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Honouring Australian Vietnam Veterans

Honouring Australian Vietnam Veterans


This one-off competition is open to all Australian secondary school students who are in Years 9 and 10 during 2015 (Years 10 and 11 in 2016). Schools can enter their best individual student entry, with a limit of one entry per school.

Entries must be coordinated and submitted by a teacher with the principal’s authorisation.

Students can complete an entry in Term 3 or 4 of 2015 or Term 1 of 2016.

For free resources and an Information Pack, please email and provide your full postal address details. The pack contains a variety of resources and other information to assist students develop an entry.

The School entry must follow the guidelines provided below.

Entries close: Friday 8 April 2016

Entry Details

Students should undertake the competition as a learning opportunity and provide an academic or creative response to the following question.

Competition Question

The Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra acknowledges the diversity of roles played by Australian servicemen and women during the Vietnam War. It also commemorates the more than 500 Australians who died.

Reflecting on this memorial and your learning about the Vietnam War, provide a written, multimedia or creative response to the following:

1. Research any two individuals or groups who served in the Vietnam War (e.g. RAR, RAN, RAAF, medical, dog handlers, SAS, engineers). What was their role and contribution?

2. Why is it important to honour their service and remember this part of Australia’s wartime history?

Entry Formats 

1. Written response

A research essay should be up to 1500 words in length. The total word count includes quotes but not references or a full bibliography. A word count should be provided at the end of the written response. 

2. Multimedia response

These can include and are not limited to: 

  • Video
  • Short Film
  • Mobile/Tablet Application
  • Power Point
  • Animation
  • Website

3. Creative response

These can include and are not limited to:

  • Arts performance (completed by an individual only)
    • Poetry recital
    • Dance
    • Play
    • Monologue
  • Museum exhibition or Diorama
  • Music composition
  • Artwork
    • Painting
    • Photography
    • Drawing
    • Sculpture
    • Poster
    • Needlework

All multimedia and creative responses require a 500 word rationale explaining the background research of the entry and addressing both parts of the competition question. Music compositions should be provided in MP3 format and arts performances should be filmed or photographed.

Videos must be provided in MP4 or AVI format and must not exceed 20mins in length.

If your entry is an artwork, museum exhibition or diorama, please provide a series of high resolution JPEG images and/or a short video. DO NOT send the original of your work.

All entries should demonstrate the learner’s understanding and interpretation of the question including:

  • relevant research and background learning;
  • skills of historical literacy and analysis;
  • understanding of Australian service in the Vietnam War;
  • empathy and interpretation;
  • shows due care and competence; and
  • reflects the learner’s historical findings.

How to Enter

To enter the competition, complete an entry form and your response to the competition question.

Ensure that the School Principal endorses your entry.

Before sending, check that your entry includes:

  • a signed and scanned completed entry form with full contact details;
  • a word document or PDF of your written response (up to 1500 words) or a written rationale (500 words);
  • provide a full bibliography of reference or source materials used; and
  • all electronic files are clearly labelled with the school’s name.

By email to:

If one file exceeds 20MB in size you must put your entry on a USB and mail it to DVA:





NOTE: All entries will be acknowledged when received.

Hints & Tips

A few practical suggestions to consider when compiling your entry:

  • Please do not include memorabilia, photographs or items of sentimental value in your entry;
  • Seeking the involvement or support of veteran groups may assist research and formulation of the response
  • Clearly mark all files included in the entry with the school’s name;
  • Include numerous (up to 10) images of large items or artworks (both broad shots and close ups). Do not send originals;
  • Provide screenshots of websites or Apps in case technical difficulties occur during judging; and
  • Please do not send breakable or perishable items.
  • Download Competition FAQs

Contact Information

For furthern information about the competition or to request an Information Pack please email

Judging of Entries

Entries will be assessed externally to DVA by a qualified panel of judges which will include ex-service and education representatives. The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. Feedback on entries will not be provided. Judging guidelines are provided online and in the Information Packs to assist schools to select their best entry.

Judging Guidelines

Entries are judged using a set of learning-based selection criteria. They include:

  • the response addresses both parts of the competition question;
  • demonstrates a clear historical understanding of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War;
  • demonstrates an effective use and/or analysis of relevant historical sources;
  • written response demonstrates good written expression to present a logical, coherent and well structured discussion within the set word count;
  • multimedia or other formats will be an original production that combines creativity and technical proficiency;
  • uses a consistent referencing style with a full bibliography;
  • the response is original and acknowledges the words or ideas of other people; and
  • shows attention to detail and accuracy of content. 

Competition Timeframe

Key Dates

Competition Opens 18 August 2015
Competition Closes 8 April 2016
Entries are judged externally to DVA April-May 2016
Successful Schools and Students notified June 2016
Federal MPs award plaques and certificates mid 2016
Pre-departure liaison between winning students, teacher chaperones and State/Territory Departments of Education June-August 2016
Canberra Commemorative Programme 17-19 August 2016
Vietnam Veterans’ Day50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan Anzac Parade, Canberra 18 August 2016

Competition Winners

Student entries will be judged against the selection criteria. The best student entry for each federal electorate will win a plaque for the school and a certificate for the student. All winners will participate in a three day Canberra Commemorative Programme 17-19 August 2016. During their visit, students will be invited by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs to attend official commemorations on Vietnam Veterans’ Day to mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan on Thursday 18 August 2016.

Winning students will have the opportunity to meet with Vietnam Veterans, visit Australian Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial and other cultural institutions. The prize will include meals, accommodation, travel to and from the ACT and all itinerary events for the three days. Students will be required to pay their own incidental costs on the trip including souvenirs. Participation in all parts of the Canberra Commemorative Programme is compulsory. Download Canberra Commemorative Programme FAQs here.

Teacher Chaperones will accompany students from all State and Territories in Australia and be selected by State and Territory Education Departments. Teacher contacts with entries may be selected as chaperones for the Canberra Commemorative Programme. 

Prizes & Presentations

Every student that enters the competition will receive a Certificate of Achievement in recognition of their work and contribution to the commemoration of Australian servicemen and women of the Vietnam War.

The winning school from each federal electorate will receive a plaque and winning students will receive a certificate which will be presented by your Federal Member of Parliament. The winning schools will be notified in June 2016. Names of the winning schools and students will also be provided on the Anzac Portal.

A media release will provide the competition outcome in June 2016.