Two Australian country boys, born after World War II, lead parallel lives until late adolescence. Manfred takes up a trade in the local sugar mill while his friend Tony goes on to study at university. Life is good until Manfred is conscripted into the army and is sent to fight in Vietnam while Tony misses out on national service and becomes a student leader at anti-conscription rallies and anti-Vietnam War marches. Tony drops out of university and takes up the life of a hippie in communes, then continues his stance against the war as a leader of the Vietnam War Moratorium Movement. Manfred experiences hell both in the war in Vietnam and in Australia after coming home where he is relentlessly tormented by ‘the stalker’. Their friendship is renewed but everything has changed. Manfred is now left wrestling with his conscience while Tony develops a newfound social conscience. As a result, both discover a new meaning of mateship.