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Unit 7: Vietnam War (1962 – 1975)

AIATSIS Education

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In 1962 Australia sent forces to Vietnam to support the American-backed South Vietnamese government against North Vietnam. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were exempt from the national service ballot, and many were turned away from seeking to enlist. However, it is estimated that 500 Indigenous men fought in the Vietnam War. Returning home was often hard, with memories of war repeating in their heads and daily reminders of the discrimination that still permeated Australian society. This final unit draws to a close the theme of choice, exploring why someone might choose to fight for a government that took away their Country and for a society that excludes them.

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