E News – 5/2019 – DECEMBER 2019

President’s Message

President Photo

We have had a busy period since the last ENews, some good and some sad.
Remembrance Day at The Walk and Contemplation Building for the last eleven years has been one of the highlights on our calendar. We host the Year 6 Class from McDowall State School (136 pupils) for a Remembrance Day Service. I say it is a highlight because since I have been involved with The Walk over the last seven years I have been involved with Ted in hosting the teachers and students.

Part of their curriculum is the study of Australian History which includes our involvement in all wars. Their enthusiasm and knowledge is amazing and they appreciate the chance to be able to visit The Walk and understand the meaning of Service and Sacrifice.

Conversely, only a few people turned up for the 1100 hour service. Other units within the Barracks are now conducting their own service. As a consequence, one of my targets for 2020 is to encourage greater attendance at both the Remembrance Day and the ANZAC Dawn Service at the Walk.

We are well advanced with transitioning from RARA Old to The Royal Australian Regiment National Memorial Walk Association by 1st January 2020. My Management Team of Greg Decker, Phil Challands, Peter Brennan, Trevor Pond and Ted Chitham will implement the transition until the end of the 2019-2020 financial years. At that time the RAR Corporation Board will decide from the applications received, appoint the Manager of the NMW entity.

On a personal note this year I have written a Concept Paper on the History of Infantry in Australia from our first deployment in Sudan to the present time. It covers our Colonial Forces, our Militia and the formation of The Royal Australian Regiment.  The paper is aimed at teaching the soldier/junior officer our proud history and achievements and lays a platform for all NCO/Offr to gain information to pass on to the soldier.  Our Head of Infantry has approved its distribution.

The sad news is that we lost a soldier and a proud member of the Regimental. Many of our comrades have passed on but this bloke had a special place in my heart – Alan Norcott aka Corncob. My appreciation of him is recorded later in this News.

At this Christmas/New Year holiday season I wish you and your families the compliments of the season. And remember to ask your mates RUOK

The National Memorial Walk

Remembrance Day Service – McDowall State School

Appreciation from David Pedwell, Deputy Principal McDowall State School.

“The staff and student of McDowall State School thank the Royal Australian Regiment Association for hosting their visit to the National Memorial Walk. This is a valuable experience for the students. They learn a lot as you can see from some of their reflections that I have included in the attached letter of thanks.”

McDowall State School – National Memorial Walk – Remembrance Day 2019

Thank you for spending your own time showing us the
amazing people who die protecting our beautiful
country that we are lucky to be living in now. Looking
through the gardens makes me feel grateful of what
those men and women have done. In the future on
Remembrance Day I would take a walk through our
country, be silent, and then say we will remember
you. Bailee

The Walk of Remembrance was a great excursion but a serious one as well. I really enjoyed hearing about what happens at the army barracks and looking at all the memorials of fallen soldiers. I think planting a tree for every man and woman that died in a war is a very respectful and nice action for the families of those soldiers. 6C3 is very thankful for having such a pleasant opportunity to learn about the wars and mottoes of the army barracks. Braedon

The walk of remembrance was a very touching excursion, showing us the amount of lives lost in certain battles. My favourite area we went to, it would have to be just the overall commemoration of the soldiers that meet their demise away from home. I learnt that the soldiers died not in vane as they sacrificed being with their loved ones to protect what was important to them. Having known they protected their country and the future generations meant our country could thrive and live on in peace. Thank you for your service. River W

Thank you for letting the whole of Year 6 come to this special commemoration. I felt sad looking through the gardens of soldiers who have passed helping our country. My favourite part was walking up and down and seeing some of the soldier’s favourite things lying against their post. I hope Remembrance Day is a special day forever. Thank you for making it possible for us to come to your wonderful place. Sincerely Indiana

Thank you so much RSL for organising for McDowall to go to the memorial. I learnt so much at the barracks. Without you, this would not be possible. When I walk through the gardens, I felt really sad for all the people that fought for our country. Thank you so much again for making this possible. Max

It is my pleasure to thank you welcoming us to the Enoggera barracks to learn and commemorate Remembrance Day. Seeing the names still being commemorated to this day, really touched my heart. Preston

Thank you to the people who gave us a trip to the barracks and thank you for the service you gave at the start. Benjamin When I was walking through the garden, what I felt was a deep, sad feeling that would never be forgotten. Brynley I think planting a tree for every soldier that died in battles is a very respectful and nice action for the families of those soldiers. Tanish

Dads’ Army

Dads’ Army continues to keep the Walk in good shape while Margaret Devereux continues to provide her gourmet cakes and biscuits and the lads go about their tasks without supervision. Ken Cupples is so well programmed that he still appears to assist us

Getting ready for the transition is well underway in the documentation field with the assets register and projects schedules being updated. There will be no change to the operations of Dads’ Army with necessary approved support from the designated RAR resident Battalion. Our sincere thanks for their support.

During the “official” Christmas break there will be some stalwarts who will continue to closely maintain watch over the Walk, essentially to keep it watered.

The Walk is a showpiece included on the itinerary of visiting military dignitaries and in 7 Brigade’s Orientation Program for senior school students considering a military career. We provide an Escort from one of our team (Dave McDonald, Ted Chitham, Glenn Willman and Alan Price) for these “show and tell” visits.  The visit has been extended by the students working on NMW maintenance tasks.

Weekly Event. Every Monday 6.00 – 9.00 am Dad’s Army at the NMW. All welcome

30 Dec 19 – Kilcoy Racing

04 Jan 20 – Kilcoy Races

17-19 Jan 20 – 8/9 RAR Association Camp Out

20 Jan 20 – NMW Commences

28 Jan 20 Kilcoy Races – Australia Day

03 Feb 20 – Flag Pole Service NMW

07 Feb 20 – Rifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba

10 Feb 20 – NMW Orientation Day

27 Feb 20 – Long Hai Day visit to NMW and 8/9 RAR

28 Feb 20 – Long Hai Day Service at Tweed Heads

02 Mar 20 – Flag Pole Service NMW

06 Mar 20 – Rifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba

THE PASSING PARADE OF WARRIORS – THEIR DUTY DONE

Our Country is in mourning, for
A SOLDIER DIED TODAY

August- November 2019

Alan Norcott – 6 RAR, 8 RAR & 8/9 RAR

Peter Madden – 6 RAR

Robert “Bob” Powell – 3 RAR

Bill McDonald – 2 RAR, 4 RAR & 9 RAR

Brian “Father” Bourke – 6 RAR

Lyndon Bolton – 9 RAR

James Saxton – 4 RAR

Harry Brayley – 2/19 INF, 1 RAR

Geoff Thomas – 6 RAR & 7 RAR

Phillip Gould – 2/4 RAR, 9 RAR, SASR & 1CDO REGT

Wally Buckland – 6 RAR

Tim Fischer AC – 1 RAR

Clifford Bruce Cornish –   RAR

Jim Townley – RAA

A Warrior’s Farewell

Go now and travel beyond the void
Seek the green column and when you meet
See once more those smiling faces
Hear again laughter and sounds of marching feet

No more the visions of the bloody past
Gone are the nightmares and lingering pain 
Soon you will be home at long, long last 
United with fallen comrades once again 

And when the final roll is called
Another page of history complete 
You will rest with brave spirits such as they
In a camp where you will find restful sleep

Go swiftly now and seek your past 
Your duty done for all to tell 
With pride of who and what you were 
And now we bid you a fond farewell

George Mansford – December 2007

RARA Qld – End of an ERA

As we close this chapter of the RARA’s history we look back to recognise and appreciate the contribution of those men and women who made the RARA Qld the leader and custodian in the formation of the RARA National Memorial Walk, the National Secretariat of the combined RAR National Associations (State/Territory and Battalion Associations) and ultimately today’s RAR Corporation

In 1968 the GOC Northern Command Maj Gen F G Hassett called a meeting of all serving and past serving RAR members living in South East Qld to be held at the United Services Institute building in Victoria Barracks Brisbane. The purpose of this meeting was to establish the amount of interest there was in forming a “Royal Australian Regiment “Association.

He spoke of the associations formed by Infantry units after WW1 & WW2 and stressed that the time was right for the RAR to do the same, and to be able to march behind our own banner on occasions such as ANZAC Day. Those present agreed.

Maj Gen Hassett appointed a steering committee (Maj David Kayler-Thompson, Maj Bill Chitts and WO1 “Tiny” Dugan) to ascertain the feasibility of forming such an organization.

The steering committee reported that it was feasible and desirable.

An implementation committee was appointed whose initial members were Maj Kayler-Thompson President, Maj Bill Chitts, WO1 “Tiny” Dugan & WO1 Sammy Beam   Fees were set at $5.00 per annum for ordinary members or a “Life Membership”for $15.00.

The roles of the Association developed over the years are:

  • to provide camaraderie with social activities for the members and their families;
  • to commemorate RAR unit battle honours and preserve the memories of those who died on overseas service;
  • to provide an advisory and delivery pensions and welfare support service; and
  • to protect our members/families service entitlements by representation where necessary to the Government and relevant authorities.

