On this page I will tell the story of my years of
activism in the veteran community, starting when I joined the Vietnam Veterans Action Association in 1980. That organisation
later became the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia. I was elected as National Secretary of the VVAA in 1983, and re-elected
for several more years. Later I became active in a number of other organisations, including the committee that organised the
Welcome Home Parade in 1986-87, the Vietnam Veterans Job Link Program in Perth, the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia
in Canberra, Legacy, Australian Veterans and Defence Services Council, and others.
Sometimes I feel a bit like the Forrest Gump of
veterans' politics. I haven't achieved much myself, but I seem to have been there, somewhere in the background, while a lot
of important achievements have been won by people I have worked with.
This is me when I was National Secretary of the Vietnam Veterans Association
of Australia (VVAA) in the mid 1980s, when the late Phill Thompson (pictured below) was National President. This was during
the "Agent Orange" Royal Commission, when the VVAA was presenting the case for Australian veterans.
Click on either
of these pictures to go to the VVAA website.
You'll find my personal tribute to Phill in my poetry pages.
Rather than start at
the beginning, I have decided to tell the story of my years of activism in the veteran community in a series of stories told
in the order in which I feel able to write them. I will begin with the story of the night I met Bruce Springsteen.
Bruce Springsteen And Me
I have written another story from my activist years in
the veteran community. It comes from my time with the Vietnam Veterans Job Link Program in Perth, Western Australia. In particular,
I have written the story of an event the Program held on Remembrance Day, 1990, and how that event hastened my progress towards
"hitting the wall" and ending up on a TPI pension. To read this story, click on the following link.
Vietnam Veterans Job Link Program