Chapter One
The Decade of Silence

Chapter One

Vietnam Veterans in the Public Discourse

In the decade from 1971 to 1980, a discursive shift took place which had the effect of squeezing Vietnam veterans out of public debate, and therefore out of the public discourse. By 1971, public opinion had swung against the war. This created a temptation for the conservative side of politics, which had committed Australia to its involvement in the Vietnam War, to take the war off the public agenda. On the other side of politics, the extreme Left viewed Australian Vietnam veterans largely in terms of the global struggle against the United States and capitalist imperialism. For the broad Left, the war itself was forced to share the stage with a host of other issues. Meanwhile, Australia's withdrawal from the war without having achieved any clear victory brought into question the place of Vietnam veterans in the Anzac tradition, so important to Australian national identity. The Vietnam War became a subject that was not talked about, and the veterans who had fought in it were silenced.

The 1970s began with public opinion turning against Australia's continuing involvement in Vietnam. Murray Goot anf Rodney Tiffen have conducted an analysis of public opinion polls taken during the Vietnam years. Using a combination of their figures and others obtained in my own research, the following figures show how the level of support for Australia's Vietnam commitment rose until 1967, but then declined steadily until 1971. In September 1965, support was 56%; September 1966, 61%; May 1967, 62%; October 1968, 54%; April 1969, 48%; October 1970, 43%; April 1971, 37%. (1) At the same time, support for national service, while also diminishing, remained strong. In 1965, support was 70%; 1967, 70%; 1969, 63%; 1971, 53%. (2)

Goot and Tiffen note also, as do Malcolm Saunders and Ralph Summy in their history of the Australian peace movement, that support for the use of conscripted soldiers in Vietnam had always lagged behind support for using regular troops only. (3) These figures demonstrate that the Australian public was able to distinguish between the separate issues of commitment to the Vietnam War, conscription for overseas service, and national service at home. Initially, support for commitment to the war was high, as was support for national service, while support for the use of conscripts in the war was only slightly less high. As the war dragged on, support for the use of consctipts in the war dropped away, while support for a continuing commitment to the war steadily declined and support for national service remained in the majority. Clearly then, by 1971 it was not support for war or military service in general that was unpopular with the general public, but the Vietnam War itself.

The loss of public support for the war can be demonstrated by a close reading of the national weekly magazine, "The Bulletin", over the years 1965-1979. Being dependent for its advertising income on circulation figures, "The Bulletin" is particularly responsive to public opinion, and must be prepared to be flexible in its editorial attitudes in order to avoid falling out of step with its readers. The attitudes portrayed in "The Bulletin" at the important dates of the Vietnam era can therefore provide a tentative barometer of changing public opinion. "The Bulletin" is of particular interest in the context of the Vietnam war because of the zeal of its initial support for Australian involvement in Vietnam in 1965. One of its editorial opinion columns, "Plain English", responding to the first commitment of Australian combat troops to Vietnam in the edition of the 1st of May 1965, could almost have been written by the Menzies government. According to "Plain English", "Peking intends domination of all mainland Asia (Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Siam, Burma) and has also created a broad red cummerbund around the soft underbelly of Asia by its authority over Indonesia ... unless Communist imperialism is halted in Indo-China, the front line will inevitably become Australia itself - a collapse of the whole democratic position in Asia. Australia's sanctuary, in other words, is now being decided for the next century in the padi and rain forests of Indo-China and in the South China Sea." (4) The official government version had been delivered by Prime Minister Menzies in the federal parliament: "The takeover of South Vietnam would be a direct military threat to Australia and all the countries of South and South East Asia. It must be seen as part of a thrust by Communist China between the Indian and Pacific Oceans." (5) One week later, "Plain English" restated its position: "The decision to send the first Royal Australian Regiment [sic] to Vietnam has been welcomed throughout Australia ... it has been plain to the whole world that South Vietnam is Australia's front line and that the South Vietnamese have been fighting and dying for many years for what are Australia's interests as much as their own. Since the loss of that country to the Communists would inevitably be followed by the Communisation of the rest of South-East Asia, Australia has no alternative but to contribute in some significant way to its defence. (6)

In subsequent weeks the "Plain English" column attacked those who questioned Australia's military involvement in Vietnam, including Labor politician Dr. Jim Cairns. (7) It also praised U.S. President Lyndon Johnson as not only a great President of the United States, but a great world leader. (8) It argued against provision of Australian passports for trade union members who wanted to attend a conference in Hanoi, (9) and it continued to argue the government's case for military involvement. (10) On other pages of "The Bulletin", feature articles such as "Who Runs the Vietcong?" (11) and "The Monsoon Offensive" (12) kept the war to the forefront of public debate while maintaining the magazine's pro-government, anti-communist stance. A feature article on North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh was provocatively titled "Portrait of a Terrorist". (13)

