Dominic Peter Yau (1943-2021)


Nat Map Senior Technical Officer 1974-1982


By Laurie McLean September 2021 (updated September 2022)


Dominic Yau.

Image from Dominicís Facebook post.


Dominic Yau was a highly skilled and greatly respected Technical Officer and later Senior Technical Officer who worked with the Division of National Mapping in Melbourne from March 1974 until circa April 1982.


Dominicís 8 years with Nat Map was just one phase of his multi-faceted career that spanned some 6 decades and during which he contributed greatly to his adopted home land of Australia.† Dominicís career in Australia also included:

       9 years of gallant and distinguished military service with the Royal Australian Survey Corps as a topographic surveyor and as a linguist attached to the Australian Intelligence Corps

       Several years as a Migration Officer with the then Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

       Over 25 years as a legal practitioner in Victoria

       Several years as an academic with the Victoria University in Melbourne.


At Nat Map, at least, DP Yau was known as Dom Yeo; which was apparently Domís preferred pronunciation of his family name.


Nat Mapper John Allen worked with Dom at the Rialto office in Melbourne.† John recently recalled that Dom was a most valuable member of the aerial triangulation team and could be relied upon to undertake any or all of the teamís complex photogrammetric model control work.† Nat Mapper Bill Stuchbery recently recalled working on MODBLOCK adjustments with Dom after they moved to Dandenong and remembered Dom as a very friendly and helpful chap.† Nat Mapper Bob Irwin did not work directly with Dom but knew him at the Rialto and at Dandenong.† Bob recently recalled Domís studious approach to work and his reserved, polite personality. †To Bob Irwin, Dom exuded quiet intelligence.


Early life

Dominic Peter Yau was born in Hong Kong on 17 October 1943 to ethnic Chinese parents.† He was fluent in Cantonese as well as English.† Unfortunately, little else is known of Dominicís early life.


From Dominicís Facebook post, he graduated from Kingís College, Hong Kong in 1961; he was then about 18 years of age.† Named for Englandís King George V, this government funded boysí secondary school was established in 1926 at 63A Bonham Road Mid-Levels, an affluent residential area on Hong Kong Island.† (Apartments with 2-3 bedrooms at Mid-Levels are currently listed for sale at between $Aus 4-16 Million.)† Kingís College was occupied by Japanese forces during World War II and severely damaged; the College did not re-commence until 1951.


Kingís College, Hong Kong.

Antiquities and Monuments Office, Hong Kong Government image.


During Dominicís time at Kingís College, the Principals were Mr Leung Fung Ki (from July 1954), Mr CW Sargison (from January 1957), and Mr GS Coxhead (from September 1960).† In 1959, Kingís College had some 920 students.† Its facilities then included 26 class rooms as well as 7 laboratories, library, lecture room, geography room, visual aids room, photography room, handwork room, etc as well as staff, prefects (there were 30 prefects in 1961) and scouts rooms, a canteen, a gymnasium and a Great Hall.


The younger Dominic Yau during his school days.

Image from Dominicís Facebook post.


It is not known when Dominic immigrated to Australia, however, he presumably arrived here after graduating from Kingís College in 1961 and prior to enlisting in the Australian Army on 2 December 1964.


Army service 1964-1973

As mentioned, Dominic Yau enlisted in the Australian Army on 2 December 1964; Service Number 1200402. †He was discharged with the rank of Sergeant on 6 December 1973 after 9 years of gallant and distinguished service.† Dominic served in the Royal Australian Survey Corps as a topographic surveyor.† Accordingly, his required initial period of enlistment was 6 years and he subsequently re‑enlisted for a further 3-year period.


Initially, after recruit and trade trading, Dominic was a Royal Australian Survey Corps topographic surveyor with the rank of Sapper.† Dominicís recruit training and later trade training, through a Basic Survey Course at the School of Military Survey at Bonegilla in north-east Victoria, would have taken most of calendar 1965.


In early 1966, Sapper Yau was posted as a topographic surveyor to the Western Command Field Survey Unit; he marched-in on 12 January 1966.† This was probably Dominicís first posting within the Survey Corps.† The Western Command Field Survey Unit was then located in the Artillery Barracks in Burt Street Fremantle.† Built during 1910-1913, the Barracks are now the site of the Army Museum of Western Australia.


