RCB Update 4/2019 – Action Changes Things

We have lost trust in the Minister and his advisors to fairly consider our challenge and we call on the Prime Minister to appoint an “independent of government” public inquiry.

Background

The evidentiary facts that the RCB Review Group obtained from the Australian Government and the Malaysian Governments’ own records and presented to our Government proves that RCB’s operational deployment (1970-1989) to protect the RAAF assets at Air Base Butterworth against the communist terrorists threat during Malaysia’s Counter Insurgency War (1968-1989) was warlike.

Despite those recorded facts being checkable and immutable the Government maintains the RCB service as peacetime similar to garrison duty in Australia and presents a defence that we challenge. In maintaining this subterfuge they have denied over 9,000 Australian military troops and their families’ access to repatriation benefits under the Veterans Entitlements Act (VEA) and other medalic entitlements. This is unjust.

Since 2006 the RCBRG has sought from successive Governments:

  • a ministerial review of the decision and
  • discussion meetings with the Minister and  his Defence and DVA advisors as part of a due dispute resolution process.

The latter had been ignored. Instead, the Minister and his Department chose to conduct correspondence by mail. In 2018 after a personal representation to Minister Chester, he invited the RCB Review Group, in writing, to meet with his defence advisors at Parliament House, Canberra on 26th November. At that ‘clayton’s’ meeting we discovered the Defence advisors were to be observers only and not participate in any discussions with us. On whose order was this decided and why weren’t we advised?  This was a denial of proper process.  There are other examples that lead us to believe there is a passive or active ‘cover up’ to deny the RCB troops natural justice (sometimes referred to as procedural fairness).

Since 2007 our communications, with new supporting evidence, to the various Departments (DVA and Defence) and their responses signed by the various Ministers: Billson (Coalition), Snowdon (Labor), Feeney (Labor), Robert (Coalition), Tehan (Coalition), McCormack (Coalition) and Chester (Coalition) and VCDFs (Griggs and Johnston) their script has been the same. Reading them is like reading over and over the same text produced by a single author. And that is because it is – the Ministers and the VCDFs appear to be, as the PM recently opined “to put his own ministers on notice, calling for them to ensure they do not become “captive of their department”: more specifically in our case, captured by the Nature of Service Branch in Defence who write all the scripts. We believe Ministers fail to independently verify recommendations coming from NOSB even where there is clear contrary evidence pointed out to them in personal letters and even where the NOSB text defies logic. Certainly they have ignored erudite advice such as Ronald Reagan’s to “Trust but Verify”. Further examination of the Ministers application of their standards to the RCB’s claim process is warranted.

We have lost trust in the Minister and his advisors to fairly consider our challenge and we call on the Prime Minister to appoint an “independent of government” public inquiry.   

 The Current Situation

The Government through Minister Chester and the VCDF are now ignoring our:  

  • challenges to their decision;
  • requests for an independent of government inquiry; and
  • contention that proper processes as required by the Ministerial standards and the APS codes of ethics and conduct have been breached.

This is their known tactic of denying oxygen to claimants.

By doing that, it provides us the moral authority for direct action in other influential areas, centered on the Australian people, to expose the truth of our claim, our belief of a deception and call for an independent public inquiry.

We understand the frustration of RCB veterans and their families with the Groups perceived lack of progress. But they realise that our efforts to change the Minister’s decision have fallen on deaf ears because of his dogged trust in his advisors and his unwillingness both to countenance any suggestion they may be wrong and to verify their full consideration of all the relevant facts we have submitted.

While leaving open further engagement with the Minister at his request (we still regard his meetings invitation to Canberra in November 2018 as dishonourable and unfinished business) we now move to direct actions.

