14th September 2023.
Vietnam Veterans Day Commemoration.
I rise today to acknowledge the 50th anniversary of Australia's withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973. Bargo Sports Club hosted a poignant ceremony, which I attended along with Wollondilly Councillor, Suzy Brandstater. Our speeches emphasised the sacrifices made by our Vietnam veterans. Members from Bargo Men's Shed and Buxton RFS also joined the ceremony that included a didgeridoo performance and a wreath laying to honor those we lost. Councillor Brandstater reminded us that Vietnam veterans faced not just physical challenges but an emotional toll, which changed many lives forever. This inaugural Vietnam Veterans Day event at Bargo Sports Club underlines the importance of honoring our veterans in their local community. A parallel ceremony took place at Picton Memorial Park, attended by Mayor of Wollondilly, Matt Gould. In total, around 60,000 Australians served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1972, leading to the loss of 521 lives and wounding more than 3,000. This day allows us to remember and honor these courageous individuals and their significant contributions to our nation's history.