Speeches

Vietnam Veteran's Day Whyalla

Mr RAMSEY (GreyGovernment Whip) (13:58): Lieutenant Richard John 'Rick' Abraham was born and raised in Whyalla. He attended Whyalla Memorial Oval Primary School and later Whyalla High. He apprenticed as and became a professional photographer. As a 20-year-old, he was called up for national service but declared medically unfit because he had a plate in his leg as a result of a relatively recent motorbike accident. A determined character, over the next 18 months he had the plate removed and joined up anyway. He was assigned to 9RAR, which was formed in South Australia and was the last one raised for the Vietnam War. The battalion was transported on an aircraft carrier, the Sydney, and arrived in Vietnam in November 1969. Rick was a very popular member of the battalion and was known as 'Mr Personality'. The battalion saw heavy action and lost 35 during its tour, with over 150 wounded. Sadly, Rick Abraham was one of the 35.

On 6 July 1969 Rick was killed in an ambush by the Vietcong. As the M60 heavy machine gunner, he was the first to be targeted and was the only life lost in the incident, even though his immediate companion was wounded. He was remembered last Saturday in Whyalla as we commemorated Vietnam Veterans Day—as he should be, as all who served our nation should be remembered. Lest we forget.

The SPEAKER: In accordance with standing order 43, the time for members' statements has concluded.

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