By 1970, in contrast with its early enthusiasm for the war, it is apparent that "The Bulletin" had lost its zeal both for the war and for its own anti-communist crusade. Support for U.S. President Nixon's Cambodia incursion, "Operation Ultimate Victory", was considerably less fervent than the "all the way with L.B.J." attitude which had prevailed in 1965-66. (14) The attitude of "The Bulletin" to one of the landmark events of the anti-Vietnam war protest movement, the moratorium marches in Melbourne and Sydney in May 1970, is particularly revealing. The magazine was preoccupied in that week by the Captain Cook bicentennial and the politics of the Cambodian incursion, leaving only two columns, totalling approximately one page, available for the two Moratorium marches. Coverage of the Melbourne march, the high point of the entire protest movement in Australia, began with a discussion of the accuracy of various estimates of the size of the crowd. It finished with this observation: "It was all over by 5 pm. A youth grabbed the microphone: 'This is the time to stay, to discuss, to talk about the war. Do you want to go home now to your neat little boxes, your telly and your cans of beer?' Almost everybody did." (15) Compared with the vehemence of 1965, the hawkishness, or anti-antiwar zeal of "The Bulletin" appeared to have sunk to the level of pettiness. Rather than attack the Moratorium movement, as it surely would have done in 1965, the magazine has merely attempted to trivialise it. Such trivialisation suggests that "The Bulletin" had reluctantly accepted that a rigid adherence to its original stance would lost touch with its readership. In doing so, it reflected the discursive shift that was underway in the Australian public discourse as the Seventies began.

The national daily newspaper, the "Australian", also showed signs of being weary of the war by the beginning of the Seventies. Its editorial on the 7th of March 1971 was headed "Vietnam - time to cut the knot". It suggested that two Australian soldiers, killed that week in Vietnam, had "died in a war that should never have happened, and that in any meaningful military or political sense, is already over". It went on to state that "there can no longer be any doubt that our troops are being kept in Vietnam for political reasons alone." (16)

The swing in public opinion and public discourse away from support for the war was part of a wider discursive shift on the Cold War issues which had polarised the political landscape in Australia during the Fifties and Sixties. In 1970, two "Bulletin" columnists, Malcolm Mackerras and Peter Samuel, analysing the results of a Senate election, commented on the gradual demise of anti-communism as a politically influential issue. Mackerras noted that "community attitudes today are less anti-Communist than they used to be", (17) while Samuel, commenting on the performance of the anti-communist Democratic Labor Party in the election, suggested that "the D.L.P. could remain less forcefully anti-Communist in a period when this seems to be regarded as unfashionable". (18) As the new decade approached, Australians could no longer be counted on for an uncritical acceptance of Cold War orthodoxy. Organs of public opinion, such as "The Bulletin" and the "Australian", had clearly absorbed that message.

These changes had a profound effect on the political Right in Australia. It was they who had been responsible for Australia's commitment to the war, and as long as public opinion remained on their side, it had been in their political interest to ensure a prominent position for the war in the public discourse. By the start of the new decade, the loss of public support for the war translated to a loss of electoral support for the conservative parties. The extent of this translation can be demonstrated by analysing the federal election results of 1966, 1969 and 1972. The bare statistics of the three elections are as follows: in 1966, the governing Liberal-Country Party coalition won 49.98% of first preference votes and 82 seats in the House of Representatives election. The Australian Labor Party won 39.98% of votes and 41 seats. In 1969, the coalition won 43.33% of votes and 66 seats, while Labor won 46.95% of votes and 59 seats. In 1972, the coalition won 41.5% of votes and 58 seats, while Labor won 49.7% of votes and 67 seats, and won government for the first time since 1949. (19)

While Australia's involvement in the Vietnam war was by no means the sole issue in all three elections, it was certainly one of the most important issues on which the major parties took opposing sides. Saunders and Summy describe the 1966 election as "virtually a referendum on the issues of the war and conscription", (20) while a post-election survey indicated that Vietnam and conscription were the most important issues among those who intended to vote for a different party in 1966 from that which they had supported in the previous election in 1963. (21) The Liberal-Country Party coalition, which supported Australia's commitment in Vietnam, gained an apparently invulnerable 41 seat majority in 1966. In the space of two elections, they managed to turn that majority into a 9 seat deficit in 1972. The results of the elections of 1966, 1969 and 1972 clearly indicate that, over a six year period, public opinion in Australia had shifted its position from strong support for a continued involvement in Vietnam to an opposition to the war that was strong enough to change the government.