Highlights of RARAQ history include:

  1. The construction of The RAR National Memorial Walk in 1996 and from that the volunteer maintenance group known as Dads’ Army.
  2. The establishment and operation of a Federal Secretariat in 2007 for the combined RAR State/Territory and RAR Battalion Associations, specifically to advocate as the RAR united voice of our RAR Family to the Government for their well-being and protection of their service entitlements.
  3. In 2009, the establishment from the RARA National body to the Royal Australian Regiment Corporation with the same roles.
  4. The establishment of ADSO in 2010 with other major ESOs to advocate with one voice to Government for the Defence Community’s well-being and protection of their service entitlements.
  5. In 2017 the unveiling of the RAR Memorial in Ferguson Park Samford Rd Enoggera. BCC approved the Park to be jointly named The Royal Australian Regiment Place

The success of RARAQ  is the result of the dedication of many people (men, women and their families), too many to name in this brief article, who selflessly volunteered themselves to fill many of the roles on management committees, maintenance groups such as Dads’ Army, special projects and our representatives on Government Committees.  But here are some named:

Presidents: David Drabsch, David Kayler-Thompson,“Tiny” Dugan, Scruffy McGovern, Ray Towie, Neil Eiby, Alf Handley, Ted Chitham, Kel Ryan, Alf Vockler, Neil Weekes and Dave McDonald

Secretaries: Sammy Beam, Ron Organ, Ken Dunn, Neil Bremner, Allan Whelan, Rick Hollingdrake and Greg Decker.

Treasurers: Sammy Beam, Kiwi Gibbons, John Stevens, Ron Goodall, Phil Challands and Trevor Pond

NMW: Mick Servos, Murray Blake and his Committee (Laurie Hall and John Carauna), Kiwi and Margaret Gibbons, Paul Gallagher, Peter Brennan and Theresa Muggeridge

Other Notables: Darcy Dugan, Rod Slater, Ken Cupples, Padre Gary Stone, Ron and Jerry Woodrow, Barry Stalder, Arthur Willemse just to name a few

Women: Margaret Gibbons, Barbara Handley, Patricia Eiby, Gail Dugan, Margaret Devereux, Selma Cupples to name a fewThe Regiment: The RAR Council (all Battalion COs and RSMs) and particularly the  resident Battalions in Gallipoli Barracks 6 RAR and 8/9 RAR

We thank all those named and un-named who have contributed to the success of our RARAQ Association and for their dedication to service and sacrifice for The Regiment, Australia and our people and to Keeping the Regimental Spirit Alive. You are true exemplars of the Regiment’s motto DUTY FIRST

We ask for your contribution to continue with our new entity dedicated to the promotion and maintenance of The Royal Australian Regiment’s National Memorial Walk.

This brief article will be expanded on and become registered with the RAR Bibliography to be part of the Regiment’s recorded history.

A tribute to the volunteers of The Royal Australian Regiment Association – Still Soldiering On in Mufti

“Soldiering is a life experience and for most never to be forgotten. From the very moment that the oath is sworn, you are for the time being, just another unfortunate creature whose mother sold you to the military for a silver coin. 

What the recruiting sergeant conveniently did not mention is that a total and rigid obedience to military regulations was obligatory.

          Incredibly as each uncoordinated group experienced the wrath of instructors at varying level of rank, slowly and surely the rabble became a team with instinctive obedience to all commands

          Military history records the deeds of units in both peace and war yet often fails to recognize those who made it so and the powerful spirit of unit pride and mateship which old soldiers carry to the grave and perhaps beyond.  Such spirit and loyalty to unit did not just happen, but began with the very first shrill bark of command by a non- commissioned officer.

          In time, with hard and demanding training, strangers became friends and then comrades. Individual views and uncoordinated action were transformed into a team with clear purpose and action.

          No one can determine exactly when the precious brother and sister hood arrived to embrace both unit and regiment. However, there is no evidence whatsoever it came to be with a wave of a General’s baton or a space age politician making promises.
 

          What we do know is that the military family gathered strength with each demanding challenge and recognition of achievements in peace or war. We do know the demands of high standards were met, and with it came even more confidence, battle discipline, individual and collective pride. With all of these assets was the most valuable legacy of the ANZAC spirit.

          It is not surprising that as each column converts to mufti, there are many volunteers who continue to shepherd the thinning ranks with sharing and caring and reminding society of who and what they still are.
 

          Thus my compliments to all volunteers of all military associations and in particular those I have seen at first hand being The Royal Australian Regiment Association (RARA), The Australian Training Team Vietnam Association (AATTV) and 51st Battalion , Far North Queensland Regiment Association”

Old Soldiers Never Die

Time has aged those who once wore the proud badge of the Roo

The gaps in the ranks of old warriors are more than a few

Gone the spritely step and strong pulse beat

No more the singing round campfires on readymade seats

Yet still the memories of roll calls for so many brothers

Still young soldiers at heart, so ready to help each other

Beat the drums and sound the bugle call

All for one and one for all

Soldiers grow old yet always a powerful regimental spirit is there
 Thanks to volunteers who are seen to be everywhere

They’ve traded rifle for names and addresses of mates in strife

No need of compass to find the home of a widow, once an army wife

Work parties maintain walls with proud names of fallen to be seen

Reunions, charity, funerals and telling school kids what ANZAC means

Beat the drums and sound the bugle call

All for one and one for all

In turn, each generation of the Regiment marches on and on

Until at last it blurs and fades on distant horizons and is gone

In each passing column, volunteers step forward to seize the flame

Dressed in mufti, armed with pen and phone, are on duty again

Old and new sentries have changed and the relief is complete

With mateship, sharing, caring, and despite weary shuffling feet

Beat the drums and sound the bugle call

All for one and one for all

George Mansford © December 2019

Check your Mates

Please check your mates as a standard procedure. There are some who find it difficult to cope due to a number of factors, mainly they are alone so reach out to a mate and ask RUOK:  one phone call can make a huge difference.

The Operation Compass program has proven to be very effective, Check it out and see their videos here

Note that the RARA supports Trojans Trek, Veterans Care, Overwatch Australia and Survive to Thrive

DVA – Men’s Health Peer Education (MHPE) Magazine — Vol. 18 No. 2 2019 — Mental Health Edition

Overview: Inside this issue: PT with the Governor-General of Australia, Gardens, great for the soul and body

Insomnia – There’s a reason why you can’t switch your brain off at night

Do you ever wake at night and find yourself worrying about life and trying to problem-solve issues, unable to get back to sleep? We now know what’s happening in your brain to cause it.

RAAF’s secret drone selection criteria

It has been revealed [to me in a vision] that the Royal Australian Air Force’s selection criteria for its new armed drones included…

Read More

Former Army officer appointed AWM Director

Former Army officer and diplomat Matthew Anderson will replace Brendan Nelson as Director of the Australian War Memorial.

Read more

READ RSL NEWS ONLINE

Edition 4 of Queensland RSL News can now be read online:

  • 20 years of peace in Timor
  • Meet our refreshed Executive

Explore the Barracks – gates thrown open for family fun day

READ MORE

FINDING VETERANS A PLACE TO CALL HOME

Safe, permanent housing is one of our most basic needs but sadly, some veterans are lacking just that.

Whether couch surfing, living in your car or living rough, we can help you find a place to call home.

Since launching in late 2017, our Homelessness program has helped 130 veterans find secure, stable accommodation.

LEARN MORE

NATIONAL ADVOCACY NEWS

The RAR Corporation (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). By being 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) we have direct input into DVA.

Visit the ADSO website here

SIMPLER ACCESS TO MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR VETERANS

https://rarnational.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/DVA-62.jpg

VETERANS who currently have to pay for their medical treatment upfront and wait to be reimbursed will only need to present their Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) health card to pay for their treatment under changes to the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) passed through Parliament yesterday.

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said around 4000 MRCA veterans and their families would benefit from the change, which is part of DVA’s transformation program to make processes faster and easier for veterans and their families to gain access to the support they need.

OMBUDSMAN’S INQUIRY INTO DFRDB COMMUTATION DECISION – APOLOGY BUT NO COMPENSATION

The Ombudsman’s office (11th December) released a Media Statement on the outcome of his inquiry into DFRDB Commutation. A copy of that Statement and the Ombudsman’s Report is here.

Ministerial Statement

The Government acknowledges the release of the Commonwealth   Ombudsman’s independent investigation into the Defence Force   Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB) scheme. The Government   listened to the concerns of the ex-service community in initiating an independent review of the DFRDB scheme, which focused on the accuracy of information provided about commutation by the Department of Defence (Defence), the Australian Defence Force (ADF) or the scheme administrators, such as the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC).

While the investigation found that some information provided by Defence in the 1980s and 1990s regarding commutation was incorrect, the Ombudsman concluded that the decision to commute was, and still is, the more financially beneficial option.

READ THE APOLOGY

ADFRA’s DFRDB UPDATE – September 2019

The Australian Defence Force Retirees Association (ADFRA) acts on behalf of Defence Force retirees and their military superannuation grievances. DFRDB […]

RCB Recognition – Update 5/2019: From Deception to Exposure – 2020 Action

This month we saw the 30th Anniversary of the end of The Malaysian Counter Insurgency War (1968-1989) and early next year the 50th anniversary of the initial deployment of a combat infantry rifle company to protect the RAAF assets at Air Base Butterworth against the communist insurgent threat.

It’s almost 14 years since the RCB Review Group formally exercised it’s  fundamental right to the truth and contested the Government’s decision that RCB service was unwarlike  similar to peacetime garrison duty in Australia . It that time despite the overwhelming evidence discovered under FOI which revealed a deception and that the RCB RG has been denied a fair and just process that has been well documented and begs the question of a breach of the PM’s Ministerial standards.

READ MORE

Kilcoy Diggers

Thus far, it’s been another successful and satisfying year, providing support to Kilcoy Race Club. The Xmas Cup meeting on Saturday 30 November was a great success with the new ($1M) facilities completed that will be envied by all other Tier 2 SEQ race tracks.

At this latest meeting we again saw three grass track trotting/pacing races, the only place in Queensland where this occurs.


As well as the major race days on a weekend, Kilcoy Diggers also provides limited support to mid-week meetings when entry is free.

