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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 4 Hansard (7 April) . .

Page.. 1322..

awareness on the issue. Since the Vietnam War many Australians, including Canberrans, returned with postwar injuries. Most of these injuries were not visible, with many affected by mental illnesses such as PTSD, depression and substance addiction problems.

To add to these problems many veterans also had their personal service wrapped together with the anti-war movement and ridicule from previous veterans. Service personnel were excluded from being able to join the RSL initially as public sentiment on the Vietnam War continued to plummet. Since then the community has changed its views and continues now to honour and commemorate those who served in the Vietnam war. From the 1970s, personnel were able to join the RSL and march in the traditional Anzac parade. It is important, however, that we continue to commemorate the over 500 who lost their lives in Vietnam. This is another great example of such commemoration.

Through the 1970s I served in the Department of Foreign Affairs for eight years, alongside many of those returned Vietnam vets, and enjoyed my time with them very much. I want to wish them all the very best for the future. I again congratulate all the riders who participated in this event, thank those who organised it and wish everyone involved in the VetRide very much luck with their continued celebration of the anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 4.51 pm until Tuesday, 3 May 2016, at 10 am.

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