News for Members
Commemorating Australian Service in the Vietnam War
4 June 2023 The Australian Government has produced a 50th anniversary commemorative medallion and certificate of recognition, honouring the service of Australians who served in the Vietnam War:
- a televised Commemorative Service (service) at the
Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial on
Anzac Parade, on Friday 18 August 2023; and
- production and distribution of a Commemorative
Medallion (medallion) and Certificate of
Medallion for Vietnam War Sacrifice
29 March 2023 The Australian Government has produced a 50th anniversary commemorative medallion and certificate of recognition, honouring the service of Australians who served in the Vietnam War.
On 29 March 2023, Prime Minister Hon Anthony Albanese MP and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh officially announced the medallion, presenting a group of Vietnam veterans with their commemorative medallion and certificate, at a special ceremony held at Parliament House, acknowledging their service and sacrifice in Vietnam.
The commemorative medallion and certificate is available to all Australian men and women who served in Vietnam, and to the family of veterans who have since passed away or were tragically killed in action during the Vietnam War.
To apply for the 50th anniversary commemorative medallion and certificate of recognition, please visit www.dva.gov.au/vietnam50
Update Proposed Aussie Purple Heart
31 January 2023 Update. Proposed Aussie Purple Heart. In January 2021, then Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester directed Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal to consider recognition for members of the ADF who are injured, wounded or killed in or as a result of their service. One year later, in January last year, a comprehensive report was published – recommending that suitable recognition should be instituted. The report recommend the institution of the following new forms of medallic and emblematic recognition:
a) a Memorial Clasp – to be posthumously awarded to a member of the ADF or a veteran who dies in or as a result of service. The Clasp is to be attached to the Australian campaign or service medal most relevant to the circumstances in which the death occurred and bearing, at the discretion of the veteran’s family: the date of death; or the date of the incident leading to death; or no date; b) a Gratitude Clasp – to be awarded to a member of the ADF or veteran who is seriously wounded, seriously injured or suffers a serious injury in or as a result of service. The Clasp is to be attached to the Australian campaign or service medal most relevant to the circumstances in which wounding or injury occurred and bearing, at the discretion of the veteran (or family where posthumous recognition is sought): the date of wounding or injury; or where multiple dates of wounds or injuries have been recognised, the number of such events recognised; or no date;
c) a Memorial Star – A full size brooch-like emblem of a uniquely Australian design that
recognises the sacrifice of the family of a member of the ADF or veteran who dies in service or whose death is service related;
d) a Gratitude Star – A full size brooch-like emblem of uniquely Australian design to recognise the sacrifice of the family of the member or veteran who has suffered a serious wound, serious injury or serious disease in or as a result of service; and
e) for veterans awarded the Gratitude Clasp, a lapel pin of separate and appropriate design for everyday wear at the discretion of the veteran.
We recommend that the Memorial Clasp, the Gratitude Clasp, the Memorial Star and the
Gratitude Star be accompanied by a scroll, issued under the authority of the Governor General, to commemorate the sacrifice of the member, veteran or the family, as applicable.
We recommend that the proposed new forms of recognition be available retrospectively, to recognise death, serious wounding, serious injury or serious disease that is or was brought about in or as a result of service after 2 September 1945.
In transmitting the report and recommendations to government, the report’s authors said
Australia, through the Order of Australia and the Australian Defence honours and awards
system, already recognises the service of members of the Australian Defence Force.
“Additionally, as detailed in this report, Australia acknowledges the wounding, injury or death of such members in a variety of essential ways – for example, through health care, income support, compensation, family support, Service bereavement pins, and memorials. “But none of these consequences of service are reflected in the present medallic forms of recognition, none expressly convey the gratitude of the nation for individual sacrifice, and none provide a suitably solemn and individual emblem of that gratitude. “We have concluded that it is timely, if not incumbent, for Australia to initiate such an expression of its gratitude to members and their families. “In the attached report we detail our proposal for what we believe to be a principled scheme for providing that recognition for service-related death and serious wounding, injury or disease. “We believe it would provide a tangible and readily recognisable expression of national gratitude for the sacrifice of ADF members killed or suffering a serious wound, injury or disease in or as a result of their service and, quite separately, that of their families, and would do so in a way that allows existing defence honours and awards to better “tell the story” of that service.
“While this scheme may be unprecedented in some respects, we believe it to be justifiable and achievable. “We thus commend it to you and, through you, to the Government.”
Two years after the inquiry was launched and a full year after the report was handed to the
government, there is no further word on the status of the recommendations.
NOTE: The Department of Veterans’ Affairs was among those who objected to the
proposed recognitions. While others who were negative to the whole idea, mainly on grounds of preserving the integrity of the Australian Honours and Awards System – DVA objected out of consideration of cost for DVA “if veterans, in order to gain eligibility for a clasp, were motivated to seek acceptance of a disability where they
would not otherwise do so and are not current clients or, if they were current clients with a disability assessed at less than 30 impairment points/30% WPI, were motivated to apply for reassessment where they would not otherwise do so in order to have that assessment raised to the qualifying level. The Department also suggested that there may be impacts for it if veterans had their discharge reclassified as due to medical reasons for the
purpose of gaining recognition, and then sought collateral entitlements from DVA”.