These events are also a great social picnic day opportunity to experience. So in the New Year get your social group together and come enjoy the experience

Here is the KilDigs dressed for their support activities

Back R L to R Arthur Willemse, Phil Wolfenden, Glen Willmann, Terry Dex,  Rod Slater, Lou Kucks, Barry Shipway, Uncle Noel,  Des Prien
Front Row L to R Michael Vanbrugh Ros Wyatt,, Kim Morgan, Julie Slater, Ron Wyatt

YULETIDE FESTIVAL OF RACING AND PACING

From Con Searle, President                                                         
“Kilcoy racing officials have introduced exciting new concepts for the Yuletide Festival of Racing and Pacing. Following the unveiling of a brand new cafeteria and attractive improvements to the betting ring and surrounds late last month, the Kilcoy Race Club will stage its first standalone harness meeting on Monday December 30.

Also, Athletics officials have embraced the inaugural running of the $5000 Kilcoy Gift, a professional sprint over 120 metres to be staged on Australia Day. There will be four heats early in the day with the final to be run late afternoon. Bookies will bet on all events.
“We hope this event will become the Stawell Gift of Queensland,” “This first running will be a highlight of what we hope will be a family

day. It’s a Sunday and it will be free entry for kids who no doubt will be interested in the mini-trot races which are run between the gallop races.”

The Yuletide Kilcoy racing gets under way on Friday 20TH December with free entry for a seven event TAB meeting followed by the all trots meeting ten days later.

The New Year gallop meeting of eight events will be held on Saturday January 4. National and international television coverage of this meeting will no doubt attract favourable comments on the lush state of the turf track. “We are blessed to be allocated 140,000 litres of treated water daily and even through the drought of recent months the Kilcoy track has been bright green,”
“I’m really excited by the package of racing and entertainment we have programmed over the Festive season and on to Australia Day. The Somerset Regional Council have been wonderfully supportive of all the events staged at the Kilcoy racecourse including the annual Show and polocrosse matches.”

Note that Con is a great supporter and benefactor of the RAR National Memorial Walk

Honorary Life Member – Ken Cupples

For his outstanding service over a long period of time to the RARAQ and particularly the National Memorial Walk, Ken has been granted this honour. Congratulations from all to our senior active 92 years young Ken Cupples


Westfield’s North Lakes Qld Local Heroes 2019 – Glenn Willmann

Westfield announce its 120 Westfield Local Heroes for 2019. In March, their communities across Australia and New Zealand told them […]

READ MORE

Christmas Blessings and a Happy New Year

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. Happy New Year.”

STAY IN TOUCH

To stay current with RARA 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 new NMW web and facebook sites

The Enews is issued quarterly. Give us your suggestions for content and improvements and send articles for publication to Ted Chitham  [email protected]  

Duty First

24 December 2019

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

E-News 3/2019 – May

President’s Message

Another month gone, it seems like only yesterday that I wrote the last Report. I suppose that means we are getting older quicker!

The RARAQ still exists even though, like other Bn Associations, recruiting is at a standstill. It is a serious subject and one that needs serious action. I am in the throes of preparing a concept paper to increase the awareness of the good the Associations do for the soldier of all ranks and, importantly, their families. My main aim is to give them a sense of belonging within the Regimental Family and the history and legends that has evolved since the birth of the RAR in 1948. I can only see this happening through the education of the IET, NCO promotion courses along with progression of officer promotion requirements. A big ask but well worth a try. I have spoken to many of my compatriots who agree that somehow we attained this knowledge as we progressed in our careers. The reason for this project is that recently when at the National Memorial Walk Ted and I hosted some new march in SNCOs including Warrant rank and new officers to their Infantry battalion we found that their general knowledge of the Regiment and the Walk was , to say the least, minimal.

The Association is very much involved in our basic work of what is now called “open arms” (well-being) and continue to assist where necessary. Our Passing Parade continues to grow and we have farewelled many of our old and bold. Given our general age it is the way of nature.

All one can do is to stay healthy care for  ourselves and our mates

Remember RUOK?

Till next time travel safe and stay well

Dave McDonald

Anzac Day Activities Report

Dawn Service at 8/9 RAR

A sad case this year because of security restrictions precluded access to Gallipoli Barracks. The only way in was through Lloyd St and if you did not have a pass you had to get processed at the guard house which on average takes at least ten minutes per person. The reason given was heightened security in the wake of the Christchurch and Sri Lanka attacks.

However, The Eighth Ninth Battalion came to the rescue again and invited Dad’s Army to their Service.  It was simple, respectful and sincere and it was good to see the unit on parade. The coffee royale and the gold coin breakfast went down a treat.

Over at the NMW Ted Chitham felt it appropriate to at least conduct a soldiers five abridged service there that included the Remembrance Prayer, the Ode to the Fallen, Laying a Wreath, The Last Post, the Rouse, raising the Australian flag and playing the Australian and New Zealand National anthems. This “lone sentry” was joined by four families from the Barracks’ minor units who preferred to stay rather than go elsewhere. Duty Done.

Brisbane City March – Alan Price’s Report

ANZAC Day 2019 was a very special and at the same time, sad day for me. On 22 April 2019 I was asked to lead the Royal Australian Regiment Association, Queensland Branch (RAR Assoc, Qld) because for various reasons, the president and others could not march. I gladly accepted this honour because 4 RAR was the “Duty Association” for 2019. It was expected that the duty association would provide the guest speaker for the traditional Dawn Service, provide the banner bearers for the RAR Assoc and provide the guest speaker for the RAR birthday celebration.  This year was different in that because of imposed security restrictions regarding entry to the Gallipoli Barracks, it was deemed too restrictive to conduct the service. We were however, invited to the 8/9 RAR and 6 RAR Dawn Services. 

The occasion was sad because two days prior to ANZAC day I lost my dearly beloved eldest daughter, Sharna, Lee-Anne Rowe to cancer leaving behind a son, daughter and two granddaughters. Sharna served for a short time with 126 Signals Squadron, Royal Australian Signals Corps (Special Forces) as a cypher clerk. I marched for her.

Greg Decker, the secretary of the RAR Assoc, Qld arranged for 4 members of 6 RAR led by PTE Alex Burgess to carry the RAR Assoc, Qld banner. Their dress bearing and good manners were beyond reproach and displayed the motto of Duty First in sharing the day with us. Our patron, LTCOL Brian Avery proudly led the 4 RAR contingent in my stead immediately behind the RAR banner. Next year by rotation, we will be at the rear but still marching “beside” our comrades within the RAR contingent.

Most unit associations were down in numbers this year and 3 RAR failed to appear but the 6 RAR Assoc appeared to have the most members on parade which was good to see. 

What was also good to see was the Brisbane based units of 6 RAR and 8/9 RAR. It made me want to sign on again but I would probably be rejected owing to a wheel chair being part of my CES some days now. Who knows, but after an impending operation I may be able to run, down, crawl, observe, aim and fire again. It is a shame that our soldiers cannot wear uniform after the march as do the RAN and RAAF but they can still be distinguished by their dress and bearing, in a suit or in jeans.

We are all getting a bit long in the tooth now but we were supplemented by many of the younger generation of RAR warriors marching beside us and those in spirit with whom we marched.

The National Memorial Walk

Dads’ Army 

Dads’ Army under the supervision of Peter Brennan (Curator) and Dave McDonald (Administrator) continue to keep the Walk in good shape. The recent rains have

With Margaret Gibbons chrysanthemums in bloom the place is a picture.

The same old, same old turn up every Monday and go about their business with little needed direction from big Pete. Things get done and all looks good by smoko with a well-earned cuppa, superb cakes from Margaret Deveraux and a chat. Although the “chat” won’t be as loud for a couple of weeks as Owen P is going on holidays, really Owen your banter is appreciated. Have good time away.

As well as the ongoing maintenance at the moment we have a couple of projects to finish.  One is the area around the new plinths. To give you a bit of an idea one option is to have box drains at the back and the front bordering the pavers with a spoon drain in the centre probably lined with decorative gravel and coated with epoxy so it can just be hosed out to clean. But remember this is done by the committee.  History reminds us that a committee sat down to design a horse and came up with a camel. So one never knows! The other project is to install underground sprinkler systems in the grassed areas especially at Diggers Rest.

Dave & Pete

NMW Curators 

Since the Walks construction we have been blessed with the dedication and success of our Curators: Kiwi and Margaret Gibbons, Paul Gallagher and now Peter Brennan. Each has brought to the Walk a vision to enhance it. Their commitment to the task has been outstanding.

All have been successful in keeping the Walk as a showpiece to be included on the itinerary of visiting military dignitaries and in 7 Brigade’s Orientation Program for senior school students considering a military career.

