officers within the dva. It is no wonder we banded together to fight for our rights.

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We are proud of our accomplishments, and rightly so. The constant surveillance of DVA and government activity in relation to veteran policy, and the effects their actions have on those they are supposed to accomodate with beneficial care, has proven to be consistently opposite to the intentions of veterans law, time and time again.

That we need to go so far as to the AAT, where we have an extremely high success rate, against heavily weighted teams of QCs and Barristers, shows the lengths DVA will take to argue every point of Law, rather than apply themselves to the duty of care toward the veteran and their familiy.

In recent times, and in light of the sad inncrease in the suicide of those still serving, we have successfully sought due compensation for the partners left behind. That DVA even sought to deny a just payout, and make such claims (in court), that 'DVA have no duty of care toward veterans', is testament that fundamental change in beneficial treatment toward veterans and their families needs to be addressed from the top down within DVA

Download an insight into our accomplishments HERE