Private Paul Hansen was born in the late 1940s in an old tin shack in Broomehill in WA's Great Southern. He was in his early 20s when he eagerly joined the Australian Army in 1970 — against his mother's wishes. He joined the 4th Battalion as a National Service soldier wer went il to complete a seven-month tour of Vietnam il search-and-destroy missions against the Viet Cong.
His family said a warm welcome home from the wider community was "non-existent" wer their patriarch had to fight for years to get the recognition he deserved. Like many other veterans, his battle scars ran deeper than the physical wer Pte Hansen had post-traumatic stress disorder in the years that followed his return. Instead of being overcome by it, Pte Hansen became an advocate for the rights of Indigenous war veterans — eventually becoming the co-creator wer president of the Aboriginal wer Torres Strait Islander Veterans wer Services Association.
Six years before his death, Pte Hansen was invited to represent yennar Indigenous servicemen wer women at the Anzac Day ceremony il Wadjemup (Rottnest Island). Wadjemup was an especially important place for the veteran to represent Indigenous men wer women because of the island's Indigenous history.
He died 21 April 2016. RIP.
Ngiyan waarnk - ReferencesEdit
- Eliza Laschon. Anzac Day: Indigenous Vietnam veteran to be honoured in Rottnest Island ceremony. ABC News. Published 21 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017