Thank you 

21 MayHQ 7 Combat Brigade’s Schools Work Experience Program visit to NMW
06 Jun6 RAR Birthday (1965 Enoggera)
07 JunRifleman’s Lunch at Mooloolaba Surf Club at noon
10 JunRARAQ Management Committee Meeting
13 JunKilcoy Cup – RAR Diggers Support
25 JunHQ 7 Combat Brigade’s Schools Work Experience Program visit to NMW
05 JulRifleman’s Lunch at Mooloolaba Surf Club at noon
08 JulRARAQ Management Committee Meeting
19 JulTri Service Korean War Veterans Lunch Broad Beach Bowling Club TBC
30 JulHQ 7 Combat Brigade’s Schools Work Experience Program visit to NMW
24 JulDADS Army Yule Tide in Jul TBC
02 AugRifleman’s Lunch at Mooloolaba Surf Club at noon
05 AugRARA QLD AGM & Combined RAR Battalion Associations’ Meeting at 9.30 am at the Commander’s Mess
08 AUG8 RAR 63TH BIRTHDAY GATHERING GRAND HOTEL 1100>1400 BRISBANE

Weekly Event. Every Monday 6.00 – 9.00 am Dad’s Army at the NMW. All welcome
THE PASSING PARADE OF WARRIORS – THEIR DUTY DONE

Our Country is in mourning, for
A SOLDIER DIED TODAY

WO 2 ROBERT ANTHONY NEAGLE, 3RAR, 1RAR, 2RAR, AATTV
MAJ JOHN LIDDY (retd) SASR (INF CORPS)

MARTIN MELKUS D COY 6 RAR

GRAHAM BELL SASR (INF CORPS)

A Warrior’s Farewell

Go now and travel beyond the void
Seek the green column and when you meet
See once more those smiling faces
Hear again laughter and sounds of marching feet

No more the visions of the bloody past
Gone are the nightmares and lingering pain 
Soon you will be home at long, long last 
United with fallen comrades once again 

And when the final roll is called
Another page of history complete 
You will rest with brave spirits such as they
In a camp where you will find restful sleep
Go swiftly now and seek your past 
Your duty done for all to tell 
With pride of who and what you were 
And now we bid you a fond farewell

George Mansford – December 2007

Check your Mates

Please check your mates as a standard procedure. There are some who find it difficult to cope due to a number of factors, mainly they are alone so reach out to a mate and ask RUOK:  one phone call can make a huge difference.

The Operation Compass program has proven to be very effective, Check it out and see their videos here

Note that the RARA supports Trojans TrekVeterans Care,Overwatch Australia and Survive to Thrive

DVA 2019 Client Satisfaction Survey

 “The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is currently preparing for 2019 Client Satisfaction Survey, which will be held in June/July this year. 

READ MORE

DVA – Men’s Health Peer Education (MHPE)

This program raises awareness about men’s health issues and encourages men to share responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.

The latest issue of Men’s Health Peer Education Magazine available online is published twice a year

It began as a result of the Vietnam Veterans’ Health Study revealing a higher rate of health issues among Vietnam Veterans. The program operates across all Australian states and territories, through a network of trained volunteers working with the veteran and ex-service community.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). By being 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) we have direct input into DVA

ADSO has released it’s 2019-2022 Policy Objectives and asked the political parties to give us their 2019 Federal Election Veterans’ Policies and those specifically related to our objectives. To be successful we need your support. Even though these objectives may have no benefit to you personally NOW, they do to others of our Defence Family such as the:

  • 235,000 military superannuants administered by the Government protected Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC);
  • 110,000 MSBS members who have preserved benefits that are poorly indexed and not receivable until their notional retiring age and not portable to another complying Superannuation Fund;
  • DFRDB Superannuants 98% (55,000) who commuted;
  • Widows/Widowers whose reversionary payment 5/8ths of the deceased spouses superannuation pension is unfair;
  • 27,000 TPIs whose disability payments have been severely eroded;
  • 90,000 veterans whose disability payments have been eroded, and
  • 290,000 DVA clients.

We hope that being part of our Defence Family you will be supportive in whatever way you can.
ELECTION 2019 – RSL NSW Veterans’ Policy Debate – 13 May 2019

This Federal Election Veterans’ Policy Debate between the Minister for Veterans Affairs, Darren Chester MP, and the shadow Minister for […]
Watch the video here

DFWA Media Statement – Faceless Bureaucrats Change the Law to Beat Wounded Veterans in Court

Veterans medically discharged, including all those with mental health wounds and at risk of self-harm, can receive an Invalidity Benefit […]

READ MORE

RCB Recognition – Update 3/2019
Legal Conference

Arising from the telephone conference meeting with our barrister it was decided that as there will likely be a new Minister after the election we need to put our case to that person afresh before taking the legal path. This is because the courts would not take kindly to suing somebody who has previously had nothing to do with the decisions against us. To that end our legal team is preparing a brief for the incoming Minister.

STAY IN TOUCH

To stay current with RARA 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
The Enews will be issued quarterly. We welcome your suggestions for content and improvements, so don’t be shy and send us articles for publication to Greg Decker Secretary RAR Association (Qld) [email protected] Duty First

18th May 2019

E News 2/2019 – APRIL

President’s Message

“I wish everyone a Happy Easter. Please drive safely and responsibly. As can be seen later in this E News the plinths in the front of the Contemplation Building look magnificent and really support the “Keeping the Spirit Alive” tablet and the Flame as the centre piece. The feedback from all who have seen them is great.

Our biggest disappointment thus this year is the cancellation of our Dawn Service at the “Walk”. On ANZAC Day the only gate open to the barracks is Lloyd St. 8/9 RAR have kindly invited us to their Dawn Service via their back entrance. Though not the same it will be good to see the Battalion on parade with coffee Royale and a gold coin breakfast provided at the Rams Retreat. We are to be off base by 0800 in time for people to get into town or their local Sub Branch for the Brisbane March. 
 As with Easter enjoy the day and camaraderie it gives. Above all be safe.

Dave McDonald


Easter Greetings

Easter brings fun, 
Easter brings Happiness,
Easter brings God’s endless blessings,
Easter brings love and the freshness of spring. 
Happy Easter to you and your family!

From Darkness to Light – Padre Gary Stone 

“In March this year the Veterans Care Association led its 9th  group of 25 veterans and partners back to Timor and conducted a memorial service at the RARA memorial at Balibo.


For all involved it was a life changing experience. Compared to when 2 RAR liberated the burnt out town in 1999 it is now a thriving hub of life and energy . Our veterans played soccer on the field where once the Battalion echelon was sited. The Balibo fort now boasts a 5 star hotel with accommodation for 28. The big fig tree that once was used for hanging is now a tree of life providing shade for the markets.


After the service , former Corporal Greg Murty, who survived an attack by militia in the nearby village of Aidabasalala felt great relief, “For 19 years I’ve lived in darkness and now I can see the light”.

That is what Easter is about. The Timorese survived and now thrive through a resolute faith in God.  The Light of Christ can come into the darkness of any of our lives. God loves us more than we can imagine. May God bless you with renewed faith and hope and love this Easter”.

Anzac Day Activities

We are disappointed that this year due to security restrictions on access to Gallipoli Barracks there will be no formal Dawn Service at the National Memorial Walk.


Instead, we have been invited to attend the 8/9th Battalion’s Dawn Service on their Parade Ground. We thank the CO and RSM for facilitating our presence by specially controlled entry requirements. Nevertheless, the NMW will be “dressed” for the commemoration with an Australian flag at each memorial plaque and tree and a lone veteran will be present to conduct a “silent vigil” service commencing at 4.50 am
Dawn Service at 8/9 RAR
It commences at 5.30 am followed by a gunfire breakfast (a coin donation). Entry to 8/9 RAR is via Gray’s Rd, Gaythorne: follow the signs. Gate is open from 3.00 am.

Because of restrictions on movement within the Barracks the RSM will arrange transport to take people wanting to visit the NMW after the event.

Brisbane City March
FUP is at the junction of George and Charlotte Streets. Look for Number 57 on the sign posts.
Step off scheduled at 10.30 am.

4 RAR Association will lead the Regimental Associations.

After March Festivities
8 RARA, 9 RARA and 8/9 RARA is at the Grand Central Hotel where some members of the 8th/9thBattalion will attend.  6 RARA is at the Sofitel Hotel.

The National Memorial Walk

It’s been a busy period at the NMW with the installation of the Information Kiosk (Touch Screen) in the Contemplation Building (CB), the construction of a new concrete path to the CB and the new plinths on the CB forecourt.

The recent rains have revitalised the area and it looks a pretty picture, The recent orientation visit of the 7 Brigade Commander Brigadier Andrew Hocking and now our Landlord was very successful. He understands the need for the resident RAR battalions to support us in the Walk’s heavy duty maintenance.
 

The Kiosk allows unescorted visitors to locate an individual memorial plaque and tree and provides information about the Regiment and the National Memorial Walk.

Funds for it were provided by the Thyne Foundation Trust (SA) and our own Arthur Willemsee a dedicated Dads’ Army volunteer who raised close to $30,000 for the NMW on his solo bike ride from Brisbane to Adelaide in 2007.

The new pathway avoids the steep incline to the CB from the northern main path and allows easier walking. This picture shows the northern garden that has been redesigned and planted with red and green foliage (our Regiment colours). Our NMW Patron Maj-Gen Stuart Smith was one of the gardeners involved in the plantings

On the Contemplation Building Forecourt the pencil pine trees have been removed replaced because they blocked the view of the memorial trees and their root structure was invasive.
They have been replaced by the raised memorial plinths as shown in the photo.  This work was funded by the DVA Grant – Saluting their Service.
As you can see the work is still in progress


Mick Servos, the NMW’s concept proposer and initial Director, visited the Walk recently with his granddaughter and were escorted by Ted Chitham. Mick was very pleased to see the developments and the sterling work of Dad’s Army. At aged 92 his memory is as sharp as a tack recalling all the work done to achieve this showpiece.  Showing him the Information Kiosk (touch screen) to find an individual soldiers plaque and tree location and the information articles on the NMW and The Regiment, he observed that his name was not mentioned in the NMW article. Time for an amendment
Dads’ Army

Dads’ Army under the supervision of Peter Brennan (Curator) and Dave McDonald continue to keep the Walk in good shape. The recent rains have been greatly appreciated and the DA is a hive of activity with all the new growth. An invitation is open to anyone to join us on Monday mornings.

The NMW’s maintenance is funded by annual subscriptions from the RAR Battalions and RARA State and Battalion Associations and individual donations. We thank you. For those serving in Battalions distant from Brisbane we encourage you when visiting Brisbane to come visit us. We have escort officers available on call to guide you. Ring Dave McDonald 0458 943 212.

