Vietnam diary by mark wilson


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TEACHERS NOTES by Robyn Sheahan-Bright
Curriculum Topics

Study of history, society and environment

English language and literacy

Visual literacy

Creative arts

Learning technologies

Further Topics for Discussion & Research
Author’s Notes
About the Author/Illustrator
Blackline Masters

About the Author of the Notes


Jason was born after his father returned home from fighting in WWII, and his grandfather had also fought in WWI. He and his older brother Leigh became inseparable as boys, until Jason was conscripted to fight in the Vietnam War which led to differences between them. Ultimately, war casts a long shadow over them, as it has many Australian families, to leave a stark legacy which is often hidden.

Leigh was always protective of Jason, but he is angered when Jason accepts his conscription and so refrains from writing to him for a time. It is particularly poignant that when Jason finally receives a letter from Leigh, it is on the day he fights at Nui Dat.

This is an understated, yet deeply moving text which invites as many questions as it does answers. Two brothers – one anti-war and the other willing to accept conscription – but neither with any idea of what war might entail.

Mark Wilson has written and illustrated a number of beautiful tributes to the subject of war –to the sad and fruitless loss of life, but also in respect for the sense of duty and camaraderie which young soldiers often feel, and for the bravery they display under pressure.

Leigh is left determined to preserve his memories of the boy who wanted to be a great cricket player, and of how he believed in his mission until the very end.

Is war justified? Is it our patriotic duty to support wars in which our country is engaged, or should we protest against them if we believe they are wrong? These questions have been debated for centuries. Sadly, one thing seems certain, and that is that wars will continue.
Several themes are covered in this book which might be related to other curriculum areas:

  • Vietnam War

During the Vietnam War, from the arrival of the first members of the Australian contingent in 1962, almost 60,000 Australians including ground troop, air force and navy personnel, served in Vietnam. 521 died as a result of the war and over 3,000 were injured. Many more suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and were anxious to return home to a hostile reception as the tide of public support for the conflict had gradually turned.

Activity: Research the role played by Australian troops in the Vietnam War. [See websites listed in Bibliography.]
Activity: Many more Vietnamese people suffered too, and some left their country and came to Australia or travelled to other countries. Research the stories of these so-called ‘boat people’. Read first person accounts such as Anh and Suzanne Do’s The Little Refugee (Allen & Unwin, 2012). [See Bibliography.]

Discussion Point: The North (supported by Russia and China) was led by a Communist government and opposed by the South (supported by the USA and Australia). But the war wasn’t simply about opposing political ideals. It was also about an independence movement driven by centuries of foreign occupation, most recently by the French. Research the various forms of foreign occupation in Vietnam, and how the war was related to that. Read about the western fear of Communism in Asia and how it contributed to Australia’s involvement.

Activity: Draw up a chart listing the influences which led to conflict.
Activity: Conduct a debate about the pros and cons of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
Activity: The battle at Nui Dat is one of the landmark events of the Vietnam War. 18 Australians died and 24 were wounded. All but one of the dead were from D Company. Research this battle further by reading the article ‘Battle of Long Tan’

Activity: Landmines have devastating effects. In this text, Jason’s mate Davo was wounded by one of these mines and sent home. We don’t hear any more about this, but he was likely to have suffered serious injuries. Mines also lie undetected for years after war, and can lead to further injury and death when unexpectedly discovered. Read and discuss ‘The Origin of Landmines’ <>
Discussion Point: Read ‘Quotations from The Wall of Words at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Canberra, Australia’ <> These quotations give a real insight into the feelings and prevailing concerns of the people who fought in this war. Discuss.
Activity: The use of dangerous chemicals in the war caused a great deal of illness and deformity in soldiers and/or their offspring. Visit ‘List of Toxic Chemicals Used in South Vietnam’> for a comprehensive record of the toxic substances used during this war. Research some of the effects.

Activity: Mark Wilson, in his series about children at war, has suggested that generations in Australia have been affected by war. Discuss this topic. You may wish to examine your own family history, too, in relation to this question. Families are often unaware of their own ancestors’ experience of war until they research it. For example, you may have grandparents or great aunts or uncles who fought in wars and even died in them.

