Lofty Wendt is finally at rest after a long and gallant battle with cancer.  He had been looking forward to marching at the 50th Long Hai Day Commemorative Service in February this year, his towering presence will be missed.

16663 Kevin Stanley (Lofty) WENDT OAM,BEM. served 28 years in the Army in various units and ended his career in July 1990 as the WO1 RSM of the Army. He served in both Malaysia and Vietnam with 8RAR and was wounded on 10 July 1970 in Vietnam.

Lofty’s Funeral is to be conducted at Biggerden on Fri 07 Feb 2020, at 11.00am. location TBC, however, Biggenden is a small place it will be easy to find.

FUNERAL SVC: It will be a MIlitary Funeral Service be conducted by 8/9 RAR Padre.

BUS: 8/9 RAR Assn is proposing to provide a bus with toilet with a capacity for 55 pax at $35 PH if numbers reduce cost PH will go up.

It is intended that the bus ETD Enoggera Station 0600/6.00AM via Albany Creek Pub and at Caboolture BP servo northbound Bruce H/Way

If you want to use the bus please advise ASAP to Greg Decker [email protected] or 0417 464 251

IF we don’t get the numbers confirmed by No Later Than Tue 04 Feb, then there will be no bus


MAJ Laurie Hall passed away on 18 January from complications following an operation.

Laurie’s funeral Mass will be at OLR Catholic Church, Kenmore on Thursday, 23rd January commencing at 1100 hours.

Known as “The Scarlet Lanyard” by his OCS Class Jun 57, gallant Laurie Hall was very proud of the unit citation awarded to 3RAR as a consequence of the battles for Coral and Balmoral in which he was involved.

He retired from the Army after 24 years Regular Army service followed by 5 years service in the CMF (now the Army Reserve). He was known for stating that “all I did was follow the motto ‘Duty First’ of my regiment – The Royal Australian Regiment – and do my duty.”

 Laurie was the Secretary to the Group led by Murray Blake that established the RAR NMW as we see it today, Secretary of the Kenmore-Moggill RSL Sub-branch for 12 years, as well as many other appointments within the veteran and wider community.

The Regimental Ode









“Lest we Forget.”

Bushfire crisis – DVA support for veterans and their families

Dear ESORT members

The impact of the bushfires is being felt across the nation, including by members of the veteran and defence communities. Health and safety is the priority during this time, and we encourage Australians to listen to the experts on updates on conditions and how to be prepared.

The ABC, as the national broadcaster, provides up-to-date information on all alerts and warnings

Further information, often live, is also available on a range of state and territory government websites.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is providing support to veterans and their families wherever possible, and it is important that members of the veteran and defence communities are aware that they can access a range of services, including the following:

·       The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment – one-off financial assistance to eligible Australians adversely affected by the bushfires. For more information on eligibility, and how to claim, visit the Department of Human Services website or call 180 22 66.

·       Defence Service Homes Insurance – To lodge a claim or for assistance please contact 1300 552 662 or visit the Defence Service Homes Insurance website.

·       Open Arms counselling support (24/7) – veterans and their families requiring emergency counselling support can call 1800 011 046.

·       Crisis payments – a one-off payment to financially assist eligible people following a range of defined circumstances. For information about the crisis payments and eligibility please read Factsheet IS121 – Crisis Payments

·       Other assistance – DVA’s Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) can be contacted on 1800 555 254 to assist with a wide range of issues, including replacement of aids and appliances, ensuring availability of pharmaceuticals, and arranging transportation to medical appointments. 

If any other services or support you receive from the Department are impacted by the fires, or if you need extra support in requesting these services, you can call 1800 555 254 for assistance.

Mark Cormack

Acting Secretary

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

3 January 2020

My Toast to The Regiment

The well aimed shot, the instinctive kill,
Return the same intrinsic thrill.
To see it twitch then lie quite still,
Was once the measure of our skill.
So, being alive and because we can,
Let’s raise our glass to the fighting man
Of The Royal Australian Regiment.

(all stand and with raucous voice)
Tip your glass e’n when your old and roar back down the table.
Boast and glare, give back the stare, for you, sir, have been able
To cut and thrust, to fire and move, to prove yourself in might,
To show that you enjoyed the gore and carnage of the fight.
So, being alive and because we can,
Let’s raise our glass to the fighting man
Of The Royal Australian Regiment.

(pass the beer from hand to hand while this is said)
Ah! Here’s the horn of plenty. Drink from it deep without a fuss,
Then bone the bard – but not too hard – would you believe he’s one of us?
That Viking fought at Maldon which, ’tis said, was quite a brawl.
And be careful with that legionnaire he’s just got back from Gaul.
So, being alive and because we can,
Let’s raise our glass to the fighting man
Of The Royal Australian Regiment.