Army Museum of Western Australia in the Artillery Barracks Burt Street Fremantle.

Image from


Dominic served as a Sapper topographer with the Western Command Field Survey Unit for a period of 12-months.† He marched-out on 13 January 1967 on a posting to the School of Languages at the Royal Australian Air Force base at Point Cook, about 22 kilometres south-west of Melbourne CBD.


No 7 Vietnamese Course at RAAF School of Languages, Point Cook

Sapper Yau and 22 other Australian Regular Army personnel arrived at LANGS (as the RAAF School of Languages was known) on 16 January 1967 to commence the No 7 Vietnamese Course.† On the same day, similar numbers of service personnel arrived to commence other language courses at LANGS, namely the:

ēNo 16 Chinese Course

ēNo 13 Indonesian Course

ēNo 3 Thai Course.


LANGS commenced operation in Sydney during 1944.† The early lanuage courses were around 44 weeks duration with daytime study at Sydney University. †Evening study, of a more practical and military nature, was undertaken at the Coogee Bay Hotel where the students lived.† The first course, for 32 airmen, commenced on 31 July 1944.† About a year later, LANGS moved to the Ascot Vale Showgrounds-Flemington Racecourse area in Melbourne and then to RAAF Base Point Cook in February 1946.


During Dominicís time at LANGS, the Commanding Officer was Wing Commander AJ Garrick.† Alex John (Toby) Garrick was born at Vladivostok, Russia in 1919 and died in Sydney in 1995.† Toby Garrick enlisted in the RAAF in 1942 and became the Commanding Officer of LANGS in 1950 with the then rank of Flight Lieutenant.† Wing Commander Garrick retired in January 1968 at the age of 48 years.


As well as RAAF linguists, a number of Vietnamese civilians were among the instructors at the No 7 Vietnamese Course.† Over the duration of the No 7 Vietnamese Course, 4 Army students discontinued and were replaced by RAAF personnel.


Sapper Yau was one of the 23 students who successfully completed No 7 Vietnamese Course and was presented with a graduation certificate at a ceremony on 30 November 1967. †The ceremony included graduates from the other 3 language courses.


Upon completing his course at LANGS, Sapper Yau would have been a qualified Army linguist.† Some time after the course, he was promoted Corporal and would have been warned to prepare for a posting to Vietnam.† Part of Dominicís preparation for Vietnam would have been attendance at a Battle Efficiency Course; usually of 3 weeks duration.† Such courses were usually held at the Armyís Jungle Warfare Training Centre at Canungra in Queenslandís Gold Coast hinterland.† However, during the large build-up in Australiaís troop commitment to Vietnam from late 1967, Battle Efficiency Courses were also held at other locations including Puckapunyal in Victoria.


Service in Vietnam 1968-1970

Between 16 April 1968 and 29 October 1970, Dominic Yau served continuously with Australian Army Units in Vietnam; an incredible 926 days on active duty.† Most other Australian soldiers served in Vietnam for a nominal 1-year period and many served for less than that.† According to his Department of Veteransí Affairs nominal roll entry, Dominic served with the following Army units:


       Headquarters, Australian Force Vietnam (Army Component) from 16 April 1968 to 25 April 1968.† Headquarters, AFV was established in a former school building in Tran Quoc Toan, Cholon about 4 kilometres south of Saigonís Tan Son Nhut airbase.† The headquarters of the Thai, Philippine, Korean, Taiwanese and New Zealand forces in Vietnam were also located in the same building that was formally known as the Free World Military Assistance Forces Headquarters; see image below.

       AFV Detachment, 1st Division Intelligence Unit, Australian Intelligence Corps, from 26 April 1968 to 7 April 1970.† During his 2 years with the Detachment, Corporal Yau was nominally based with the 1st Australian Task Force that had its headquarters at Nui Dat in Phước Tuy Province but operated away from Nui Dat as required.† See image below of part of the Nui Dat base.

       Headquarters, 1st Australian Logistic Support Group from 8 April 1970 to 29 October 1970.† 1ALSG had its headquarters on the outskirts of the former French colonial sea side town of Vũng Tŗu about 30 kilometres south-west of the Nui Dat Task Force base.† Vũng Tŗu is about 70 kilometres south-east of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City).† See image below of the 1ALSG base at Vũng Tŗu in the early days of development.


