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Forthcoming event: The DDGs in Vietnam & Lessons for the RAN

HMAS Brisbane

DDG HMAS Brisbane

Seminar: The DDGs in Vietnam & Lessons for the RAN Seminar

Date & Time:  Thursday 17 August 2017, 1.00pm to 5.00pm

Where:  UNSW Canberra at ADFA, LT12, Building 32, Northcott Drive, Campell, ACT

Marking the 50th anniversary of the RAN involvement in the Vietnam War, the Naval Studies Group of the Australian Centre for Armed Conflict and Society will hold two seminars – the first is ‘The DDGs in Vietnam & Lessons for the RAN’ to be held at UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy on Thursday 17 August 2017. The second will be the RAN Helicopter Flight in Vietnam in October 2017.

Just two years after the first of three Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyers (DDGs) entered service in the RAN, HMAS Hobart sailed for the Vietnam War. This seminar examines the impact of the DDGs on the RAN, their role in the Vietnam War, logistics and technical issues as well as the human dimension. The papers will be presented by a distinguished array of speakers, including five admirals with a deep understanding of the destroyers service in the Vietnam War.

Further Information:

Dr Rita Parker
Tel 02 6268 8906
Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society,
University of NSW, Canberra


Registration is free.



Video Presentation: The Battle of the Coral Sea

For the interest of readers of this blog, I’ve provided a link to the presentation given to the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies NSW in a June 2017 Lunchtime Lecture commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea

Link here

This is one of the conflicts that saved Australia in World War 2. The presentation was given by Lieutenant Colonel Peter Sweeney RFD (Ret’d) whose father served on HMAS Hobart.

EVENT: Passchendaele: Requiem for doomed youth


WHEN: 8 November 2016, 6pm – 7pm

WHERE: Theatre, Lower Ground 1, National Library of Australia, Canberra

COST: $15 including refreshments

Passchendaele epitomises everything that was most terrible about the Western Front.

The Battle of Passchendaele took place over several months, between July and November 1917, with Allied and German armies fighting for control of the ridges south and east of the Belgian city of Ypres.

Author Paul Ham and Australian journalist and commentator Jack Waterford AM explore how ordinary men on both sides endured this constant state of siege, with a very real awareness that they were being gradually, deliberately, wiped out.



In association with Penguin Random House

On War: The Battle of Pozieres, talk by Dr Meleah Hampton

National Library of Australia – Sound Cloud
On War: The Battle of Pozieres

I came across this audio link in the latest enewsletter from the National Library and I thought it might be of interest.

In this presentation, Dr Meleah Hampton, Australian War Memorial historian, explores the allied efforts to capture the OG (Old German) trench line near Pozières, France, in 1916. This was among the most costly battles for Australians during the First World War.

This talk was given in association with the Canberra Great War Study Group, the Estaminet


While it hasn’t come on to my review bookshelf, Dr Meleah Hampton is the author of the recently-published book:


Attack on the Somme: 1st ANZAC Corps and the Battle of Pozieres Ridge, 1916.

The book is published by UK publisher Helion & Company
ISBN 9781910777657

You can find details at this link

National Library Free Lecture: On War: the Battle for Pozieres


I thought I would alert readers to a free lecture at the National Library in Canberra this week.

Dr Meleah Hampton, Australian War Memorial historian, will explore allied efforts to capture the Old German trench line near Pozières, France, in 1916, leading to one of the most costly battles for Australians in the First World War. In association with the Canberra Great War Study Group, the Estaminet.

Date: Thursday 4 August 2016   5.30pm   free

Location: Theatre, Lower Ground 1, National Library of Australia, Canberra

Link here for details


Conference: Charles Bean’s Legacy


Conference: Friday 29 July and Saturday 30 July 2016

Location: Seminar Room 4, Building 32, Australian Defence Force Academy Northcott Drive, Campbell ACT

Topic: Charles Bean’s Legacy

The Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society (ACSACS) is holding a two-day conference. to examine the life and letters of one of Australia’s leading public intellectuals and most important historians, Dr Charles Bean.