Last Monday Alan Wendt (2 RAR) our Lotto Investment Officer reported a winning success of $1,400. After two decades of Dad’s Army volunteers investing in lotto and listening to Alan’s creative reporting failures yet optimism that success was just around the corner here is a photo of his joyful announcement and proof.
Hopefully, our luck has changed.


Personalities – Arthur Willemse
Within the DA’s ranks there are some great characters whose personalities come to the fore during our Monday at work and after work morning teas. In following issues we will feature some of them.

Arthur Willemsee (6 RAR 1972 -1978, 6 RARA past Secretary for 20 years and RARAQ Committee for the NMW construction 1995) would have been the youngest foundation member of Dad’s Army. After 23 years of dedicated involvement with the NMW and RARAQ, Arthur and wife Lyn have become Mexicans by relocating to Taloumbi (where in the heck is that?) in NSW. But he is not lost to us because we have granted him the NMW honorary appointment as an NMW Visiting Fellow (well if the Universities can do it so can we).

In addition to his dedicated commitment to the Walk, Arthur has been: a leader with Neil Eiby, Rod Slater, Greg Decker and other RAR stalwarts in the establishment and operation of the Kilcoy Diggers Support Team; a co-ordinator of  operation Stone Pillow and  a leader in establishing VetRide Queensland
 

As noted earlier in the NMW area, Arthur’s solo long distance bike ride has raised valuable funds for the NMW. He has now linked the dots on his multiple long, long rides to have completed a ride around mainland Australia. Well done Arthur you are an inspiration to us all.
PS. Arthur is a keen photographer of selfie photos with “notable beautiful persons”. Ask him for a look at his albums.

Thanks Arthur for your total dedication
https://rarnational.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/images-5.jpg

19 – 22 Apr – Easter
24 Apr – Kapyong Day at Southport RSL 11.00 am followed by Rifleman’s Lunch at noon sponsored by South East Asia Korea Society.
24 Apr – RARAQ guest speaker at McDowall State School’s Anzac Service
25 Apr – ANZAC Day

  • 5.30 am Dawn Service at 8/9 RAR (must enter Gallipoli Barracks through Gray’s Rd Gaythorne) with Gunfire breakfast to follow at the Ram’s Retreat
  • 10.00 am Brisbane City March – FUP George St/Charlotte St intersection
  • 10.30 am RARA starts led by 4 RARA
  • After March gatherings at various locations: 8, 9 and 8/9 RARAs at the Grand Central Hotel, 6 RAR at the Sofitel Brisbane Central Hotel, Turbot St

30 Apr  –  HQ 7 Combat Brigade’s Schools Work Experience Program visit to NMW
03 May – Rifleman’s Lunch at Mooloolaba Surf Club at noon
06 May – RARAQ Management Committee Meeting
21 May – HQ 7 Combat Brigade’s Schools Work Experience Program visit to NMW
06 Jun  –  6 RAR Birthday (1965 Enoggera)
07 Jun   – Rifleman’s Lunch at Mooloolaba Surf Club at noon
10 Jun  –  RARAQ Management Committee Meeting
13 Jun  –  Kilcoy Cup – RAR Diggers Support
25 Jun  –  HQ 7 Combat Brigade’s Schools Work Experience Program visit to NMW
05 Jul  –   Rifleman’s Lunch at Mooloolaba Surf Club at noon
08 Jul  –   RARAQ Management Committee Meeting
19 Jul  –   Tri Service Korean War Veterans Lunch Broad Beach Bowling Club TBC
30 Jul  –   HQ 7 Combat Brigade’s Schools Work Experience Program visit to NMW
24 Jul  –   DADS Army Yule Tide in Jul TBC
27 Jul  –   Korean War Veterans Day AQKV Cascade Gardens Gold Coast
02 Aug –  Rifleman’s Lunch at Mooloolaba Surf Club at noon
05 Aug –  RARA QLD AGM & Combined RAR Battalion Associations’ Meeting at 9.30 am at the Commander’s Mess
 
Weekly Event. Every Monday 6.00 – 9.00 am Dad’s Army at the NMW. All welcome
 
THE PASSING PARADE OF WARRIORS – THEIR DUTY DONE
Our Country is in mourning, for
A SOLDIER DIED TODAY

                                   
Lorne Clarke 1RAR                                            Francis Lee (aka Blue) 2 RAR, 3RAR
Paul Joseph Slattery  1 RAR                            Sgt Frank Carroll 1 RAR
Lt Col Ken Bladen AM  1 RAR 2 RAR               Lt Col Barry Petersen MC 1 RAR, 2 RAR
Paul Mellifont 4 RAR                                       Graham Locke 5 RAR
Maj John Liddy SASR                                       Phil Alpin 1 RAR
Major Ron Perkins 3 RAR (Korea), AATTV, 2 RAR(Vietnam)

A Warrior’s Farewell
Go now and travel beyond the void
Seek the green column and when you meet
See once more those smiling faces
Hear again laughter and sounds of marching feet

No more the visions of the bloody past
Gone are the nightmares and lingering pain 
Soon you will be home at long, long last 
United with fallen comrades once again 

And when the final roll is called
Another page of history complete 
You will rest with brave spirits such as they
In a camp where you will find restful sleep

Go swiftly now and seek your past 
Your duty done for all to tell 
With pride of who and what you were 
And now we bid you a fond farewell

George Mansford – December 2007
 
RARA QLD KILCOY DIGGERS

History was made on 13 Apr 2019 at the Annual running of the Kilcoy Diggers Cup. A Trophy from the 1932 ESK Armistice Race Day was found in someone’s shed and given to the Kilcoy Race Committee to now be used on Kilcoy Diggers Cup Day.

The 1932 Esk Armistice Cup truly shows the link between the contemporary diggers of today and those who have served before, in this case the First World War.

Kilcoy Diggers Support Crew has now been involved in the organisation before, during and after the Kilcoy Race Day for 6 years. Ceremonial Support is also provided from 7 Combat Brigade and the Pipes and Drums from 8/9 RAR when training & deployments allow.

Great work from the Team of Rod Slater, Greg Decker, Dave McDonald, Glenn Willmann, Kim Monghan and others

Health Services Available to the Veteran Community

It is always advisable to ensure that you and your family receive your services entitlements so check this subject out. DVA Factsheet HSV01 provides information on Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) funded health services to veterans, war widows/widowers, and dependants. It explains: Who is entitled to DVA Health Services? , What type of health services are funded by DVA? , Do any restrictions apply? Are there any health services not available?


How will I know if I am entitled to health services?
For more information contact DVA General Enquiries
Phone: 1800 555 254 or
Email[email protected]

Check your Mates

Please check your mates as a standard procedure. There are some who find it difficult to cope due to a number of factors, mainly they are alone so reach out to a mate and ask RUOK:  one phone call can make a huge difference.


The Operation Compass program has proven to be very effective, Check it out and see their videos here

Note that the RARA supports Trojans TrekVeterans Care, Overwatch Australia and Survive to Thrive

The Bravery Trust

It provides urgently needed financial support to our veterans and their families who are suffering as a result of their service. READ MORE


Rehabilitation for DVA Clients (Booklet)

DVA rehabilitation focuses on all elements of your life which could improve your wellbeing and aims to assist you to adapt to, and recover from, an injury or illness that is related to your ADF service.
We look at all your needs. Our rehabilitation is not just about return to work but getting on with your life as a whole, which can be challenging if you have recently discharged from the ADF. We help you develop specific goals and plans, recognising that every person’s recovery is different. We also recognise the importance of your family, and offer support for them on your journey. I highly recommend that you read through this booklet. It introduces you to the breadth of services available to you. So reach out and make contact. The Department is here to support you.” –  Darren Chester Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

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). By being 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) we have direct input into DVA

ADSO has released it’s 2019-2022 Policy Objectives and asked the political parties to give us their 2019 Federal Election Veterans’ Policies and those specifically related to our objectives. Their responses will be consolidated into a Comparison Table for public release.
To be successful we need your support. Even though these objectives may have no benefit to you personally NOW, they do to others of our Defence Family such as the:
• 235,000 military superannuants administered by the Government protected Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC);
• 110,000 MSBS members who have preserved benefits that are poorly indexed and not receivable until their notional retiring age and not portable to another complying Superannuation Fund;
• DFRDB Superannuants 98% (55,000) who commuted;
•  Widows/Widowers whose reversionary payment 5/8ths of the deceased spouses superannuation pension is unfair;
• 27,000 TPIs whose disability payments have been severely eroded;
• 90,000 veterans whose disability payments have been eroded, and
• 290,000 DVA clients.
We hope that being part of our Defence Family you will be supportive in whatever way you can.

RCB Recognition – Update 2/2019  

Since our last unfinished meeting with the Minister 27th November 2018, he has greeted
our requests for an independent of government judicial inquiry with SILENCE.

We have now contracted with a solicitor and barrister specialising in administrative law to give us a legal opinion on our evidence to: firstly, support an action against the Commonwealth in the matter of its non-recognition of RCB service as warlike; and secondly, support an action against breaches of ministerial, ministerial and defence staff advisors’ codes of ethics and conduct. We expect to receive the legal opinions before the Federal election. The legal opinions will determine our future actions, either in a legal court and/or the court of public opinion.  Robert Cross is the RCB Review Group Leader.

To stay current with events go the recognitionofrcbservice.com website


STAY IN TOUCH
To stay current with RARA 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

The Enews will be issued quarterly. We welcome your suggestions for content and improvements, so don’t be shy and send articles for publication to Greg Decker Secretary RAR Association (Qld) [email protected]

Duty First
22nd April 2019

ENews – 1/2019 Febuary

From all of us to our RAR Family and friends we wish you good health and happiness in everything you do. And remember we are on call to assist you in whatever way we can.