A toast to those who enjoyed their war,
But never dwell on “things” they saw,
Who gain a quiet satisfaction
When thinking of themselves in action.
So, being alive and because we can,
Let’s raise our glass to the fighting man
Of The Royal Australian Regiment.

Mick Shave

Duty First Magazine goes Digital

A PDF version of the First 2019 edition of Duty First is available if you click here, You can also access the flipbook link for the interactive online version here.

Uber offers war veterans and their spouses the chance to drive for uberX commission free for three months

Article by Ian McPhedran


RENEGADE ride sharing firm Uber will partner with military veterans under a unique deal to be unveiled today.


Veterans or their spouses who sign up as drivers on the uberX platform before December 31 this year will pay no commission for the first three months.

That would save a person driving for 50 hours-a-week hundreds of dollars in fees each week.

Uber charges drivers a 20 per cent commission on all fares booked using its apps.

The deal is supported by the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) Association, Australia’s largest defence discounts directory APOD and Enabled Employment.

Ride sharing is seen by many veterans as an ideal way to integrate into the civilian workforce following a military career.

President of the Royal Australian Regiment Association Mike von Berg said the Uber deal was an excellent employment opportunity for ex-members of the ADF who might be having difficulties.

Good option ... President of the Royal Australian Regiment Association Mike von Berg supports the move. Picture: Dean Martin

Good option … President of the Royal Australian Regiment Association Mike von Berg supports the move. Picture: Dean MartinSource:News Corp Australia

“It will allow them to be independent, operate as a sole trader and work the hours they want with less pressure than other jobs,” Mr von Berg said.

He said employment was vital in the process of rehabilitating veterans with mental health issues as well.

Queensland mum Claire Ashman has been driving for Uber for eight months and she has two sons in the military.

“I love it and I think it would be fabulous for veterans. They need all the help they can get to adjust and to have something like Uber is wonderful,” she said.

Ms Ashman drives part-time for about 18 hours a week and has been rated Uber’s top Brisbane driver.

“You work in your own time at your own pace and go on and off line when you want.”

Former RAAF airfield defence guard and flight attendant Clint (he did not want his surname published) has been driving for Uber for eight months after trying six jobs in five years following his 10-year military career.

He works between eight and 10-hours-a-day and earns about $1300-a-week (pre-tax) after paying his 20-per cent commission to Uber.

Uber Driver and ex-RAAF airman Clint, who has been with the company for some time.

Uber Driver and ex-RAAF airman Clint, who has been with the company for some time.Source:News Corp Australia

“I love the flexibility of it and I work when I want to and meeting new people is fun. I haven’t set an alarm clock for seven months,” Clint said.

He said the nil commission idea to attract veterans as drivers was a terrific initiative.

That would mean an extra $300-a-week for 50 hours work and it would allow veterans to see how they liked the work.

Uber spokesman Mal Chia said the company wanted to help veterans to move smoothly into civilian life especially the thousands suffering from mental or physical injury.

“Unfortunately while many of these men and women have risked everything for our country, transitioning from military to civilian life can be equally challenging,” he said.

“We’re proud to be able to partner with such incredible individuals, who help make Uber a service that over one million Australians choose in cities across the country.”

More information is available at https://get.uber.com/cl/ubermilitaryaus/

6th Battalion to Exercise Freedom of the City

6th Battalion to Exercise Freedom of the City

The 6th Battalion will conduct an Exercising of the Freedom of Entry to the City of Brisbane commencing at 0930 on Saturday 5th December 2015. The Battalion will commence from the vicinity of the Treasury Casino and march to King George Square, after having been ‘Challenged’ on Adelaide Street, to receive the Brigade Commander, The Chief of Army, The Governor of Queensland and the Brisbane Lord Mayor. Afterwards the Battalion will be hosted by the Brisbane Lord Mayor at a Civic Reception.

Note: This reception IS NOT open to members of the 6 RAR Association. We will be represented by our President, Mr Ben McDevitt AM

The Battalion Ball is to be conducted at the Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre that evening.  The Presidents of 6 RAR and LTVA associations have been invited and twenty tickets only have been set aside for members of those associations due to capacity restrictions. The cost of these tickets is approx $120.00 and will be released in the coming days via the Associations. If you wish to attend, please email the [email protected] to put your name forward. You are not guaranteed a seat as it will be first in, best dressed

6 RAR Association members are encouraged to attend this march and show our enduring support for the Battalion.

6 RAR Association Members Get-together:

Following the march, association members can meet at The Grand Central Hotel, 270 Anne St., under Central Station. Easy to get to and away from, no parking fees. See you there!

The ANZAC Spirit Still Lives

Not so long ago I was privileged to observe young soldiers of the space age training for war.  They impressed me, not because of their military skills, (there was little time to assess) but clearly evident were the characteristics so essential for soldiers.

Although weary and desperate for sleep, without exception they still have that familiar grin seen so many times under a battered slouch hat in even the most harshest and challenging circumstances.

