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
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 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
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:
- The construction of The RAR National Memorial Walk in 1996 and from that the volunteer maintenance group known as Dads’ Army.
- 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.
- In 2009, the establishment from the RARA National body to the Royal Australian Regiment Corporation with the same roles.
- 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.
- 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 few
The 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.
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.
DVA – Men’s Health Peer Education (MHPE) Magazine — Vol. 18 No. 2 2019 — Mental Health Edition
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…
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
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.
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.
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.
Honorary Life Member – Ken Cupples
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]