E News – 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

President Dave McDonald 0458 943 212 [email protected]
Deputy President Ted Chitham MC OAM  (07) 3353 2415
0418 733 887
[email protected]
Vice President  NQ Neil Schwebel   (07) 4411 1401
0408 749 173
[email protected]
Vice President Gold Coast Alf Vockler 0413 612 992 [email protected]
Secretary Greg Decker 0417 464 251 [email protected]
Treasurer Trevor Pond 3851 1505 [email protected]
NMW Curator Peter Brennan   [email protected] 
NMW Admin Officer Dave McDonald 0458 943 212 [email protected]
Web Master Rick Hollingdrake OAM (07) 3285 4197
0417 954 197
[email protected]
Newsletter Editor Vacant    
Well-Being Officer Ross Langford (07) 3261 7830 [email protected] 
Committee Gary Stone (07) 3300 6410
0401 141 833
[email protected]
Immediate Past President Kel Ryan 0418 759 120 [email protected]
Patron RARAQ Neil “Lofty” Eiby  OAM (07) 5478 316
 0418 873 145        
[email protected]
Patron NMW Major General Stuart Smith DSC AM (retd)    


North Queensland Neil Schwebel (07) 4411 1401
0408 749 174
[email protected]
Sunshine Coas Kevin Lynch (07)5444 7426
0416 275 504
[email protected]
Gold Coast Alf Vockler 0413 612 992 [email protected]
Kilcoy Diggers Rod Slater 0419 656 956 [email protected]


Publishing Officer Dan Penman 0409 067 646 [email protected]
Media Officer Trevor Dixon 0404 082 080 [email protected]
Hnorary Chaplain Rev. Peter Devenish-Meares 0448 603 624 [email protected]


RARAQ Delegate Dave McDonald 0458 943 212 [email protected]
Advisor Ted Chitham 0418 733 887 [email protected]


RARA Delegate Ted Chitham MC OAM (07) 3353 2415
0418 733 887
[email protected]


President Dave McDonald 0458 943 212 [email protected]


Anzac Day March Committee
Well-Being Officer Ross 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

14 JAN Dad’s Army Re-commence Work NMW
27 JAN
RAR Supporter’s Crew
Kilcoy QLD
01 FEB 4 RAR Birthday Woodside 1964  
02 FEB Rifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba Surf Club 1200 Sunshine Coast
03 FEB 4 RAR Asscn Svc Nmw & BBQ Comd Mess Conf Centre  
04 FEB Management Committee Meeting &
NMW Sub Committee Meeting
16 – 17 FEB Op Bribie  Anniversary  Reunion, Remembrance  Service & Dinner  POC Bob Bettany Bribie Is RSL QLD
28 FEB 8 RAR Long Hai  Commemoration Service  8/9 RAR Uruzgan Lines, Gallipoli Barracks, RAR NMW Enoggera QLD
01 MAR
The Australian Army Birthday
01 MAR 5 RAR Birthday 1965 Holsworthy  
01 MAR Rifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba Surf Club 1200 Sunshine Coast
4 MAR NMW Orientation Morning Tea Meet & Greet 7 BDE COMD Enoggera
04 MAR Management Committee Meeting & Combined RAR Unit Associations Meeting  
Kilcoy Diggers (RAR Supporter’s Crew)
Kilcoy QLD
19 – 20
24 APR Kapyong Day Commemorative Service 1100 hrs, at the Southport RSL.
This service will be conducted by SEAK
24 APR Rifleman’s Lunch POC Alf Vockler Southport RSL

  • 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
03 MAY Rifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba Surf Club 1200 Sunshine Coast
06 MAY Management Committee Meeting  
7 JUN Rifleman’s Lunch Mooloolaba Surf Club 1200 Sunshine Coast
07 JUN Management Committee Meeting  
06 JUN 6 RAR Birthday 1965 Enoggera  
08 JUN
RAR Supporter’s Crew
Kilcoy QLD
Donald Ian Hawksworth 3 RAR, SAS Col Wayne Lynch 1RAR, 3RAR, 5 RAR
Ron “Lofty Farley 1 & 7 RAR Jack Baczyk 1 RAR, 8/9 RAR
Dennis Scholtz 1 RAR Wally Musgrave 2 RAR
David Candow, 2 & 3 RAR Jerry Ashton 1, 4 & 8/9 RAR
Bill Reeds 9 RAR Gary Sutherland OAM  AATTV, 8/9 RAR
Brig Tan Roberts 3 RAR Peter Bruce Peddie 1 RAR
Michael Martin 6 RAR 66 -70 Dale Sales 1, 6, 8 & 8/9 RAR
Kym Aka “Kymbo” 4 RAR Jim Geedrick 3 RAR, AATTV & WW2
Stanley Connelly 3 RAR (Kapyong) Kevin Claude THOMAS MM, 3 RAR Korea
Ivan Clark 9 RAR 8/9 RAR Michael ‘Mick’ Martin 6 RAR 66 -70
Vin Murphy 8 RAR, AATTV & SASR Don 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
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

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

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

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;

 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

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


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