Report on the RARA’s 2018 AGM and National Council Meeting

The RAR Association’s AGM and the annual National Council Meeting were conducted in Townsville on 7 and 8 October. All State and Battalion Associations were present. It is interesting to note that the Associations which represent the Battalions no longer on the Order of Battle are generally still strong (2/4 RAR, 4RAR, 5/7RAR, 8 RAR and 9 RAR).

Mike von Berg is the Chair of the National Board and the Directors are Ted Chitham, who is also our hard working secretary, Hori Howard, Pat McIntosh, Trevor Dixon, who is our web master and Phil Thompson who represents our young volunteers. Mike and Phil were re-elected for a further three year term.

It was noted that the RAR Association is highly regarded in national circles. Mike is a member of the Ex Service Organisations Round Table (ESORT) which advises the Federal Government on veterans’ policy. He is also the ESORT’s representative on the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health and has recently been appointed to the Strategic Governance Board of the Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) .Phil Thompson represents us on the DVA’s Younger Veterans – Contemporary Needs Forum (YVF) and Clem Russell, our national pensions and compensation advisor, is a member of the DVA Operations Working Party.

Guest speakers were The Hon Darren Chester, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel, Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC and deputy leader of the House, Major General Mark Kelly, who is the Repatriation Commissioner as well as the Colonel Commandant of the Royal Australian Regiment and Ms Liz Cosson, the new Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. They updated us on what is occurring at national level within the Government, DVA and the Regiment.

Some significant items were:

  • A veteran is now someone who has served for one day.
  • A White Card medical treatment card for mental health issues is now available to anyone who has had one day’s full-time military service.
  • DVA now has details of all those who have served. This will permit quicker responses to claims.
  • 40 medical conditions have been added to the list which requires no additional evidence during the disability claims process.
  • VVCS will be renamed “Open Arms” which is expected to emphasise that it is open to all.

All Associations presented their reports. The main theme was the need to attract younger veterans to our associations. It was reaffirmed that our policy is that those leaving the service should as a matter of priority join their Battalion Associations, but if there happens not to be an active Association in their home state, they should join the State Association so that they can still continue to be members of the RAR family. It was also confirmed that those Associations which had close links with the serving Battalions were the strongest. This is seen as the best way to get through to those leaving the service. RARA support is available to all who have served in the Regiment and their families.

The Queensland Branch of the RAR National Association which manages the RAR National Memorial Walk, presented their report on the RAR Memorial. The Walk, which is located within Enoggera Barracks, is an outstanding tribute to our fallen. It is maintained by RAR volunteers, the Queensland Branch of our Association and serving units from 7 Brigade . The Walk is well worth a visit to anyone who is in Brisbane but patience is required to gain entry to Enoggera Barracks due to the current security level.

There were many items on the RARA’s NCM agenda including the following:

  • Suicide and self-harm – critical group assessment and assistance.
  • Homeless veterans – solutions.
  • Future of the National Memorial Walk.
  • The future of advocacy including delivery.
  • The Productivity Commission inquiry into DVA.
  • Indexation of pensions and superannuation.
  • Incarcerated veterans. Statistics and support.
  • Defence or partnership hub test for those leaving the ADF.
  • Soldier Recovery Program.
  • Transition of ADF families.
  • Conditions of Service including the Workplace Remuneration Arrangements.
  • The need for a Military Covenant between the Government and the ADF.

Issues which were reported on and  discussed included the following:

  • The status and future of the upgrading service at RCB to warlike service.
  • RAR MIAs from the Korean War.
  • The need for a day to commemorate the service of contemporary  veterans.
  • The award of a medal for those wounded in action.
  • The need for our Associations and members to provide feedback on matters requiring advocacy.
  • The need for Associations to be active in the social media space.
  • Mental Health- transition – suicide – employment.
  • Well-being.
  • Veterans Support Organisations “fostered” by the RARA

With the Federal election not too far away we will be working to put together a short list of key issues which we alone and with The Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO) will put forward to the major parties. We will engage with our Associations in this task and we will ask that they will join us in putting them before their local candidates.

Just some of the contemporary issues are:

  • The exclusion of  the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (trustees of our military superannuation schemes) from the Royal Commission into misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial services industry.
  • The fact that TPI and Special Rate disability compensation payments have not kept up with the cost of living.
  • Superannuation matters including Fair Indexation for all military superannuation payments, MSBS portability and access to employer benefits, removal of MSBS Maximum Benefit Limits and DFRDB Commutation
  • Mental health and Veterans’ suicide.
  • Transition including employment post military service.
  • Support and care for members and former members of the ADF who were involved in the Quinoline anti-malarial drug ‘trial’

The importance of communications in achieving our strategic directions (outlined in our Road Map) was a major topic for discussion. The key priorities determined were to open up membership to all former and current members of the RAR and their families and to enable a simplified, seamless, digital communications network that will allow us to engage with our members.

The weekend was rounded off by a visit to 1 RAR where we witnessed an imaginative program designed to improve marksmanship and urban warfare tactics.

The 2019 meeting is planned for Adelaide.

 

 

The RAR Foundation Bulletin – Issue No 36 – October 2018

From the Chairman Major General Mark Kelly AO DSC

2018 has been a big year for the Foundation. The New Direction for the Foundation was launched with its emphasis on supporting the development of the Regiment and its serving members.
READ THE BULLETIN

The Royal Australian Regiment 70 years Young – Happy Birthday Greetings

To the RAR Family of current and past serving soldiers and their families greetings from the RAR Colonel Commandant Major General Mark Kelly AO DSC  and the Regimental Colonel Brigadier Jason Blain DSC CSC  on our 70th Anniversary.