The Free World Military Assistance Forces Headquarters, Saigon circa 1967.

Malcolm Hugh Whitney image from the Australian War Memorial web site.

AWM accession number P05317.012.


1st Australian Logistic Support Group base at Vũng Tŗu on 3 November 1966.† The base was then in the early days of its development.† The back beach of the South China Sea is on the left side of the image.

United States Army Corps of Engineers image.


Part of the 1st Australian Task Force Base at Nui Dat circa 1969.

Bruce Lindsay Wilson image from the Registry of Ex-Military Land Rovers web site.


Recognition for Dominicís service in Vietnam

Regrettably, as with other Vietnam veterans, it took the Australian Government half a century to appropriately recognise Dominicís Vietnam service through the following awards and medals.† Fortunately, unlike some Vietnam veterans, Dominic survived after his service and was able to personally receive all of his awards and medals.


Unit Citation for Gallantry (with Federation Star).† The Unit Citation for Gallantry recognises extraordinary gallantry in action.† Members attached to the unit when the citation is awarded wear it with the Federation Star, and continue to wear this after leaving the unit.† Members who subsequently join the unit wear the citation without the Federation Star, and discontinue wearing it after leaving the unit.† In a media release on 13 May 2018, the Honourable Darren Chester MP, then Minister for Veteransí Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel stated that: the extraordinary gallantry displayed by members of the 1st Australian Task Force (Forward) and associated units deployed to Area of Operations Surfers during the Battles of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral was being recognised by the Unit Citation for Gallantry.


The awarding of this citation indicates that Dominic was with the Detachment 1st Division Intelligence Section that was part of the 1st Australian Task Force (Forward) during the Battle of Coral that commenced in the early hours of 13 May 1968; for a brief summary of this action please refer to the Appendix.


Unit Citation for Gallantry

Unit Citation for Gallantry with Federation Star.


Commendation for Distinguished Service: on 3 June 1998, the Governor‑General awarded the Commendation for Distinguished Service to Dominic Yau was part of several end of theatre awards for service in Vietnam.† This and other awards were promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 3 June 1998.† The insignia of the Commendation for Distinguished Service is a central Federation Star on a nickel-silver row of flames that taper at each end.


Three Australian Distinguished Service Decorations were instituted in 1991 to recognise service in warlike operations.† These were awarded primarily to members of the Australian Defence Force.† Distinguished Service Decorations were also awarded posthumously.† The Commendation for Distinguished Service was awarded only for distinguished performance of duties in warlike operations.† (As Australia did not declare war on Vietnam, its military activities there were classed as warlike operations.)


Commendation for Distinguished Service insignia ribbon.


Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 is an Australian award that was approved in 1997 and awarded to Australian military personnel who served in warlike operations between 3 September 1945 and 13 February 1975.† Separate clasps were issued to show in which theatre or action the person served, namely for service in Korea, Malaya, Malaysia, Thailand, Thai/Malay, or Vietnam.† These were the separate warlike operations that Australian military forces were engaged in during this period.


Vietnam Medal was instituted in 1968 under the Imperial Honours System (that Australia used at that time) but was mainly awarded to Australian and New Zealand military personnel.† For Australian personnel, it was awarded for service in Vietnam between 29 May 1964 and 27 January 1973.


Australian Defence Medal is an Australian award approved in 2006.† It was awarded to recognise Defence Force personnel who demonstrated their commitment to serving the nation through an initial enlistment period or four years service (whichever was the lesser).† All such service had to be undertaken after 3 September 1945 (and need not necessarily have been in warlike operations).


Vietnamese Campaign Medal which was instituted by the then Government of the Republic of (South) Vietnam for allied military personnel.† It was awarded through the Australian military system between 31 July 1962 and 27 January 1973, to military personnel with at least 181 days special service in Vietnam or qualifying waters.† (Exceptions to the required days of service included award of the medal to battle casualties including those who died in action.)


In the image below Dominic Yau is wearing the service awards and medals that were described above. †The wearing of the Unit Citation for Gallantry indicates that this image was taken sometime after 13 May 2018.† In his left lapel Dominic is wearing the Royal Australian Survey Corps Badge and the badge in Dominicís right lapel indicates he was a member of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL).


Dominic Yau wearing his Vietnam service awards and medals.

Image from Dominicís Facebook post.