Direct Action

Our recent activities have included personal letters from Ted Chitham and Russell Linwood to the VCDF, from Russell to the Secretary DVA, from Russell to professional researchers, our Team’s conversations and appointments with certain MPs and Senators who are willing to make direct representations on our behalf to Minister and the Commonwealth Ombudsman, contacts for appointments with influential Senators. Ted’s contact with both Ken Stone who was able to have the DFRDB commutation issue featured on the ABC TV 7.30 Report and picked up by other TV Channels 7 and 10 and Ted’s engagement with an ethicist has been very positive.

The RCBRG has direct action plans in place in relation to support from:

  1. The Parliament, particularly to the Senate cross benchers where we have obtained committed support, and other known supporters in the House of Representatives,
  2. The Australian people directly through:
    • social media platforms, (our own shared with other networks);
    • the national media,  (Alan Jones and Sky/ABC and other print and radio personalities). The media plays a vital role to inform the public; and
    • Community funding campaigns.
  3. The veterans’ community
  4. The Law. Our initial advice gave us encouragement and a direction for further pursuit failing success in the above activities.

Vital to these plans are our planned engagements with MPs and Senators at their Electorate offices. Where necessary RCBRG team members will join with our RCB veterans, their families and supporters in those electorate visits.

In complementary action to the above, the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal (DHAAT) has agreed to hear an appeal from Ray Fulcher (RCBRG Chairman) for award of the AASM. The DHAAT doesn’t have the power to award him the AASM. However, the Tribunal does have the power to make a recommendation to the government for a new declaration of warlike service covering the RCB period. Ray will push the DHAAT to do so based on the evidence and argument he is providing to the DHAAT, including the RCBRG database of primary and secondary evidence. Defence have 30 business days to respond to the appeal, Ray may reply and then hearings will be held. We expect the whole process to take 2-3 months until a decision is handed down. In the meantime all other RCBRG actions will proceed regardless of this outcome.

The Royal Australian Regiment Corporation (RARC), The Air Force Association (AFA) and the Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA) will resubmit their previous endorsement letters for an independent inquiry to the new Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Military veteran Phil Thompson MP (Lib)  the newly elected Member for Herbert (Townsville) is encouraged to promote the RCB claim directly to the PM.

RCBRG Team Changes

Within the Team our Chairman Robert Cross has voluntarily stood down from that position because of his frequent absences overseas. We thank him for his resilience and leadership since 1993. Robert remains as a vital team member.

Ray Fulcher is our elected new Chairman. Ray is legally trained and has prepared our major submissions to the Defence Ombudsman and DHAAT Review. He was one of our Team at the infamous ‘clayton’s’ meeting with Minister Chester and his Defence Advisors in Canberra in November 2018. His contribution to our campaign is greatly appreciated.  Ray lives in Seymour Victoria.

Stan Hannaford one of the Team’s pioneers has decided to retire. Stan’s contribution has been monumental and an inspiration to us all. We wish him well in his “retirement”.

We thank you all for your support, suggestions, comments and donations: they are greatly appreciated. Your commitment to correcting this injustice reinforces our dedication and resolve to pursue our righteous claim.

Ray Fulcher
Chairman RCB Review Group
Date: 19/08/2019

RARA QLD – E News – August 2018

AUGUST 2018

The Meeting held on 6th August at Gallipoli Barracks was well attended with members and representatives from the RAR Battalion Associations. President Kel Ryan retired and Dave McDonald was elected.

President’s Message

 I was honoured, humbled, surprised and extremely pleased to be elected as your President at the AGM on the 6th August 2018. I now carry the responsibility with the Management Committee to continue in these challenging times to maintain the Association’s relevance and particularly the operational management of the RAR’s National Memorial Walk. 

I acknowledge the work of both the retiring President Kel Ryan and Dads’ Army. On your behalf I wish Kel good health and continued success at the national advocacy level as both the President of DFWA and a leader in the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO)

I have long believed that Warrant Rank has been the backbone of the Army – only because we have had the wonderful experience of training IET soldiers, guiding the forte of the Army at Corporal rank and advising the Sergeant rank to achieve their best. Having said that there was also the task of taking a young officer under the wing and trying to pass on sage advice. Then came the “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” to more senior officers to look at the compass.

