Listening DECEMBER 2016 Vol 39 - No 4 POST - We've moved - rslwa

 
Listening DECEMBER 2016 Vol 39 - No 4 POST - We've moved - rslwa
Listening
DECEMBER 2016 Vol 39 - No 4                               POST
                                                     THE CENTENNIAL EDITIONS 2014-18

              We've moved      Level 3, 66 St Georges Tce Perth

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Listening DECEMBER 2016 Vol 39 - No 4 POST - We've moved - rslwa
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Listening DECEMBER 2016 Vol 39 - No 4 POST - We've moved - rslwa
The Listening Post DECEMBER 2016            3

contact                                      cover                      Listening
                                                                        DECEMBER 2016 Vol
                                                                                          39 - No 4
                                                                                                                                     POST
                                                                                                                                 THE CENTENNIAL
                                                                                                                                                EDITIONS 2014-1
                                                                                                                                                                8
                                                                                                                                                                                    contents
Editorial and Advertising Information:
                                             Staff at ANZAC                                                                                                                         4-5     RSL hospitality lives on
Editor: John Arthur                          House have moved
Email: johna@rslwa.org.au                                                                                                                                                           6       HMAS Sydney 75th Anniversary
                                             to temporary offices
Advertising: Royceton Hardey                 in Perth. Next year,                                                                                                                   7-8     From the President’s Pen
Email: roycetonh@rslwa.org.au                ANZAC House will                                                                                                                       9       CEO: It’s a new era
Graphic Design: TypeExpress                  be demolished and                                                                                                                      10      Medal makes Eileen’s day
Printer: Rural Press                         replaced by a new                  We've moved                                                                                         11      Your letters
Contact Details                              seven-storey office                                  Level 3, 66 St Georges Tce
                                                                                                                                                     Perth
                                                                                                                                                                                    12      Don’t bury PTSD
The Returned & Services League of            offering excellent                  The Official Journal of The
                                                                                                               Returned & Services League

                                                                                                                                                                                    13      ‘Silent suffering’ worries Governor
                                                                                                                                            of Australia WA Branch Incorporated

Australia – WA Branch Incorporated           facilities to members.
Level 3/66 St Georges Terrace                Other ex-service organisations will be                                                                                                 15      Veterans centre for RSLWA
PERTH WA 6000                                encouraged to co-locate and work beside                                                                                                16-17   Three veterans served their nation
PO Box 3023, EAST PERTH WA 6892              the RSL in delivering broader and more                                                                                                 18      John Power left with smile
Email: admin@rslwa.org.au                    comprehensive services.                                                                                                                20      Younger talent energises RSLWA
Website: www.rslwa.org.au
                                             As our State President Peter Aspinall says in                                                                                          21-27   Australia invaded
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rslwa
                                             his regular column, the RSL wants as many                                                                                              30      What makes us Australians?
Telephone: (08) 9287 3799
                                             ESOs as possible to share with us the vision of
Fax: (08) 9287 3732                                                                                                                                                                 32      Pingelly unveils walk
                                             'doing things better, together'.
WA Country Callers: 1800 259 799                                                                                                                                                    33      RSL Picnic in the Park
(Landline only)                              Pictured on our cover making the move into our
                                             new offices at 66 St Georges Terrace is Events                                                                                         34-35   Remembrance Day images
Contact Directory                            Coordinator Wendy Moss, Claims Advisor                                                                                                 36-37   Centenary Review
CEO / State Secretary:                       Morgana Ramsey and CEO John McCourt.
John McCourt JP, MBA, FAIM, MPRIA                                                                                                                                                   38-49   Remembrance Day services
(08) 9287 3799 admin@rslwa.org.au            In our last edition phone calls rolled in after we                                                                                     50-51   Who died at the Western Front?
Executive Assistant to the State President   said LTCOL Eric Gruber and his wife Melonie                                                                                            52-60   Sub-Branch News
and Chief Executive Officer: Nola Keen       were on the cover, instead of his immediate
                                                                                                                                                                                    61      Billy: the teenage POW
                                             predecessor LTCOL Rhogan Aitken and his
RSL DefenceCare – 9287 3799                  wife, Tania. Our apologies to all.                                                                                                     62      From the archives
State Manager: Barry Chalk                                                                                                                                                          63      Unit and Kindred listing
bchalk@rsldefencecare.org.au
                                             Finally, may we wish you all a Merry Christmas
                                             and Happy New Year. Drive safe and we will all                                                                                         64      Notices
Claims Advisor: Morgana Ramsey
mramsey@rsldefencecare.org.au                get to do it again in 2017.                                                                                                            65      Crossword and Sudoku
Community Support: Rosalind Howat                                                                                                                                                   66      Last Post
rhowat@rsldefencecare.org.au
(08) 9287 3707 / 0417 905 742                RSL Statement of Purpose
ANZAC House & Club Manager:                  The RSL was founded in 1916 to provide                                                                                                 Deadline for the next edition:
Matthew Holyday: (08) 9287 3714              comradeship and support to Australia’s veterans                                                                                        Friday, February 24 2017
Membership: Andrea Hunt                      and their families.
(08) 9287 3705                               That core mission has never changed but has                                                                                            The preferred method of receiving
Financial Services:                          continued to evolve to meet the needs of each                                                                                          submissions is via email. Photographs
                                             generation of servicemen and women.                                                                                                    should be attached separately and a
Peter McGlade: (08) 9287 3718
                                             We have a branch network that covers Australia                                                                                         minimum of 1Mb. This is your magazine and
Helen Beech (Mon-Thu): (08) 9287 3703        and any veteran who needs help will get it - every
Events Coordinator: Wendy Moss                                                                                                                                                      contributions and letters are welcome.
                                             serving ADF member and veteran will be warmly
Social Media Manager: Royceton Hardey        welcomed at their local RSL sub-branch or club.                                                                                        Address to: The Editor,
Receptionist: Rowena Bush                    We advocate for the best possible conditions for                                                                                       The Listening Post ,
Records and Information Manager:             our serving men and women and for those who                                                                                            PO Box 3023 East Perth, WA 6892
Helen Starkie (Tue & Wed): (08) 9287 3713    have served the nation in the past.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Email: listeningpost@rslwa.org.au
                                             We foster respect and thanks from the nation for
Board: 2017                                  all those who have made sacrifices in Australia’s                                                                                      Opinions expressed by contributors in
State President: Mr. Peter Aspinall          name and we will provide a strong voice on issues                                                                                      articles and reproduced articles are the
Vice President: Mrs. Gabby Ryan              of national unity and security.                                                                                                        individuals’ opinions or the authors of such
State Treasurer: Mr. Phillip Draber                                                                                                                                                 reproduced articles and are not necessarily
                                             Previous Editions                                                                                                                      those of the RSL. Reproduction of articles
Greater Metropolitan Region:                                                                                                                                                        (or extracts) contained in The Listening
                                             Copies of The Listening Post published since June
Mr. Bill Collidge RFD, Mr. Scott Rogers,     2014 are available on our website:                                                                                                     Post are welcomed, provided the source is
Mrs. Gabby Ryan, Mr. Rob Cashman.
                                             www.rslwa.org.au                                                                                                                       acknowledged. The Editor reserves the right
Great Southern Region:                                                                                                                                                              to accept, reject, sub-edit and re-arrange
                                             Copies published before that date – going back to
Mr. Chris Mayfield OAM                       1921 – are available via the National Library on                                                                                       material submitted for publication.
Eastern Region:                              http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/142460/20140626-                                                                                         Infringement of Copyright Laws:
Mrs. Donna Prytulak                          1414/www.rslcentenary.org.au/index.html                                                                                                We cannot accept Newspaper clippings for
Mid West Region:                                                                                                                                                                    publication without express approval from
Mr. Ross Davies                              Publishing                                                                                                                             the Newspaper Editor as we may infringe on
                                             Publishing of The Listening Post: Published                                                                                            Copyright Laws.
Pilbara Region:
Vacant.                                      four times a year with a readership of over 25,000.
                                             To all sub-branch Presidents and Secretaries:                                                                                                  www.rslwa.org.au
Trustees                                     Send photographs (1Mb plus) and a short article
Mr. Don Blair OAM RFD                        on special activities at your sub-branch to The
Mr. Wayne Tarr RFD ED                        Listening Post.
                                                                                                                                                                                            www.facebook.com/rslwa
Listening DECEMBER 2016 Vol 39 - No 4 POST - We've moved - rslwa
4 The Listening Post DECEMBER 2016

