Listening DECEMBER 2016 Vol 39 - No 4 POST - We've moved - rslwa
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Listening DECEMBER 2016 Vol 39 - No 4 POST THE CENTENNIAL EDITIONS 2014-18 We've moved Level 3, 66 St Georges Tce Perth The Official Journal of The Returned & Services League of Australia WA Branch Incorporated
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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: email@example.com 6 HMAS Sydney 75th Anniversary to temporary offices Advertising: Royceton Hardey in Perth. Next year, 7-8 From the President’s Pen Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org get to do it again in 2017. 65 Crossword and Sudoku Community Support: Rosalind Howat 66 Last Post email@example.com (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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
The Listening Post DECEMBER 2016 5 years Telephone: 9287 3714, Email: email@example.com 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.
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.
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.
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
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 • GALLIPOLI & TURKEY web: www.rslwahq.org.au/Our-Services/ • THE SOMME & FLANDERS Financial-Assistance-Trust-Fund.aspx • VIETNAM - LONG TAN Contact the Administrator: • OMAHA & BATTLEFIELD EUROPE Rosalind Howat on 9287 3707 • KOREAN DEMILITARIZED ZONE $194,161.47 DISTRIBUTED IN 2015 • BURMA THAILAND RAILWAY 1800 673 337 madeeasytours.com.au www.rslwa.org.au
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com. 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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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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