We all know that the above is common knowledge. However, what is new is that I was of that privileged position and have not stopped learning and I believe that I can talk to all ranks, retired or serving and especially my peers.

The skills that I’ve learned from the digger, the Corporal, the SNCO, the Subbie and the more senior officers will be used to lead the RAR Q Assn. I will not hesitate to seek advice from all.

There are activities afoot, some within and some beyond our control, which will influence our future. Our major responsibility to the Regiment is the NMW and our biggest problem is recruitment of people to help maintain it.  Within Dads’ Army I am one of the babies at 70!

I intend to form a sub-committee of old and bold and hopefully some new people to review our future direction and make recommendations (and I stress recommend!)

I look forward to your support in continuing to serve our Regimental Family. Duty First

Dave McDonald

 

 

RARAQ MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE 2018-2019
PresidentDave McDonald0458 943 212[email protected]
Deputy PresidentTed Chitham MC OAM (07) 3353 2415
0418 733 887
[email protected] 
Vice President  NQNeil Schwebel  (07) 4411 1401
0408 749 173
[email protected]
Vice President Gold CoastAlf Vockler0413 612 992[email protected]
SecretaryGreg Decker0417 464 251[email protected]
TreasurerPhil Challands(07) 3289 2651
0407 169 422
[email protected]
NMW CuratorPeter Brennan [email protected] 
NMW Admin OfficerrDave McDonald0458 943 212[email protected]
Web MasterRick Hollingdrake OAM(07) 3285 4197
0417 954 197
[email protected]
Newsletter EditorVacant  
Well-Being OfficerRoss Langford(07) 3261 7830[email protected] 
CommitteeTrevor Pond3851 1505[email protected]
 Gary Stone(07) 3300 6410
0401 141 833
[email protected]
Immediate Past PresidentKel Ryan0418 759 120[email protected]
Patron RARAQNeil “Lofty” Eiby  OAM(07) 5478 316
0418 873 145;
[email protected]
Patron NMWMajor General Stuart Smith DSC AM (retd)  
RAR CORPORATION (RAR NATIONAL)
Director RARC & Secretary RARATed Chitham MC OAM(07) 33532415
0418733887
[email protected]
AREA COMMITTEES
North Queensland  Neil Schwebel  (07) 4411 1401
0408 749 173     
[email protected]
Sunshine CoastKevin Lynch(07)5444 7426
0416 275 504
[email protected]
Gold CoastAlf Vockler0413 612 992[email protected]
Kilcoy DiggersRod Slater0419 656 956[email protected]
SUPPORT APPOINTMENTS
Publishing OfficerDan Penman0409 067 646[email protected]
Media OfficerTrevor Dixon0404 082 080[email protected]
Honorary ChaplainRev. Peter Devenish-Meares0448 603 624&[email protected]
RAR CORPORATION & RARA NATIONAL COUNCIL
RARAQ DelegateDave McDonald0458 943 212[email protected]
QUEENSLAND VETERANS’ ADVISORY COUNCIL
RARA DelegateTed Chitham MC OAM(07) 3353 2415
0418 733 887
[email protected]
DVA STATE CONSULTATIVE FORUM
PresidentDave McDonald0458 943 212[email protected]
Anzac Day March Committee
Well-Being OfficerRoss Langford(07) 32617830[email protected]

 

The National Memorial Walk

“The Walk” is a memorial to our RAR heroes who died while serving overseas with a Battalion of The Regiment. It is a living memorial in that a tree is dedicated to each hero with an adjoining plaque that shows his regimental number, his name, his unit and date of death. The plaques are located in areas dedicated to operational theatres in which the Regiment served: Korea, Malaya, South Vietnam etc. The trees are Australian native Flora.

Battle Honour Gardens: Long Tan   

The Long Tan Garden has undergone a major refurbishment with the work of Ken Falvey and Mick van Bruen funded by  the 6 RAR Association.

