On this day in 1965, then Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced in Parliament that Australia would send an infantry battalion of combat troops to Vietnam, significantly increasing our commitment to Australia’s longest 20th century conflict.

More than 60,000 Australians served in Vietnam, with over 3,000 wounded. Sadly, 523 Australians lost their lives during the Vietnam War. On this day, we honour those who lost their lives.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh noted the significance of the Anniversary and paid tribute to those who served in the defence of our nation during the Vietnam War.

“This was a war that was at times contentious at home, and for some veterans, their service was not recognised as it should have been.”

“Throughout 2023, the Australian Government is recognising the contribution of Vietnam veterans, their service in Vietnam and their role as integral members of the ex-service community in the decades since the war,” Minister Keogh said.

“To each and every one of our Vietnam veterans: we honour you, we thank you.”

On Vietnam Veterans’ Day, 18 August 2023, a national commemorative service will be held at the Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra to recognise the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

For more information about the service and the 50th anniversary, and to apply for a commemorative medallion, visit the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website: dva.gov.au/vietnam50


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