Activity: Bruce Dawe’s poem ‘Homecoming’ is a well-studied text which you might wish to share with your students. Teachers will also find useful activities on Bruce Dawe’s website including an excellent interview about his anti-war sentiments. Visit ‘Bruce Dawe – Anti-War Poet’ <>
Activity: Study other poetry of the Vietnam War and listen to an ABC broadcast to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Australia’s involvement in the war. Visit ‘Contact Front! Australian Poetry of the Vietnam War’
[See also Language and Literacy.] [See also Blackline Master 3.]

  • Anti-War Protest

The Vietnam War aroused deep-seated anger in Australia, where many felt that it was not a war Australia should have been involved in. It was the cause of the greatest scale of social and political protest since the conscription referendums of WWI. Huge moratorium rallies were held and attended by not only those who were generally politically active, but by many people who felt that the war was not a just one, and were moved to protest.

Activity: Read about the protest movement at the time. Design a poster reflecting these ideals.
Discussion Point: Discuss the notions of peaceful protest and conscientious objection. How would you have reacted if you’d been conscripted as Jason was? How might your family react?

Discussion Point: Many of the veterans of the war felt that they were despised when they returned, and were left with both emotional and psychological damage as a result. Were veterans treated badly when they returned? Has Australia done enough to recognise the achievements and suffering of these servicemen? Visit the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia website <>

  • Bravery

Bravery is an ambiguous concept. Jason is bravely fighting a war he doesn’t really understand in the idealistic notion that he is supporting his country, and Leigh is brave in another sense in challenging Australian authorities for sending young soldiers to war.

Discussion Point: How would you describe bravery? Is Jason brave or naive? Is Leigh brave, or as some people suggested then, a coward? What brave people do you know? Why do you think they are brave?
Discussion Point: Would you be happy/not happy to go to war? Why?

  • Friendship

Jason meets Davo and Wombat in training camp and they form a strong friendship.

Discussion Point: Does war bring men and women closer together?
Discussion Point: Secondary students might read Michael Hyde’s Hey Joe (Vulgar Press, 2003), Gerard Michael Bauer’s The Running Man (Scholastic, 2004) or Melina Marchetta’s The Piper’s Son (Penguin, 2010) for insights into how the war affected families and friendships.

Curriculum Topics
This picture book touches on the themes above and might be used in conjunction with curriculum topics (with primary or secondary school students) in the following suggested areas:

  • Study of History, Society and Environment

Can be used in studies of history, society or environmental issues:

Activity: Research the role played by the Australian government in Vietnam, and how the war came to an end.

Discussion Point: Cricket is the brothers’ favourite pastime and there’s great excitement when they attend the Fourth Test Match in January 1955. Students might like to research this further and find out who played and how the match was won. Visit ‘’ for a huge range of information on cricket and cricketers

Discussion Point: Discuss the values conveyed in this text in how Jason and Leigh respond to war. One feels a sense of patriotic duty. The other is anti-war and anti-violence. Discuss the concept of ‘bonds of brotherhood’ mentioned on the cover. Also, the ideal of mateship and how war forges such relationships.
Discussion Point: Vietnam is now a tourist destination. How does one reconcile such tourism with the terrible atrocities which were committed there by foreign troops?
Activity: Many veterans make pilgrimages to the country in order to confront or resolve their feelings about the time. Some have established charities or businesses to assist local people. Research this topic further.

  • English Language and Literacy

The text of this book might be studied in relation to the following aspects:

Question: This story is told in third person as a past tense account of Jason, an Australian boy born into a post-WWII family. This text also includes diary excerpts written in first person by Jason as he experiences the war. (The book is called Vietnam Diary in reference to these excerpts.) Narrative perspective is therefore from Jason’s point of view, until we read a letter written by Leigh at the end of the book. So we gain only glimpses of Leigh’s feelings. Imagine if the story was told from Leigh’s perspective. How might it have differed? Choose an event in the book and write about it in first person from Leigh’s perspective.

Activity: There are various other texts in different narrative styles which add to the telling of the story. E.g. Newspapers, a test match ticket, the National Service paper received by Jason, protest posters and placards. Discuss narrative styles and genres with the students. Invite them to choose one of these styles and create a text relevant to the story which is descriptive of the issues explored in this book.

