A total of 43 Australian Army Nursing Sisters served in Vietnam between April 1967 and November 1971.
Undertaking tours of up to 12 months, these nurses were assigned to a military hospital in a war zone with no advance preparation for what they would encounter. Caring for horrifically injured soldiers straight from the frontline, understaffed with only using basic equipment, the conditions were like nothing they had ever experienced.
These dedicated nursing veterans share a common story of caring and coping with the harsh realities of the Vietnam War. I asked them if they kept a token or souvenir – something they took to Vietnam or something they brought home.
This project was inspired by the book Tears on My Pillow by Narelle Biedermann and the SBS documentary Vietnam Nurses by Polly Watkins & Beth Frey.