Vietnam Veterans’ Day and the Battle of Long Tan

TODAY on Vietnam Veterans’ Day and the 52nd anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, all Australians are encouraged to pause and reflect on the service and sacrifice of the men and women who served during the Vietnam War.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester will pay his respects to all those who served in the Vietnam War, laying a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day Service at the National Australian Vietnam Forces Memorial, ANZAC Parade, Canberra.
“The Vietnam War was Australia’s longest military engagement of the 20th Century with almost 60,000 Australians serving during a decade of conflict between 1962 and 1972,” Mr Chester said.
“Each year on the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, Australia commemorates all those who served in the Vietnam War, including the more than 500 Australians who lost their lives.”
“Today we acknowledge and honour all who served in Vietnam during 10 years of war and we honour the veterans who have lost their lives in the years since they returned, those who still carry the physical and emotional scars of their service and the families that have stood by them.”
The Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day Service in Canberra is organised each year by the Vietnam Veterans and Veterans Federation ACT Inc.
“The Battle of Long Tan, on the 18 August 1966, was one of the fiercest battles fought by Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War. A total of 17 Australians were killed in action and 25 were wounded, one of whom died a few days later,” Mr Chester said.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Australia and the role it played in the establishment of a dedicated counselling service providing specialised mental health and support services to all veterans and their families — the Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service, now known as the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS).”
Australians are encouraged to attend the Last Post Ceremony held at the Australian War Memorial at 4:55pm AEST today to commemorate Vietnam Veterans’ Day and the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.
It will remember the service and sacrifice of Petty Officer O’Brian Cedric Ignatious Phillips who served during the Vietnam War in the Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight Vietnam and was killed in action in a helicopter crash on 21 August 1968, aged 32.

Veteran skills enlisted to help defend Australia’s welfare system

The Department of Human Services is partnering with key veterans’ employment agency WithYouWithMe to help give Australia’s former service men and women much needed opportunities to re-skill for civilian life.

Up to 36 veterans will be engaged by the Department of Human Services over the next three years to train and work within its cyber security branch, which defends the welfare system against the very real threat of online attacks.

 

The recruits have all been hand-picked by training provider WithYouWithMe as part of its ‘Talent Unleashed’ program, which assists former Navy, Army and Air Force personnel to transition into new careers.

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Look back at VP Day, cost of war

LOST in all the media fog over past days was the 73rd anniversary of Victory in the Pacific in World War II.
Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945 after US aircraft dropped atomic weapons on Hiroshima, then Nagasaki.
Until these devastating attacks Japan had shown no inclination to end hostilities, despite Allied preparations to invade the Japanese mainland.
Historians can only speculate what that may have cost in lives and materiel, or whether it would even have succeeded as had the Allied invasion of Europe 14 months earlier.
Victory in Europe was declared on May 8, 1945 when Germany surrendered.
However, despite Japan’s capitulation, formal surrender ceremonies would not happen until September 2, when US General Douglas McArthur formally received Japanese representatives aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

DFWA/ADSO Continues to call on the Government to include CSC into the Royal Commission INTO THE ROYAL COMMISSION INTO BANKING AND SUPERANNUATION

In a Media Statement released today (16th August 2018)  DFWA’s National President  Kel Ryan continues DFWA’s and ADSO’s call on the Turnbull Government to include CSC into the Royal Commission.

 

 

 

 

 

“The Government cannot hide for much longer.

The Senate has agreed a Motion that the Hayne Royal Commission be extended to include the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation.

In a wide-ranging Motion Senator Anning (Queensland) identified that 6,800 submissions had been received but that the resources made available to the Commissioner does not allow them justice let alone a hearing. Commissioner Haynes simply does not have the resources or the personnel to ensure fairness and a hearing to those thousands of individuals who have been confronted by the tragedy being identified.

The Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse was extended to five years, had seven commissioners and heard from thousands of aggrieved individuals.

Prime Minister Turnbull needs to answer a simple question but is unable to or afraid to.

Why is the Government unwilling to extend the Royal Commission to include the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation and give justice to those veterans who tragic stories need to be told?

Why?”

Poem – Joanna Collett – Where’s the Aussie Aid?