       Hospitality lives on after 100
 NEW
 ANZAC
 HOUSE
RSLWA members can now enjoy
the spanking new offices beside
London Court.
The spacious offices, on the third
floor at 66 St Georges Terrace will be
occupied by RSL staff until the new
seven-storey ANZAC House is built on
the existing site in about three years’
time.
“At 66 St Georges we have splendid
facilities for members including two
committee rooms, two meeting rooms           Some of the first members in the new offices at 66 St Georges Terrace were from
and an event room suitable for up to 40       Cockburn: Digger Cleak OAM, President of the City of Cockburn RSL Sub-Branch and
people – ideal for sub-branch meetings        his wife Kay Cleak, Treasurer and Membership Officer, receiving helpful assistance
and ESO gatherings,” said ANZAC               from Rowena Bush.
House manager Matthew Holyday.
                                            “We can continue to host Unit and             “However, members must book – and
“Members are most welcome to use the
                                            Association meetings and gatherings           I already hold several bookings for the
facilities and have a cuppa and a biscuit
                                            in the rooms at 66 St Georges Terrace         Ex WRANs Association, Returned
on us.”                                     because they are ideal for private            Ex-Service Women & Legacy Widows –
The new offices were previously             meetings,” Mr Holyday said. “We can           just to name a few.”
occupied by ASIC.                           provide a cup of tea or coffee.               Matthew’s contact details for bookings:

     Next ANZAC House sets up the
   by Matthew Holyday                         the Great War. This took place in a          the 1934 version when it opened in
                                              now demolished building, housed in           1981. So for 100 years – in one form or
                                              the gardens of Government House –            another, hospitality has been practised
   The ANZAC Club closes on December
                                              opposite the site of today’s ANZAC           on or near this site – a proud tradition
   21 – a day for reflection – however
                                              House. By 1927 the Soldiers Institute        carried forward by a team of loyal staff
   the bright note is the new chapter
                                              was handed over to the RSL and, the          that have attended to the needs of the
   that will unfold in the redeveloped
                                              old building held little comfort for the     members and ex-service groups over
   building will mark the start of the
                                              returned men and women.                      the years.
   next 100 years of RSL activity – and
   give life to a continuing tradition of     Across the road, the first ANZAC             Many of the staff are well known with
   hospitality on this customary site –       House was opened in 1934 to                  four permanent staff having served a
   the home of RSLWA.                         replace the old Soldiers Welcome
                                                                                           collective 37.5 years.
                                              Institute. Within this, the ANZAC
   The Soldiers Welcome Institute             Club carried on the tradition of             The closure is indeed a moment
   commenced its activity in 1916             hospitality established by the 1916          of reflection for those of us who
   – providing basic hospitality to           Soldiers Welcome Institute. The third        serve those who have served. It has
   Australian Soldiers, both departing        incarnation is the ANZAC House and           been remarkable experience for
   and arriving from Perth to and from        Club we know today, which replaced           us to observe that each and every
Listening DECEMBER 2016 Vol 39 - No 4 POST - We've moved - rslwa
The Listening Post DECEMBER 2016              5

