International businessman Kingsley Mundey was in Cobram on Monday to give a presentation at Cobram Bowling Club.
The event, which was put on by Cobram Barooga RSL sub-branch, also featured a ‘fireside chat’ question-and-answer segment hosted by Nicky Goldsworthy of Cobram Barooga Business and Tourism.
Mr Mundey has been involved in a number of industries and has a track record of taking on poorly performing businesses and turning them around. He is also the chair of the National Vietnam Veterans Museum on Phillip Island, which was the main topic of the night.
The current museum receives about 17,000 visitors annually, however Mr Mundey and his board have embarked on an ambitious project to build a new complex to enable the museum to better educate the public about the Vietnam War.
“We want to create a purpose-designed museum on Phillip Island and a foundation that allows the museum to operate in perpetuity,” he said.
“We are aiming to create a place that seeks to remember, interpret and relate the experience of veterans of the Vietnam War and the enduring impact of the war on Australian society.
“If you are going to tell a story, you have to tell all of it. Vietnam was not just about Australia – the focus is on Australia, but we need to acknowledge the others.''
Mr Mundey said the museum had a fundraising target of $35 million to cover the cost of purchasing the land, building and fitting out the museum as well as establishing a National Vietnam Veterans Museum Foundation corpus.
“We want the museum to: optimise the visitor education experience; protect and preserve the collection; enable to collection to be maintained, restored and stored; and also act as a focal point for Vietnam War veterans in Australia,” Mr Mundey said.
“We want to establish a trust fund with the sole objective of having a protected investment from which annuity can contribute towards the operating costs of the museum in perpetuity.
“This is a 10-year project which we are committed to because we want it finished before all of our Vietnam Veterans are gone.”
Cobram Barooga RSL sub-branch president Rob Brown said it was an informative night and felt Mr Mundey was able to answer a number of questions about the National Vietnam Veterans Museum as well as business-related issues which were affecting people living in the country.
“It was a good night overall, it is great to see a person of his calibre in Cobram,” Mr Brown said.
“He gave a comprehensive explanation of what the National Vietnam Veterans Museum is all about.
“He is successful now, but he was still able to relate things he has learnt back to a small country town.''