Roy Mundine OAM
Wehbal People of the Bundjalung Nation
Retired Warrant Officer Class One, Australian Army
Vietnam War Veteran
Inaugural Indigenous Elder of the Australian Army
Medal of the Order of Australia (Military Division) (1987)
National Medal (1981)
Roy enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in 1966. After allocation to 5th Battalion in The Royal Australian Regiment, he served in South Vietnam in 1966/67. He returned for a second operational tour to South Vietnam with the 5th Battalion in 1969.
On 25 April 1969, during Operation Surfside in Phuoc Tuy Province, Corporal Mundine was the leading Section Commander with 1 Platoon, A Company. On approaching a suspected enemy area, Corporal Mundine deployed his section on the ground and moved forward alone to reconnoitre the enemy position. He sighted enemy bunkers and was about to signal further instructions when he detonated a mine that severed his lower right leg and caused severe wounds to his back and his other leg. Members of his section started to move forward to his assistance into what was later shown to be an enemy minefield. Corporal Mundine, although in considerable pain, ordered his section to stay out of the area and directed them to new fire positions after giving full details of the enemy bunker system. For over forty minutes he continued to give instructions to his section and refused to allow any members of the platoon to move near him until engineers had cleared path through the minefield. This occasion was typical of his outstanding leadership. He was mentioned in dispatches (MID) in 1969.
Roy received an OAM Military for his 36 years of serving with distinction in the armed services. His old battalion, the 5th Battalion, named a military operation in Afghanistan after him “Operation Mundine”.
When you serve, you place the needs and safety of others before your own.