Travellers can get cheaper deals on hotels: ACCC

Online travel booking websites may save you a lot of money, but there’s a way to save even more on accommodation and it involves ‘older’ technology.

Travellers using accommodation aggregators such as Booking.com, Hotels.com, Priceline.com and Expedia can get cheaper deals on rooms simply by making a phone call, says Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chair Rod Sims.

“There’s a very good chance you’ll get a much better price than you are seeing online,” Mr Sims told Guardian Australia. “A very good chance.”

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Retreat for Veterans Gets DVA Funding Boost

A former soldier , Roger Dwyer, who assists returned service personnel in recovering from post traumatic stress disorder will be able to make major improvements to his Camp Gregory Veterans Retreat because of a $20,000 DVA Community Services grant.

Information Benefit for ADF, DFWA and Ex-service men and women in SE QLD and Northern NSW

Australia Zoo to give something back to Veterans and ADF members as part of Federal MP’s initiative

As we celebrate Veterans Health Week, Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace has announced a collaboration with Australia Zoo which will see current and former ADF personnel  enjoy a free visit to the popular tourist attraction.

Dubbed the Sunshine Coast Veterans Day, Mr Wallace has worked with local veterans groups and with the Zoo to make entry to Australia Zoo free for card holding veterans and current ADF personnel as well as their partners on 11 October 2018.

Mr Wallace said “Our service men and women put their lives on the line to keep Australians safe. We all owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude, and I am determined to do what I can as your Federal Member of Parliament to give something back. We know that getting out and doing something fun with mates who understand your service can make a big difference to the mental health of current and former service men and women. That’s what Sunshine Coast Veterans Day at Australia Zoo is all about.”

Veterans and current personnel will simply have to show their ADF ID, White or Gold Card to get free all day entry to the Zoo. Australia Zoo is one of the country’s best known wildlife attractions, with more than 1,200 animals and a wide variety of exhibits and experiences to enjoy.

Wes Mannion, Director of Australia Zoo said “Australia Zoo has a long history of supporting our veterans and their spouses and we’re looking forward to welcoming our local service men and women and giving them a great day at the biggest and best wildlife conservation facility in the entire world!”

The initiative is part of a series of activities Mr Wallace has pursued on the Sunshine Coast to support local service men and women. These include his Sunshine Coast Veterans Forum, held in August with Senator Jim Molan, and his Fisher Defence Industry Initiative which, among other objectives, aims to generate greater employment opportunities for former service men and women through the development of a local defence industry. Mr Wallace has also advocated in Canberra for additional Commonwealth support for former ADF personnel to undertake tertiary education.

Mr Wallace said “We have 15,000 veterans living here on the Sunshine Coast, and as a community we should do all we can to show them how much we value their contribution. I am very grateful to Australia Zoo for coming on board and demonstrating how committed they are to our local community and to honouring our service men and women. I can’t wait to meet many more of them on the day.”

For more information, contact the Office of Andrew Wallace MP on (07) 5493 5556 or [email protected].

John Lowis
President
Defence Force Welfare Association (QLD Branch)
Victoria Barracks Brisbane

Nutrition Key Theme for Veterans’ Health Week 2018

NUTRITION is the theme of the over 140 events and activities being held during Veterans’ Health Week 2018, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester MP said today.

“Proper nutrition is vital for all of us to lead healthier lives. We know that good nutrition leads to improved health and wellbeing, which plays a major role in helping veterans achieve better lifestyle outcomes. When we eat better, we feel better and we are much healthier and happier,” Mr Chester said.

“Veterans’ Health Week, which starts today, is a fantastic opportunity for the public to support and attend the many different events and activities all over the country to positively engage with veterans and their families to promote the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.

“There are over 140 fun, interactive and educational events scheduled across the country this year such as the Sunshine Coast RSL’s cooking masterclass with celebrity chef Matt Golinski, the Darwin RSL’s tri-service long table cook-off, and the Vietnam Veterans’ Association’s Nutrition Expo in Melbourne.

