Australian War Memorial welcomes Vietnam veterans 50 years on

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, the Australian War Memorial will open the Commemorative Area and galleries for veterans and their families outside of normal open hours.

Dan Hiscock, Assistant Manager of Visitor Services, said: “On Vietnam Veterans Day on the 18th of August, we are pleased to be offering extended hours on the Friday night and early morning on the Saturday, so veterans and their families can come in and view the Commemorative Area, the galleries and the Vietnam exhibit at the Australian War Memorial.”

“We are welcoming Vietnam veterans back, 50 years on, to the Australian War Memorial not only to see the exhibits but to say thank you for what they did.”

The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Matt Anderson, said: “We look forward to welcoming our Vietnam veterans and their families. We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge their service.”

Vietnam veterans and their families can join us on: Friday, 18 August 2023 from 5.45 pm to 7.45 pm, and Saturday, 19 August 2023 from 8 am to 10 am.

Veterans seeking to book free ticket/s to attend one of these two sessions and guarantee entry, should visit

The extended hours coincides with the Australian Government event to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. A national service is being held at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra on 18 August 2023 from 10:00am.

Australians are being encouraged to honour and remember the service of some 60,000 Australian men and women who served in the Vietnam War and their families. During the war, 523 Australians lost their lives in the war, and over 3,000 were wounded.

The arrival of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) in South Vietnam during July and August 1962 was the beginning of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

Australia’s participation in the war was formally declared at an end when the Governor-General issued a proclamation on 11 January 1973.

The only combat troops remaining in Vietnam were a platoon guarding the Australian embassy in Saigon, which was withdrawn in June 1973.

In early 1975 the communists launched a major offensive in South Vietnam, resulting in the fall of Saigon on 30 April.

During April 1975, a RAAF detachment of 7–8 Hercules transports flew humanitarian missions to aid civilian refugees displaced by the fighting and carried out the evacuation of Vietnamese orphans (Operation Babylift), before finally taking out embassy staff on 25 April.

Handout video available here.