Dear Mrs Collett

Goodonya lovely lady to write of problems in OZ which are rife

Thanks to Canberra Suits, our once lucky country is in big strife

Long ago with blood, sweat and tears, we became a free nation

Until a space age virus whacked Pollys with blindness and retardation

Hang in there lovely lady, let your voice be loud and never mute

I support your views with this letter to the Boss of Canberra suits

Dear Prime Minister,

Political correctness is gathering speed to change what used to be

While OZ burns, Parliament fiddles with debates on He or She 

Gladiators paint finger nails pink and chastened if foe are made dead 

Black is no longer black, and if you disagree, be careful what is said

Racist, bigot or homophobic is now used to counter opposing views  

Ape, dunce, midget, sheila and basxxtard are terrible words and taboo **

On TV, you quoted from Dot’s poem, of “Drought and flooding rain”

It’s been heard for over a hundred years by thirsty mobs in pain

Yet still with each flood, precious gold escapes freely to the sea

Sir, go abroad where lakes and dams are where arid land used to be

Let’s get off our arse and create a disaster fund this very day

You could start by reducing foreign aid until we can pay our way  

There are no leaders at the wheel and OZ is on a dangerous sea

Reefs of poverty, discontent, and disunity are near and soon to be

It’s time to change direction and once more be united as one

Time for true blue leaders to take us from darkness and find the sun

To rationalise immigration, debt, energy, kill PC and much more

Rescue our beloved OZ, stolen by a noisy few, or go find the* #*door

George Mansford  – August 18

***The reason I distort basxxxsrd is because a robot rejects all of the message to many recipients. 

 

Mrs Collett’s letter poem to the Prime Minister says:

G’day Mr Turnbull, I trust that you are fine,

Sorry to be bothering you, but there’s something on my mind

I listened to a bloke last week; he had a bit to say

You lot may have heard of him? He delivers all that hay?

 

He spoke of countless hours and the distances they drive

Feeding starving stock, to keep bush hopes alive

They do not get assistance from your tax funded hat

They do it on their own, all off their own bat

 

I’m not politically minded and I don’t have any clout

And I know you’ve done a tour, to learn about the drought

But there’s just some burning questions, that have left us feeling beat

Why did we fund a foreign land, to learn to cut up meat?

 

And what about those soccer boys, who went and got all lost

You pulled out all the bloody stops, plain just showing off

You’ve bigger problems here at home, there’s drought up to our necks

So what does your mob go and do?  Give them big fat cheques!

 

Don’t they have a government to deal with all this stuff?

Why should it be up to us, what’s with all your fuss?

Should we not be reigning in and look after our own

Have you never heard the phrase “charity starts at home”?

 

I realise there’s many things, that need an allocation

And I also can appreciate, complex trade relations

I’m not sure if you realise, but if our stock all die,

There won’t be any trade you see, your deals will all run dry

 

As a rule we’re not a whinging lot, our requests are but a few

Most of us who work the land, are tested, tried and true

We respect that we are guardians, and sustain it for the kids

But I often have to wonder, what future will it bring?

 

I guess all that I’m wondering, is “where’s the Aussie aid”?

Wrapped up in a swag of tape, only then to be repaid ! 

There’s Aussie blokes and chicks out there, putting you to shame

Helping fellow Australians, in their time of pain

 

I’m just a simple farmer, grazier, wife and mum

And even though we’re feeding stock, we’re better off than some

I’ve never had to shoot a cow, who could no longer stand

But many have before me, and I pray, I’m not dealt that hand

 

So will you take another look; admit that we’re in strife ?

And do more than bloody empathise, before another farmer takes their life ?

I’d like to think you’ll do what’s right and put Australia first

And help your own damn country, before this drought gets any worse

Joanna Collett
Wee Waa NSW

Valley Veterans: What Vietnam Veterans Day means to those who served

·        Mick Birtles DSC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldiers returning from the Vietnam War look on as a protester covered in red paint interrupts the welcome home parade in Sydney in 1966. Photo by Noel Stubbs, Fairfax Media.

Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War continued longer than any other conflict of the twentieth century.  Beginning as a small commitment in 1962 and concluding in 1975.

Approximately 60,000 Australian’s served in Vietnam with the loss of 500 lives and over 3000 wounded. There was little opposition to our participation in the early years, however this changed as perception grew that the war was being lost and conscripts were increasingly being deployed, killed and wounded.

