AVVRG was founded in 1994 by Australian Vietnam War Veteran Mr. Paul Murphy
He was concerned about the condition of the social and physical infrastructure in Vietnam as a consequence of a prolonged war and the country’s 20 year isolation from the West.
This was particularly evident in the former Province of Phuoc Tuy (renamed the Ba Ria/Vung Tau Province in 1992), which during the war contained the Australian Task Force Base at Nui Dat and the Australian Logistic Support Group and RAAF support units at Vung Tau.
Contact was made with the Vietnam Union of Friendship and the local People’s Committee to identify where assistance could be best provided. To ensure that our efforts were directed towards areas of greatest need and benefit to the community, a proposal was put to the People’s Committee to undertake a review of needs in the Province. The results were used as a basis to identify and prioritise future projects.
Then, the immediate challenges to AVVRG were:
- The forming of project teams with the necessary skills to travel to Vietnam and undertake projects.
- The undertaking of a review of the needs of the Ba Ria/Vung Tau Province in conjunction with the People’s Committee and in accordance with Australian Government guidelines.
- Arranging financial support to assist orphaned children of the the Ba Ria/Vung Tau area.
These challenges were taken on, and in August 1996 an orphanage at Ba Ria was opened. AVVRG members provided the financial support to make a difference in the lives of these orphaned children. Over time, sufficient Vietnamese government money has become available for the orphanage to be funded from within country funds. AVVRG will always look on this project as an example of successfully supporting disadvantaged children at a time when they were in crisis.
Though beginning in 1990, AVVRG was formally incorporated as a community association in 1994. Since humble beginnings, AVVRG has raised funds for the construction of orphanages, child care centres, a medical and dental centre plus the provision of humanitarian aid in areas of poverty alleviation and environmental solutions. In recent years AVVRG is providing medical education to major hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City and has contributed to the development of medical education within rural hospitals in the Ba Ria/Vung Tau Province.
Today membership of AVVRG has broadened well beyond Veterans, their families & friends.
To reflect this AVVRG changed its name from Australian Veterans Vietnam Reconstruction Group to Australia Vietnam Volunteers Resource Group in 2009.
Because of the nature and type of aid being delivered, the AVVRG has attracted medical professionals, business people, trades-people and concerned Australians the public who all empathise with the aims and purpose of the AVVRG. Hence our motto ‘Individuals can make a difference’.
The challenge of more projects is continuing. Your contribution will play a vital role in the ongoing success of the various projects, the group’s future as an effective aid organisation, as it continues to improve the life of disadvantaged citizens of Vietnam, especially the children. You may have skills, you may have contacts, or you may wish to donate money. Please join the group and in that way support the AVVRG endeavours.