Consequently, by the early 1970s, there was no longer any political mileage for the political Right in talking about the war. The more the war appeared in the public discourse, the more advantage their opponents would receive. In 1971, with an election looming in the following year, Prime Minister McMahon made a decision which was at least partly aimed at neutralising the war as a political issue. On the 18th of August he told the federal parliament, "the government has decided to withdraw all remaining Australian combat forces from Vietnam ... Most of the combat elements will be home in Australia by Christmas 1971." (22) Australian service personnel would remain in Vietnam, but only in non-combat roles. In the same speech, the Prime Minister announced that the period of full time national service would be reduced from two years to eighteen months. (23) While these decisions came too late to save the McMahon government at the election, the fact that the conservative side of politics showed such willingness to abandon a war they had supported so enthusiastically for so long, shows just how much of a political liability the war had become.

The abandonment of the war, and of the veterans who served in it, in the public discourse of the political Right was something new. For the radical political Left, which had become particularly active in the anti-war movement in 1968-69, Australian Vietnam veterans had never been relevant to the debate, which they had always viewed in terms of global politics. (24) One of the left-wing journals which gave a voice to the protest movement in the sixties was "Arena". In 1968, for example, Humphrey McQueen's "A Single Spark" and Alec Robertson's "A Weakness in Arena 15", both appeared in "Arena" number 16. It is worth noting that both of those articles are supportive of campaigns which were designed, not to bring about peace, but rather to bring about a military victory for the North Vietnamese. The effect this would have on the safety and the morale of Australians serving in Vietnam was not considered to be an issue. (25) Both McQueen and Robertson supported the campaigns of radical students at Monash University to give material aid to the Natioanl Liberation Front, the political wing of the Vietcong, while Robertson also praised the campaign of the Seamen's Union to deprive Australian soldiers of supplies and mail. (26) The effect of this second campaign on the morale of the individuals who might be about to die without hearing from their loved ones back home, and on the civilians waiting for news from their loved ones in Vietnam, can be easily imagined.

At the 1971 Anti-War Conference in Sydney, there was not a single word about the Australian soldiers who were then serving in Vietnam, or the veterans who had returned by that time. This is a staggering statistic, considering that 75 speakers presented papers which later made up a weighty volume of some 200,000 words. A sample of the titles of papers presented demonstrates, however, the ideological agenda of the conference, and the creation of a discourse in which there was no room for Australian Vietnam veterans:
"War, Peace and Imperialism"; "Imperialism: An Economist's Commentary"; "Bourgeois, Aristocratic and Revolutionary Values"; "The Dumb-Waiter: Conscription's Role in Imperialist Wars"; "The Anti-War Movement and Revolutionary Social Change"; "Note to Sisters and Friends on Women's Liberation and Fighting Imperialism"; "Revolutionaries and the Moratorium"; "Political Repression in Australia"; "Strategies for the Revolution and their Relevance to the Movement"; "The United States Pacific Imperialism"; "Imperialism and the Moratorium"; "Imperialism and the Australians". (27)

Some of these titles are indicative of the way in which the broad Left movement, which had previously been focused on its opposition to the war, had entered a new era of increasing diversification. The moratorium movement had already reached its zenith with the 1970 massed marches in the streets of major cities. As they entered the Seventies, anti-war protesters found themselves sharing the broad Left movement with protesters against touring South African rugby teams, uranium mining, the flooding of Lake Pedder, and a variety of other issues. In addition, Aboriginal land rights had begun to stake a claim to a place on the political agenda of the Left, while feminism had already shown signs of becoming the most dynamic movement of the decade. By the early 1970s, these "New Left" issues had pushed Vietnam from the pages of "Arena", "Australian Left Review", and other journals of the Left.

