It is now 50 years since the last Service personnel returned from the Vietnam War.
Since that time our service men and women have continued to maintain an operational presence across the globe throughout Africa, the Middle East, the Indo-Pacific region as well as lesser known and declared locations.
The Australian Defence Force personnel have served in support of the United Nations, the International Coalition Against Terrorism in the Middle East and Border Protection. They have served in Malaysia, Sudan, Haiti, Timor Leste, Irian Jaya, Solomon Islands, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Kuwait, Balkans, Bougainville, Guatemala, Rhodesia, Sinai, Rwanda, Mozambique, Somalia, West Sahara, Namibia, Uganda, Peshawar, Somalia, West Sahara, Timor Leste, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Humanitarian Operations include British Columbia, Nepal, Phillipines, South Vietnam, West Africa, Vanuatu, Japan, Pakistan, Christchurch NZ, Samoa, Greater Region Africa, South Sudan, Mozambique North Iraq and East Timor, and of course domestically in support of the Australian population.
The original artwork ‘30 Years of Operational Service’ by Perth artist and veteran Mr Ian Coate hangs in the Randwick Barracks Officers Mess. It was commissioned by the PMC, Lt Col Brett Huggins, to recognise the service of recent veterans who have deployed on operations during the period 1990 -2020. In particular it acknowledges their service in support of United Nations operations, peacekeeping deployments throughout Bougainville, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands as well as Active Service throughout the Middle East, most notably in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This reproduction was presented by Maj Graham Huggins (ret) on behalf of his family to Peter Handy, President Veterans Support Group (formerly the Vietnam Veterans Federation), prior to the to the Open Day on 5th December 2022 commemorating the end of the Vietnam War. Graham served with the Australian Army for 25 years and is a member of the Nerang Veterans Men Shed. His sons Lt Col Brett Huggins and Maj Matthew Huggins and his daughter-in-law Lt Col Danielle Huggins continue to serve and have been involved in multiple deployments to Timor Leste, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The presentation recognises and welcomes our new generation of Veterans.