years
Telephone: 9287 3714, Email:
ahmanager@rslwa.org.au
The new offices are in a commercial
building and consequently there is no
liquor licence.
However, Mr Holyday said a number
of venues have indicated that they will
welcome RSL members for a drink
before the new ANZAC House opens.
These include:
RAAFA Club at Bull Creek: This is a
kindred organisation with a similar set-
up to ANZAC club.
It offers the benefit of car parking and
ease of public transport to Bull Creek
Station. Able to cater to group lunches
etc. Matthew recommends this venue
before any other.
43 Below: This tavern is downstairs
at 43 Barrack St. It will be displaying
an RSL logo and welcome sign and is
happy to display Unit & Association
plaques and memorabilia – some already
are on display. Similar prices to ANZAC
Club – some members are already using
this facility.
Criterion Café: (at the Criterion Hotel in
Hay Street). This café will be displaying     Wendy Moss tries out her new work station at 66 St Georges Terrace. The shift to new
an RSL Logo and welcome and will               offices was required because ANZAC House had reached its use-by date and needed
offer similar prices to the ANZAC Club.        major improvements just to meet building standards.

future
gathering of veterans is infused with
and surrounded by an esprit de corps
and camaraderie that that is unique to
the ANZAC Club. So when we close
the doors on December 21, we will be
thinking of the next phase in the story
of friendship, camaraderie and good
will that has nurtured the spirit
of hospitality here at ANZAC Club –
it has been our special privilege to
be a part of that proud tradition. We
wish all our members and guests every
success in the new ANZAC House that
will arise on this very special site; the
traditional home of RSLWA.
                    Matthew Holyday           Long and loyal service: These permanent members of the ANZAC Club staff have
    ANZAC House & ANZAC Club Manager           accumulated 37.5 years’ service between them. From left, Ashleigh Courtney, Matthew
                                               Holyday, Chef Michael Hatcher and assistant club manager Rhonda Heath.
Listening DECEMBER 2016 Vol 39 - No 4 POST - We've moved - rslwa
6 The Listening Post DECEMBER 2016

Thousands mourn loss of HMAS Sydney
Thousands of people were
drawn to the 75th anniversary of
Australia’s worst naval disaster
in which 645 HMAS Sydney crew
died after a battle off Shark Bay
with the German raider HSK
Kormoran.
The anniversary services were held on
November 19 in Sydney, Fremantle,
Geraldton, Carnarvon and an hour’s
drive north of Carnarvon near Quobba
Station.
For RSLWA State President Peter
Aspinall, an informal ceremony
near Quobba on November 20 was
particularly meaningful as it was close
to where the surviving members of the
German raider HSK Kormoran struggled
ashore in lifeboats.                        Commemorations underway at Geraldton’s unique memorial to HMAS Sydney and its
                                             crew.
“Whilst the area is not very high,
you can see the jagged nature of the       freighter had enticed Sydney into           were found in 2008, 20km apart, about
coastline,” Mr Aspinall said. “It is       close range and she was then able to        200km off Shark Bay. The memorial
remarkable how they got ashore.            overwhelm the proud warship with            service at Carnarvon attracted about
“They rowed for days and then had to       gunfire and torpedoes. Bridget Colless,     300 people and served as the official
negotiate a desolate ridge. The area is    the daughter of Sydney’s captain Joseph     unveiling of new memorials to the
beautiful but utterly desolate.”           Burnett, delivered the keynote address at   Sydney and Kormoran crews, and a walk
Some 319 members of the 399 crew           the memorial service in Geraldton.          of remembrance featuring plaques for
of Kormoran reached land after their       She was five years old when she lost        each member of the Sydney.
controversial ambush of the Sydney at      her father. After years of searching, the   The memorials were the result of work
sea. The Kormoran’s disguise as a          wrecks of the Sydney and Kormoran           by many volunteers and local businesses.

 The United Service held at Quobba Point on Sunday November 20. IMAGE COURTESY OF BEN TEO PHOTOGRAPHY.
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The Listening Post DECEMBER 2016           7

from the

President’s Pen
New home to be a
‘veterans centre’
by State President                            While the new seven-storey ANZAC
Peter Aspinall                                House will be the new home of RSLWA
                                              it will be much more.
On November 9 Premier Colin                   We intend it to be the veterans’ centre;                    Peter Aspinall
                                              a place where veterans, their families
Barnett visited ANZAC House
                                              and other dependents can find access          their mates while remembering those
with his Veterans’ Minister Joe               to all the services and support agencies      who never returned. As such, RSLWA
Francis to publicly sign a Heads              they seek. To do this we intend ANZAC         needs to continue to lead the way and
of Agreement for transferring                 House to not only possess the physical        that means working closely with our
back to RSLWA the freehold title              necessities but also the presence of          valued colleagues in other ESOs.
                                              those other ESOs to offer their valuable
to the land on which ANZAC
                                              advocacy and welfare services. These          RACA litigation
House sits.                                   ESOs can do so by either co-locating          I am sure most of you are aware that
As many of you may remember, in 1974          with RSLWA or by creating a                   RSLWA has been in litigation with WA
the then board of RSLWA surrendered           'shopfront' within ANZAC House.               Retirement & Aged Care Association
the title of the land on which the old        The way we want to move forward is            Inc (RACA), and others, over what we
ANZAC House stood, as well as the area        to be an enabler to have as many ESOs         perceived to be the sale of RACA at a
on which the Law Courts now stand,            as possible share with us the vision of       significantly reduced value. Our action
to the State Government – resulting           'doing things better, together'.              had progressed to being listed in the
in the demolition of the lovely 1930s                                                       WA Supreme Court with a hearing in
                                              It’s the way to the future and will ensure    late November/early December this year.
ANZAC House. In return the government         RSLWA is what it always has been. Way
constructed the current ANZAC House                                                         Earlier this year a round of mediation
                                              back when the organisation was born           was conducted which produced, from the
and leased it to RSLWA for a 21/21/21         the Diggers who conceived the RSL
year term for a peppercorn rent.              concept were looking at ways of helping                            Continued over page
For quite some time ANZAC House has
been too small for the needs of RSLWA
and is also now too expensive to renovate
and bring up to contemporary standards.
Without the security of title over the site
any thoughts of redevelopment were out
of the question.
My predecessor, Graham Edwards,
recognised the great opportunity offered
by both the centenary of ANZAC in
2015 and the centenary of RSLWA this
year and approached Premier Barnett
to suggest that the government might
consider the return of ownership of the
site to RSLWA.
The Premier’s signing of the Heads of
Agreement saw the realisation of this
initiative and all members of RSLWA
should be appreciative and proud of this
expression of the goodwill towards the
RSL by the Government of Western
                                               The view from the new head office in Perth, with Allendale Square across the road.
Australia.
                                                Administrative staff moved in on November 21. The office is on Level 3, 66 St Georges
With the title, RSLWA can now proceed           Terrace – right beside London Court and close to bus and train stops. Phone numbers
with its redevelopment plans for the site.      remain the same.
Listening DECEMBER 2016 Vol 39 - No 4 POST - We've moved - rslwa
8 The Listening Post DECEMBER 2016