 

Read Mark Kelly’s Message    Download

Read Jason Blain’s Message   Download

RAR Association (WA Branch) Regimental Dinner, Saturday the 24th November 2018 – Perth

The Secretary of the RAR Association WA Branch, Jack Babbage  extends an invitation to all RAR present and past serving persons to attend the RAR Regimental Dinner (70th Anniversary), to be celebrated commencing at 6 pm on Saturday the 24th November 2018, at the Grosvenor Hotel, Perth.

This is a great opportunity to keep the Regimental spirit alive  in WA with friends and fellow warriors.
“The spirit, which grows up in a Battalion (Regiment) when it has been welded together into a true fighting unit, is a comradeship almost spiritual in its strength and intensity. It springs from hardships shared equally, risks run by all in common and its power exceeds most of the emotions that an ordinary man will ever know. The care of soldiers for one another, their sure and calm dependence on each other are hard to understand by anyone who has not known it.”       Osmar White Australian War Correspondent

For details contact Jack Babbage on (08) 9349 0826 or by email [email protected]

Duty First

 

Royal Australian Regiment 70th Anniversary Events: 23rd November 2018

The Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) will celebrate its 70th anniversary with events in Canberra on 23 November 2018, including a parade open to the public to be conducted at the Australian War Memorial.
All serving and ex-serving members of the RAR, their family and friends, as well as ADF members and the public are warmly invited to attend these events :
70th Anniversary Parade.
A parade featuring the Queen’s and Regimental Colours of all Battalions of the RAR and a Guard from the 8/9th Battalion RAR supported by RAR Pipes and Drums and the RMC Band will be conducted on the Australian War Memorial parade ground commencing at 1530 h. His Excellency the Governor General of Australia, will be the Reviewing Officer for the Parade. For those wishing to attend in uniform, dress is Dress 1B (Ceremonial Service Dress)
Last Post Ceremony.
In acknowledging those members of the RAR who died during their service, the Last Post Ceremony will remember the life and sacrifice of Corporal Kevin Cooper from 2 RAR, who was Killed In Action on 26 July 1953 during the Battle of Samichon in the Korean War.

All serving and ex-serving members of the RAR and their families and friends are invited to attend the Ceremony commencing at 1700 h. Please be in place by 1650 h.

Jason Blain
Brigadier
Head of Corps
Royal Australian Infantry
Contact officer: BRIG Simon Gould
RAR 70th Lead Coordinator
Telephone: 0437 715 642
Email: [email protected]

Vale – Colonel Wayne John Lynch

We are saddened to report the passing of  Wayne Lynch

He enlisted into the Regular Army in 1971 and served initially as a rifleman in 1 RAR. He was selected for and attended the Officer Cadet School Portsea, graduating in December 1972. From rifleman, Wayne rose in rank to Colonel over his 38 years’ service in the Regular Army and the Army Reserve.

Wayne had a wide range of appointments over the years, including company command in 3 RAR and 6 RAR, CO RURQ, CO QUR, and Commandant of LWC SQ.

On his transfer into the Army Reserve in 1994, Wayne took up a public service appointment with DVA where he was employed in the Rehabilitation and Compensation area in the Brisbane office.

He retired from DVA in March 2013 and was later appointed as a Member of the Veterans` Review Board located in Brisbane.

Wayne’s life will be celebrated at the Lakeview Chapel, Albany Creek Memorial Park at 11 am on Monday the 17th of September 2018. Ex-service members are requested to wear medals. In lieu of flowers, the Lynch family request a donation is made to Legacy Australia. Following the service, the family will be hosting a wake at the the Lynch family home in Everton Park.

Rest in Peace Wayne

Your Duty is Done

RARA QLD – E News – August 2018

RARA QLD has launched its new E News  which replaces The Spirit Newsletter as the major communication means. It will be a released monthly. All contributing articles will be gratefully received

This August edition features the AGM and our new President Dave McDonald and the Management Committee.

READ MORE

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.

Happy Fathers Day

To all the military Dad’s currently serving, at home or away, and veterans our best wishes to YOU for a HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

 

Commemorating the Service of Malaya and Borneo Veterans

Malaya and Borneo Veterans’ Day, today recognises Australian military personnel who served in two historical campaigns – the Malayan Emergency (1948–1960), and the Indonesian Confrontation, or Konfrontasi, (1962–1966).

 

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester today encouraged Australians to reflect on the service and sacrifice of those who served during these post-Second World War conflicts in Malaya and on Borneo.

“The Malayan Emergency was declared on 18 June 1948, following the Malayan Communist Party launching an insurgency against British colonial rule,” Mr Chester said.
“Australia’s military became involved in 1950 and served in the Emergency until its official end in 1960, however, some units remained in Malaya until 1963.
“I encourage all Australians to pause and reflect on our 13 years in Malaya, and to recognise how our personnel from the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force played a key role in bringing the long-running insurgency to an end.”
The Indonesian Confrontation began in 1962 when Indonesian forces launched attacks on the newly federated state of Malaysia. Australian forces became involved two years later.
“The British led response to the Confrontation included the deployment of various elements of the three Australian armed services,” Mr Chester said.
“Australian and other Commonwealth troops proved themselves during the Confrontation as professionally adaptable to the challenges of conducting successful small scale operations in the thickly forested terrain of Borneo, experiences that would prove useful in the Vietnam War.”
“Today we should reflect on the Australian service personnel who served in the Malayan Emergency and Indonesian Confrontation, and pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”