Activity: Read ‘For the Fallen’, a poem by Laurence Binyon which is quoted at the front of the book. Various versions are available on the internet. E.g. ‘Poems’ What does the poem suggest?
Activity: Test your students’ comprehension by asking them questions about the written text. [See also Blackline Master 2.]
Discussion Point: Students might be encouraged to use critical literacy skills to unearth meaning in this text. How might Jason have been affected by the war if he’d survived it? How might Leigh have treated him when he returned?
Discussion Point: Read the line: ‘He could still see his brother running forward and bowling those beautiful inswingers, under the branches of the old oak tree.’ What does this sentence suggest? How does playing cricket fit into the themes being explored in this text? The old oak tree in the backyard is referred to figuratively a number of times in relation to both the boys’ childhood, and to their cricket games. What else does the tree symbolise in this text?
Activity: Read some picture books set in Vietnam to gain further insights into Vietnamese history, culture and storytelling tradition. [See Bibliography.]
Activity: Try to uncover some diaries or letters actually written by Vietnam veterans.

Visit ‘South East Asian Conflicts Diaries’ <>

  • Visual Literacy

The visual text of a book works with the written text to tell the story using the various parts of the book’s design and illustrations, as explored below:

Activity: The cover of a book is an important part of its message. Look at the front cover which depicts Jason as a soldier, and then the back cover with a group of soldiers in a field and a helicopter circling overhead. Discuss the impact of these images. What is the author/illustrator suggesting in them?

Discussion Point: The endpapers are abstract paintings suggestive of the undergrowth in which the soldiers were fighting. The title page depicts Jason as a boy in his cricket gear and acts in counterpoint to the image of him on the cover. Later there are abstract and impressionistic images of his childhood, and then of the war. Discuss the impressions each painting in the book gives you.
Discussion Point: The format of the book is square in shape, and the layout of the storyboard contains mostly double-page spreads (which also often include handwritten diary entries by Jason inset into the image). How does the format and design of the book influence your reading of it?
Activity: The medium or style employed is acrylic painting on canvas in landscape paintings which are impressionistic abstracts of these war scenes. Black and white drawings are also incorporated in images, and sometimes Mark Wilson employs photo or super realism to achieve the effect of veracity. Try to create your own painting in these mediums, depicting some scene suggested by this text. [See also Mark Wilson’s note on Illustration Technique in his Author’s Notes.]
Question: The colours generally used in this book comprise murky or sepia tones. How does colour affect your interpretation of this work?
Activity: Study the image on the prologue page accompanying the Binyon poem.

It is an abstract collage of several images using a geometrical detail as a framing device. What does the juxtaposition of these images say to you? Create your own painting in this style, drawing on images suggested by this text.

Activity: Create a graphic novel/comic version of a scene in this book. Read other such books as a guide to style and approach. [See Bibliography.] [See also Blackline Master 4.]

  • Creative Arts

There are many creative activities suggested by this text:

  1. Students might paint their own image of the war in an impressionistic way. After the works are completed, students can then display them as an exhibition created in response to this text.

  2. Watch some excerpts from Vietnamese cultural ceremonies on YouTube. Have the students study some aspect of Vietnamese culture and deliver an address about it.

  3. Create a play scene depicting the conflicting views of Jason and Leigh. Your play might be performed on a stage set created by members of the class. They might paint a backdrop or use digital images of actual war scenes projected onto the wall behind the actors. Choose relevant music to accompany your script.

  4. Secondary students might study the film titled The Sapphires (2012) which is a light-hearted movie tracing the experiences of a group of female Aboriginal performers who entertained the troops in Vietnam, based on a true story. Compare this to the interview with well-known entertainer Little Pattie in Vietnam. ‘Battle of Long Tan: The Battle video footage’ [Interview with ‘Little Pattie’ Thompson by Greg Swanborough for ‘The Sharp End’] <> Students might also watch other war films, although many have the potential to be distressing and would need to be used with guidance and only with mature secondary students. A list can be found at: ‘Films: Vietnam War’

  5. The Australian War Memorial has many records which you might research. Create your own display featuring information you’ve gleaned about the Vietnam War.

  • Learning Technologies

The topic of the Vietnam War can be widely researched, not only in libraries, but on the internet where there is a wealth of information:

Activity: Research the Vietnam War on the internet. Find maps, a timeline and background information. [See Bibliography.]