 

 

Ben McDevitt President 6 RARA  presentation to Ken Falvey

Dads’ Army

Dads’ Army is a group of volunteer ex RAR diggers whose mission is to tend and maintain The National Memorial Walk (NMW) at Gallipoli  Barracks, Enoggera Brisbane. The task is not overly onerous but does require person power and every Monday morning a group of hardy men and women turn out to assist. Our problem is that we are mostly SVN vets and age is taking its toll on our capability but not our willingness to work. Ken Cupples is close to ninety and still an active inspiration to us. We are fortunate to have “hard labor’ support from 6 RAR and 8/9 RAR. But we do need more help. If you live in the Brissy area please consider joining us. It is a convivial and fun couple of hours with a great morning tea thanks to Norm Devereux’s wife Margaret.

Ring Dave McDonald 0458 943 212 for details.

 

07 Sep – Rifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba Surf Club

07 Sep – Happy Hour 8/9 RAR RAMs Retreat

10 Sep – RARAQ Management Committee Meeting

05 Oct – Rifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba Surf Club

6-9 Oct – RARC AGM & RARA National Council Meeting at Townsville

15 Oct – RARAQ Management Committee Meeting

23 Oct – HQ 7 Bde Work Experience

27 Oct – 2 RAR Reunion Twin Towns RSL Coolangatta

02 Nov – Rifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba Surf Club

09 Nov – Remembrance Day at NMW for McDowall State School

12 Nov – RARAQ Management Committee & Combined RAR Assn Meeting

19 Nov – NMW 20th Birthday

23 Nov  – Regiment’s Birthday

22-23 Nov  RAR 70th Anniversary Celebrations  Canberra  https://rarnational.org.au/the-royal-australian-regiment-70th-anniversary-celebrations/

01 Dec  – Kilcoy Cup Diggers Kilcoy Support Crew

03 Dec – RARAQ Management Committee Meeting

 

PASSING PARADE OF WARRIORS – THEIR DUTY DONE

VIC CREAGH 6 RARSGT MERVYN HOLLAND AKA DUTCHY 1, 3, 6, 8 & 8/9 RAR
BRIGADIER (RETD) GORDON JONES, AM RAACPAUL PULIS 1 RAR
JOHN HENDERSON AKA SLUGGO 1 RAR & EX RSM 8/9 RARROBERT (BOB) LESLIE WATTS 6 & 9 RAR
BRIAN MONKS, NZ ARMY – OC ‘W’ COY 4 RAR 1970/71KYM AKA “KYMBO” THOMAS 4 RAR
ANTHONY THOMAS GOODSELL  1 RAR 65/66.ANTHONY AKA TONY WLODZIMIERZ JUCHA  8 RAR
JIM GEEDRICK 3 RAR & AATTV (WW2 AIF)EDWARD WRIGHT ISAAC AKA JOCK 3,5 & 7 RAR
WO1 DALE SALES 1, 8 & 8/9 RARCOL TED STEVENSON 6 RAR
STEPHEN SIMMONS 1 RARJOSEPH MIZZI 6 RAR
PHILLIP THOMAS BAXTER MM 6 RARCAPT JOHN R OAKLEY RAAMC RMO 3 RAR
BARRY SILK 1, 2, 3 RAR & AATTVBRIG J J SHELTON, DSO MC  3 RAR
GEORGE LANG MID 3 RARWO 2 GREG POOR 1, 2 & 3 RAR
RUSSELL TOWNER 1 RARMURRAY CRITTENDEN  3 RAR
NEV KRAUSE 1 & 8 RARLTCOL MARK RICHARD JOHN MC – 3 RAR
DONALD AKA SHORTY ELDER 1ALSC/1RAR GPBRIAN HENRY ROBERTS 3 RAR
MAJ IAN HANDS 2 & 3 RARGEORGE LOGAN 2,3 & 7 RAR, AATTV
LT COL BOB DE HAAS 2 RARLTCOL JERRY TAYLOR AM MC  4 RAR
ALAN KIRWAN AKA CURLY 1 & 8/9 RAR, AIRBORNE PL, SASR, AATTVDONALD KEITH WATTS CSM B COY 1RAR
DAVID KNOWLES, EX 6 RAR MIDSTANLEY CONNELLY 3 RAR KAPYONG VETERAN
DONALD JOHN JUILLERAT 1 & 8 RARCOLONEL STAN MAIZEY 2 & 5 RAR
FRANK MEPHAM 3 RARGERRY FOUNTAIN 6 RAR
COL TITMARSH  6 RARPHILLIP THOMAS YOUNG 3 RAR & 1 ARU
BRAIN GREENTHAM RAEME LAD 1 & 4 RAR (SVN)RON ORGAN 1, 2 & 8 RAR
ALAN GEORGE SMITH 1 & 7 RARDOUG CURRAN 7 RAR

