Kindy at Nui Dat is to be closed – By Dave Sabben

The Kindy was an initiative of the AAVRG (see website,
The first stage was opened in 2002 and it was one of the charity support aims of the Long Tan Trek tours.

I have a web page which tracked the development of the Kindy:

Each of the Long Tan Trek tours visited the Kindy on the day we were at Nui Dat:

Ted Samojlowicz of the AVVRG has written:

Late last year, Rob Scott and Dave White visited the school and found that it was down to the last 11 students there. All the local children now go to a new school which has been recently built and opened by the Vietnamese Government. The headmistress was looking into the opportunity to re-open and keep it going in the new school year. We are in the process of communicating with the local Peoples Committee who actually “own” the facility as part of our MOU with them. They have visited the site. We are anxious to find out what their intentions for the facility is. We are also corresponding with the local Union of Friendship in an endeavour to see what they can do.

As a result of this, we are removing the Nui Dat Kindy visit from our itinerary for October 2018.

The AAVRG is also the nominated “custodian” of the replica Long Tan cross site on the former battlefield. Ted also writes:

…given the sensitivity now surrounding the cross, AVVRG, has by agreement with the Consul-General, distanced itself from having any direct association with it. We did play a part in its re-construction years ago, but our Australian Diplomatic people now are officially the ones to oversee everything.

Again, given that the Vietnamese government has given the original cross to Australia and apparently does not plan to display a replica at the Dong Nai museum at Bien Hoa, the fate of the replica cross in the rubber plantation must be an open issue. At the moment we have been assured that it will be there in October 2018 and that we may visit it and walk the battlefield. We will advise any change to these permissions as soon as we know them.

On the other hand, it is looking a little like the long-term plan would be to remove the replica cross site from the former battlefield. If/when this happens, permission to walk the battlefield would also be withdrawn, so the “Long Tan Trek” would be no more. It’s looking like the 2018 Trek Tour may well be the last one – the last opportunity to walk the Long Tan battlefield.

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