from previous page

defendants, an offer for settlement which
was unacceptable to us. However, our
preference was for settlement rather than
to take it to court.
                                                                                                               Events Coordinator
A second mediation round was                                                                                     Wendy Moss was
ordered by the Supreme Court, it being                                                                           an eager helper
conducted on Wednesday November 2.                                                                               in relocating
The drawn-out day seemed to be getting                                                                           RSLWA’s offices
nowhere until, right at the end of the                                                                           in Perth to 66 St
day, the defendants made an offer that                                                                           Georges Terrace.
appeared acceptable to our negotiators.                                                                          The offices are
                                                                                                                 beside London
The offer was to be kept open until                                                                              Court.
1200 hrs the next day to allow me to
take the offer to the RSLWA Board on
the morning of November 3. The Board
ultimately gave its approval for the offer
to be formally accepted.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court              volunteer advocacy and welfare officers     I wish to assure you that in RSLWA we
Registrar has imposed a high level            that perform diligently and with great      are very confident that our financial
of confidentiality on the terms of            success in our sub-branches. I wish to      management is extremely robust and
settlement. However, I can inform you         dispel that perception in the strongest     the opportunities for inappropriate
that the Board was very comfortable           possible terms.                             payments to any director or any other
with the amount of the financial element      At no stage in our review of the delivery   RSLWA member who might perform
of the offer.                                 of advocacy and welfare services in         any duties or activities on behalf of
                                              ANZAC House was any suggestion              RSLWA are non-existent. We do not
The Board did thoroughly canvass the                                                      engage in any payment of fees, gratuities
risk associated with rejecting the offer      raised that would threaten our volunteer
                                              network. The review identified a            or honorariums.
and taking our chances in court, coming
to the conclusion that the risk of possibly   requirement for a professional support      Any member who incurs an expense
losing or being successful but not getting    entity designed to support our 100-plus     for an approved RSLWA activity, and is
a judgement better than the settlement        advocates and welfare offers through        formally acting on behalf of RSLWA,
offer was too great.                          WA. The beauty about engaging               will be reimbursed that expense on the
                                              DefenceCare WA is that they provide         production of a legitimate tax invoice/
The Senior Counsels representing              us with systems, software and databases     receipt.
RSLWA in the mediation round                  that will greatly enhance our ability to
concurred with our decision to accept.                                                    Over recent years RSLWA has been very
                                              keep track of clients and making sure
                                                                                          prudent in its financial management.
A downside is that we have to absorb our      they get what they need, wherever they
own costs which stand at the moment           are.                                        While we certainly are not impoverished
around $2.6 million. I must point out                                                     we do not have the luxury of
that to have gone to trial we faced an        Financial governance                        entertaining extravagant expenditures on
additional $1 million-plus in legal fees      issues in RSLNSW                            ‘nice to have’ items or activities.
and, should we have lost the case, we         It has been of great concern that the       Notwithstanding my above comment
would have had to bear the cost of up to      negative media reporting of alleged         about financial management, RSLWA
60 per cent of the legal costs of all four    inappropriate payment of director’s         has moved into a far more comfortable
defendants! With settlement the pain          fees that has occurred in RSLNSW,           financial situation. In light of this,
of legal fees is all but over; some minor     or more accurately RSL LifeCare,            I believe it appropriate that early in
fees will be incurred in the tidying up of    RSLNSW's aged care organisation. This       2017 I provide you with a report on the
the settlement documentation.                 could have a significant impact on the      direction your Board of Directors see
                                              generosity of donors in the fundraising     RSLWA travelling over the next few
Relationship DefenceCare                      and Remembrance Day Poppy Appeals           years.
WA & Volunteer Advocate/                      conducted by sub-branches around the
Welfare Officers                              state. Unfortunately the public generally   Being that time of the year, on behalf of
                                              do not differentiate between the various    all the Directors, Trustees and the staff
It concerns me that there is a perception,                                                I wish each and every one of you the
although I acknowledge there have             state branches and perceive the RSL as
                                              one homogenous organisation.                very best wishes for the Christmas/New
been some communications containing                                                       Year period and hope that 2017 brings
statements that have fuelled that             Another effect of these alleged lapses in   each one of you all that you wish for.
perception, that DefenceCare WA               financial management is the suspicion
has been established to replace, either       that such practices may be prevalent or     Take care through the festive season.
partially or totally, our network of          exist in other state branches.                                       Peter Aspinall
Listening DECEMBER 2016 Vol 39 - No 4 POST - We've moved - rslwa
The Listening Post DECEMBER 2016       9