  • Mathematics

Statistics relating to war might lend themselves to related mathematics activities:

Activity: An analysis of the various casualty figures of the Australian troops involved in the conflicts, in comparison to actual troop numbers involved, could offer students an insight into the effect of the war. Visit the Australian War Memorial website as a starting point for your research.
Further Topics for Discussion & Research

  • Follow the links on the Australian War Memorial’s website to ‘The Vietnam story’, and perhaps read some of the letters written by soldiers. Some of your older relatives may have stories of Vietnam as well. Piece together some oral histories from written documents and these memories, if they are available, and create a rehearsed reading of the stories to perform for the rest of the school.

  • Research the work of Mark Wilson. Compare his other books about war to this one.

  • If you are working with secondary students you might research this work by reading non-fiction books such as those listed in the Bibliography.

  • Investigate the history of the Vietnam War. How did Australian soldiers come to be fighting there? ‘Vietnam War’ <> Discuss.


This powerful work is about the conflict which, until recently, was most prevalent in Australian minds. However, now we have the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to consider as major conflicts in which we are still involved. And so this book should, like Mark Wilson’s other books, encourage students to read more widely about the various conflicts in which Australia has participated.

Through the eyes of one family, Vietnam Diary demonstrates how devastating a war can be, and how conflicted each person can be about the issues that arise from war. The story therefore acts as a microcosm of our nation’s ongoing concerns about the morality of war. Asking such questions is of course, though, the first step in understanding, and perhaps resolving any problems. It would be nice to think that one day we would be relieved of such concerns – that one day, all conflicts will be eradicated and the world will live in peace.
Author’s Notes
Mark Wilson
Vietnam Diary
is the third book in the Children in War series. Book one is My Mother’s Eyes: The Story of a Boy Soldier, where we learn of young William’s experiences in the First World War, through his letters home to his mother. William was one of the boy soldiers who enlisted in the AIF (Australian Imperial Force) and went to war while still only sixteen. Book two in the trilogy is Angel of Kokoda. It tells the story of Kari, a boy living in the central mountains of Papua New Guinea. He is not a soldier, but becomes caught up in the battle for Kokoda village and its aftermath during the Second World War.

Book three in the Children in War series is Vietnam Diary, where we follow the lives of two young brothers from their formative years on the streets of Melbourne to the protest marches and the battlefields of the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Jason and Leigh are inseparable, and huge cricket fans, during their childhood in the 1950s. Together they see their first test match between England and Australia, and both dream of one day playing for the Australian team. But when Jason is called up to do National Service, the boys are divided. Leigh has become a protester against the Vietnam War, while Jason decides to ‘do his duty’ and go to war if he has to, leaving home to become a soldier and frequently writing to his mother and brother about the army and the war from afar. When he arrives in Vietnam with his battalion, enemy forces are gathering to attack the Australian base, with far-reaching and tragic consequences.

Vietnam Diary explores the conflicting emotions and politics of the sixties; the anti-war protests on the one hand and the boys willing to do their duty and fight for Australia on the other. These issues divided the nation, ended conscription and changed many lives forever.
My Mother’s Eyes is actually based on my own grandfather’s story, as told to us over the years by his daughters, including my mother. William is an ordinary boy who is much too young to go to war. In Angel of Kokoda, I have tried to portray Kari as just another teenage boy, someone with whom my readers will be able to relate. He goes to school (at the mission), goes fishing and helps his mother and father when needed, especially in the family garden in the jungle. In Vietnam Diary, Jason is also an ordinary teenager. He is not old enough to vote, but is ordered by his government to train as a soldier and fight for his country. The boys in each story make life-changing decisions – adult decisions – to step out of their familiar world as war looms. Their selfless actions ultimately reveal their strength of character and determination.

I think children today are not only more interested in our military history than in the past, but also have a greater understanding of the significance that these battles hold for generations of Australians. Their parents’ generation dealt with the Cold War, the Vietnam War, conscription and the anti-war movement of the sixties. Today there is increasing interest, pride and participation in ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day commemorations as well as a poignant sense of appreciation amongst children of the sacrifices their forebears made. I hope that Vietnam Diary, My Mother’s Eyes and Angel of Kokoda lead children to find out more about the conflicts that have become cornerstones of Australian history.


