Roy Mundine comes from Baryulgil in New South Wales but has spent much of his life outside Australia. This interview is part of the ‘Honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men and Women who Served Their Country’ project. In his interview Roy talks about life in the military and in the excerpt below he outlines his overseas postings and his rise through the ranks.
I joined the army in about 1958. I did a couple of years in Malaya, and I did a stint in England, I went to New Zealand for a few months and also I was in Vietnam twice and, of course, I was posted to different states in Australia. In Malaya we were fighting the Communists terrorists. We used to go out patrolling in the jungle all the time; we used to do a lot of training and all that. I remember one time we went to Borneo, training, and then we came back and we continued on doing that, patrolling against the Communists terrorists in Malaya. Then I was posted back to Australia and I was out at Holsworthy for a while and then I went to Parachute School at Williamtown. I was there for twelve months – (when I was in England I was with the 1st Battalion of the parachute regiment) – and then went back to the battalions at Holsworthy and then I went off to Vietnam, my first trip into Vietnam. And I came back from that and then we trained for about twelve months or so and then we went back again and we came back from there and I got wounded on that second trip and then while I was there we went to New Zealand on various exercises. And then I was posted to the Royal Military College at Duntroon on the staff. From there I went up to Queensland – I was posted up there. I was a section commander in the infantry and, of course, I was a quartermaster. I enjoyed myself in the army because I did about thirty six years in the army; I was a Warrant Officer Class One and a lot of power in that job.