Gippsland students can now apply for a once-in-a-generation opportunity to visit Vietnam as part of a study tour to mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing is encouraging local students to consider applying for a spot on the trip that will shine a spotlight on the war that helped shape Australia’s military history. Some 60,000 Australian ground troops, air force and navy personnel served in Vietnam, and 521 were killed.

Now, the Andrews Labor Government and the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia Victorian Branch are giving ten students the chance to see for themselves a nation so
pivotal to Australia’s story. The group will visit Australia’s key battle sites, as well as places of historical significance in Ho Chi Minh, Saigon and Hanoi.

When entering, students are asked to explore the topic of the “Controversial Vietnam War”, and the issues that prompted debate amongst a nation. The 11-year war was set against a backdrop of divided public opinion over conscription and the use of chemical and guerrilla warfare. The Vietnam War was the first to be played out on television.

Students can make written submissions, or enter craft or audio visual projects. The Vietnam War History Competition is open to all Victorian Year 10 and 11 students, but entries close on March 27. Teachers wishing to secure a chaperone position are also encouraged to apply.

The study group will be announced at the Vietnam Veterans State Reception at the National Gallery of Victoria. The group will travel in September 2016.
For more information visit www.vvaavic.org.au

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing:

“Gippsland has a proud history of producing students who go on to become great leaders. This is their chance to do just that.”

“I encourage schools, students and parents to consider applying for this wonderful opportunity.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Veterans, John Eren:

“This competition is a great opportunity for young Victorians to learn more about the history of the Vietnam War and reflect on the impact this conflict had on communities during this time”

“It encourages young people to stop and think about a time where men and women, not much older than themselves, were put in extraordinary circumstances.”