Australian Entertainers

Inquiry into Recognition of Unattached Australian Entertainers in the Vietnam Conflict

  • Australian entertainers who unofficially toured Vietnam to entertain troops during the Vietnam War believe that they should be awarded the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal (VLSM) for their support to the Australian Army.
  • Australian entertainers who volunteered to tour Vietnam under the auspices of the Australian Army have been awarded the VLSM.
  • In July 2010 the Government accepted the following recommendations:
    • Recommendation 1: Accept as correct a construction of paragraph 4(1)(b) of the Regulations to include service by an Australian performer, who was part of a ‘private’ concert tour that entertained Australian troops at an Australian base in Vietnam at the relevant time, as qualifying service for eligibility of the award of the VSLM.
    • Recommendation 2: Accept a Statutory Declaration by an Australian performer who was part of a ‘private’ concert tour as a means of validating that performer’s claim for the award of the VLSM. The Statutory Declaration should contain a declaration by the applicant of (a) the name of the concert tour of which he/she was a part, (b) the dates on which the concert tour entertained Australian troops in Vietnam, and (c) the name of the Australian base where he/she performed on the dates in question.
    • Recommendation 3: Defence be directed to apply recommendations 1 and 2 in its assessment of applications by Australian performers who were part of a ‘private’ concert tour entertaining Australian troops in Vietnam during the relevant time.
    • Recommendation 4: Defence be directed to identify and review all applications from performers for the VLSM who had been part of a ‘private’ concert tour and whose applications were rejected by the Directorate of Honours and Awards. These reviews to be undertaken in accordance with recommendations 1 and 2 and if necessary Defence is to seek additional information from the applicant.
    • ADDENDUM: The Tribunal added an Addendum to its Report as follows: The reference in paragraph 61 and Recommendation 2 of the Tribunal’s judgment to the validation of a performer’s claim for the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal by means of a statutory declaration was intended to indicate that such a declaration should form part of the evidence in support of a claim. It should be taken into account along with other relevant material for the purposes of determining the eligibility of the person for the award of the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal.

Media Release – Announcement of Inquiry
Terms of Reference
Media Release – Announcement of the acceptance of the Tribunal’s recommendations

by Ken McFadyen
Oil on canvas on hardboard, 1968

RAAF's first operation over North Korea
Robert Taylor
Oil on canvas, 1986