Monuments to Dominic Yauís war service

Dominicís Army service during the war in Vietnam is commemorated on monuments in 2 States.


In New South Wales, Dominic Yauís name is perpetuated on the Australian Chinese Ex-Services Monument that was unveiled on 14 March 2003.† The monument is located at the corner of Dixon and Liverpool Streets in Sydneyís Darling Harbour.


The monument commemorates the sacrifice made by Australians of Chinese heritage who served in the various conflicts in which Australia was involved, namely: the South African (Boer) War, World War I, World War II, the conflicts in Malaya, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and other conflicts.


The Australian Chinese Ex-Services Monument, Darling Harbour 2019.

Tom Galluzzo image from Monument Australia web site.


In Victoria, Dominic Yauís name is perpetuated on the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk that opened on 30 March 2011 in High Street Seymour.† This site is dedicated to all the servicemen and servicewomen who served in South Vietnam between 1962 and 1975.† The names of each of the men and women who served are scripted on 106 glass panels along the Walk.† Dominic Yauís name is near the bottom of the first column on Panel 73 at this memorial; see images below.


The Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk at Seymour, Victoria.

Image from Mitchell Shire Council web site.


Panel 73 at the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk, Seymour on 30 August 2022 (left); (right) Dominic Yauís name on the panel, bottom left.

Laurie McLean images.


Army Survey Regiment, Bendigo circa 1971-1973

After he returned from Vietnam, Corporal Yau is believed to have been posted back to the Royal Australian Survey Corps at the Army Survey Regiment in the City of Bendigo in central Victoria about 150 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, staying there until he was discharged.† Known as the AHQ Survey Regiment until 1973, the Regiment was located at Fortuna Villa in Chum Street in the Bendigo suburb of Quarry Hill.


Around Dominicís time at the Army Survey Regiment , its Commanding Officers were Lieutenant-Colonel Lionel Bernard (Bill) Sprenger MBE (1920‑1970) who commanded the Regiment from 1969 until his untimely death in December 1970.† Lieutenant-Colonel William Howarth commanded the Regiment from 1971 to 1972 and Lieutenant-Colonel Donald Read (Don) Ridge (circa 1928-2021) commanded the Regiment from 1972 to 1975.


Fortuna Villa, Bendigo.

Edited image from Balance Architecture web site.


Committee of Inquiry into service pay and conditions

Mr Justice John Kerr QC (1914-1991), then a judge of the Commonwealth Industrial Court, led a Committee of Inquiry into service pay and conditions during 1970-71.† John Robert Kerr had served as a Colonel with Headquarters Australian Military Forces, School of Civil Affairs (Directorate of Research and Civil Affairs) during World War II.


Mr Justice Kerr became the Chief Justice of New South Wales and a Lieutenant Governor of that State.† Sir John was knighted in January 1974 and was later appointed by the Whitlam government to become the 18th Governor‑General of Australia from 11 July 1974 to 8 December 1977.† Sir Johnís dismissal of the Whitlam government on 11 November 1975 precipitated considerable political and social controversy that ultimately led to his early retirement.† Sir John was awarded a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (1966), Knight of the Order of Australia (1974), Companion of the Order of Australia (1975), Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (1976), and a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (1977).


As part of his Committee of Inquiry, Mr Justice Kerr visited the Army Survey Regiment at Fortuna during 1971.† The image below was taken during that visit.


Corporal Yau, with others, briefing Mr Justice Kerr on a Wild Heerbrugg PUG4 point transfer device at the Army Survey Regiment at Fortuna in 1971.

Image kindly provided by Peter Jensen.


According to a 1972 electoral roll entry, Dominic and his wife then lived at 11 Ewing Avenue Flora Hill in Bendigo; a direct distance of about 3.5 kilometres south-east of Fortuna.


While at the Army Survey Regiment, Dominic Yau was promoted Sergeant.† After his 9 years of service with the Royal Australian Survey Corps, Sergeant Yau was discharged on 6 December 1973.


National Mapping Melbourne 1974 Ė 1982

After his discharge from the Royal Australian Survey Corps, Dominic Yau worked with the Division of National Mapping at its Rialto Building office at 497 Collins Street in Melbourneís Central Business District from early 1974.