Jeffrey Grey has noted that "the withdrawal of Australian troops in 1972 was followed by a length public silence", (28) and that the newly elected Whitlam Labor government, after ending national service and ensuring that the last Australians were withdrawn from Vietnam, "sought, successfully, to put the Vietnam War behind it". (29) The creators of the public discourse were indeed remarkably silent when Australian completed its full withdrawal from Vietnam in January 1973. The withdrawal was not reported at all in the national newspaper, the "Australian", and received only slightly more attention from "The Bulletin". An article entitled "How much the fighting cost" included a brief statistical analysis of the cost of United States involvement in the war. Tacked on at the end was a small postscript entitled "Australia's contribution". (30) The same edition of the magazine contained an article about the future of Southeast Asia after American withdrawal from the area, and an article about the return of United States prisoners of war. There was no Australian content in either article. Australias final withdrawal from Vietnam was also completely absent from the pages of journals from both sides of the political spectrum. "Arena" and "Australian Left Review" had moved on to other New Left issues, while on the Right, "Quadrant" also allowed the events of early 1973 to pass without comment.

The end of the Vietnam war on the 1st of May 1975 also failed to prompt substantial public debate on its implications for Australian involvement and for Australians who had served in Vietnam. Apart from an editorial in the "Australian", which suggested Australia "must increase its humanitarian aid if our shabby record on Vietnam is to end on a more honorable [sic] note", (31) the end of the war was apparently considered to be a story without an Australian angle.

In 1975, "The Bulletin", which had trumpeted the importance of Australian involvement in the Vietnam war in the defence of its own national interests, marked the end of the war with a cover story entitled "Your guide to color [sic] TV sets: Best buys for trouble-free viewing". (32) The opinion pages did carry some comment on the end of the war, mostly reflecting the newly dishonourable status of Australian involvement. Richard Hall offered the opinion that "with few honourable exceptions we were regaled with fantasies and mislead [sic] by suppression of the inconvenient and unpleasant", (33) while Geoffrey Fairbairn lamented what he regarded as the "infamous desertion of the Vietnamese people in 1975". (34) The following week, David McNicoll contributed an article entitled "Scurrying off the sunken ship", in which he wondered if anyone else had noticed "how people are going for cover over our Vietnam involvement? Many of those people who sincerely believed we were doing the right thing in going to South Vietnam's aid are now declaring they knew all along it was a mistake. (35)

As McNicoll observed, by 1975 those who had originally supported Australia's involvement in Vietnam were ducking for cover. They found themselves in the position of being perceived as doubly discredited: firstly for the decision to become involved in the war, and secondly for the decision to abandon the South Vietnamese to their fate. As for the radical Left, the bloodbath and repression which followed the victory of the side they had backed in the war gave them no reason to want to see Vietnam return to a prominent place in the public discourse after May 1975. Both sides of the political spectrum were content to see the silence continue. The very existence of Vietnam veterans in 1975 could only be an embarrassing reminder of something which Australia would prefer to forget.

The story that was missing from the public discourse of 1975 was the story of some fifty thousand Australian Vietnam veterans who were suddenly faced with the futility of their own service, not to mention the sacrifice of five hundred of their colleagues. Australia entered the war proclaiming loudly the importance of doing so. Yet, several years later, Australia simply withdrew from the war, with no tangible evidence that any of the original aims which had allegedly made its involvement so vital had actually been achieved. The manner of Australia's withdrawal rendered meaningless terms such as "winning" and "losing". The war proceeded, without Australia, to the conclusion which would almost certainly have occurred had Australia never been involved and five hundred Australians never died. The response of Vietnam veterans to this demonstration of the apparent futility of their efforts may well have been considered a story worth reporting. Clearly it was not.

With the exception of the older, more experienced professionals, most Australians who served in Vietnam were born between 1945 and 1953, because the minimum age for service in Vietnam was nineteen. Many of them had parents and grandparents who had fought in the First and Second World Wars. Collectively therefore, they tended to view themselves as the third generation of Anzacs. The importance of Australia's military prowess to the national character had been drummed into them at school. The exploits of the diggers of the Second World War had always seemed very close, through the experience of their fathers, their relatives and the fathers and relatives of their friends. The unifying effect of the war effort at home, as well as overseas, would have been familiar to them through stories of mothers, as well as fathers, who had contributed to the national good. In the 1970s, they discovered that they had fought in a war which was not going to be valued in the same way as the wars of their forebears. The apparent reluctance to allow the Australian Vietnam experience a prominent place in the public discourse contained an implicit suggestion that the worthiness of Vietnam veterans to be bearers of the Anzac legend was under question. As "Cold Chisel" songwriter Don Walker would later observe, "there were no V-day heroes in nineteen seventy-three". (36)

The Vietnam War, all but absent from the public discourse since 1972, disappeared almost completely after May 1975. In the next few years, the only mention of Vietnam in the national daily newspaper, the "Australian", would be an occasional story about refugees, while the border conflict between Vietnam and China made headlines in the early months of 1979. Towards the end of the decade however, the Vietnam War was replaced in the public discourse by the "problem" of the Vietnam veteran.