For information or assistance with registration:

Andrew Blyth
M: 0466 402 415


Moral Injury: Unseen Wounds in an Age of Barbarism


Moral Injury
Unseen Wounds in an Age of Barbarism
Edited by Tom Frame

Published by UNSW Press
$39.99 in paperback
ISBN 9781742234656

This is a collection of essays from ex-soldiers, military historians, chaplains and psychologists that examines the unseen wounds sustained by Australians deployed to armed conflict zones, on peacekeeping missions and humanitarian assistance as well as disaster relief.

This book is the outcome of the first Australian moral injury symposium held in February 2015. The symposium considered two related questions.

Firstly, what evidence supports the existence of moral injury and is moral injury a new experience or simply a new name? And, secondly, if moral injury does exist, how does any Australian experience of moral injury compare with that sustained by the personnel of its operating partners?

The book is divided into six perspectives:

  • Historical
  • Personal
  • Ethical
  • Psychological
  • Practical
  • Religious

This is an important book in that it examines the Australian experience whereas much of the previous knowledge about these issues came via American or other studies.

As Tom Frame writes in the conclusion, there is much more to be known about moral injury:

… this book and the further inquiry that it suggests is propelled by a common concern for those who have been affected by uniformed service. It is also an expression of esteem and respect. – Tom Frame

It is the first book in a series to be produced by the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society (ACSACS) – a UNSW Canberra Research Centre at ADFA.

You can see more about the centre’s activities at


How should we remember Queensland’s First World War history?

Private Victor Esguerra at the ANZAC Day pre-dawn service, ANZAC Square, Brisbane, QLD, 25 April 2014.

Private Victor Esguerra at the ANZAC Day pre-dawn service, ANZAC Square, Brisbane, QLD, 25 April 2014.

Planning a trip to Brisbane? This event at the State Library could be of interest.

How we remember: responding to 100 years since the First World War is a free, interactive forum that will encourage participants to rethink our understanding of Queensland’s First World War history.

Commencing with a welcome function and keynote address on the evening prior, the full day symposium on Wednesday 14 October will feature individual presentations and panel discussions from academics, writers, journalists, curators and musicians.

Guest presenters, such as Adjunct Associate Professor, author, and former Australian army officer James Brown and historian and author Dr Carolyn Holbrook, will each share their unique perspectives on memory, myth-making, the historical reality of the war, the notion of the sacred, and how these relate to Australia’s remembrance of the First World War.

State Librarian Janette Wright said that this centenary year of the Gallipoli landing was a timely moment to re-examine our nation’s understanding of remembrance and commemoration.

“The Anzac legend has come to occupy an immense space in our national psyche, with the prolific re-telling of the story of Gallipoli as ‘the birth of a nation’,” Ms Wright said.

“Commemoration is seen by most Australians as a way to remember and honour the fallen, imbuing their memory with a sense of sacredness.”

How we remember will explore this narrative, as well as give voice to those who seek to highlight the populist nature of this history telling and advocate for a more historically accurate record. The symposium aims to share both sides of this contentious debate.”

For more information and to register for the free symposium, visit How we remember: responding to 100 years since the First World War is part of Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation, a five year legacy project led by State Library and proudly supported by the Queensland Government.



I thought this might be of interest to Canberrans – there’s a stellar line up of talent at the event.

Seminar: Writing the Great War
National Library of Australia, Canberra
Theatre, Lower Ground 1
Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9.30am-5pm

The First World War was the first to involve literate populations on a grand scale. The conflict inspired widespread creative output as writers attempted to process what the war meant. From eyewitness journalists, soldiers and nurses, through to the response of poets, novelists and historians, this seminar examines the breadth of Australian writing as a result of the war.

Speakers include Joan Beaumont, Janet Butler, Philip Butterss, Adrian Caesar, Susannah Helman, Malcolm St Hill, Jacqueline Manuel, Michael McKernan, Ross McMullin, Peter Rees, and Clare Rhoden.

This seminar is held in conjunction with the Library’s current exhibition Keepsakes: Australians and the Great War on exhibit until 19 July 2015.

Supported by the Maxine Poynton-Baker Bequest.

More information:

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