Remembering Australia's War in Vietnam

An exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s war in Vietnam has opened today at the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park Sydney.

Minister for Veterans and Transport David Elliott said the exhibition Remembering Australia’s War in Vietnam, 1962–72, honours the 55,000 Australians who served in the Vietnam War, the 3,000 who were wounded and the 519 Australians who died on active service.

“Fifty years ago in March 1972, the last Australian combat forces were withdrawn from Vietnam, bringing an end to our involvement in the war. The Vietnam War divided the population, and the animosities created over its duration lasted for decades,” Mr Elliott said.

“There is no dispute however, about the courage and professionalism of those who served, and this exhibition helps to honour the contributions made by all veterans of the Vietnam War.”

The exhibition includes objects and personal anecdotes from the lived experiences of four Australians – Lieutenant Colonel John Hutcheson, the last Australian engineer officer to leave Vietnam, Flying Officer Ian Thompson who was one of the first RAAF gunship pilots to deploy, Australian entertainer Mary Peck, and Lieutenant Colonel Mary Gillespie, a nurse working in a military hospital in Sydney.

Senior Historian and Curator Brad Manera said the exhibition is not a history of the Vietnam War but rather a collection of stories by those whose lives were touched by the war.

“The objects on display reveal a diversity of experience from the pilot of a helicopter gunship to a senior engineer officer to a rock and roll musician who provided a vital reminder of the world beyond the war for thousands of young soldiers, and many other glimpses of a conflict that changed a generation,” Mr Manera said.

Remembering Australia’s War in Vietnam, 1962–72 will close on 31 December 2022, and is open to the public 7 days a week and can also be viewed digitally on the Anzac Memorial website —

MEDIA: Penny Ghosn | 0460 566 213

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