The RAR Family, “our tribe” comprises current and past serving members of The Regiment’s Battalions and their families. Our tribe is one of the many military service tribes (RAN, Army and RAAF) and their sub entities ships, units, squadrons that together comprise the whole Defence Family.


 

The RAR Association was formed to achieve four objectives:

  1. Socially, to maintain the camaraderie with those we served with;
  2. Commemoratively, to honour those who died while serving with the Regiment;
  3. Protectively, to care for our Regimental Family’s well-being particularly our past serving persons, their spouses and children; and
  4. Representatively, to protect our Regimental Family’s service entitlements.

Our support is there for the whole RAR Family and is not restricted to any financial membership.

President’s Message

A Happy New Year to you all and your family. I hope that it is full of good health (aided where necessary by your meds) and success in all your endeavours.

Since election as your President at the AGM on the 6th August 2018 I have been on a steep learning curve to understand the scope of my responsibilities but fortunately have been aided by the guidance from previous Presidents Kel Ryan, Alf Vockler and Ted Chitham as well as your support and encouragement. Thank you all.

A good part of that learning was attendance at the RARA’s National Council Meeting in Townsville in October where with all the RARA State and Battalion Associations we presented our annual reports, received briefings from the DVA Minister (Daren Chester), DVA Secretary (Liz Cosson), DVA Repatriation Commissioner (Mark Kelly) on current advocacy issues relevant to our roles and determined our RARA future directions.

Common to all the Association’s reports were the challenges of recruiting members to accept management committee positions and especially for our younger veterans identifying our relevance to them.

There is no doubt that we at RARA Qld are facing those challenges, particularly with the younger transitioning veterans upon which our survival is reliant particularly the operational management of the RAR’s National Memorial Walk and recruitment to Dad’s Army of volunteers. 

As I advised in my last message for a sub-committee of older and younger veterans to review our future direction has since been formed. Early observations are the importance of the current serving Battalions and our need to build strong personal relationships with the commanders at the Regiment Colonel and Battalion and company levels to allow us access to educate the men and their families of our support to them particularly prior to and during their transition to civilian life. We have had that experience and can help in the process for a smooth re-entry to civilian life, even if only to “point them” to the servicing delivery agencies.

Modern technology via the mobile phone to the internet has given the younger veterans access to all sorts of information and “do-it-yourself” applications. All well and good but in our opinion there is no replacement for the support of ”family” and especially those who have had the experience.

My close involvement with the two residents Battalions 6 RAR and 8/9 RAR based at Gallipoli Barracks, gives us the opportunity for direct engagement to cement the RAR Family spirit and the benefits available.

I look forward to your support in meeting these changes with solutions.
Keeping the Spirit Alive

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]
TreasurerTrevor Pond3851 1505[email protected]
NMW CuratorPeter Brennan [email protected] 
NMW Admin OfficerDave 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] 
CommitteeGary Stone(07) 3300 6410
0401 141 833
[email protected]
 Vacant  
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)  

 
 

AREA COMMITTEES
North QueenslandNeil Schwebel(07) 4411 1401
0408 749 174
[email protected]
Sunshine CoasKevin 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]
Hnorary ChaplainRev. Peter Devenish-Meares0448 603 624[email protected]

 

RAR CORPORATION & RARA NATIONAL COUNCIL
RARAQ DelegateDave McDonald0458 943 212[email protected]
AdvisorTed Chitham0418 733 887[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) 3261 7830[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.

As mentioned in my previous Report – Recruiting is the buzz word for all things RARA related tasks. “The Walk” is no different. The way “The Walk” is at the moment 15 or so DA people can have it looking neat, tidy and presentable on a Monday morning and still have smoko at 0900

Our Secretary, Greg, should be in the Aussie Cricket team, he has a 100% batting average at procuring grants. That is ten out of ten! The latest is a grant to have built and erected higher plinths to carry the plaques either side of the Flame but no higher than the “Keeping The Spirit Alive” tablet. The current plaques will be repolished so that the elderly can read them clearly and at a reasonable height.

Other planning for 2019 is to have the road paving completed, it has already begun to 70% of the central way  has created a WH&S hazard in the height of the paving to the height of the ground. The answer, kerbing and guttering. I have advised Spotless of this and they are aware of the problem and the attending risk of turned ankles or broken bones to pedestrians.

To finish, “the Walk” is well: it is the custodians that I worry about. Ross Langford elsewhere in this eNews has mentioned free programs for Vets to improve your health.

Dave McDonald

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 come and  join us. It is a convivial and fun couple of hours with a great morning tea thanks to Norm Deveroux’s wife Margaret.

Ring Dave McDonald 0458 943 212 for details.

CALENDAR 2019 – To June 2019

SERIALDATEACTIVITYREMARKS
  1.  
14 JANDad’s Army Re-commence WorkNMW
  1.  
27 JAN
 
RAR RACE DAY
RAR Supporter’s Crew
Kilcoy QLD
 
  1.  
01 FEB4 RAR Birthday Woodside 1964 
  1.  
02 FEBRifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba Surf Club 1200Sunshine Coast
 
  1.  
03 FEB 4 RAR Asscn Svc Nmw & BBQ Comd Mess Conf Centre 
  1.  
04 FEBManagement Committee Meeting &
NMW Sub Committee Meeting
 
  1.  
16 – 17 FEBOp Bribie  Anniversary  Reunion, Remembrance  Service & Dinner  POC Bob BettanyBribie Is RSL QLD
  1.  
28 FEB8 RAR Long Hai  Commemoration Service  8/9 RAR Uruzgan Lines, Gallipoli Barracks, RAR NMWEnoggera QLD
  1.  
FEB MAR TBCEX TROJANS TREK?SE QLD
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
  1.  
01 MAR
 
The Australian Army Birthday
 
 
  1.  
01 MAR5 RAR Birthday 1965 Holsworthy 
  1.  
01 MARRifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba Surf Club 1200Sunshine Coast
 
  1.  
4 MAR NMW Orientation Morning Tea Meet & Greet 7 BDE COMDEnoggera
  1.  
04 MARManagement Committee Meeting & Combined RAR Unit Associations Meeting 
  1.  
13APR
 
DIGGERS CUP RACE DAY
Kilcoy Diggers (RAR Supporter’s Crew)
Kilcoy QLD
 
  1.  
19 – 20
APR
EASTER 
  1.  
24 APRKapyong Day Commemorative Service 1100 hrs, at the Southport RSL.
 
This service will be conducted by SEAK
  1.  
24 APRRifleman’s Lunch POC Alf VocklerSouthport RSL
  1.  
25 APRANZAC DAY

  • Dawn Service NMW 0545
  • Meet & Greet 0530 – 0900 TBC
  • March in City
  • Fellowship
All are welcome at 6 and 8/9 RAR post Dawn Service and post march
  1.  
03 MAYRifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba Surf Club 1200Sunshine Coast
 
  1.  
06 MAYManagement Committee Meeting 
  1.  
7 JUNRifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba Surf Club 1200Sunshine Coast
 
  1.  
07 JUNManagement Committee Meeting 
  1.  
06 JUN6 RAR Birthday 1965 Enoggera 
  1.  
08 JUN
TBC
KILCOY CUP RACE DAY
RAR Supporter’s Crew
Kilcoy QLD
 
Donald Ian Hawksworth 3 RAR, SASCol Wayne Lynch 1RAR, 3RAR, 5 RAR
Ron “Lofty Farley 1 & 7 RARJack Baczyk 1 RAR, 8/9 RAR
Dennis Scholtz 1 RARWally Musgrave 2 RAR
David Candow, 2 & 3 RARJerry Ashton 1, 4 & 8/9 RAR
Bill Reeds 9 RARGary Sutherland OAM  AATTV, 8/9 RAR
Brig Tan Roberts 3 RARPeter Bruce Peddie 1 RAR
Michael Martin 6 RAR 66 -70Dale Sales 1, 6, 8 & 8/9 RAR
Kym Aka “Kymbo” 4 RARJim Geedrick 3 RAR, AATTV & WW2
Stanley Connelly 3 RAR (Kapyong)Kevin Claude THOMAS MM, 3 RAR Korea
Ivan Clark 9 RAR 8/9 RARMichael ‘Mick’ Martin 6 RAR 66 -70
Vin Murphy 8 RAR, AATTV & SASRDon James, 1 RAR, 4 RAR

 

A Warrior’s Farewell
Go now and travel beyond the void
Seek the green column and when you meet
See once more those smiling faces
Hear again laughter and sounds of marching feet

No more the visions of the bloody past
Gone are the nightmares and lingering pain 
Soon you will be home at long, long last 
United with fallen comrades once again 

And when the final roll is called
Another page of history complete 
You will rest with brave spirits such as they
In a camp where you will find restful sleep

Go swiftly now and seek your past 
Your duty done for all to tell 
With pride of who and what you were 
And now we bid you a fond farewell

George Mansford – December 2007
 
REMEMBRANCE DAY 2018 – MCDOWALL STATE SCHOOL VISIT TO NMW
 
On behalf of Year 6 at McDowall State School I would like to thank the RSL and the RAR Association for their support in allowing us to attend the National Memorial Walk on November the 9th. I would like to thank Mr Ted Chitham for his deep and thoughtful speech about the day. – Noah

Thank you for hosting and organising this special educational visit. This trip informed me about the horrible battle our soldiers have fought to make this country great as it is today. I highly appreciate the chance to visit the memorial plaques for those who sacrificed their lives for our country. Thank you again for the opportunity to visit the special living memorial. – Lily

Thank you for hosting and organising this special educational visit. This trip informed me about the horrible battle our soldiers have fought to make this country great as it is today. I highly appreciate the chance to visit the memorial plaques for those who sacrificed their lives for our country. Thank you again for the opportunity to visit the special living memorial.  –   Isaac

I greatly appreciate having the opportunity to attend the Remembrance ceremony on the 9th of November. The day gave me a larger understanding of what remembrance means to the people who fought for our country, the ones who lost their loved ones and to everyone else in Australia. The memorial walk and how there is a plaque for each individual who died fighting for us made me think of the impact that they have had on our lives. The flags on each plaque touched everyone in our class.  –   Charlotte

During the memorial service, I was imagining the unfortunate war, the deafening noises and then….the sudden silence. It was as if the air also felt the tension and was included in the service.
Whilst walking through the gardens the bottles and pictures placed near the plaques was heart-warming  –   Neola

During the memorial service, I was imagining the unfortunate war, the deafening noises and then….the sudden silence. It was as if the air also felt the tension and was included in the service.
Whilst walking through the gardens the bottles and pictures placed near the plaques was heart-warming.  – Janisha 
 

Thank you to the Royal Australian Regiment Association for hosting our visit to the National Memorial Walk 9th November 2018. From the 2018 Year 6 students of McDowall State School.
 