Bits & Pieces...
It’s a new era for RSLWA
by CEO of RSLWA                              Committee – formed by the Board – to
John McCourt                                 plan ahead for construction of the new
                                             office development within which will
To say we’re living in interesting           be a new ANZAC Club for members to
times is an understatement for               gather as they have in the past.
RSL in Western Australia. There’s            Of course the new facility will provide
movement within the CBD and                  us with facilities to take advocacy and
throughout the State with our                welfare services to new level in close
newest RSL sub-branch chartered              collaboration with other ESOs in a more
                                             client-focused model of operation.                         John McCourt
in Chidlow.
                                             Also on the move is our electronic
As you read this article, the staff at       address. The HQ has been removed from         stakeholders and other RSL branches
ANZAC House will have moved to               our email and web addresses as you            throughout the country.
new temporary premises at Level 3, 66                                                      It’s going to be a busy few years ahead
                                             would have read in this edition.
St George’s Terrace – leaving behind a                                                     as we transition to a new era for us
now empty 2nd floor at ANZAC House           The feeling was that it did not accurately
                                                                                           all, including the establishment of a
which will soon face the wrecker’s           reflect what we do here at ANZAC
                                                                                           new initiative called the RSLWA 2020
hammer when our beloved ANZAC Club           House – old or new.
                                                                                           Foundation – an entity that will help
finally closes its doors before Christmas.   We have a dedicated and wonderful             build new streams of revenue which will
Amid the move, the RSLWA team                staff that exist to serve sub-branches        build on the fantastic support we have
here has been working closely with           and represent your best interests when        had in the past from the community,
the ANZAC House Redevelopment                doing business with a wide range of           government and the corporate sector.

 Battlefields          Tours
  we will remember them.
                                                                                   We’re here to
                                                                                                HELP
                                                                         Financial grants to Veterans, Widows,
                                                                       Dependents including ex-ADF and Serving
                                                                            Members in times of hardship.
                                                                         WESTERN AUSTRALIAN AGED
 INTERNATIONAL GUIDED                                                  SAILORS, SOLDIERS AND AIRMEN’S
     GROUP TOURS                                                             RELIEF FUND TRUST
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Listening DECEMBER 2016 Vol 39 - No 4 POST - We've moved - rslwa
10 The Listening Post DECEMBER 2016

Korean medal makes Eileen’s day
For Eileen Hanmer, the personal
presentation of a medal by the
Ambassador of the Republic of
Korea His Excellency Mr Kyoung-
ha Woo was particularly special.
That’s because it was awarded for the
service her father, Brian Charles Waller,
gave in the Korean War as a regular
Australian Army soldier. She never met
him.
“Dad was only 21 when he left for Korea
in 1953 – my mother was pregnant
with me when he left and I was only 14
months old when he died.”
PTE Waller died in Yokohama in a
drowning accident on July 25, 1954.
Eileen, an only child who lives in
Calista, visited his grave for the first
time in June 2013. Her mother died in
1983.
“I have all his medals at home. He was
transferring to the medical corp and
staying on in Japan as a peacemaker.
To me this was a very proud moment to
receive this medal on behalf of my Dad
and our family.”
It was also a special day for 10 other       Eileen Hanmer with the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea HE Mr Kyoung-ha Woo.
veterans or relatives of soldiers who
received the Ambassador’s Peace Medal.
They gathered in the Gallipoli Room
in ANZAC House for the last major
function in the building.
Amongst the recipients were cousins
Marianne Otway and Shane Otway.
They also received the medals on behalf
of their fathers – twins Brian and Norm
Otway who managed to survive the war.
The ceremony was held at ANZAC
House – one of the last major events
before the closure of the historic
building.
Air Force 25 SQN WOD Ian Griffiths
attended with his two nephews, Flynn
Griffiths and his brother LCPL Tasman
Griffiths of 16 RWAR. Flynn wore the
medals of Brian William John Griffiths,
who had a distinguished career in the
RAAF over more than 33 years.
Mr Woo addressed the veterans and their
families by saying the Peace Medals
were very special to him, as the son of
the Korean War veteran, as well as to
the Korean Government. He expressed
profound gratitude to the veterans for       Marianne Otway and Shane Otway who received medals on behalf of their late
their service.                                fathers – twins Brian and Norm Otway. Both managed to survive the war.
The Listening Post DECEMBER 2016        11

                                                                   Please forward Letters for The Listening Post to: johna@rslwa.org.au

Your Letters                                         or write to ‘The Editor of The Listening Post’ at PO Box 3023, East Perth WA 6892.
                                                                                  Please try to keep letters to a maximum of 150 words.

