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

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
Our Country is in mourning, for

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

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


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

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


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