Report on the RARA’s 2018 AGM and National Council Meeting
 
During the memorial service, I was imagining the unfortunate war, the deafening noises and then….the sudden silence. It was as if the air also felt the tension and was included in the service. Whilst walking through the gardens the bottles and pictures placed near the plaques was heart-warming – READ MORE

 

Protecting the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) & Associations
 
The Royal Australian Regiment has a rich and hard fought history that we are all proud of and respect. But there’s a problem when conflicting individuals challenge the documented histories of the Battalions of the Regiment and determining the truth where possible is paramount

At the recent RARA National Council Meeting, members determined the need to raise a pool of funds in order to obtain legal positions and/or defend matters that have the capacity to bring into disrepute the good standing of The Royal Australian Regiment & Associations.  A crowdfunding campaign has been started so that we can all contribute towards establishing the amount of money necessary to accomplish this. Additionally, donations can be deposited directly into the RAR Corporation’s  bank account at Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Account Name:  The Royal Australian Regiment Corporation, BSB:  064 127 Account No:  1030 4915. Reference:  Please use “Your Surname” and add “Legals”/ All Donations to The Royal Australian Regiment Corporation are tax deductible, – READ MORE
 

Dehydration
This summer has seen some very hot days. When it is at  extreme heat we need to keep our body cool so drink plenty of water and not so much alcohol. Alcohol makes you dehydrated the more you drink the more dehydrated you will become.

Read the article When a thirst might be dangerous. It lists the nine identifiers of dehydration to look out for and tips to overcome them.
 
Check your Mates
Please check your mates as a standard procedure, especially during the Holiday season and particularly during natural disasters. There  are some who find it difficult to cope due to a number of factors, mainly they are alone so reach out to a mate and ask RUOK:  one phone call can make a huge difference.

The Operation Compass program has proven to be very effective, Check it out and see their videos here

Note that the RARA supports Trojans TrekVeterans Care, Overwatch Australia and Survive to Thrive

The Bravery Trust – VETERAN & FAMILY ASSISTANCE
There are many ways the Bravery Trust can help you and your family. Financial assistance is available for education and retraining, transport needs, family counselling, medical care, household expenses and more. If you are a current or former member of the ADF who has sustained physical or mental injuries as a result of your service and you are experiencing financial hardship you may be eligible to apply for assistance. Alternatively you may also be eligible to apply if you are the immediate family member of a current or former ADF member who has died as a result of their service, including those who have died as a result of their physical or mental injuries and you are experiencing financial hardship. – READ MORE

Mental health – Serving and ex-serving personnel and families
At Ease is DVA’s portal to online mental health information. It provides self-help tools and information to support mental health and wellbeing and is a gateway to websites and free mobile apps about stress, PTSD, alcohol management, resilience and suicide awareness and prevention. The portal also links to a wide range of mental health resources for health professionals and GPs for effective assessment and evidence-based treatment of veterans.
 
Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling
All veterans with at least one day continuous full time service (CFTS) and their immediate family members are entitled to free confidential mental health support services for life through Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling.
For help, information or to check eligibility for the Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling contact them on 1800 011 046 or visit the Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling website.
 
The Heart Health Programme aims to help you increase your physical health and wellbeing through practical exercise, nutrition and lifestyle management support. It is a 52-week programme and includes two physical activity sessions per week that are tailored to meet your needs and 12 health educational seminars. Check the details including eligibility  here

DVA – AN INFANTRY GUIDE TO DVA FACTSHEETS – KISS
Want to sort fact from fiction? Need to confirm or check a possible entitlement arising from your service? There is really no need to listen to the range of ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘maybe’ advice out there when you can simply look at the current policy used by DVA in determining such matters for yourself.

While a good advocate is probably the best source of information to assist with your questions, the Factsheets produced and maintained by DVA are a great guide to what you can expect in progressing your search.

If you are not already familiar with the goldmine of factual DVA policy information to be found in Factsheets, read on to open your eyes to what is available for your guidance.

Factsheet DVA19 – Factsheet Index – is probably the best tool available to inform you of the current and is your shortcut for future reference https://www.dva.gov.au/factsheet-dva19-factsheet-index  just open that link and you will find a list of all current DVA Factsheets listed alphabetically by keywords for general topics. Scan through the few pages and the process is very easy to understand. Below are some examples;
 

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)

ADSO is currently involved with development of:

  • Policy Objectives to ask the political parties for their 2019 Federal Election Veterans’ Policies specifically related to our objectives. The intent is to consolidate those replies into a Comparison Table for public release
  • Response to the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report – A better way to support veterans One of the Commission’s draft recommendations is to consolidate the DVA’s veterans support functions into Defence and DVA ceases as an entity – to which we are opposed
  • ADSO’s structure and governance to become an incorporated entity. This will give greater strength and potential to ADSO’s advocacy representation to the Government and Parliament as the Voice for Veterans and their Families.

RCB Recognition – Update 1/2019The Deception

The Moment of Truth – The Meeting
Finally after 12 years of requests to meet with the defence staff advisors to challenge each other’s evidence Minister Chester agreed to a meeting in Canberra on 26th November 2018.

We attended in good faith on the understanding that finally we would be engaging with the Ministers advisors and Defence Staff in a meaningful discussion to validate the facts used in the Governments’ decision and to challenge their reasons for refusing our claim for warlike service. On arrival we were told that the defence staff were to be observers only and would not participate in any discussions nor could we ask them any questions. Is this procedural fairness? What has the Government to hide? All the evidence we believe is documented. It would seem that it might require a writ to commence legal action to allow discovery of relevant documents.

It was a “Clayton’s meeting” and we were dudded!

However we took advantage of our time at Parliament House to meet with Pauline Hanson, Senator Anning and Bob Katter and at the Malaysian Embassy Colonel Nazzri, the Military attaché, to confirm certain matters related to their Counter Insurgency War (2nd Malaysian Emergency) operations, enemy threats and the RCB training activities with the RMAF .

The next day’s meeting with the Minister was interrupted when he was called to the House for voting. He was unable to return. On return to Brisbane we sent to him and his Defence Advisor a brief of what we had intended to discus with him and other related documents. As at now we are still waiting for a response from the Minister.

Our evidence has been examined by legal persons who have independently formed the view that RCB RG has a strong case to prove our contention of procedural unfairness by the Defence Department to take into account relevant considerations.

To stay current with events go here
 

KEEP UP TO DATE
To stay current with RARA 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

The Enews will be issued quarterly. We welcome your suggestions for content and improvements, so don’t be shy and send us articles for publication to Greg Decker Secretary RAR Association (Qld) [email protected]

Duty First
 
14th February 2019
 

Opinion – Veteran loan scheme may be worth a look

THOSE who are addicted to Royal Commissions as universal panacea to perceived wrong should be watching the Financial Services Royal Commission with close interest.

The FSRC is enquiring into dodgy practices employed by banks to rip off their customers.

Among the practices under the commission’s microscope are such things as excessive fees and charges.

They are also probing ancillary services aggressively promoted by banks which are both expensive and usually unnecessary.

They do however boost banks’ profits and occasionally bonuses paid to employees to promote them.

Banks have always played an important role in military life, particularly when peripatetic lifestyles involved frequent moves between different localities.

Even when ADF members were required to receive a portion of fortnightly salaries in cash, an allotment could be made to an appropriate financial institution to provide for savings and also periodic payments by cheque.

There was a time before cash cards and internet banking when a personal relationship with the local manager of your preferred financial institution was essential.

One of the first tasks on assuming a new posting was a visit to the local branch of your bank to meet the manager and staff to set up a new account, arranging for the remnants of your previous account to be transferred across.

A sympathetic manager would invariably contact you when things inadvertently went awry while the matter was sorted.

It was civilised but more importantly it was personal.

The advent of ADF themed credit unions, some now banks in their own right created an even more convenient service.

It helped having a financial institution sympathetic to the unique demands of service life.

By establishing a personal relationship with the staff of the local credit union branch, ADF personnel discovered when detached or posted away they could arrange essential financial transactions by a simple phone call.

It also eliminated the need to transfer accounts from one branch to another on each posting.

However there is one aspect of defence related banking which could possibly excite the FSRC interest.

There was a time when what were called War Service Home Loans were made available to eligible veterans at interest rates below standard market rates.

These modest loans allowed veterans to purchase a home without many of the restrictions applying to standard bank loans.

More importantly the scheme was administered by bureaucrats within the Repatriation Department, later the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, so loans did not attract the fees and charges which applied to bank loans.

