Melissa’s Message

News and views from the Federal Member for Lindsay


This week marks 50 years since the proclamation to end the nation’s involvement in the Vietnam War by then Governor-General Sir Paul Hasluck.

On this day we remember the young men, barely adults, setting out on an adventure across the sea to an unknown fate, to the heartache and pain of war. For those in our community who fought in Vietnam, thank you for being so brave, putting your commitment to serve our country above anything else.

The Vietnam War was a complex conflict, with deep roots in the Cold War and the struggle for control of the Asia-Pacific region. Australia’s involvement in the war began in 1962, when a small number of military advisers were sent to South Vietnam to assist in the fight against communist forces.

Over the next decade, Australia’s commitment to the war grew, with more than 60,000 Australians serving in Vietnam. Over 3,000 were wounded and 523 gave the greatest sacrifice, including Errol Noack, the first national serviceman to be killed in Vietnam at 21 years old, just ten days into his service. “I don’t want to go to war but I must obey the call to duty. I will go and do my best,” he said.

Every Australian who served showed great courage and resilience. They demonstrated their bravery and determination in the face of great adversity. They showed the world what it means to be an Australian – to stand up for what is right, to fight for freedom and democracy, and to serve our country with honour and distinction.

On 18 August and always, lest we forget.