”Other events include the Salisbury RSL in Adelaide’s veterans two-course cooking competition, the Armadale RSL in Western Australia’s ‘How to eat cheaper but better’ cooking expo, and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Sydney office’s ‘Bike N Blend’ pedal-powered healthy smoothie making event.”

In addition, DVA’s National Dietetic Adviser – Assistant Professor Tara Diversi, has created a series of nutritious, healthy, delicious and easy to make recipes to help veterans, their families and everyone else enjoy the benefits of healthy eating–available on DVA’s website and Facebook page.

“I urge everyone to get involved in Veterans’ Health Week events organised by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), Ex-Service organisations and community groups across the country to make the week a success.,” Mr Chester said.

“These events are all about assisting veterans and their families to live happy, healthy and active lives. The Government is committed to the ongoing care of those who have served our country and supporting Veterans’ Health Week is one of the ways we do this.”

Veterans’ Health Week runs from Saturday 22 September to Sunday 30 September 2018.

The full list of Veterans’ Health Week recipes, events and activities can be found on the DVA website: dva.gov.au/veterans-health-week

22 September 2018

The Royal Australian Regiment – 70th Anniversary Celebrations

The Royal Australian Regiment will be a focus of activities in Canberra 22-23 Nov 18 to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Regiment.


Past and serving members of the regiment, together with supporters of the regiment are invited to a number of events:

Thu 22 Nov 18.

Regimental style dinner at the Canberra Institute of Technology restaurant.

Guided tours of the AWM with a Regimental focus.

Battalion or State/Territory Associations may wish to hold functions in Canberra – AGM’s, lunches etc

Fri 23 Nov 18

Primary activity is a parade on the Australian War Memorial (AWM) Parade Ground from 1530hr, involving all the colours of the battalions of the regiment, a guard found from 8/9 RAR and a ‘massed band’ of regimental pipes and drums of 8/9 RAR and the RMC band. Of interest, it is anticipated that all of the battalion colours will have ‘new’ battle honours emblazoned on them.

This will be followed by the Last Post ceremony, where a soldier of the regiment will be remembered.

A reception in Anzac hall will be held from 1830-2030hr. A separate invitation list will be advised shortly.

It will be a great opportunity for former and current serving members of the Regiment, together with family and friends, to celebrate this important milestone and remember the sacrifice of those who have gone before them.

Place these dates in your diary and keep an eye out for more details to be made available in early September.

Have you any unwanted ADF Buttons?

Valley Veterans: What Vietnam Veterans Day means to those who served

·        Mick Birtles DSC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldiers returning from the Vietnam War look on as a protester covered in red paint interrupts the welcome home parade in Sydney in 1966. Photo by Noel Stubbs, Fairfax Media.

Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War continued longer than any other conflict of the twentieth century.  Beginning as a small commitment in 1962 and concluding in 1975.

Approximately 60,000 Australian’s served in Vietnam with the loss of 500 lives and over 3000 wounded. There was little opposition to our participation in the early years, however this changed as perception grew that the war was being lost and conscripts were increasingly being deployed, killed and wounded.

For many of those returning from Vietnam the public anger regarding this country’s involvement in the conflict was personal. Many were shunned and disrespected by elements within the community.

Through the efforts of Vietnam Veterans and their families, the public conscience eventually came to understand that these men and women had been in Vietnam on the direction of their government and were doing their duty. As an act of national recognition, in 1987 Prime Minister Bob Hawke declared the 18th of August each year would be known as Vietnam Veterans Day.

Accepted and respected

There are many Vietnam Veterans who call the Mid North Coast home and I have spoken to a few to get their thoughts on Vietnam Veterans Day.

Mr Wayne Mason of Stuarts Point, a former National Serviceman served in Vietnam as an Infantry soldier. He considers this day is a time to remember all of those who served and did their duty, irrespective of their views on the conflict.

Mr Bill Shepherd of Nambucca Heads, says he does not think back fondly on his time there but remembers those who were killed in action.

 Mr Bill Shepherd in Vietnam during the war and today at home in Nambucca Heads.

