August at the Shrine

Vietnam Veterans Day

50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan

The Vietnam War was Australia’s longest military engagement of the 20th century. Almost 60,000 Australians fought in the war and more than 500 lost their lives. Originally known as Long Tan Day, Vietnam Veterans Day is commemorated on 18 August every year. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, where 108 men from D Company 6RAR resisted an attack of 1,500–2,500 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops. It would become one of the most extraordinary chapters in Australia’s military history.

On the 18 August, Vietnam veterans will March up St Kilda Road from the Police Memorial, approaching the Shrine Forecourt at 11.20am. A commemorative service will follow, including addresses by the Governor of Victoria and the Premier of Victoria, a re-enactment of the Long Tan Cross siting and a wreath laying ceremony. You can also see our special Vietnam exhibitions Behind the Wire and 1966: The year that changed the world.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial

39th Australian Infantry Battalion

Sunday 14 August, 2pm
Wreath laying on the Forecourt.

Formed in haste from disparate Victorian militia elements in October–November 1941, the ranks of the 39th AIF Battalion largely composed of 18–19 year old men armed with First World War weapons.The battalion’s battle honours include the Kokoda Trail, Sanananda Track, Gona and the South West Pacific Area.

Full list of ceremonies

© Imperial War Musuems (GM 1426)

Maltese Australian Association

Sunday 21 August, 12pm
Wreath laying on the Forecourt

Commemorating Operation Pedestal in August 1942. A convoy of merchant ships with a powerful naval escort provided much need relief to the British colony of Malta, which had been blockaded by Axis forces. Although the convoy suffered heavy casualties, Operational Pedestal is seen as the turning point in the siege.

Full list of ceremonies

Legacy Sunday

Sunday 28 August, 11am
Wreath laying on the Forecourt

To mark the start of Legacy Week (28 August – 3 September 2016), Legacy widows will make a pilgrimage to the Shrine for a special commemorative service. The annual Legacy national appeal raises awareness and funds for the families of our incapacitated and deceased veterans.

Full list of ceremonies

Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial

National Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association

Wednesday 31 August, 12pm
Wreath laying on the Forecourt

August 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the cease fire and declaration of the end of the Indonesian Confrontation with Malaysia. Association members will be joined by students from Thomas Carr College to remember those who served in the Malayan Emergency 1948–60 and the Indonesian Confrontation 1963–66.

Full list of ceremonies

Talks and Events
Entry to public programs  are by donation. Download or stream our talks at
Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial

Ballarat Talk: The Western Front Diaries of Charles Bean

Wednesday 10 August, 5.30pm arrival for 6pm start
Ballarat Gold Museum

Senior Historian at the Australian War Memorial, Peter Burness, will talk about the remarkably candid diaries of Charles Bean, who was Australia’s official war correspondent throughout the First World War. Mixing with all ranks, Bean sheltered in the trenches under enemy shell-fire or took up vantage points from which to gain unique perspectives on the enormity of the actions.

Book now

Vietnam Panel Discussion

Sunday 14 August, 2pm arrival for 2.30pm start
Shrine Auditorium

Peter Edwards, Official Historian of Australia’s involvement in Southeast Asian conflicts 1948–75, will be joined by Vietnam veterans Paul Penno and Jan McCarthy to discuss the experiences of Australian service men and women in Vietnam. The panel will cover topics such as the role played by nurses and medical staff, experiences of National Servicemen and their own personal reflections upon the war.

Book now

Image by Susan Gordon-Brown

Behind the Wire

Exhibiiton opens 13 August
Curator Tour: Tuesday 23 August, 5.30pm arrival for 6pm start
Shrine Visitor Centre

Susan Gordon-Brown spent three years photographing and interviewing Australia’s Vietnam veterans, learning about their military training, their experiences in Vietnam, and their lives after the war. In this floor talk, Susan will discuss her motivation for compiling the exhibition, the process of interviewing the veterans, and insights gained through the project.

Book Curator Tour
More information about Behind the Wire

Image courtesy Commonwealth of Australia

Offsite Tour: Trailblazers and Peacekeepers

Tuesday 6 September, 2pm
Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History

Australian and New Zealand doctors have administered anaesthesia in every major conflict since the Boer War, providing care in often difficult and dangerous circumstances. Join us for a curator-led tour of the Trailblazers and Peacekeepers exhibition exploring historical accounts of anaesthetists in conflict and first-person reflections from contemporary conflicts including the Gulf War and Afghanistan.

Book now

Entry to exhibitions is by donation. All proceeds support the Shrine Education Program.
Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial (ART26660)

Australia’s Field Marshal: The Leadership of Sir Thomas Blamey

23 July 2016 – 30 July 2017
South Gallery, Galleries of Remembrance

No Australian commander has ever shouldered more responsibility, nor so divided public opinion, than Sir Thomas Blamey. Detractors describe him as ruthless, self-seeking and egotistical; they point to personal scandals and the damaged careers of capable soldiers who stood in his way. Supporters speak of a man who understood, better than any other Australian leader, the wider nature of war.

More information

Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial

1966: The year that changed the world

4 April 2016 – 2 July 2017
West Gallery, Galleries of Remembrance

1966 was the year that Australia sent a Task Force to Vietnam, the year the first National Servicemen served in the war, and the year of the battle of Long Tan. Australia felt the heat of the Cold War and the throes of a youth revolution, in the year the first baby boomers came of age. Fifty years on, this exhibition tells the story of a year that changed Australia and the world.

More information


Recommended Read:
Behind The Wire by Susan Gordon-Brown

Susan Gordon-Brown is an acclaimed Australian photographer who documents important Australian issues and topics, from portraits of intrepid Antarctic tradies to drought ravaged landscapes. Susan has a talent for portraits that show the true person, as her subjects immediately relax in her company. Behind the Wire: Images and Stories of Vietnam Veterans is full colour paperback featuring the complete stories of the Vietnam veterans as they appear in the Behind the Wire exhibition, along with a map and glossary.

Order online or call 03 9661 8109.

Silent Soldier: Good Morning Vietnam

The collectable ‘Silent Soldiers’ range commemorates the spirit of the ANZACs, particularly their courage, determination and loyalty. Each figure is hand crafted. Other figures in the range include Last PostMateship and Man with Donkey

Order online or call 03 9661 8109.





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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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