Work has commenced on an independent history that will document and analyse the medical legacies of the Vietnam War.
The volume has been commissioned by the Australian War Memorial Council and will be written by Dr Peter Yule, a research fellow at the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne.
This history will examine the development of various medical issues experienced by Australian veterans, with a particular focus on the health effects of exposure to herbicides, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). During the four-year project, Dr Yule and a team of researchers will undertake interviews with a wide cross-section of veterans of the Vietnam War. Specialist epidemiologist Dr Michael Fett will also review the extensive existing research and medical studies as part of the project.
The focus of the history will be on the health concerns of veterans and Dr Yule believes the best way to find out about these concerns is to talk with the veterans themselves. He emphasises that the voice of the veterans must be heard.
The final manuscript is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 with publication due in 2020.