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$1,250 in grants for Vietnam commemorations.

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David Hawker MP Federal Member for Wannon Electorate Office: 190 Gray Street, Hamilton, Vic., 3300 Ph: (03) 5572 1100 or Local Call 1300 131 692 Fax: (03) 55 72 1141 Email: Web:

Media Release The Hon David Hawker MP Speaker of the House of Representatives Federal Member for Wannon

9 August 2006


The Federal Government will provide a grant of $1,250 to help South West veterans commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, Federal member for Wannon, David Hawker, announced today.

The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia Warrnambool Sub-branch will use the funds to provide transport for Vietnam veterans to travel from Portland, Warrnambool, Terang, Camperdown and Colac to attend a service at the Melbourne Shire of Remembrance on 18 August 2006, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

“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 of the Vietnam War,” Mr Hawker said.

“On 18 August 1966, Australian soldiers from D Company 6th Battalion, The Royal Australia 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 an opportunity to recognise and commemorate the service of all Australian servicemen and women in Vietnam,” he said.

Warrnambool Sub-branch secretary, Mr Terry McInerney, said that the grant will be well received by the local veteran community as many have medical conditions which would make travel by train too difficult.

“We’ll be taking a coach and hope to have around thirty passengers on board, both veterans and their wives. It should also promote a great sense of community among Vietnam veterans in the South West,” he said.

Mr Hawker said part of the 2006 Federal Budget commitment had been set aside for grants to fund major commemorative activities throughout Australia.

Other initiatives funded by the Government include: • a national commemorative service at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial and a concert at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra; • developing an online nominal roll of Vietnam veterans and establishing a website focusing on Australia’s

involvement in Vietnam and other South-East Asian conflicts; • grants for museums that record Australia’s experiences in Vietnam; and • expanding the Long Tan Bursary Scheme from 30 $6000 bursaries to 50 $9000 bursaries paid as $3000 a year for three years.

Further information regarding Australian Government's commemorations program is available at


Media contact: Jane Templeton (02) 6277 4006