I wrote and researched the first two books (My Mother’s Eyes: The Story of a Boy Soldier and Angel of Kokoda) together. The first virtually wrote itself. It is based on my grandfather’s story, a boy soldier of just sixteen years of age who fought during the First World War. He served with the AIF during the disastrous Second Battle of Bullecourt on the Western Front. Angel of Kokoda took a lot more time to research, although I knew the story of the conflict in Papua New Guinea well from my childhood. I wanted to write from the point of view of somebody who lived there, but without necessarily depicting a particular side, at least not initially.

For Vietnam Diary, I didn’t need to do much research as I could write from personal experience, having been called up to do National Service in the sixties. Jason’s childhood is therefore based on mine and my brother Leigh’s. We, too, both loved cricket and Leigh was actually a champion fast-bowler in his teens. There the similarity ends and the fiction begins as I attempt to illustrate not only the trauma of warfare but also the tragedy of the physical and mental scars it left on our returned soldiers, who will carry them forever. This book is a tribute to them – to the men (including my father) and women who served and fought in Vietnam.
The Australian War Memorial was a great help with official documents and maps for all three books. My father’s service as a photographer in New Guinea and Vietnam with the RAAF, and his collection of books and photographs (including personal, first-hand accounts of the Kokoda campaign by ordinary soldiers) were also indispensable, especially their observations of the jungle, village life, the soldiers and the people. Many of these accounts can be found in the As You Were series of books published by the Australian War Memorial in the late 1940s, copies of which are now extremely rare.
Special thanks goes to Shelly Michalke, who provided me with insights, observations, drawings and photographs, many originally given to her father, Bruce Bourke, and his mates, all Vietnam veterans. One of her drawings is featured on the title page.
Illustration Technique
All my artwork in this series starts with line drawings sketched in as much detail as I can manage. I then use permanent markers, ink, pastel, watercolour and acrylic paint – and just about anything else lying around; each picture dictates the technique.

I use a lot of photos, but for reference as opposed to directly, so although some paintings look like photos, they are not. They are ‘super realism’, used to emphasise important moments in the story, like the portrait of Jason in his uniform, which is contrasted against the flat poster-style illustration of the protesters on the opposite page.

As you can see, the full-colour illustrations throughout are acrylic paint on canvas, but I often overlay parts of these with simple black and white drawings. I use whatever is best for the page, but also what appeals most to me. I love sketching, painting in acrylics, doing washes in inks and oils, and generally working with new and different materials to add contrast where needed and variety to the illustrations.

About the Author/Illustrator

Mark Wilson was born in Brunswick, Victoria. He took to drawing from a very early age, and also loved comics. He went on to spend most of his teenage years ‘pretending to be a drummer in a rock band (and trying my hardest to sing like John Lennon)’. He studied mural design and painting at C.I.T. (now Monash, Caulfield Campus). He also did National Service, followed by a Diploma of Education. In the early seventies, he became a designer and illustrator for The Education Magazine and Pursuit Magazine, and also started illustrating for various publishers including Penguin, Rigby and Brooks Waterloo. In 1981 he held his first solo exhibition of paintings and drawings. Recently, he has focused on writing and illustrating children’s books, and also picture book presentations in schools and at literature festivals. His recent books include The Last Tree (2007 Whitley Award for Children’s Picture Books) which deals with the effect deforestation has on the creatures that inhabit our forests, Journey of the Sea Turtle which highlights the fragile existence of sea turtles, and My Mother’s Eyes aboutWorld War One, which were published by Hachette Australia in 2009; Angel of Kokoda in 2010; his Ben and Gracie’s Art Adventure series, and A Day to Remember: The Story of the Anzacs with Jackie French in 2012.


Complete this image of a soldier being airlifted via helicopter. Draw a landscape below the soldier, and colour in and collage the background in appropriate colours.


These questions can all be answered by reading or interpreting the text of this picture book.

  1. What is a Slouch hat?

  1. ‘Typhoon Tyson’ is mentioned in the newspaper headline on page 9 of the text. Who was he?

