A chance to walk the Long Tan battlefield with a Long Tan veteran

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).

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Nui Dat Kindergarten Vietnam Charity Dinner

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.

Details are:

Date: Friday 14th August 2009

Address: NSW Parliamentary Dining Room, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney

Time: 7.00pm

Dress: Lounge suit, medals

Cost: $100 per person or $900.00 per table

More details and bookings here.