Helping to get jobs Last issue corrections
for our Veterans
                                                             re The Listening Post                I am a former member of 2 RAR/
                                                             Vol. 39 No. 3.                       NZ 69 to 73 and did the 2nd Tour.
                                                             In the above excellent edition,      It is interesting to read the 2 RAR
Each year some 5,500 ADF members leave the                   there are two corrections to         first tour book. This fine book
military and around 70 per cent do so to pursue an           be made. Cover pic of LTCOL          edited by MAJ Newman makes
alternative career.                                          Gruber names him as CO of 16         no mention of this activity at
The Australian Government has launched the Prime             Battalion RAR while this should      all, as I suspect it was organised
Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program with a               be 16 Battalion RWAR.                by B Coy CO without official
call to action for businesses across the country to                                               authority. Someone would have
                                                             The article on The Door Gunners,     a lot explaining to do if there
better harness the talents of our veterans.                  reads well but is not factually      had been a KIA of one of these
The Government will ensure our ADF personnel                 correct. These men each served       blokes.
are ready for their post-service careers by ensuring         for a period of around three                                Lloyd Young
no-one leaves the armed forces without all the               weeks each on a rotation of two at                            Katanning
necessary documentation, such as health and                  a time in the period of November     Editor: You are correct. The cover
training records, and providing more support and             1967 to February 1968: not           photo was not of LTCOL Eric
employment coaching. Any business interested in              four years as in the article. The    Gruber and his wife Melonie,
learning about the benefits of employing veterans            RANHFV certainly did but not         CO of 16 Battalion RWAR,
should email veteransemployment@dva.gov.au.                  the blokes from B Coy 2 RAR.         but his immediate predecessor
We can all play a part in raising awareness of the           On their website it mentions         LTCOL Rhogan Aitken and his
enormous potential and talent of our veterans.               only seven as serving as door        wife, Tania. We apologise for the
                                                             gunners and Kerry Pearce is not      error based on incorrect advice
                                     Dan Tehan MP            mentioned at all.                    we received.
                           Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Why no beds in planned ANZAC House?
As a member of a rural sub-branch I             distance, cost of travel, accommodation      Philip Orchard said on page 9, “We
would like to understand who, how, what         and parking.                                 have previously explored 12 options for
and why the decision was made to not            It is yet another pill to swallow and as     development of the site in four major
continue with the accommodation being           a result it is making me question my         groupings which ranged from local
included with the rebuild of ANZAC              membership with RSLWA?                       and government offices to commercial
House?                                                                                       offices and apartments and various
                                                I wonder does anyone else out there,         combinations of each. The hotel option
It is very mystifying how we as a sub-          particularly in the rural sub-branches       appeared likely to succeed at one point.
branch made the effort to complete              feel the same? And could RSL HQ              However, for various reasons – cost and
and return the questionnaire flyer              please explain?                              risk to name but two – RSLWA decided
sent from RSL HQ dated September                                                 A. Baker    on the smaller office option as the
3, 2015 requesting support for this                                                          preferred direction.”
accommodation and parking.                      State President Peter Aspinall
                                                comments: Thanks for your letter Anne-       I would emphasise that the excessive cost
The sub-branch had to be 'convinced'                                                         and the financial risk would have been
                                                Maree. As an Albany-based member,
to participate in what the experienced                                                       unacceptable to the general membership
                                                who frequently visits Perth, I empathise
members thought to be a pointless                                                            and were the main reasons for the
                                                with your comments about the proposed
exercise.                                                                                    decision to opt for the smaller building.
                                                building. Already the process has taken
Personally, I hightailed as far away from       several years and will take several          I am confident that members will be
the city and red tape as many before me         more. We were required by the State          proud of the new seven-storey ANZAC
have done upon finishing their service          Government to conduct a comprehensive        House, which will provide excellent
- perhaps in hindsight putting ourselves        business study into possible site uses       member facilities. I believe they will
at a disadvantage with not having access        before obtaining the freehold title on       appreciate the need to spend funds
to all the support that can be found            November 9. The outcome was reported         wisely in an era of economic uncertainty
there. One the hardest things about             in the September 2016 edition of The         and significant hotel development in
attending appointments in the city is the       Listening Post, when former CEO              Perth.
12 The Listening Post DECEMBER 2016

              A prominent and well-respected Vietnam veteran recently visited ANZAC House to deliver a
              warning about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most of his life he buried the problem
              but he encourages returning servicemen and younger veterans, particularly, to look out for
              symptoms and take action. As he explains, he doesn’t want to reveal his identity.
              His comments come as the Herald Sun claims its unofficial inquiries amongst serving
              military and veterans suggest as many as 50 ADF personnel have killed themselves this
              year, more than the 41 who died over 13 years in the Afghanistan conflict. If you need help,
              the VVCS operates a 24-hour service on 1800 011 046.

Don’t bury PTSD – as I did
Young veterans need to look out               had the exact same training as me. His     I was told then by a very insistent wife
for post-traumatic stress disorder            was Fremantle-based and we somehow         to do something about it.
(PTSD). Mine was diagnosed                    were able to organise a job swap. It was   PTSD was diagnosed in 2007.
in 2007; 42 years after a 'scare              absolutely unheard of to make the switch
                                              but we did. I came home to Perth.          Why did it take so long to diagnose?
charge' exploded beside me in
Vung Tau Harbour and triggered                I next had a problem when I was based      Was I in denial? Yes, yes, of course.
the illness.                                  in Sydney on another ship in 1972. I was   You don’t want to look like you’re a
                                              still single. One night I got so drunk I   wimp to your peers. I didn’t tell anyone
I was a 20 year-old marine engineer on        rang my mother and told her to get Dad     I had issues, because you’re a bloke.
board a converted aircraft carrier, down      to ring the ship and say my mother was     Most of us are the same.
in the bowels of the ship checking our        very ill and they needed me home… so       Were you worried about what friends
fire pumps and right beside the hull.         that’s what happened.                      would think?
There were no loudspeakers. The scare
charge – or hand grenade – had been                                                      Yes, and I still am; that’s why I’m
dropped the other side of the hull to              After I left the Navy                 reluctant to say who I am. I take
deter any underwater swimmers from                                                       medication and that’s what keeps me
attaching mines.
                                                   I had some issues                     level now. I know people who have been
It was an almighty explosion with shock            when working                          exposed to much more than me, PTSD
                                                                                         affects some and not others, it does not
waves right through the machinery                                                        discriminate.
space. I raced up ladders to a safer place.   I guess the Navy looked after me –
Once there I remember just sitting down       although I don’t think they ever knew      But my important message for veterans –
and shaking.                                  what state I was in. There was nothing     particularly those returning from recent
                                              at all on my medical records about         conflicts – is to try to recognise they
It gave me big trauma. I became fearful                                                  may have a problem and to get help.
and neglected some of my duties to            any stress-induced mental problems.
inspect engines and auxiliaries in            Nothing. And that’s over the whole of      You may be losing your sex drive; you
confined spaces. I had to fudge readings      my 12 years in the Navy – from 1961 to     can’t handle crowds; drink too much or
during the next few days of the visit and     1973.                                      you become angry at very minor things.
had guilt feelings for the neglect. I could   After I left the Navy I had some issues    You may not want to socialise.
tell no-one. Later, I began drinking          when working, particularly when my         I suffered very strong nightmares – not
heavily.                                      father was very sick and in 1992 I got     related to explosions – just difficulty in
Two years later, in 1967, I had my            in-house counselling. I had further        sleeping and waking up in the middle of
next major problem on my next vessel.         issues in 1996 when my Public Service      the night shouting.
One evening I got pretty drunk and            employment became too stressful to         My advice is: Get help. It’s readily
came back to ship in Sydney Harbour           continue. As a result I started my own     available. Speak to your peers.
and I jumped over the side. I don’t           company which did very well for the        Counselling is great for PTSD sufferers,
know whether it was a cry for help or         next 10 years.                             as you are able to go right back to the
attempted suicide. I don’t think that was     After I finished with the business in      source of the problems and discuss with
the case - I think I had just had enough.     2006, my wife and I travelled Australia    a person who is non-judgmental.
I was a single person and I had no            in a caravan for nine months. During
family in the Eastern States.                                                            For help with PTSD or other issues call
                                              this time I was left with making all       VVCS on 1800 011 046.
I was fished out of harbour by couple of      decisions on travel arrangements, this
people on ship. The very next morning I       became a major issue as I became very
approached a friend on another ship who       angry and aggressive a lot of the time.
The Listening Post DECEMBER 2016          13