For many of those returning from Vietnam the public anger regarding this country’s involvement in the conflict was personal. Many were shunned and disrespected by elements within the community.

Through the efforts of Vietnam Veterans and their families, the public conscience eventually came to understand that these men and women had been in Vietnam on the direction of their government and were doing their duty. As an act of national recognition, in 1987 Prime Minister Bob Hawke declared the 18th of August each year would be known as Vietnam Veterans Day.

Accepted and respected

There are many Vietnam Veterans who call the Mid North Coast home and I have spoken to a few to get their thoughts on Vietnam Veterans Day.

Mr Wayne Mason of Stuarts Point, a former National Serviceman served in Vietnam as an Infantry soldier. He considers this day is a time to remember all of those who served and did their duty, irrespective of their views on the conflict.

Mr Bill Shepherd of Nambucca Heads, says he does not think back fondly on his time there but remembers those who were killed in action.

 Mr Bill Shepherd in Vietnam during the war and today at home in Nambucca Heads.

Mr Brian Duncan OAM of Nambucca Heads, served in Vietnam with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR), on the first large deployment of combat troops to Vietnam. He says this day provides comfort to many veterans as it demonstrates they are now accepted and respected by the Australian public.

Each of the three Veterans had a different experience on their return to Australia. Mr Mason recalls arriving back in Australia very late at night and generally being shielded from public view, possibly to avoid protesters.

Mr Shepherd remembers being shunned by one RSL Sub Branch on one occasion as the ‘old and bold’ did not consider Vietnam a war, then being overwhelmingly welcomed by another RSL Sub Branch.

During a welcome home parade for 1 RAR in 1966, Mr Duncan was witness to the much-documented actions of a young lady covering herself with red paint and smearing it on the battalion’s commanding officer.

 Mr Brian Duncan (second from the front) looks on as a protester covered in red paint interrupts the welcome home parade in Sydney in 1966. Photo by Noel Stubbs, Fairfax Media and Mr Duncan OAM at home in Hyland Park, Nambucca Heads.

In response to a question I posed to these gentleman regarding their advice to veterans returning to Australia from recent conflicts, their response was similar.

They recommend accepting any help available, that is intended to assist with integration back into the community, to understand there is help for you and to trust your judgement.

Mr Duncan added it is important not to lose contact with your mates who had been through the experience with you, as it is often they who can best understand issues you may be having and be able to lend a helping hand.

Nambucca Valley commemorations

For the Nambucca Valley the 2018 Vietnam Veterans Day Commemorations will be held at Stuarts Point. The service will begin at 11am (gathering at 10:45 am), August 18, 2018 at the Memorial on the corner of Ocean Avenue and Marine Parade, followed by lunch at the Stuarts Point Bowling Club.

About the author: Mick Birtles is a recently retired army officer now living in Nambucca Heads. During his 36-year career, Birtles served in Bougainville, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for command and leadership. Here he shares his interest in the issues effecting veterans on the Mid North Coast.

Veterans Race Day – Kilcoy 18th August

The Kilcoy Race club invites you to participate in  the Veterans’ Race Day which will feature the running of the Butler McDermott Lawyers Vietnam Veterans Cup and supported by five other gallop races, three grass Harness paces and three Mini Trots.

A ceremony will be held prior to the first gallop race.

FREE ADMISSION for all.

Enjoy the Day

Banking royal commission: super rip-offs, gouging revealed

Australians are being ripped off by super fund trustees “surrounded by temptation” to do the wrong thing with the $2.6 trillion retirement savings pile, while regulators are failing to search out and punish bad behaviour, the banks royal commission has heard.

 

 

 

 

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Our Comment

Although the Government has refused to include our military superannuation funds, managed by the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation in the Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference, we will post on this site revelations from the Superannuation Hearings for your information. 

Royal commission spotlight about to shift to super

Australia’s banks may have suffered severe scrutiny during the first part of the royal commission, but with the focus now shifting to superannuation, their situation could become much worse.

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But it’s not just the retail and bank-owned super funds that will go under the microscope. Round five of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry will also focus on industry super funds, which may have cause to be nervous about what’s in store.

It is believed that the Government included super in the royal commission to embarrass industry funds for their connection to unions.

