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$9729 in grants for Queensland Vietnam commemorations.

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Minister for Veterans' Affairs Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence

Monday 14 August 2006 VA075


The Australian Government has provided six additional grants totalling $9729 to help the Queensland veteran community commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Bruce Billson, announced today.

Mr Billson said the funding was being used for projects that honour and remember the service and sacrifice of Australia’s servicemen and women in Vietnam.

“The Australian Government committed $4.5 million in the 2006-07 Federal Budget to commemorate Australian service in Vietnam and the 40th anniversary this year of the Battle of Long Tan - arguably the best-known Australian action during the Vietnam War,” he said.

“On 18 August 1966, Australian soldiers from D Company 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, encountered an enemy force of more than 2500 in a rubber plantation north of the village of Long Tan. Although heavily outnumbered, the Australians held firm with a remarkable display of courage and determination until a relief force arrived.

“This anniversary provides us with an opportunity to recognise and commemorate the service of all Australian servicemen and women in Vietnam,” he said.

The Minister said part of the Budget commitment had been set aside for grants to fund major commemorative activities throughout Australia.

Other initiatives funded by the Government include:

z a commemorative service at the Australian Vietnam Forces National

Memorial and a concert at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra; z developing an online nominal roll of Vietnam veterans and a website

focusing on Australia’s involvement in Vietnam and other South-East Asian conflicts; z grants for museums that record Australia’s experiences in Vietnam; and

z expanding the Long Tan Bursary Scheme from 30 $6000 bursaries to 50

$9000 bursaries paid as $3000 a year for three years.

Mr Billson said the Australian Government had consulted Vietnam veteran organisations in developing this range of initiatives and would continue to work with them on the implementation to ensure their great service and sacrifice was acknowledged.

Media inquiries: Cameron Hill 0408 239 521

Editor’s note: A list of the grant recipients is provided below.

Saluting Their Service Grants - Grants for activities to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan Victoria

z The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia, Southport & Districts

Sub-branch, will receive a grant of $1500 to hold a commemorative service, followed by refreshments, at the Southport Cenotaph on 18 August 2006. z The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia, Logan & Albert Sub-

branch, will receive a grant of $3000 to hold a commemorative service and wreath-laying ceremony, followed by a luncheon, at the Mabel Park State High School on 15 August 2006. z The Cardwell Ex-services & Citizens Memorial Club will receive a grant of

$1840 to hold a memorial service at the Cardwell Cenotaph, followed by a get-together at the Cardwell Ex-services Club on 18 August 2006. z Veterans Support & Advocacy Service Australia, Warwick Sub-branch,

will receive a grant of $1790 to hold a remembrance service at the Warwick War Memorial Precinct, followed by a light luncheon at the Warwick RSL Service and Citizens Memorial Club on 18 August 2006. z The Beachmere RSL Sub-branch will receive a grant of $858 to install

two commemorative seats with plaques dedicated to Vietnam veterans, outside the Beachmere Shopping Centre.

The Beaudesert RSL Sub-branch will receive a grant of $741 to install a 40th anniversary commemorative plaque in the Beaudesert Memorial Gar