‘Silent suffering’ concerns Governor
                                                                                           troops are confronted by apparently
                                                                                           ordinary citizens, including children,
      Remembrance                                                                          armed with explosives. The enemy is not
     DAY WA                                                                                always easily identified.
                                                                                           “The recent Senate report into the
                                                                                           mental health of Australian Defence
The silence at the Western Front                                                           Force (ADF) members and veterans
98 years ago reminds us that while                                                         states that (since 2000) more than
war officially came to an end, the                                                         100 ADF personnel are suspected or
suffering didn’t, the Governor of                                                          confirmed to have taken their own lives.
Western Australia, Her Excellency                                                          Forty seven of these had previously
the Honourable Kerry Sanderson                                                             deployed.
AC, said in her Remembrance Day                                                            “And the National Mental Health
address at the State War Memorial.                                                         Commission (NHMC) has noted that
                                                                                           ‘data released this year indicates that
“In this sense, I refer to the physical                                                    death by suicide (in Australia) has
injuries and the often silent suffering                                                    continued an upward trend and is at the
of mental illness, as well as the pain of                                                  highest rate in 10 years’.
those whose loved ones died or were
affected by illness,” she told a crowd of                                                  “When a person takes their own life it is
more than 2,000.                                                                           particularly devastating for the family,
                                                                                           friends, and colleagues of the deceased
Kings Park was one of more than 50                                                         member who worry how they could have
services held in WA on a day when            Laying a wreath on behalf of the people     helped more.”
the entire nation paused to remember          of Western Australia: the Governor of
all those who have died or suffered for       Western Australia, Her Excellency the        Mrs Sanderson welcomed RSLWA’s
Australia’s cause in wars and armed           Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC.               recent launch of DefenceCare in
conflicts.                                                                                 Western Australia to complement the
                                                                                           many volunteer welfare and advocacy
Nine buglers played the Last Post on        was recited by State President Peter           services throughout the State. She also
Perth CBD intersections.                    Aspinall.                                      welcomed RSLWA’s plans to build new
The main service at the State War           Mrs Sanderson paid tribute to all those        head offices in Perth and offer space
Memorial featured the traditional RAAF      who had suffered. She said it was              to other ex-service organisations to
fly past, the Last Post and Ode.            estimated that World War I left between        co-locate so that veterans can access
The service included the Churchlands        9 and 13 million dead - perhaps as many        all the services they need in the one
Senior High School Band and the             as one-third of them with no known             building.
official handover of keys to the State      grave.                                         “Our veterans need to be able to access
War Memorial crypt to the new Warden,       “In more recent conflicts, the pressures       the best support possible to overcome
WGCDR Christine Pittman. The Ode            of modern warfare have meant that our          these silent challenges.”

Tribute to those remarkable sub-wardens
The outgoing Warden of the State            years. This year we welcomed a new             Mr King handed over the keys to the
War Memorial, Peter King, has               sub-warden, Mrs Shirly Mooney to the           crypt to WGCDR Christine Pittman,
paid tribute to the remarkable              ranks.                                         who has served a total 37 years in the
dedication of the memorial’s sub-                                                          military. She said it was a great pleasure
                                            “Our Deputy Warden, Geoff Simpson,             and honour to accept the keys.
wardens.                                    OAM RFD has been critical to the
                                                                                           The Remembrance Day service is held
“Through rain, hail and very hot weather    success of the services held within the        adjacent to the Pool of Reflection, which
they each put themselves forward to         State War Memorial precinct. Geoff’s           Mr King reminded the crowd contains
demonstrate the importance of providing     knowledge of protocol and procedure,           waters from five oceans gathered by the
dignified and solemn commemorative          his rapport with organisers and his            Royal Australian Navy.
services for our veterans past and          complete support to the State Warden           The centrepiece four burners represent
present,” Mr King said in his address       is very highly regarded and recognised.        Navy, Army, Airforce and Women’s
during Remembrance Day.                     Thank you very much Geoff for the              Services and serves as a constant and
“Their commitment is amazing and            support that you have provided to me           permanent reminder of the cost of
each has been sub-wardens for many          over the past 12 months.”                      freedom.
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       6 Scheduled Services in line with the Scheduled Service Intervals.
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  ^Demonstrators      do not qualify  for retail  offer   of $1000   free genuine     accessories or  3 years  free   scheduled   servicing.  Accessory   special models   qualify for the following:    to Private   &  ABN    Buyers $1000   free genuine    accessories    on Farm  Mate  &  Tourmate     models,  $2000   free genuine   accessories  on  X Terrain.  PLUS 3  years free scheduled   servicing.
insurance, dealer delivery and statutory charges. Metallic/mica/pearl paint $450 extra. Only at Participating Isuzu UTE Dealers until 31/12/16 unless extended, varied or while stocks last. ++++3.0 tonne braked towing capacity on all MU-X models when fitted with a genuine Isuzu UTE tow bar kit. Model shown is MU-X TOUR MATE 4x4 LS-U AUTO at $48,990 Drive
Away. ^^^^5 years/130,000km whichever occurs first, for eligible customers. Excludes Isuzu UTE Genuine Accessories. ####Warranty for Isuzu UTE Genuine Accessories (including Alloy Bull Bar) fitted by an authorised Isuzu UTE Dealer at the point of sale of a new Isuzu UTE vehicle are covered for 3 years/100,000km whichever occurs first. >>>>The Capped
Price Servicing Program (“CPS Program”) applies to Eligible Vehicles with a Warranty Start Date after 1 January 2015 at Participating Isuzu UTE Dealers only. The CPS Program covers the first 6 Scheduled Services in line with the Scheduled Service Intervals. CPS Prices are subject to change. For full terms & conditions and current pricing visit isuzuute.com.au/
service-plus. ^Demonstrators do not qualify for retail offer of $1000 free genuine accessories or 3 years free scheduled servicing. Accessory special models qualify for the following: to Private & ABN Buyers $1000 free genuine accessories on Farm Mate & Tourmate models, $2000 free genuine accessories on X Terrain. PLUS 3 years free scheduled servicing.
The Listening Post DECEMBER 2016                 15