Homeward Bound

I saw the shooting star burning so bright. Falling, falling, fading and soon from sight

So distant and yet so near, in its wake, a soldier’s journey so very clear

Duty, sharing, caring, courage and sometimes fear

No longer a mortal in life’s short race, a contented spirit bound for home somewhere in distant space

This fiery trail I saw tonight marks a warrior’s farewell, leaving behind another legacy of proud deeds to tell.

George Mansford©April 2012

 

KILCOY RACING CLUB & KILCOY DIGGERS SUPPORT CREW

Rod Slater and his crew of volunteers known as Kilcoy Diggers continue to provide support to the Kilcoy Racing Club (KRC) on various racing days but in particular: The Diggers Cup in April, The Kilcoy Cup in June, Veterans Cup in August and Christmas Race Days.

These are family affairs and people come from far and wide to enjoy a great day out. Besides all the retired Defence Force Family that turns up, the majority being RAR, support is also provided from the Infantry Battalions at Enoggera in particular 8th/9th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment.

Front: Alan (Young Thommo) Thompson (2RAR since ‘de-linking’), Arthur Willemsee (6RAR), Kim Monghan (3, 6, 9,8/9RAR), Leigh (KRC), Dave McDonald (9, 8/9 RAR)

Back: Lionell (KRC), Phil Wolfenden (8, 8/9 & ?RAR), Nick (KRC), Glenn Willmann (6, 9, 8/9RAR), Josh (KRC)

KILCOY RACE VETERANS’ CUP 18 AUG 2018

 The Digger’s Race Day was a great success in fine weather, good racing and many punters some successful if they listened to Glen Willmann’s tips (straight from a friend of a friend who is a horse whisperer?) Come and experience good old Aussie country hospitality – the Kilcoy steak “sangers” are the best. Join us at the December Meeting for a picnic Race Day outing.

Let’s know if you are interested and we’ll try to arrange free bus travel, if we get the numbers (call Greg 0417 464 251)

A special guest of the KRC was Charles Mollison, OC  A Company 6 RAR whose company mounted in APC’s counter attacked the Vietcong on arrival at the Long Tan battle field and whose action ended that battle.  This time Charles arrived by helicopter

 

NATIONAL ADVOCACY NEWS

The RAR Association National, advocates to Government to protect the service entitlements and well-being of the Defence Family (current and past serving military persons and their families). It does this directly in its own right as well as through the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO). We are represented on the PM’s Advisory Council on Mental Health PMAC (Mike von Berg), DVA’s ESO Round Table (ESORT) (Mike von Berg), the Younger Veterans Forum (YVF) (Phil Thompson) and the Operations Working Party (OWP)(Clem Russell)

Help us to Help You with your views on any matter concerning your well-being and your service entitlements or subjects we advocate for your protection and benefit.

