| August 18, 2016

Creative local student wins national competition to honour Australia’s Vietnam War sacrifice

A school student from Kyabram P-12 College has won a national competition to commemorate Australia’s Vietnam War veterans on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

The Nationals Member for Murray, Damian Drum said Sarah Varcoe was a worthy winner of the Federal Government’s Honouring Australian Vietnam Veterans Competition, which was open to all students from years nine to 11.

“This year, as Australia honours the men and women who served in Vietnam, it is essential that future generations learn about this important chapter in our history and respect the service and sacrifice of those who defend our country,” Mr Drum said.

“This competition encouraged students to reflect on the Australians who served in Vietnam and submit an entry which spoke about the importance of remembering and honouring their sacrifice and our wartime history.”

Sarah submitted an artwork and rationale on the role of dog handlers and 9 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force during the Vietnam War. Sarah’s artwork of a newspaper collage included wartime articles from different part of the world which expressed how people felt about wars at the time.

“Obviously, the judges were very impressed with Sarah’s entry and she has been invited to Canberra to participate in a commemorative program of events this week,” Mr Drum said.

The competition winners will attend the national service on 18 August for the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan and receive a plaque and certificate from Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan.

Almost 60,000 Australians served in Vietnam from 1962 until 1975, 521 lost their lives and more than 3000 wounded. Many more veterans suffered, and continue to suffer, because of their service.

On 18 August, Australia will honour the sacrifice of our servicemen and women during the Vietnam War on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, which is also Vietnam Veterans’ Day.

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