The scheme has been modified several times, but there was a period when it was contracted out to one of the major banks.

Interest rates were not as attractive as the original scheme and the bank added several fees and charges, plus ancillary services which created increased costs above those associated with the original scheme.

These simply lifted the effective interest rate on the loan by the same deceptive practices which are now being exposed at the FSRC.

This column originally appeared in The Townsville Bulletin

 

Kilcoy Race Club Diggers Race Day Saturday 21st April 2018

This is a great social event that is highly recommended. Bring your friends and family and make it a Picnic Day

DVA Minister Media Release – Delivering Better Services for Veterans & their Families

VETERANS and their families will receive increased support services and income support payments after the Senate passed new legislation today.
The legislation follows a $31 million boost to mental health services which was announced late last year.

download 16Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the legislation was part of the Turnbull Government’s ongoing commitment to improve services for veterans and their families and delivers a significant part of the Government’s response to the concerns raised in the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Reference’s committee report.
“We are constantly striving to deliver the support and services needed for those who have served our nation,” Mr Chester said.
“This is a great outcome for veterans and their families who play such an essential role in a veteran’s health and wellbeing with additional services to be provided under these new measures which include increased access to childcare assistance, home care and counselling.
“We have also established a new income support payment for veterans with mental health problems who are unable to work so they have a source of income. This will reduce the stress this places on both the veteran and their family in what can be a difficult time.
“Partners of veterans may also be eligible for the Veteran Payment and veterans with dependent children may be entitled to the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A without being subject to the Family Tax Benefit means test while they receive the Veteran Payment.”

Mr Chester said from 1 May 2018 a new pilot program, the Coordinated Veteran Care mental health pilot will commence which aims to support to veterans in rural and regional areas with chronic mental health at the mild to chronic status combined with co-morbid health conditions.

“Veterans are at the heart of many communities around Australia and it is essential they have access to these services no matter where they live and this a great initiative to ensure vital mental health services are delivered,” Mr Chester said.
“Veterans who have suffered a catastrophic injury will also be supported with access to household and attendant care services based on their individual needs.”

Mr Chester said the qualifying service determination has also been simplified by automating the process which will remove the requirement for veterans to make an application for the determination.

“There are also a range of other initiatives underway which will further deliver on our commitment to support our veterans who have given so much to our country and this Government is ensuring they receive and have access to support services they need now and into the future.”

Other measures in the legislation include an entitlement to a Gold Card for Australian Defence Force members who served in Japan after the cessation of hostilities at the end of World War II and before the British Commonwealth Occupation Force commenced.

Separate to this legislation, Mr Chester said anyone who has served one day in the Australian Defence Force can have mental health treatment free for any mental health condition.

22 March 2018

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

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ALP Media Release – More Support to Help Veterans get Jobs

The Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and the Shadow Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Amanda Rishworth have today announced that a Shorten Labor Government will commit $121 million to a comprehensive Veterans Employment Policy to provide greater support to our defence personnel as they transition to civilian life.

 

 

 

Labor’s plan will help our veterans into good jobs by doing more to boost recognition of their significant skills and experiences, and better support veterans moving into the civilian workforce.

Best estimates cite veterans’ unemployment as sitting at 30 per cent. For those who did not medically discharge, there is an estimated 11.2 per cent unemployment rate – which is more than double the national rate. This is unacceptable.

Helping business to train veterans

A Shorten Labor Government will provide eligible business with a training grant of up to $5,000 in order to help veterans gain the skills and experience they need to move into a civilian job.

Whilst businesses are open to employing veterans, there can be specific short term skills gaps which act as a barrier to employment for an otherwise suitable veteran applicant. This grant is designed to bridge this gap.

In addition, Labor will fund an education campaign on the many benefits and translatable skills of veterans, to be developed by the Industry Advisory Committee

A new veterans’ employment service

A Shorten Labor Government will establish an employment and transition service which provides greater individualised, tailored support to transitioning veterans over a longer period of time.

Labor will establish a Defence Employment and Transition Service. This will be teamed with additional Transition Advisers, who understand both the unique skills and experience of our ADF personnel and how to best translate these skills for civilian employers.

Labor will ensure Advisers are trained and equipped to provide one-on-one support and advice to transitioning ADF personnel to give them greater opportunities, tailored assistance and effective support for longer. This expanded role will also undertake a comprehensive audit of the skills obtained by veterans during their service and ensure appropriate civilian recognition is obtained. Transition Advisers will also assess other barriers to successful transition such as secure housing and good social support.

Labor will extend access to this support for up to five years, following a period of intensive support during the first 12 months.

Expanded access to additional education and civilian training.

Labor will enable better access to additional education and civilian training for transitioning ADF members by reducing the length of service required to access the Career Training Assistance Scheme and increase funding for members, starting from $5,000 and increasing to $7,500 depending on the years served.

Labor will review access to training assistance to ensure that those with a higher risk following their time in the ADF can receive greater support.

Translating the experience of veterans

A Shorten Labor Government will work:
– to ensure that veterans receive recognition of prior skills and experience within civilian professional organisations and institutions;

– with States and Territories to expand the Queensland initiative of translating service personnel’s rank and length of service to a tertiary entrance score;

– with peak professional bodies to identify any current ADF training which meets professional civilian standards and work to ensure these are recognised outside of the ADF; and

– with Defence to establish a temporary security clearance for veterans to utilise as they apply for civilian work, providing a greater incentive to prospective employers.

When our men and women undertake to serve their country, we make a commitment to them and their family to support them after their time in the ADF. That is why Labor believes this is the first step to ensure those working in the defence force can move into meaningful employment, which is a key element of successful transition from the ADF to civilian life.

The Veterans Employment Policy will be funded through existing Defence resources.

Further information on Labor’s policy can be found here.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Who authorised this Space Age stupidity?

Many years ago our nation was branded as “The lucky country.” Sadly, this proud signature envied by the old world is fading fast. Thought Police and Wimps masquerading as representatives of the people are slowly but surely eroding a legacy handed to us by previous generations.

There is increasing evidence of what can and cannot be said in the public arena, as well as false rewrites of our history. With sly censorship growing, there’s reluctance in the community to speak out. The consequence could be a return to days similar of the old world’s hated regimes where genuine concerns were being whispered behind closed doors.

The latest waves of Political Correctness discourage the use of Mum, Dad, Honey, Love, Sweetheart, merry Christmas and the list goes on. Regrettably, a confused and silent majority of our citizens are becoming immune to it all and wait for the next installment of instructions to be issued by our masters in Canberra on what we can or can’t do.  Where does it end?  Who authorised all of this nonsense?

Unless we apply the brakes and rediscover commonsense; future generations of Australians will never understand what used to be. Muteness and apathy combined with deliberate distortions of our past will be used as weapons to erode and eventually destroy our freedom as we know it.

For those who have been engineering such radical change to our society; it’s time to remove the blinkers, turn on the light and go read our history. Records show that despite immense hardships, a new nation was forged against all odds, complete with unity, independence, wealth, character and immense pride in being who we are. We must not allow our past to be distorted or smothered by a mindless minority. There is so much for all of us to be proud of.

GM March 2018

 

  Don’t Let Termites Destroy Our Proud Legacy 

Will we ever understand the spirit of those who came before?

Who rattled chains, felt the lash and dreamed of freedom even more

Farmers in stifling heat tilled with wooden ploughs again and again

Fevers, broken bones and child birth with bush medicines for pain

At lonely graves were brave farewells that masked grief and sorrow

Men and women scarred with failure still seeking bright tomorrows

Have we forgotten the rich legacies of life won for you and me?

A soapbox was the rostrum to speak your mind so free

A united happy nation that became known as the “Lucky Country”

A family home for all with a backyard for BBQs and kids to run free

An education system envied by others, far and near

Respect for the law and to walk the street at night without fear 

True blues with dreams created reality with blood sweat and tears

The Snowy Mountain scheme was completed despite cynics and fear

Across the vast Nullarbor Plain, a railway line linked East to West

Sydney Harbor Bridge, despite Doubting Thomas, passed the test

Thank God we were left a legacy of some major Dams and Ports 

Now, its talk and no action by a creaking Canberra void of thought

The spirit still lives; however gone is its very strong pulse beat

“A fair go” was part of the OZ bible, be it in the bush or city street

For a Swagman walking by, a farmer’s wife would give tea and pie 

At a bark hut, a thin weary face shared crumbs as travelers passed by

 “Pass the hat” for a bloke down on his luck was a familiar shout

“Hand me downs” was a sign of caring and what it was all about

Such pride when we became a united people under our own flag

Yet today, some fools would replace it with a trendy Space Age rag

The misery of the Great Depression never stopped the smiles and wit

Flood, fire, famine was a battle cry to roll up sleeves and do our bit

Love of country has been proven with the blood of youth in war

The torch is ours to keep alight; we should never ask “What for?”

Today there are serious threats that we, all as one must face

Political correctness in stampede mode is crushing us at rapid pace

“Thought Police” demand what we must say and do

Mum, Dad, Family, Sweetheart, Honey and Love are now taboo  

Jesus is back on the cross and Christianity is no longer at odds on

Fair Dinkum, it’s time to rattle drums before our way of life is gone

George Mansford © March 2018

  1. What odds “Gidday mate“ will soon be on the hit list?

Editor’s comment. George’s poem has invoked memories of this poem we learnt at School

We are the sons of Australia,
Of the men who fashioned the land,
We are the sons of the women
Who walked with them, hand in hand;
And we swear by the dead who bore us,
By the heroes who blazed the trail,
No foe shall gather our harvest,
Or sit on our stockyard rail.

— MARY GILMORE.