Their officer is still boss or skipper. They speak with confidence and with sense of purpose. Most evident even in such a short visit was the strong bond between them; pride in who they were and the regimental badge they wore.

Today’s military has more challenges than ever before and given  instant media reporting, all ranks require an exceptional high standard of tolerance and self- discipline.

Soldiers have enlisted from an ever increasing soft and spoilt society yet must be capable of confronting the trials and terrible demands of war which remain constant regardless of time. Thus there is a need for each progressive generation to be trained even harder in mental and physical toughness to endure all. Such needs are not helped by ever increasing political correctness and Occupation Health and Safety. 

They still have the familiar nicknames for each other, as did their great grandfathers and some, although not complimentary and which would fail today’s political correctness test are meant with immense affection.  

No matter be it peace or war, the basic essentials of soldiering do not change including discipline, loyalty, love of country and devotion to duty. They possess all of such qualities as well as their great grandfathers’ mischief, sense of purpose and respect for each other and above all, the strongest asset of all, mate-ship.

It’s London to a Brick that the ANZAC spirit is very much alive.

George Mansford

He Still Lives

Gone you say

How can this be?

Such a man as he

This brave warrior from yesterday


He’s there wherever memories roam

Laughing, caring, sharing

Risking all for others and ever daring

So many dreams of the land he calls home


He often tested authorities with mischief abound  

Never excited by Generals and other red hats

Called his officer, boss or skipper and that was that

Yet in the field, battle discipline always to be found 


How often a crumpled letter read, so precious, so dear

Studying a faded photo of loved ones as we waited the call  

Then as the order was given to rise and enter Mars Hall

His humour with familiar grin calmed doubts and fear


His name on many a proud history page

Brave duty and love of country for all to read

So rich with honour are his deeds

He still stands tall and proud on life’s stage


Gone you say

How can this be?

His strong seeds now grown for all to see

He still lives this very day.

George Mansford © November 2015

Royal Commission Into The DVA


Hi my name is Angus Sim and by now I am sure most of you who come across this fund raiser know that I’m an honest and fair person that represents the APPVA as the National President of the RLS ignored all my emails and phone calls regarding younger Veterans issues and a submission for a Royal Commission can not come from me.  It has to be a National body.  I will be using the most credible fund raising company called GoFundMe .

To make a donation click here

Initialy I started this crowd funding to raise $10,000 as this is the figure that the lawyers need to start the proceedings and prepare documents for a potential Royal Commission into the DVA.  Everyone who has donated so far has done a great job because it has started.

We have received the 10K needed for the lawyer and had a meeting with him on the 15/10/2015 which went really well therefore, we will continue to have meetings and this is going ahead.  The lawyer is taking it on.  This will now involve flying APPVA members to Brisbane from all over Australia and other small direct costs.  We have decided unanimously in the meeting to keep the fund open for extra cash for these incidentals.

Any remaining funds at the end of the proceedings of the submission that aren’t used will be donated back to a charity/group of some description.  Maybe we can have a vote on it.  Just a suggestion.

An article  ‌that was covered recently by Ian McPhedran exposes some shocking information regarding younger Vets not being cared for and this is mainly due to the Act that has now been in place since 2004 (MRCA Act).  The SRCA Act has major flaws also.

As most of you are aware, there are quite a few serious issues that need rectifying within the department and we have been advised that a Royal Commission is the most cost effective way for making positive change.

We are seeing in the papers, on the news far too many reports of veterans not being looked after by the DVA.

The results of a survey ‌that I conducted  totally contradicted the results of the DVA satisfaction survey  and the many veterans that I have come across have serious issues with the department.  This will be a great achievement because a Royal Commission will rectify these issues.  I literally have hundreds of young Veterans statements that are so disturbing it makes me want to stop reading them.  There are too many suicides contributing to the department’s lack of time wasting and bureaucratic processes on decisions pending especially veterans with mental health issues, this also causes severe undue stress on veterans and their families. It is all too common that veterans with accepted conditions (and are unemployable due to the fact) are left without any help or income from the DVA and some of these veterans live on the streets.

The system is clearly failing our veterans and in particular our younger Vets who commonly come under the MRCA Act and SRCA Act that is under performing.  The sad thing is we have military personnel in the Middle East on operations that may come home with injuries or illnesses, adding to the number that the DVA can’t even control now. Changes need to be made now not tomorrow but it’s not too late.

Any donations are welcomed by vets and the public.  A few bucks from everyone will reach our goal.

You can stay anonymous when donating but I would appreciate if people with credibility release their name to give the fund raising peace of mind for other potential donors but it’s totally up to the individual.

Please share far and wide so we can get these donations flowing in.  Every $ counts.

On behalf of the APPVA and the Veteran community, I personally thank each and every one of you.

Kind regards,

Angus Sim