  1. In what suburb in Melbourne do the boys live?

  1. What job was Jason doing when he received his letter advising him of his ‘call-up’ for National Service?

  1. In what year is Jason called up?

  1. What training camp is he sent to first?

  1. What do they learn during infantry training?

  1. Where is his battalion sent to after infantry training?

  1. What natural resources are mentioned in relation to Long Tan?

  1. How many Australians died at Long Tan?

Answers: 1. A felt hat with an indented brim looped up on the left-hand side, worn by Australian soldiers. 2. Frank H. Tyson, an English cricketer (bowler) who played in the third and fourth tests. 3. Brunswick. 4. Carpentry apprenticeship. 5. 1966. 6. Puckapunyal. 7. ‘How to read maps, use different weapons, learn tactics and march all day and night with a full pack and rifle.’ 8. Canungra in Queensland. 9. Rubber. 10. Eighteen.

These facts can be easily accessed by doing some research on the Vietnam War.
1. How many Australian servicemen were sent to Vietnam?
2. What does the Vietnamese flag look like?
3. What is the capital of the country?
4. What year did the US military withdraw from Vietnam?
5. What is the longest river in Vietnam?
6. Which Australian Prime Minister officially called a halt to Australia’s involvement in the war?
7. What is the principal religion of Vietnam?

8. What is Pho?

9. How many Australians died as a result of the Vietnam War?
10. What kind of government does Vietnam have now?

Answers: 1.Almost 60,000. 2. It features a red field with a large yellow five-pointed star in the center. Red symbolises revolution and blood, and the five-pointed star represents the five elements of the populace – peasants, workers, intellectuals, traders and soldiers – that unite to build socialism. 3. Hanoi. 4.1973. 5. Mekong River. 6. Gough Whitlam. 7. Buddhism is the principal religion but there are also sizeable Taoist, Confucian, Hoa Hao, Caodists, Muslim and Christian minorities. 8. A noodle soup, popular for breakfast. 9. 521. 10. Communist. (Its official name is The Socialist Republic of Vietnam.)

Create a graphic novel/comic interpretation of one of the scenes in this book. Use any of the layouts below as the storyboards for your comic. Enlarge on a photocopier to give you more space.

Layouts taken from Comic Book Guide


Graphic Novels & Picture Books
Crew, Gary and Woolman, Steven Tagged Lothian, 1999.

Do, Anh and Do, Suzanne The Little Refugee Allen & Unwin, 2012.

Eisner, Will Last Day in Vietnam: A Memory Dark Horse, 2000.

Hanshaw, Julian The Art of Pho Jonathan Cape, 2010.

Kubert, Joe Dong Xoai, Vietnam 1965 Vertigo, 2011.

Lomax, Don Vietnam Journal: A Graphic Novel IBooks, 2003. [First in a series.]

Tran, GB Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey Villard, 2011.

Zimmerman, Dwight, Horner, Chuck and Vansant, Wayne The Vietnam War: A Graphic History Hill & Wang, 2009.

‘Bruce Dawe – Anti-War Poet’ National Film & Sound Archive

‘Contact Front! Australian Poetry of the Vietnam War’ ABC

‘Poems’ Australian War Memorial <>

Homecoming: Images of Vietnam Collected by Jean Williams and edited by Jill Morris, Homecoming Publications, 1991.

Vietnam War Poetry Lachlan Irvine

YA Fiction

Bauer, Michael Gerard The Running Man Scholastic, 2004.

Caswell, Brian and Phu An Chiem, David Only the Heart UQP, 1997.

Hyde, Michael Hey Joe Vulgar Press, 2003.

Johnson, Denis Tree of Smoke Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2007.

Lynch, Chris Vietnam 1: I Pledge Alegiance Scholastic, 2011.

Lynch, Chris Vietnam 2: Sharpshooter Scholastic, 2012.

Lynch, Chris Vietnam 3: Free-Fire Zone Scholastic, 2012.

Marchetta, Melina The Piper’s Son Penguin, 2010.

Myers, Walter Dean Fallen Angels Scholastic, 1988.

Rushby, Pam When the Hipchicks Went to War Hachette, 2009.

Junior and Adult Non-Fiction

Biedermann, Narelle Tears on My Pillow: Australian Nurses in Vietnam Random House, 2004.

Davidson, Leon Red Haze: Australians and New Zealanders in Vietnam Black Dog Books, 2006.

Davies, Bruce Vietnam: the Complete Story of the Australian War Allen & Unwin, 2012.