Veterans’ centre for RSLWA
Younger veterans are set to                                                                    overseas in warlike and non-warlike
benefit from construction of a                                                                 conflicts since the East Timor conflict in
                                                                                               1999. Most of these men and women are
'veterans centre' on the site of                                                               aged between 25 and 50.
ANZAC House in Perth.
                                                                                               Veterans' Minister Joe Francis said there
The new $23 million centre will                                                                was a perception that the median age
still be officially known as ANZAC                                                             of veterans in WA was going up. The
House and will accommodate RSLWA                                                               reverse was the truth with many younger
administrative staff.                                                                          veterans now living here.
However, it will also have a wider role                                                        Mr Francis said RSLWA would
of providing a one-stop shop for veterans                                                      contribute $15 million toward the new
and serving personnel.                                                                         building project and would seek the
                                                                                               remaining $8 million from Lotterywest.
More than 50 ex-service organisations
operating in WA will be invited to                                                             Premier Colin Barnett said WA had done
co-locate or have representatives in the                                                       itself immensely proud in recognising
new building.                                                                                  and supporting veterans.
ANZAC House will be demolished                                                                 During the past few years events had
next year. Most head office staff have                                                         included the re-enactment of the
relocated to temporary offices at Level                                                        departure of two troop convoys from
3, 66 St Georges Terrace.                                                                      Albany during WWI, the construction
                                                                                               of the National Anzac Centre and
The ANZAC Club will close its doors on                                                         improvements at Mt Clarence, and the
December 21.                                   Architect Kym MacCormac says the              visit to Perth of the ANZAC-themed
Construction of the new centre will take        proposed seven-storey replacement of           marionettes the Giants, which drew 1.5
three to four years and rise to seven           ANZAC House is essentially an office           million people to city streets early last
storeys, with a basement underneath.            building which provides a function area        year.
                                                and coffee shop at the ground level. On
On November 9, Premier Colin Barnett,           level one a function room will be able to      “The land transfer is one of a number
Veterans' Minister Joe Francis and              seat 200 for national conventions and          of Liberal National Government
State President Peter Aspinall signed           receptions. Three floors will be available     contributions made in recognition of the
a Heads of Agreement guaranteeing               for allied organisations and commercial        ANZAC centenary commemorations,”
the RSL freehold title to the land on           tenants. Two floors will house RSL staff       he said. “ANZAC House land alone is
which ANZAC House currently sits on             and its executive. The RSL badge on top        valued at $3.36 million.
the corner of St Georges Tce and Irwin          is flanked by twin flag poles.                 “In total, the State Government
Street, as well as vacant land on the                                                          contributed nearly $30 million for
western side of the building. The new                                                          the commemorations, including $15.8
centre will much wider than the existing      “RSLWA is taking a customer-focused,
                                              ESO-centric approach to serve those              million for the National ANZAC Centre
ANZAC House.                                                                                   and centenary events in Albany.”
                                              who matter most – the veterans - and
“This welcome decision by the                 have the client at the centre of service         Both Mr Barnett and Mr Aspinall paid
government paves the way for us to            delivery by ESOs which bring an                  tribute to the former State President of
develop a new modern building that            excellent and proactive range of services        RSLWA Graham Edwards for his vision
will help us to revolutionise services to     and support initiatives.                         in initiating the return of the freehold
ex-service men and women and their                                                             title to the RSL.
families,” Mr Aspinall said at the official   “There is an ideal opportunity for
signing of a Heads of Agreement.              RSLWA to act as the enabler to bring             Mr Aspinall also thanked former CEO
                                              together other ESOs to add value to the          Philip Orchard and ANZAC House
“Currently there are more than 50                                                              manager Matthew Holyday for their
                                              significant and valuable services they
separate organisations in WA supporting                                                        work.
                                              already provide.
veterans and serving personnel.
                                              “Our vision is to bring those services           FOOTNOTE: RSLWA surrendered the
“We are committed to making a real                                                             freehold title to the existing property when
                                              together under one roof to – in effect
difference in how services are provided                                                        the Law Courts complex was built. The
                                              – do things better together. This land
by working closely and collaboratively                                                         site for ANZAC House was provided on
with as many ex-service organisations         transfer means we can build new offices
                                              and open the doors to what is currently a        a leasehold basis and the current ANZAC
(ESOs) as possible to provide                                                                  House was opened in 1981.
coordinated support for those who need        fragmented service-delivery sector.”
assistance – whoever they are, whatever       In WA, there are an estimated 7,000 to
they need.                                    10,000 veterans who have been deployed
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