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$50,000 for national Vietnam memorial rededication.



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Media Release The Hon Danna Vale MP   Minister for Veterans' Affairs Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence Federal Member for Hughes

VA108 Monday 26 August 2002

$50,000 FOR NATIONAL VIETNAM MEMORIAL REDEDICATION

The Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Danna Vale and ACT Liberal Senator Margaret Reid today presented a $50,000 cheque to the Vietnam Veterans' Association of Australia to help fund the rededication of the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra in October this year.

The Minister said the funding was part of the Federal Government's commitment to commemorating Australia's service in Vietnam by supporting a major reunion in October to mark the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the memorial. The cheque was accepted by Mr Pete Ryan, the Acting President of the ACT branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia.

"In 1992, thousands of Vietnam veterans assembled in Canberra to attend the dedication of this memorial. Many others, for a variety of reasons, were unable to attend," Minister Vale said.

"The Vietnam veteran community is coming together from 5-7 October to remember that historic occasion. The Federal Government is pleased to be able to present funding of $50,000, under the Howard Government's new Saluting Their Service program, to help meet the costs of the commemorative activities," Minister Vale said.

Senator Reid said the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial had become a powerful symbol of the service, sacrifice and suffering of those who served our nation in Vietnam.

"This year's anniversary will be a fitting opportunity to rededicate the memorial and to renew our commitment to ensure that the service of Vietnam veterans is remembered by new generations of Australians," she said.

The anniversary weekend will feature an early morning parade on Saturday 5 October at the Australian War Memorial and a march past down Anzac Parade followed by the rededication service at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial.

The rededication will also offer an opportunity for veterans to march past their memorial as part of the re-dedication ceremony - something that was not possible 10 years ago because of logistical reasons.

"The weekend of 5-7 October promises to be a marvellous weekend for Canberra and the nation," Senator Reid said.

Other activities planned for the weekend include unit reunions and an ecumenical church service on Sunday 6 October at the Changi Chapel Duntroon. More information about the 10th anniversary re-dedication is available from the VVAA at www.vvaa.org.au and the VVFA at www.vvfagranville.org.au.

Media contacts: Rachael Thompson (Minister Vale) 02 6277 7820 or 0417 265 289 Ilona Fraser (Senator Reid) : 0409 446 864