CSC and the Royal Commission – Summary & Actions

 “Why has our Com Super manager, the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, been excluded from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation?  Read More

 

DVA – 2018 Client Satisfaction Survey

  The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is preparing fits Client Satisfaction Survey (CSS), to collect information about clients experience interacting […]

Read More

 RCB Recognition – The Deception

Despite evidential proof of its deception to classify RCB service 1970-1989 (affecting 9,000 men) as peacetime and not warlike the Government continues to ignore the RCB Review Group’s claim. Having exhausted the Government’s complaints processes the Review Group has no option but to proceed with its claim to the Australian people through a national exposure campaign of the facts. Read those Facts here.

 

 

The evidence is overwhelming. Help support them.

  Invitation – Inquiry into ADF use of Mefloquine and Tafenoquine

 On 19 June 2018 the Senate referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee a range of matters […]  Read More

‘It’s destroyed my life’: Hopes inquiry will back veterans’ claims anti-malaria drug caused illness. Veterans who believe their severe physical and mental health conditions were caused by anti-malaria medications given to them by the […] Read More

Hope for Families of Troops Lost in Korea

Australian families whose loved ones never returned from Korean War could be a step closer to recovering the remains of those missing in action following the US-North Korea summit.

A four-point plan US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un signed in Singapore on Tuesday included a pledge to recover the remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action in the 1950-53 conflict.   Read More

HEALTH & WELL-BEING

Excellent Medical Advice

I do not understand why prescription medicine is allowed to advertise on TV or why anyone would think of trying one of the medicines after listening to the laundry list of warnings of possible side effects.   But this is definitely an exception!

Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
Do you suffer from shyness?
Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?
Do you sometimes feel stressed?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon is the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident.  It can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you are ready and willing to do just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of Cabernet Sauvignon almost immediately, and, with a regimen of regular doses, you will overcome obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past.
You will discover talents you never knew you had..

Cabernet Sauvignon may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use it but women who would not mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.
Side effects may include:   dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration, loss of motor control, loss of clothing, loss of money, delusions of grandeur, table dancing, headache, dehydration, dry mouth and a desire to sing Karaoke and play all-night Strip Poker, Truth Or Dare and Naked Twister.

Warnings:

The consumption of Cabernet Sauvignon may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
The consumption of Cabernet Sauvignon may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.
The consumption of Cabernet Sauvignon may cause you to think you can sing.
The consumption of Cabernet Sauvignon may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

Please feel free to share this important medical information!

“LIFE IS A CABERNET OLD CHUM”!

WARRIOR POETS

George Mansford is one of our Regiment’s Warrior Poet who writes without fear or favour on topical events. In this case he writes on Joanna Collett’s poem about Drought – Where’s the Aussie Aid?

 

Here’s George’s introduction.

 Dear Mrs Collett,

Goodonya lovely lady to write of problems in OZ which are rife

Thanks to Canberra Suits, our once lucky country is in big strife… Read on

If you are a warrior poet share your poems with us all.

KEEP UP TO DATE

To stay current with RAR events and actions that may affect you and your family we suggest you frequently visit our RARA National website and RARA facebook site and our own RARA Qld site

31st August 2018

 

Vietnam Veterans’ Bravery Recognised on Eve of 50th Anniversary – Coral-Balmoral Battle

It’s taken almost half a century but Australian forces who fought in one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War are finally to be recognised for their bravery.

Soldiers who resisted attack at the Battle of Coral-Balmoral,  which claimed 26 Australian lives, learnt on Thursday they were to be honoured with a Unit Citation for Bravery. The recommendation comes ahead of the 50th anniversary of the battle on the weekend of May 12-13.

The Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal posted the decision on its website on Thursday morning, stating that members had arrived at the recommendations unanimously.

It said: ‘Throughout the submissions the theme of teamwork and collective gallantry is readily apparent and consistently referenced.

The message to the Tribunal from all of the veterans of the battles was that, regardless of corps and parent unit, they had fought as a coordinated group and that everybody who was there deserve recognition.’

3798570

Read the DHAAT Report and its five recommendations here

Read the Sydney Morning Herald’s article here