The appearance of the Vietnam veteran in the public discourse came initially through American popular culture. (37) No fewer than three Academy Award winning films arrived in Australia from Hollywood with Vietnam as their common theme: "Coming Home" and "The Deer Hunter" (1978), and "Apocalypse Now" (1979). The uninvited appearance of the Hollywood version of the Vietnam War, after so long a silence, came bursting into the public discourse in the late Seventies like the return of the unconscious, larger than life and in full colour. In this version, the Vietnam veteran appeared as a nightmare figure, traumatised by unspeakable evil, a walking time bomb, far removed from the heroic digger of Australian legend. Just as a constant barrage of American news footage had coloured Australian conceptions of the Vietnam experience, so the portrayal of the war in American popular culture coloured Australian conceptions of the Vietnam veteran. Australian veterans did not recognise their own experience in the public construction of the Vietnam veteran based on the American model. Hence the litany of misconceptions illustrated in the poem "Tell me what it was really like", which pressured Australian veterans to conform to the American model or remain silent. The Australian public was not ready to confront the experience of its own veterans. Notably, the Australian film "The Odd Angry Shot" also appeared in 1979. (38) In her review in the "Weekend Australian" of the 3rd-4th of March, Geraldine Pascall, attempting to explain why the Vietnam War had not previously been a popular subject for film makers, suggested that "film-makers have left it alone probably feeling that the public needed to keep it at a distance and were not ready to again get involved in those divisive emotions and arguments. (39)

Australian film-makers were not alone in this feeling. The various elements of the public discourse in the Seventies had formed themselves into a consensus to leave Vietnam alone and keep it at a distance. By doing so, they sent a clear message to Vietnam veterans that their experience had no place in the public discourse.

Throughout the 1970s, Australian Vietnam veterans were excluded from the public discourse. Not only did they not speak, but they were rarely even spoken about. This exclusion had been created by real historical, ideological and political forces. The public, which had turned against the war from the late 1960s, did not wish to be reminded about a war seemingly so far removed from the Australian Anzac tradition. The conservative political leaders who had committed Australian troops to the war were forced to choose between support for the war and their own political survival. The political Left had achieved its aims with the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam and moved on to other issues throughout the decade and beyond. It appeared to be in nobody's interests to talk about the Vietnam War. For many, if not most Vietnam veterans however, the war had been the most important event in their lives: perhaps even the defining event in the development of their personal identities. In the Seventies, the years immediately following their return to Australia, that experience, which was so important to them, became something they were not able to talk about, because nobody wanted to listen.


1. Most of these figures are from a chart by Murray Goot & Rodney Tiffen, Public opinion and the politics of the polls, in Peter King (ed.), "Australias Vietnam: Australia in the Second Indo-China War", North Sydney, George Allen & Unwin, 1983, p.135 and based on Morgan Gallup poll figures. I have used only one figure per year to show the annual trend. The 1971 figure does not appear in Goot & Tiffens chart, but is taken from Morgan Gallup Poll number 2261, April 1971, in Australian Gallup Polls, "Morgan Gallup Poll Findings, 1971-80", Melbourne, Roy Morgan Research Services, 1981. Another useful source, though restricted to 1967, is Inter-University Consortium for Political Research, "Australian National Political Attitudes: Wave I, Sept Nov 1967", Ann Arbor, Michigan, I.C.P.R., 1975.

2. These are Morgan Gallup Poll figures cited by Goot & Tiffen, Public opinion and the politics of the polls, 1983, p.142.

3. Ibid., p. 143, and Australian Gallup Polls, Nos 1916-1931, July October 1966, p.2, cited in Malcolm Saunders & Ralph Summy, "The Australian Peace Movement: A Short History", Canberra, Australian National University, 1986, p.37.

4. Plain English, "The Bulletin", 1 May 1965, p.13.

5. Prime Minister Menzies, 29 April 1965, Commonwealth of Australia, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), Session 1965, Vol. H. of R. 45, p.1061.

6. Plain English, "The Bulletin", 8 May 1965, p.13. The correct name of the first infantry unit sent to Vietnam is the 1st Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, rather than the first Royal Australian Regiment. The error made by The Bulletin would almost certainly have been missed by most of its readers. To Vietnam veterans, however, this was the beginning of a series of failures by the creators of the public discourse to take the trouble to get factual details correct where the Australian Vietnam experience was concerned. Each time this happened, it would compound the feelings of alienation and exclusion among veterans, and increase their contempt for the culprits.