But it may be other factors that bring them undone, including their share of the tens of billions a year in fees extracted from people’s retirement savings.

“We estimate that the excess fees and charges and underperformance in super is about $12 billion a year,” RMIT University Associate Professor Michael Rafferty told the ABC.

“In other words, the rip-off in wealth management is about three to four times the rip-off in banking.”

While industry funds can hardly be accused of underperformance, Prof. Rafferty says that offering services such as financial planning, charging for insurance and prominently advertising their products make them look a lot like retail funds and “the net result of all of this is the whole superannuation industry is charging people too much”, he said.

Industry funds may also come under scrutiny for their lack of transparency, says independent financial adviser Louise Lakomy.

“I think retail funds are better at the transparency piece, because you can usually have some kind of research paper or some kind of product detail that goes into who the fund manager is, what the exposure is to a commercial property, retail property,” said Ms Lakomy.

“It goes into a lot more detail than what a typical industry fund would do.’’

Australia’s biggest superannuation provider, AMP, may have already borne the brunt of the brutal royal commission investigation, with billions wiped off the company’s value, half a billion in costs, recommendations for criminal charges and barely a body left sitting in the top offices but, if its banking practices are anything to go by, once the focus shifts to super, it can expect a lot worse.

The Productivity Commission has already indicated that it won’t be pretty for super. Earlier this year, it released a report damning providers for exorbitant fees and what it believes is a sector imbued with corruption, inefficiency and unnecessary costs.

One such cost is insurance, which can wipe out huge portions of retirement incomes. According to the Productivity Commission’s draft report on super, one in four people don’t realise they’re paying for life insurance as part of super. If these people have multiple accounts, they could be losing hundreds of thousands over the life of their funds.

“Income protection policies have terms which say you can only collect under one policy,” said Grattan Institute chief John Daley.

“So, by definition, if you have a number of those policies, people are paying premiums and they could never collect on them.”

Industry regulators, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) are also up for a roasting, with many finance experts saying the both talk the talk when it comes to regulation, but do not walk the walk.

According to the same draft report, APRA has been missing in action when it comes to regulating Australia’s $2.6 trillion super industry.

The report revealed that one in four funds – retail, industry, corporate and government funds – consistently underperform, a fact which is hidden by the lack of quality performance data.

The Productivity Commission has accused the regulators of not holding funds accountable for bad behaviour, to the detriment of millions of Australian fund holders.

“The problem here is the regulators needing more spine,” said Mr Daley.

“Regulators in Australia, financial regulators, by and large have plenty of powers, the issue is whether or not those powers are exercised.”

One thing is certain: the next few weeks will be an eye-opener for fund holders, but will any such action taken as a result of the commission actually benefit retirees who may have been victims of super rorts over the past 25 years? Or will the result be the Government putting the onus back onto the customer, for not having chosen the right fund in the first place?

We’ll see.

What would you expect as a fair result of the royal commission into super? Should you expect compensation for poor practice? Or do you trust that your fund has performed and behaved admirably?

ADSO Comment

Very good questions to be asked except for the 700,000 Australian military and Australian Public servant clients of the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation  (CSC) that has been expressly excluded from the Royal Commission

Royal Commission

They have no choice of Funds.

The Prime Minister’s refusal to have the CSC included is in his words the government agencies have a higher standard of scrutiny through legislation and legislators, the National Audit office and parliamentary senate estimates hearings. Doesn’t some of this sound familiar as reasons why the Government opposed the Royal Commission into banking?

Related articles:

A Shock to the Super System

Super Funds Exploiting Members

Can you trust your Super Funds

Help Us in Supporting the Case for CSC inclusion

 

Opinion – Sinking $50b into antiquity

Ross Eastgate – 2 August 2018

AUSTRALIA’S first submarines were British designed and built E Class boats.in 1911 and delivered in 2014. Australia’s future submarine fleet, decades away from introduction into service will rely on the same propulsion technology as the RAN’s original boats. Because, apparently, boffins somewhere deep in Canberra’s bowels are concerned the RAN won’t be capable of dealing with multiple new technologies simultaneously.
In 15 years when these boats eventually enter service, leadacid batteries are likely to be as technologically relevant as dial telephones…

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