Diggers win 50-year fight for recognition
AFTER a 50-year fight, the gallantry of the 3000 Australians who fought at the Battle of Coral-Balmoral in Vietnam will finally be recognised.
Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester has signed off on a proposal to award the Diggers involved in the battle with a Unit Citation for Gallantry, following a recommendation by the Defence Honours and Awards Appeal Tribunal.
During the 1968 Battle of Coral-Balmoral, 26 Australians were killed and more than 100 were wounded.
Since the first official sub- mission was made in 1991, veterans have waged battles against the governments of seven different prime ministers for recognition.
Today, veterans in Canberra will mark the 50th anniversary of the battle.
Mr Chester said it was timely that the government recognised their courageous service.
“The men who fought at fire support bases Coral and Balmoral displayed collective gallantry which is worthy of the Unit Citation for Gallantry,” Mr Chester said.
KATRINA Miles has been remembered as an “amazing, dedicated mother” and an “inspiration” to the Margaret River community for the way she raised her four autistic children.
A close friend yesterday described Katrina as a loving and determined mother to her eldest daughter Taye, 13, and sons Rylan, 12, Ayre, 10, and Kayden Cockman, 8 — four free-spirited kids who loved growing up on their grandparents’ hobby farm.
The children were described as “bright and intelligent”, despite their condition.
“Katrina home schooled her children, though she did have the younger ones at Margaret River Primary School for 18 months,” she said.
“The love and dedication she had for her children was an inspiration to the Margs autism community.
“They need to be remembered for that.”
Their unusual names were said to reflect the free spiritedness of their mother.
Taye loved taking aerial silk courses run by Wild Star Dance.
She attended Margaret River Primary School in 2016 where she helped to collect five-cent coins to raise money for a new school canteen.
Ayre received a merit certificate from the same school in April last year.
All four were said to have loved the water and had enjoyed learning to swim at the Margaret River Swimming School.
Another family friend said, despite growing up with autism, the children had all been “bright, intelligent children” with the world at their feet.
Postings on the social media app Pinterest by Katrina Miles showed both Taye and Ayre were obsessed with Lego, making Harry Potter, Star Wars and Batman-themed creations.