The VVAA Education Team started from a single request to a Vietnam Veteran (Phil White OAM) from a teacher in 1989, to address students on a veteran's view of the war, and some of his experiences during and since. Other teachers who attended or heard about the presentation asked Phil if he could do the same for their school. Since then, word of mouth has seen a marked increase in the number of schools requesting the service. With the passing of time, demand for the service has increased beyond expectations and Phil invited other Vietnam Veterans to become involved.
Who’s on the E-Team
The Education Team consists of Vietnam Veterans who volunteer their time to bring the human face and experience to the studies of today's students. Most say it is both a challenging and therapeutic experience.The team members are not all Veterans; wives have been involved in presentations where students sought their views and experience. The Education Team reports directly to the state office of the Victorian Sub-Branch of the VVAA Inc.
What do we do?
School Presentations - We go into the schools with verified information and statistics, visual material and plenty of stories to keep the interest up. The aim is to keep the presentation informal and relaxed, welcoming questions at any time.The presentation is modified to suit the subject being studied, eg. Vietnam in general, books, song lyrics, etc. Our presentations include: a brief history of post 1945 Vietnam, the background to Australia's involvement, our tours of duty, the aftermath (eg. PTSD, Moratoriums, Agent Orange and life after Vietnam).Interviews - Personal and phone interviews are also conducted for students doing projects, or those who like to follow up our presentation. These interviews may involve personal visits by one or more students.Exhibitions - Many of the personal mementos, memorabilia, and equipment are provided by members of the team. A recent exhibition involved over 250 items of memorabilia on display, 700 students viewed the display.
What does it cost the schools?
This is a free service to the schools, but many offer a donation, which goes towards running the program. As the VVAA Inc. is a registered charity, all donations over $2 are tax deductible and we offer an ABN number and receipt.
Some topics covered.
North Vietnam Training, US & French involvement, Recruitment, Weapons including Booby Traps, Ho Chi Minh Trail, & Cu Chi Tunnels.South Vietnam Not knowing your enemy, US involvement,including Allied troop levels & difference in training between Australia & US service personnel.Australian Involvement When we became involved and why, troop levels, the soldier & his equipment, the major battles of Long Tan, Coral & Balmoral, Area's of Operation and much more.Conscription The National Service Draft, how it was conducted and who was eligible.Peace Protests Moratoriums, marches.University Involvement Assistance to the Nth Vietnamese,peace marches.Homecoming The way the soldier was treated on arrival home and his future.Rejection Rejected by society and the RSL.Agent Orange What is Agent Orange and its effects.Drug and Alcohol Abuse The effects and why they were used.PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) - What is PTSD and why many Vietnam Veterans suffer from the disorder.Health The general health of Veterans and their children.Anecdotes & Humour
What has been achieved in
In the last few years we have visited dozens of schools, reached thousands of students and their teachers, and collected some much needed funds for welfare. Our Military History Displays, involving veterans from WW2, Korea, Borneo, Malaya and Vietnam, with a wide range of memorabilia, have proven to be very popular.There is a wealth of information on the subject of the Vietnam conflict and its aftermath, but who better to impart this information than someone who has experienced it. The feedback we have received from both students and teachers, provide a tremendous amount of satisfaction. It is not only therapeutic for us but very enjoyable as well.
What to do next?
Do you think your school may be interested? Perhaps your students are studying History, Social Sciences, English Literature or any subject that has a connection to the Vietnam War, then please contact us to make a booking.