Mr Brian Duncan OAM of Nambucca Heads, served in Vietnam with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR), on the first large deployment of combat troops to Vietnam. He says this day provides comfort to many veterans as it demonstrates they are now accepted and respected by the Australian public.

Each of the three Veterans had a different experience on their return to Australia. Mr Mason recalls arriving back in Australia very late at night and generally being shielded from public view, possibly to avoid protesters.

Mr Shepherd remembers being shunned by one RSL Sub Branch on one occasion as the ‘old and bold’ did not consider Vietnam a war, then being overwhelmingly welcomed by another RSL Sub Branch.

During a welcome home parade for 1 RAR in 1966, Mr Duncan was witness to the much-documented actions of a young lady covering herself with red paint and smearing it on the battalion’s commanding officer.

 Mr Brian Duncan (second from the front) looks on as a protester covered in red paint interrupts the welcome home parade in Sydney in 1966. Photo by Noel Stubbs, Fairfax Media and Mr Duncan OAM at home in Hyland Park, Nambucca Heads.

In response to a question I posed to these gentleman regarding their advice to veterans returning to Australia from recent conflicts, their response was similar.

They recommend accepting any help available, that is intended to assist with integration back into the community, to understand there is help for you and to trust your judgement.

Mr Duncan added it is important not to lose contact with your mates who had been through the experience with you, as it is often they who can best understand issues you may be having and be able to lend a helping hand.

Nambucca Valley commemorations

For the Nambucca Valley the 2018 Vietnam Veterans Day Commemorations will be held at Stuarts Point. The service will begin at 11am (gathering at 10:45 am), August 18, 2018 at the Memorial on the corner of Ocean Avenue and Marine Parade, followed by lunch at the Stuarts Point Bowling Club.

About the author: Mick Birtles is a recently retired army officer now living in Nambucca Heads. During his 36-year career, Birtles served in Bougainville, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for command and leadership. Here he shares his interest in the issues effecting veterans on the Mid North Coast.

Veterans Race Day – Kilcoy 18th August

The Kilcoy Race club invites you to participate in  the Veterans’ Race Day which will feature the running of the Butler McDermott Lawyers Vietnam Veterans Cup and supported by five other gallop races, three grass Harness paces and three Mini Trots.

A ceremony will be held prior to the first gallop race.

FREE ADMISSION for all.

Enjoy the Day

ADFA Open Day 2018

ADFA’s Open Day will be held on Saturday, 25 August 2018 from 9.00 am until 4.00 pm on Northcott Drive in Campbell, ACT. It is your chance to see a range of exciting displays by the Navy, Army and Air Force and learn everything you need to know about life at ADFA.

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NAIDOC – Honouring the service and sacrifice of Indigenous service women

MINISTER for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said today that the 2018NAIDOC Week theme of ‘because of her, we can’, is the perfect opportunity to recognise the service and sacrifice of all those Indigenous women who have served the country in uniform.

“Indigenous Australians have made significant contributions to Australia’s military history from the Boer War through to present day conflicts.
“Like their male counterparts, Indigenous women have also made a significant contribution to the defence of the nation through their service,” Mr. Chester said.
“It is difficult to say just how many Indigenous women have served as records of enlistment did not specify ethnicity.
“However, it is known, that Indigenous women served and continue to serve their country with great honour and pride in a range of operations including war, disaster relief, peacekeeping, border protection and emergency defence assistance.
“Some of the Indigenous women who have served in uniform include poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal, a proud Minjerribah woman who enlisted in the Australian Women’s Army Service in December 1942.
“Another is Marj Tripp, a Ramindjeri Elder who was the first Indigenous member of the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service.
“Yet another is Lorraine Hatton, a Quandamooka woman who at the time of her service, was the only Indigenous woman in the Army to hold the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2.
“As Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, it makes me incredibly proud to represent all Australians who have served; especially during NAIDOC Week, when we salute those Indigenous Australians who have donned the uniform and celebrate their achievements, culture, and history,” Mr. Chester said.
Read more about Indigenous service here. (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that photographs on this page may contain images of deceased persons which may cause sadness and distress.