The Andrews Labor Government is doing more to ensure the sacrifice and experiences of Vietnam veterans are not forgotten, with new initiatives including free trips to the National Vietnam Veterans Museum for all school groups.
Currently, schools pay a set $10 entry fee for each student who visits the museum, which was founded and built by Vietnam veterans and is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Australia’s longest military engagement of the 20th century.
Minister for Veterans Robin Scott was at Preston High School today to announce these fees will be now be waived for any school group that visits the museum over the next four years, or until funds run out.
Schools can also apply to have their travel costs subsidised, if the main purpose of the excursion is to visit the museum.
It is just one way the Labor Government is supporting Vietnam veterans, with government secondary schools also to be given the opportunity of hosting a Vietnam veteran guest speaker and learning from their experiences firsthand.
The Learning Firsthand program is aimed at encouraging students and teachers to choose the Vietnam War as an area of study in the classroom and will ensure they have a suite of new Vietnam War resources.
Vietnam veterans, teachers, education and history experts will guide development and delivery of the initiative with resources available and a speaking program ready in 2020, led by the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia.
As with the museum trips, there will be no costs to schools to host a guest speaker or access the classroom resources.
Schools can book their visit and submit travel cost claims through the National Vietnam Veterans Museum directly on 03 5956 6400 or vietnamvetsmuseum.org.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Veterans Robin Scott
“We must never forget those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy today.”
“It is incumbent on us to ensure future generations understand and value their service – and we are making this easier with in-school visits and free museum trips.”
“Nearly 60,000 Australians served in Vietnam. The National Vietnam Veterans Museum tells their stories and the impact of the war on their lives and on our country.”
Quotes attributable to Vietnam Veterans Association Vice President (Victoria) Brendan Kincade
“We have been visiting schools across the State for almost two decades to talk to students about our war.”
“We are grateful that the Government is showing how much it values our service and stories by supporting us through this program.”