Dominicís appointment as a Technical Officer, Surveying, Grade 2 to the Department of Minerals and Energy, Victorian Regional Office formally took effect on 18 March 1974.† However, as such appointment dates were not always accurate, Dominic may have commenced duty before this date.† His March 1974 appointment was not promulgated in the Australian Government Gazette until 27 June 1975.


Rialto Building, 497 Collins Street Melbourne circa 1977.

XNatmap image from Eric MacGibbon.


Long-serving Nat Map Senior Technical Officer John Allen recently recalled that Dominicís Nat Map appointment was into the aerial triangulation section run by Dr CWB (Claude) King in the Rialto office.† At that time numerical block adjustment was in its infancy at Nat Map and Dom, possibly through his experience in the Royal Australian Survey Corps that used this methodology, was a member of the small group supervised by Claude King.† Dom was proficient in the use of all equipment necessary in establishing photogrammetric model control, namely:

       Wild Heerbrugg PUG4, point transfer instrument;

       Bausch and Lomb differential stereoscope;

       Kern PG-2 stereoplotter.


All of the Nat Map aerotriangulation team members were required to have high stereoscopic acuity and be able to undertake model control for the mapping photography that included transferring identification from spot photography of first and lower order horizontal control points, height control from laser strip film and all allied photo join points.† Contractors then carried out model observations on the photography Nat Map had provided and their digital data was input to Claude King's analytical adjustment programs.


John Allen also recalled that in those early days, punched cards were the input medium.† This medium was used to upload data to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisationís Cyber 76 mainframe computer in Canberra from the CSIRO Division of Computing Research office in Albert Street East Melbourne.† The data was used to establish ground values for all the photo points.† This methodology was a huge step forward from Nat Mapís previous stone age graphical approach to photogrammetric block adjustments using slotted template assemblies.


About Dr CWB King

English-born Dr Claude William Bernard King (1920-2018) was appointed as a Surveyor Class 1 in Nat Mapís Rialto office in early 1972; he was then 51 years of age and a world leader in numerical aerotriangulation.† During the 1960s Dr King was Head of Photogrammetry and Mapping with the Iranian Oil Operating Companies and was based in Tehran.† While working in Tehran, Dr King developed the MODBLOCK numerical aerotriangulation program.


From soon after his arrival at the Rialto in April 1972, Dr King developed National Mappingís numerical photogrammetric model block adjustment programs (using MODBLOCK along with associated programs FORMIT and MODSTRIP).† Photogrammetric model joins along each strip (of pairs of overlapping aerial photographs) were tested by the strip formation program FORMIT.† Where applicable, the joins of such strips to horizontal and vertical survey ground control were tested by the strip adjustment program MODSTRIP.† The final join of strips to each other and to ground control was performed by the block adjustment program MODBLOCK.


In the mid-1970s Dr King moved to Canberra to head Nat Mapís †Special Projects Section; initially at Queanbeyan and later at Belconnen.† He retired from Nat Map on 3 May 1985 a few days before his 65th birthday that was then the compulsory Public Service retirement age.† Further information on Dr CWB King is available at this link.


Paule and Claude King in Canberra, March 1984.

XNatmap image.


At Ellery House Dandenong 1977-1982

In April 1977, Dominic moved with the rest of Nat Mapís Melbourne office staff from the Rialto to newly-built premises at Ellery House in 280 Thomas Street Dandenong; about 30 kilometres south-east of Melbourne CBD.† Ellery House was named for Robert Lewis John Ellery (1827-1908) who was an astronomer and director of the Williamstown observatory for 42 years.† He conducted a geodetic survey of Victoria from 1858 to 1874.


A few months after moving to Dandenong, Dominic Yau was promoted to Senior Technical Officer (Surveying), Grade 1, Fourth Division, in the Mapping Control Section of the Topographic Compilation Branch, position number 943.† This promotion was promulgated on page 58 of the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (Public Service) on 10 November 1977.


In this new position, Dominic was formally responsible as a member of a team involved in the acquisition and processing of primary and photogrammetric control for topographic mapping purposes, namely:

       To take charge of a group engaged on the reduction of primary control;

       To take charge of a group engaged on the graphical processes required to provide photogrammetric model control from primary mapping control;

       To undertake complex assignments in the analytical processes required to provide photogrammetric model control from primary mapping control.


Ellery House, 280 Thomas Street Dandenong circa 1977.

XNatmap image.


Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs from 1982

In April 1982, Dominic Yau was promoted to Migration Officer, Grade 2 (Clerk Class 6), Third Division, (Position No 343) with the Overseas Division of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs; based in Hong Kong.† This promotion was promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (Public Service) on 22 April 1982.


As a Migration Officer in Hong Kong, Dominicís primary duties †were to interview applicants for migrant visas, determine general acceptability, approve or reject migrant visa applications after interview.† It is not known exactly when Dominic took-up this position in the city of his birth.† However, it appears he remained in that position until late 1985.


The Dandenong Office staff newsletter, Natmap News, in issue number 52 of August 1985 reported that: Later this year Dominic completes this (Hong Kong) posting; and hopes to visit us all for a quiet lunch one day before he leaves for Beijing as head of immigration for the next two years.


The Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (Public Service) of 6 February 1986 promulgated Dominicís promotion within the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs to the expected vacancy of Migration Officer, Grade 3, (Position No 7394), nominally in Canberra. †The formal duties of this position were to interview and assess applicants for permanent and temporary entry into Australia. †Under delegation, approve or reject applications in accordance with Migration and Refugee Policy.† The Gazette notice further stated that: in the case of some positions of Migration Officer, Grade 3, they will undertake supervisory and other duties as the Migration Officer in charge at a post.


It appears that this was the promotion that saw Dominic being based in Beijing until around the end of 1987.


After the Public Service

Although precise details have not been discovered, it seems that after his 2 overseas postings with the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs Dominic decided to prepare himself for a career in the Law; specialising in Australiaís migration law.


To this end, and at the age of about 44 years, Dominic commenced a course of study at The University of Melbourne for the degree of Bachelor of Arts which was conferred on 7 March 1990.


Some 9 years later Dominic commenced a course of study for the degree of Bachelor of Laws at LaTrobe University, Bundoora campus.† Dominic took this course during 1999-2001 and graduated in May 2002.


Dominic was admitted to practise as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria on 10 February 2003 and was also admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Australia.


In 2006, Dominic was awarded the Graduate Certificate in Australian Immigration Law from Melbourneís Victoria University.


Circa 2006, Dominic became a legal practitioner and migration lawyer in the Migration and Administrative Law Group of FCG Lawyers Pty Ltd, a legal practice in Drummond Street Carlton.† By (no later than) 2015, Dominic was a Senior Lawyer with FCG Lawyers Pty Ltd.† The firm later became FCG Legal Pty Ltd.† During his more than 25 years with this practice, Dominic was a much valued member of staff and an inspiration to all with his vast knowledge in the migration field; he was also remembered for his dry sense of humour.


Dominic Yau Senior Lawyer circa 2015


Academic career

Dominic Yau went on to become an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Victoria Universityís College of Law and Justice.† The College is located at the Universityís City Queen Campus at 300 Queen Street Melbourne.† During research for this article, the date of Dominicís appointment to this position was not discovered.


Co-author of legal texts

Dominic Yau was a co-author of numerous editions of the legal texts Australian Immigration Companion and the Australian Migration Legislation Collection.


Immigration Companion: Practical Problems and Solutions with an Introduction to Migration Law and Visa Application Procedures was first published in 2010 as a 170-page paperback.† That edition was written by Andrew Cope, Rodger Fernandez, Murray Gerkens, Chong Yu Quaik, Michael Thornton, Kong Tat Wong, Dominic Yau, and Boniface Town. †The 6th edition (by Gerkens, Fernandez, Yau, Ozyurek, and Kenny) was published by LexisNexis Butterworths in 2016 as the Australian Immigration Companion.


A fully revised 9th edition of the Australian Immigration Companion was published by LexisNexis in March 2021.† The authors of that edition were: Rodger Fernandez, Murray Gerkens, Janelle Kenny, Sherene Ozyurek and Dominic Yau.† That edition was developed to assist students, academics, lawyers, migration practitioners, migration agents, government department personnel and others with an interest in migration law to understand Australian migration law in a practical and real-life context. †The 9th editionís expanded practical focus sought to make it an invaluable companion text for students studying migration law as well as a useful working tool for practising migration agents and lawyers.