7. Plain English, "The Buletin", 15 May 1970, p.13.

8. Plain English, "The Bulletin", 22 May 1970, p.13.

9. Plain English, "The Bulletin", 29 May 1970, p.13.

10. Plain English, "The Bulletin", 5 June 1970, p.13.

11. Who Runs the Vietcong?, "The Bulletin", 29 May 1965, p.24.

12. The Monsoon Offensive, "The Bulletin", 5 June 1965, p.29.

13. Ho Chi Minh Portrait of a Terrorist, "The Bulletin", 22 May 1965, p. 35.

14. See, for example, the series of articles on the Cambodian incursion in "The Bulletin", 9 May 1970, pp.32-37.

15. "The Bulletin", 16 May 1970, pp.27-28.

16. Vietnam time to cut the knot, editorial, "The Sunday Australian", 7 March 1971, p.10.

17. Malcolm Mackerras, "The Bulletin", 5 December 1970, pp.27-28.

18. Peter Samuel, "The Bulletin", 5 December 1970, p.30.

19. The figures are taken from Hugh V. Emy, "The Politics of Australian Democracy: Fundamentals in Dispute", Melbourne, MacMillan, 1978, pp.602-603.

20. Saunders & Summy, "The Australian Peace Movement", 1986, p.36.

21. D.P. Altman, Foreign Policy and the elections, "Politics", May 1967, pp.57-66, cited in ibid., p.36.

22. Prime Minister William McMahon, 18 August 1971, Commonwealth of Australia, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), 1971, Vol. H. of R. 73, pp.226-228.

23. Ibid., pp.226-228.

24. See the exploration of the emergence of the radical wing of the protest movement in Saunders & Summy, "The Australian Peace Movement", 1986, pp.36-42.

25. I have spoken with Humphrey McQueen about this issue, and he confirmed that the radical Left was generally indifferent to the welfare of Australians in Vietnam. The removal of American forces from the war by any means was the only priority. This was considered to be the best way to ensure that Australians were brought home from the war.

26. Humphrey McQueen, A Single Spark, "Arena", No. 16, 1968, 50-56, and Alec Robertson, A Weakness in Arena 15, "Arena", No. 16, 1968, 71-75.

27. National Anti-War Conference, "Papers: Presented at the National Anti-War Conference held in Sydney, Feb17-21, 1971", Sydney, National Anti-War Conference, 1971.

28. Jeffrey Grey, Vietnam, Anzac and the veteran, in Peter Pierce, Jeff Doyle and Jeffrey Grey (eds), "Vietnam Days: Australia and the impact of Vietnam", Ringwood Vic, Penguin, 1991, p.78.

29. Ibid., p.79.

30. How much the fighting cost, "The Bulletin", 3 February 1973, p.27.

31. Editorial, "The Australian", Thursday 1st May 1975, p.8. Rodney Tiffens News Coverage of Vietnam in King (ed.), "Australias Vietnam", 1983, 180-182 covers a wider variety of newspapers than myself. It cites several articles published in May 1975 which relate to Indo-China in general. It contains nothing, however, which contradicts my main point, that the Australian press did not regard the end of the war as a subject with Australian content.

32. The front cover of "The Bulletin", 10 May 1975.

33. Richard Hall, "The Bulletin", 10 May 1975, p.14.

34. Geoffrey Fairbairn, "The Bulletin", 10 May 1975, pp.36-38.

35. David McNicoll, Scurrying off the sunken ship, "The Bulletin", 17 May 1975, p.29.

36. Khe Sanh, words and music by Don Walker, in Music Sales Australia, "101 Australian Songs for Buskers, Book 2", Sydney, Wise Publications, 1989, p.40.

37. See, for example, Jeff Doyle, Bringing whose war home? Vietnam and American myths in Australian popular culture, in Pierce, Doyle and Grey (eds.), "Vietnam Days", 1991, pp. 97-141.

38. "The Odd Angry Shot" is not available on video and therefore difficult to analyse. It is No. 1 on a table of most requested (and unobtainable) Australian videos on the Internet website www.urbancinefile.com.au/scripts/cinefile/Which_Video.idc.

39. Geraldine Pascall, review of "The Odd Angry Shot", "Weekend Magazine", p. 9 in the "Weekend Australian", 3-4 March 1979.