National Vietnam Veterans’ Museum
Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 23, 2008
The National Vietnam Veterans’ Museum on Phillip Island, near Melbourne, “is the only museum of its kind in Australia that covers a specific period in Australia’s military history.
“The collection of around 6,000 artefacts exists to permanently record Australia’s longest commitment to any war, a period of 10 years that spanned from 1962.
“It presents the story of Australia’s military involvement at a time of deep division among the Australian population over conscription.”
Now, fast forward to January 2008. Maddie Johns (niece of current Swans President, Phil Johns – hence the Vietnam Swans hat) presented the museum with her Grade 4 project.
Her project does not make any reference to the war. It decribes life in Vietnam today. Maddie has stuck 20 Vietnamese flags into a foam board. Each flag presents a fact about Vietnam: population, currency, exports etc.
The juxtaposition of Maddie and her project in front of a photograph taken in time of war is stark. One represents the past. The other represents the future.
If you’re near Phillip Island, do drop into the National Vietnam Veteran’s Museum for a factual and sensitive account of the Vietnam War (referred to by the Vietnamese as “the American War”).