City hosts Vietnam Veterans’ conference

November 26, 2021 BY

Bill Akell explains the Battle of Long Tan artist’s interpretation, which was donated to Phillip Island’s Vietnam Veterans Museum. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE 2021 state Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Australia conference was held in Ballarat this month.

The Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Australia Ballarat Sub-Branch hosted 80 people with events in the sergeant’s mess of the 8/7 RVR Ranger Barracks in Alfredton, and the City Oval Bowls Club.

VVAA Ballarat secretary Gordon Hunt said a community meet-and-greet on Friday, 12 November hosted visitors from across Victoria, and local guests including City of Ballarat mayor Cr Daniel Moloney, Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison, and Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle.

“Cr Moloney accepted the symbolic donation of four flagpoles from president Eric Duggan, donated by the Ballarat Sub-Branch for use at the South East Asia Memorial, on the corners of Dawson and Sturt streets, Ballarat,” Mr Hunt said.

“The Ballarat Sub-Branch also donated a numbered copy of an artist’s impression of the Battle of Long Tan, on the 18th of August 1966, to the Vietnam Veterans Museum at Phillip Island.”

Museum president John Methven OAM received the artwork from local resident Bill Akell, who was a member of D Company 6 RAR and involved in the action.

The state conference was formally opened by Federal Member for Ballarat Catherine King on Saturday, 13 November, before the book launch of When He Came Home by Dianne Dempsey, and an afternoon tea at the Midlands-Ballarat RSL Sports and Services Club.

“The book describes the dealings of a family of a veteran coming home from war,” Mr Hunt said.

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