Unionists were some of the first to protest against the war in Vietnam. While the 1966 protests against the crewing of the Boonaroo only created delays and divisions, the union movement was demonstrating its potential to take independent political action against the war in Vietnam. Union-initiated actions like this eventually proved to be a critical component in ending Australia's involvement in the war.
Don Henderson wrote: "Australian seamen have manned the Australian National Line M.V.s Boonaroo and Jeparit sailing to Vietnam 'under strong protest'. In the case of the Boonaroo, which had already completed one round trip, the crew's continued hostility to the U.S. aggression in Vietnam and the friendly contacts they established with Australian troops engaged in the war, are already a small part of Australian working-class history."
Click to hear the song ©1968 Don Henderson