Geoffrey Charles Murray was born in Carlton on December 13th 1939 and was placed into the care of the St Vincent de Paul Orphanage in South Melbourne when he was 10 years old. He believes that the discipline and restraint he learnt growing up there put him in good stead for the rest of his life, particularly during the 12 years he spent serving in the Australian Army.


His notable service included two impactful tours in Vietnam, where he demonstrated unwavering courage and humanity:


Geoff’s first tour in Vietnam was with A Squadrons 3rd Cavalry Regiment, where he worked with the Armoured Personnel Carriers during a critical period from November 27th 1967 to October 22nd 1968 driving trucks and transporting troops. Notably, he played a vital role in the Battles of Coral and Balmoral.


Undeterred by the challenges of wartime service, Geoff embarked on a second tour of Vietnam, this time with A Sections 1st Australian Topographical Survey Regiment, from October 15th 1969, to October 15th 1970.


During both deployments Geoff spent his downtime collecting any unused rations from the Army and delivering them to the Baria Orphanage. He knew what it was like to be hungry and he wanted to do all he could to help the children living there, and to support the Sisters that cared for them. He made providing for the Orphanage his personal mission and he personally sourced and collected tonnes of dehydrated food, as well as trailers full of fruit, and delivered it all to the Orphanage. When his second tour came to an end, and he told the Sisters he was returning home to Australia, they were devastated – they were losing a friend and a vital lifeline.


Reflecting on his time in the Army Geoff states: I don’t wish to remember all of my time in Vietnam, but when I look back at the photos of Sister Augustine I am overcome with a feeling of kindness.