The 2-volume June 2021 edition of the Australian Migration Legislation Collection was written by Rodger Fernandez, Murray Gerkens, Dominic Yau, and Sherene Ozyurek.† It consolidated all Australian migration legislation as at 1 May 2021 and included a detailed overview of Australian migration law and visa application procedures as a portable and easy to navigate authoritative resource for both students and practitioners.



Sadly, Dominic Yau died on 9 August 2021; he was 77 years of age.† Unfortunately the circumstance of Dominicís death and his funeral arrangements were not discovered during research for this article.† On 24 August 2021, Melbourneís The Age newspaper published the following death notice:

Dominic Yau

17.10.1943 Ė 09.08.2021

Devoted husband of Winnie.

Adored father of Barry and Matthew and grandfather of Autumn (dec), Aurielle, Ettienne


Subsequently, tributes to Dominic were posted on The Age Deaths and Funerals web site by:

       Robyn Yau, Dominicís niece

       Amat Nordin Binnoore, Dominicís friend who joined Nat Map at Dandenong on 14 June 1977 as a Technical Assistant

       Dominicís many friends and work colleagues at FCG Legal Pty Ltd.


While Dominic Yau has now left this Life, he is sadly missed but fondly remembered by the many friends and work colleagues he met over his 2 decades of valued service with the Royal Australian Survey Corps and the Division of National Mapping.† Dominicís RA Svy and Nat Map friends extend their sincere sympathies to Winnie and family members for their sad loss.


Winnie and Dominic Yau having a quiet drink together

Image from Dominicís Facebook post.



During the research and preparation of this article the following people generously provided assistance:

       Dr Rodger Fernandez, Senior Lawyer, FCG Legal Pty Ltd

       Anna Rowland, Executive Assistant, FCG Legal Pty Ltd

       Emily Constantine, RAAF Museum Curator, RAAF Museum Point Cook, History and Heritage Branch, Royal Australian Air Force

       Steve Allan, Collection Manager, Directorate of History and Heritage Services, Royal Australian Air Force, Fairbairn

       Marguerite Morgan, Enquiries and Review Officer, Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner

       Peter Jensen, Lieutenant-Colonel (retired), Royal Australian Survey Corps

       John Allen, former Nat Map Senior Technical Officer

       Bill Stuchbery, former Nat Map Technical Officer

       Bob Irwin, former Nat Map Senior Surveyor

       Paul Wise OAM, founder, operator, and editor-in-chief of the XNatmap web site.

The author gratefully acknowledges the kind assistance provided by these people.







Battle of Coral and Balmoral 1968


The Battle of Coral and Balmoral was Australiaís largest unit-level action during the War in Vietnam and is one of the most famous actions fought by the Australian Army during that war.† In May-June 1968, as part of a wider United States, South Vietnamese and Australian Operation Toan Thang 1, elements of the 1st Australian Task Force were deployed to Area of Operations Surfers outside Australiaís then tactical area of responsibilities in South Vietnamís Phước Tuy Province.


The 1st and 3rd Battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment were deployed to disrupt enemy forces withdrawing from their May Offensive on Saigon and the United States BiÍn HÚaĖLong Bžnh base complex.† Australiaís 102 Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery and 161 Battery Royal New Zealand Artillery gave artillery coverage from Fire Support Base Coral.† As major enemy actions ensued, additional support was provided from armoured personnel carriers and Centurion tanks (both from the Royal Australian Armoured Corps), from significant aerial fire coverage as well as further artillery support from A2/35 Battery (United States), and 5/2 Air Defence Battery (United States).


Fire Support Base Coral (to support 1RAR) was occupied and partially established on 12 May 1968 in the then BiÍn HÚa Province of South Vietnam about 7 kilometres north of the town of T‚n UyÍn that was about 30 kilometres north-east of Saigon; please refer to map below.


Fire Support Base Balmoral was established (to support 3RAR) about 4.5 kilometres north of Coral on 24Ė25 May 1968.† Infantry support at Balmoral was provide C Squadronís Centurion tanks.


The Battle of Coral and Balmoral was undertaken from 12 May 1968 to 6 June 1968.† During the battle, 26 Australians were killed and over 100 were wounded.† Enemy losses during AO Surfers were said to be 267 killed (confirmed by body count), possibly 60 others killed, 7 wounded and 11 captured.


Locations of AO Surfers, Nui Dat and Saigon in 1968.

Map from Virtual War Memorial Australia web site.