Daynes, Katie The Vietnam War (Usborne Young Reading: Series Three) Usborne Books, 2008.

Dugan, Michael Vietnam War Macmillan Education, 2000.

Ham, Paul Vietnam: The Australian War HarperCollins, 2007.

Heard, Barry Well Done, Those Men: Memoirs of a Vietnam Veteran Scribe Publications, 2012.

Hillman, Robert The Vietnam War Echidna Books, 2001.

Hoag, Carina Boat People: Personal Stories from the Vietnamese Exodus 1975-1996 Fremantle

Press, 2011.

Huynh, Kim Where the Sea Takes Us: A Vietnamese–Australian Story Harper Perennial, 2007.

Lewins, Frank and Ly, Judith The First Wave: The Settlement of Australia’s First Vietnamese Refugees

Allen & Unwin, 1985.

Lunn, Hugh Vietnam A Reporter’s War UQP, 1985.

McHugh, Siobhán Minefields and Miniskirts: Australian Women and Vietnam War Doubleday, 1993, Lothian, 2005.

McLeod, Mark and Nguyen, Thi Dieu Culture and Customs of Vietnam (Culture and Customs

of Asia Series) Greenwood, 2008.

Murray, Stuart Vietnam War (Eyewitness Books Series) DK Publishing, 2005.

Nguyen, Pauline Secrets of the Red Lantern: Stories and Vietnamese Recipes from the Heart

Murdoch Books, 2007.

Pung, Alice Unpolished Gem Black Inc, 2006.

Pung, Alice Her Father’s Daughter Black Inc, 2011.

Rintoul, Stuart Ashes of Vietnam: Australian Voices William Heinemann, 1987.

Warren, Andrea Escape from Saigon: How a Vietnam War Orphan Became an American Boy Square Fish, 2008.

Willoughby, Douglas The Vietnam War: 20th Century Perspectives Heinemann Library, 2001.

‘A True Story’ <>

‘Australia and the Vietnam War’ Ryebuck Media and ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee of Queensland

‘Unit: Australia in the Vietnam War Era’ Skwirk Interactive Schooling

‘Vietnam War’ Australian War Memorial <>

Australia and the Vietnam War <>

‘Battle of Long Tan: The Battle video footage’ [Interview with ‘Little Pattie’ Thompson by Greg Swanborough for ‘The Sharp End’] Australia and the Vietnam War <>

‘Australia’s Involvement in the Vietnam War – Fact Sheet 117’ National Archives of Australia <>

‘Battle of Long Tan’ Australia and the Vietnam War

‘List of Toxic Chemicals Used in South Vietnam’ Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia>

‘Children in War’ Unicef <>

‘Films: Vietnam War’ History Now!

5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment Association Website

‘The Origin of Landmines’ The History of Landmines

Labov, William ‘Some Further Steps In Narrative Analysis’

‘Noack, Errol Wayne (1945-1966)’ Australian Dictionary of Biography

‘Quotations from The Wall of Words at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Canberra, Australia’ Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia <>

Returned & Services League of Australia <>

‘Images of the 1960s Australia’ Google <]>

‘Social and cultural features of the 1960s’ Skwirk Interactive Schooling <>

‘Remembrance Day’ Australian Government


‘South East Asian Conflicts Diaries’ Australian War Memorial <>

‘Thich Quang Duc’ Wikipedia <]>

‘Archives of Vietnamese Boat People’ Vietka <>

‘Vietnam: The Soldier’s Experience’ Anzac Day Commemoration Committee

Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia

‘Vietnam War’ Wikipedia <>

‘Educational, Entertainment, and Research Material Relevant to the Study of the Vietnam War’ <>

‘Vietnam War 1962-75’ Australian War Memorial <>

War Child International Network

Films (Older students)
‘Films: Vietnam War’ History Now!

The Sapphires (2012) Directed by Wayne Blair and written by Tony Briggs and Keith Thompson.
About the Author of the Notes
Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright operates Justified Text writing and publishing consultancy services, and is widely published on children’s literature, publishing history and Australian fiction. In 2011 she was the recipient of the CBCA (Qld Branch) Dame Annabelle Rankin Award for Distinguished Services to Children’s Literature in Queensland, and in 2012 the CBCA Nan Chauncy Award for Distinguished Services to Children’s Literature in Australia.


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