Recent Events and Current & Upcoming Projects
A conversational over-view of the things that have recently happened
and that I am or would like to be involved with.
(Last updated 16 November 2016 - new stuff in YELLOW)
- The Battle of Long Tan
- Through Enemy Eyes
q Battlefield Tours
- VN Long Tan Trek Tours
- VN Decisive Battles Tours
- Europe Battlefield Tours
- History of Long Tan Cross
- Home Page
- About Dave
- Feedback/Contact Dave
- In the pipeline...
- Related Sites
Writing Projects - Current (Nov
Tours to Viet Nam:
The October 2013 Tour went with 14 guests - mostly Vets and many ex-officers. A smaller-than-usual group but as boisterous as any other group we've taken! And the December 2013 Cadet Tour
The October 2014 Tours to both South and North went
well - but events have conspired to not permit me to complete the 2014 Tour
Report... until now: The 2014 Tour Report is now
available for viewing at:
I hope it doesn't take me as long to produce the 2016 (50th Anniversary) Tour Report!
The planned October 2015 tour was called off when several of those interested pulled out in favour of going to Gallipoli or the Western Front for the 100th Anniversary events there.
However, to compensate, we put together a Long Tan Trek Tour for August 2016 - the 50th anniversary of the battle. It was opened to bookings late in 2015 and was fully subscribed by Feb 2016. 62 passengers! Two buses!
The Tour left Oz on Monday 15 Aug and was at long Tan on the 17th, 18th and 19th Aug for the 50th Anniversary commemorations. Unfortunately, the events were first restricted and then cancelled for the day. Our Tour group got to be at the Long Tan cross on the 19th. There's a mini-report written about the events and activities the Trek Tour faced at the time - please click on the "BUNFIGHT" report at left (7 pages).
Assured that the 2016 disruptions would not be repeated, there is a 2017 Trek Tour arranged, but back to October (depart Oz on the 14th) as has been usual for previous tours due to weather in VN and school holiday dates in Oz.
The Tour details are on web page:
Long Tan Awards:
The Tribunal has accepted the validity of all the awards recommended a few days after the battle of Long Tan. The separate issue of the requested VC for Jack Kirby was not approved. The investiture of these last awards will take place at Government House, Canberra, on Tuesday 8 Nov 2016. The Governor-General, General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) will invest these final Long Tan award recipients and that will, we expect, close the book on this long-running saga.
Proposed film of the
Battle of Long Tan:
Another interesting project:
I developed it from the slides I used when I gave talks on Viet Nam and Long Tan. It's being distributed free. It should be of interest to school projects, military history buffs, serving military members and just for general interest.
I have had a great deal of good comment about this PPT presentation, including several kind deposits into the bank account shown on the last screen to assist with the costs of development. One kind soul said "If you want an excellent view of this battle, you can't go past this PPT"
I have since put up all the other Powerpoint presentations I use and give on my Tours. Yeah - it's giving away professional intellectual property, but I see it as for the good of those who want to learn. I've also put up some of my talks and lectures on other topics, given at other functions and events. Worth a browse if you have the time and interest - www.sabben.com - home page.
And Battlefields further afield...:
As the next step in this process, Di and I went to Europe in April this year. We spent a week on the Gallipoli peninsula, a week on the Western Front and a week on the Normandy landings. In between these weeks were stays in Paris, Switzerland and London, almost always looking at War-related places (but in Switzerland, it was spent mostly on their fabulous rail system including the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express). While we have not updated the 2014 proposed itinerary, we have now visited all the places and Di can put you on the right tour or tours to see them. Di's on 0412 278 888 or (03) 9787 8888 and would be happy to talk about your travel ideas.
MORE speaking activities:
For those in Sydney, I spoke at the Kirribilli RSL at their "Dine With A Digger" evening on Thursday 22 August. The talk (by request) was the Powerpoint presentation on the battle of Long Tan followed by questions. The event was well attended and I'm told no one went to sleep in the presentation - which can't be all bad!
Meanwhile, down Frankston (Vic) way - near where I live - the Frankston RSL (of which I am a member) has opened a "YOUNG VETERANS & FAMILIES WELLBEING CENTRE" to assist Vets and their families from all the post-Vietnam and Peacekeeping deployments.
In order to get the Centre known, I gave a series of free Powerpoint presentations on different Vietnam battles at the Centre for eleven consecutive Tuesday nights 23 July thru to 1 October inclusive. I'm told some 120 persons attended over the 11 sessions. The co-ordinator Kerry gave the series a big 'tick' and mentioned maybe a reprise later. Maybe!
April 2015 I'm in the NSW Central Coast, at the Terrigal RSL ANZAC Day events. Then maybe at Canberra for the 50th anniversary of National Service (second scheme) and in Brisbane early July to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our march in to the NS Officer Training Unit at Scheyville.
30 May 2015 I made a presentation to the Military History and Heritage Victoria (MHHV) conference on National Service at the Mechanics Institute in Oakleigh.
August 2015 was the 49th anniversary of the Battle at Long Tan. All Nashos at the battle turned 70 years old (myself included!), so no special events planned other than maybe a rum'n'coke to remember the casualties - on both sides!
April 2016 will again be busy for me. Frankston is commissioning a new War Memorial Park on April 10 and I'll be there. Then I'll be speaking at Mt Macedon the weekend prior to ANZAC Day but will attend the first ANZAC Day at the new Frankston memorial on the 25th.
July 2016 I'll be in Tasmania, speaking at the Reserve Forces Day Parade. And later the same month, on the 27th, I'll be giving a Powerpoint slide presentation on the Battle of Long Tan at the Shrine in Melbourne. See the Shrine's website for details.
Then in August, we're back to Long Tan for the 50th Anniversary Trek Tour.
The talk with Powerpoint presentation at the Shrine in Melbourne on 27 July went well with over 100 in attendance. This was followed on 11 August with an address at a private dinner at the Athenaeum Club in Melbourne. The talk was taped but to date I have not received a copy. With the 50th Anniversary of Long Tan in a few weeks' time, the subject of the talk was "Why Long Tan?"... why does Long Tan get so much kudos when there were arguably larger battles involving more troops over longer timeframes.
Just back from Viet Nam, I spoke at the 7th Light Horse Dining-In night at Merimbula, NSW. The subject was Long Tan, but with emphasis on the 3Cav armoured action in particular. Again, the talk was videoed so can be passed on to interested parties.
Coming up soon (as I write this in early Nov) is an address to a Shrine Dinner in the (Melbourne) Town Hall on 15 Nov. To close out the year I also have a couple of talks to schools and an evening with the Monash University Regiment diggers and officer cadets.
I'm expecting my schedule of talks as being much reduced for 2017 and beyond...
...but before I do, there's a talk for the Melbourne Shrine Annual Dinner at the Town Hall, Tue 15 Nov 2016. The theme of the talk was "Correcting some False History of the Viet Nam War...". Click on the image or HERE for a copy - remembering that the text is only my guide: I do a lot of ad-lib-ing not covered in the text when talking for the actual presentation.
Thanks for looking in on my website...