There is still availability on the 7 day Long Tan Trek Tour departing12 October 2011, and the follow-on 12 day Decisive Battlefields Tour to Vietnam 18 October 2011, both hosted and guided by Long Tan veteran, former commander of 12 Platoon, D Coy 6RAR 2Lt Dave Sabben.
This Tour also makes a donation to the AVVRG (Australian Vietnam Veterans Reconstruction Group) – an Australian non-government organisation(NGO), which is a community of volunteers seeking to make a difference to the lives ofdisadvantaged citizens of Vietnam. AVVRG is registered and licensed to operate and provide humanitarian aid in Vietnam, and is the official custodian of the Long Tan Cross. You can read more about the Kindergarten they built in South Vietnam here.
If you’ve ever wanted a more detailed understanding of The Battle of Long Tan, you should check out this fantastic, animated and interactive PowerPoint presentation created by Long Tan veteran Dave Sabben.
About Dave: as a 20 year old, Dave registered for national service but his number didn’t come up. Unperturbed, Dave packed his bags, presented himself at Victoria Barracks and volunteered, applying for officer selection training. After successfully completing the six month Officer Training course at Scheyville in NSW, Dave reported for duty to 6RAR at Enoggera Barracks in Queensland as a newly minted 2nd Lieutenant to command a platoon of 28 soldiers – one day after his 21st birthday.
Dave Sabben led his mix of national service and regular soldiers of 12 Platoon, D Company 6RAR during the Battle of Long Tan and for his actions was awarded a ‘Mentioned In Dispatches’ (MID). *After a Government inquiry in 2008, Dave’s medal was upgraded to the ‘Medal for Gallantry’, the equivalent of the old imperial Military Cross. You can learn more about Dave on his own website – www.sabben.com.
There are a number of ways you can view and access this great presentation. The best experience is to download the presentation or watch it in your browser (options 1 & 2):
Members of the RAR Association need no introduction to the Battle of Long Tan. After all, it’s a Battle Honour on their Colours and its anniversary was selected as Australia’s Vietnam Veterans’ Day. And over the years, one of the key resources in describing and explaining the battle has been Dave Sabben, the former platoon commander of 12 Platoon, Delta Company, 6RAR, at the battle.
Dave has been interviewed for all the documentaries and books on the subject including the official Military History of Australia’s involvement in South East Asia, “To Long Tan”, and the recent highly acclaimed and award winning documentary screened on The History Channel, “The Battle of Long Tan“ narrated by Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator Salvation). He has even written his own “faction” book, “Through Enemy Eyes”, which takes the perspective of the NVA commander in Phuoc Tuy Province when the ANZACs arrived. It explains why there was a need to wipe out the Nui Dat base and the steps taken to achieve that aim. (The book demolishes the so-called ambush theory proposed by some in the late 1980s.)
If you’ve seen the animated Powerpoint presentation on Long Tan, that’s Dave’s work too, and if you haven’t seen it, then it’s available for free download from his website.
You’d wonder what else he could do in an effort to inform interested Australians about the battle. Well, last year a new idea came from an unlikely source – the Australia Vietnam Volunteers Resource Group (AVVRG).
There is a great 100% volunteer organisation called the Australian Vietnam Veterans Reconstruction Group (AVVRG) holding an upcoming charity dinner in Sydney at Parliament House on Friday 14th August 2009 to raise money for building a Kindergarten in Nui Dat, South Vietnam.
Guests of honour will be:
Dave Sabben MG – Commander of 12 Platoon during the Battle of Long Tan
Patricia Amphlett OAM (Little Pattie) – singer who was 17 years old at the time of the Battle of Long Tan performing on stage at the Australian base in Nui Dat as the battle began some 4 km’s away
Col Joye AM – another singer who was performing alongside Little Pattie at Nui Dat as the Battle of Long Tan began.
I urge anybody interested in supporting our veterans and the very kind and hospitable people of Nui Dat in Vietnam (this is where the Australian Task Force was based during the Vietnam War) to attend.
Date: Friday 14th August 2009
Address: NSW Parliamentary Dining Room, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney