National Vietnam Veterans Museum

Phillip Island, Victoria
The brief was to provide an overview of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War via The Shirley Spectra’s interpretive medium, SpectraVision.  A member of the Museum’s executive committee had experienced SpectraVision in Cowra.  This was an open brief.
Instead of casting a Vietnam Vet, a current serviceman or a nurse, The Shirley Spectra chose an actor old enough to have been a `Nasho’, dressed him in `civvies’ and wrote a script that positioned him as somewhat of an historian on the conflict.  Who he really is, was left to visitors to decide.  But he is knowledgeable.  The script was thoroughly researched and written by The Shirley Spectra.

The story produces a brief history of the Indo-China conflicts, including the occupation of Vietnam by the French - and their defeat - and then skips to Australia 1962, with a contingent of 30 military advisers sent to South Vietnam.  The program then documents the dramatic escalation of the war; a war that ultimately involved 50,000 Australian troops.; a quarter of whom were conscripted National Servicemen.

The program tells of the courageous `Tunnel Rats’, who infiltrated Vietcong tunnels, and demonstrates how tunnel entrances were found by pumping smoke through them which then emanates from other entrances on the SpectraVision stage. 

The climax of the program involves the fierce battle of Long Tan, which has been described as, perhaps, the most remarkable of the Vietnam War.  The 108 soldiers of D Company 6RAR, faced an enemy strength of some 2,500 men.  Amazing SpectraVision effects portray the raging battle during a violent thunderstorm.

The story ends with emotional footage of the `Vietnam Veterans’ Homecoming Parade’; fifteen years after the withdrawal of Australian troops, which appears on the side of an ammunition case.

The President of the National Vietnam Veterans Museum, Mr. John Methvan, has revealed the success so far of the SpectraVision installation at the Phillip Island facility early in 2007:  “The introduction of The Shirley Spectra’s SpectraVision display in our museum has already increased visitation by over  50%,” he said. 

“Visitors are fascinated by the 25cm character walking around a display case and interacting with a diverse range of military artifacts.  No one,” he adds, “leaves the museum without having been deeply moved by the show.”

The Museum was officially opened by the Victorian Premier, Mr Steve Bracks MP on the 9th March 2007.
Vietnam Veterans Museum Hologram Phillip Island