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QLD WRAAF Group Newsletter June 2018

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QLD WRAAF June 2018 Newsletter

NSW WRAAF Group Newsletter June 2018

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Bundaberg Qld Newsletter Ex Servicewomens Magazine June 2018

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Bundaberg ExServicewomen Newsletter June 2018

Expression of Interest for WRAAF Dining In Night Radschool Assoc RAAF Centenary Celebrations

21/06/2018 at 11:01 pm

Expression of Interest WRAAF 2021 Dining In Night

 

PLEASE DOWNLOAD AND PRINT – FILL IN AND RETURN TO 28 JACQUELINE RD MT WAVERLEY

 

OR

ATTACH TO AN EMAIL TO

LYNMITCHGELLWRAAF2021@MAIL.COM

WRAAF Reunion 2021 Canberra AND 2021 WRAAF Dining In Night during Radschool RAAF Anniversary Celebrations

28/05/2018 at 8:56 pm

I’m writing this invitation to all exWRAAF of 1951 to 1977 (http://exwraaf.com)

 

Since 1964 exWRAAF have been getting together to regale each other with stories of their fun filled days as a member of the Women’s Royal Australian Air Force. Possibly even before then. We all know society and government rules of the day (1950s & 1960s) made women leave the Force once they were married. I would guess there must have been many cups of tea in the kitchens of married quarters across the bases of Australia that we are not aware of. But we do know that Shirley McLaren nee Lemon did organise her South Australian friends into a regular lunch at her place in Smithfield up until 1972 and then Maxine Cheyne until 1993. Along the way, there was an official (I guess by that I mean there was more than one interstate attendee) ‘reunion’, a photo to prove a function was held at the CWA rooms in South Australia in 1976. However, most of us in the other states didn’t know that at the time.

 

The Victorian girls got into the act in 1980, but not before the Sydney girls had been holding luncheons themselves, although there was not a ‘National’ function. The Victorian reunion was advertised as the first National exWRAAF reunion. I know because I was doing the advertising. We had 300 attends, and there are official photos of this wonderful day on 22nd June 1980. How we got to that day is another story, but it was the beginning of a near 40-year commitment by WRAAF all over Australia to keep their service to Australia in a special place, and to raise the profile of post war women in the Armed Forces. As a group the Victorian reunion committee joined RAAFA Victoria and this was followed by each state following suit with their own branches being formed. But we, Victoria WRAAF Branch, were not the first – Maxine and her friends can be proud of that title.

 

Recently Pam Nelsen and myself met with Shirley McLaren and Maxine Cheyne to talk about those early days, and once I have confirmed details of my notes and a bit of editing, I’ll distribute that historical achievement to all the relevant people in each state. What is acknowledged and I have already done so a few years ago, is to credit Shirley with the honour of being the instigator of the first exWRAAF luncheon that we are aware of. And to Maxine the organiser of the 1976 CWA luncheon, the first National reunion.

 

Forty-two years later, we have grown to be an Australia-wide exWRAAF community, inspired every year or two by an ever-growing number of attendees to reunions held mostly in alternating states. These reunions have been organised by dedicated women who have never forgotten the years of friendships, joy and the tears shared by us all over a one bar heater while cooking toast or toiling over a hot iron on a starched drab (a job I fortunately never had to contend with).

 

In recent years, there is, despite our aging membership, a huge dose of nostalgia as women now in their twilight years are released from some of their family commitments. Also, society has suddenly switched on that women are not chattels, never were and certainly are not. A far cry from a letter received from the RSL in Victoria spuriously suggesting we did not deserve to be marching on Anzac Day because we didn’t ‘fight’. Yes, 2018 By the Left Campaign, was certainly welcomed with open arms by many women long tired of the gender discrimination.

 

So, in 2021, the WRAAF will be celebrating 70 years. Sure, the WRAAF of 1951 to 1977, some 26,000 female members, is no longer an entity, but the Women of the RAAF are still serving and still performing their work ethic to the highest standards maintained in any workforce. No different to the workforce of the Women’s Australian Auxiliary Air Force during the World War Two, nor Korea or Vietnam or in the peace in between. The peace time that this Clerk G entered in 1965. Equal partnership in a free world of men and women. It’s still coming but boy we have come quite a way.

 

As those of us from those 26 years who are still standing (or should I say sitting), we have thankfully seen the women of those latter years attend our reunions and even more recently we have seen some young Permanent Air Force women attending. These young, smart, confident, women have careers in the Service we thought would never happen, and they are growing families along the way. This is good news.

 

I feel confident at this time, that all the hard work by so many of us over these last 40 years has finally been repaid by the power of determination and faith in our identity. And there is evidence that the name Post War WRAAF will never be ‘glossed over’ or ever confused with the women before us, who rightfully can be acknowledged as the pioneers of our young women today. Take a moment to think of a young 18-year-old joining up in the year 2018 and what you could tell them. To enjoy every breath, every month, every year you are a woman of the Australian Armed Service. In our case a WRAAF.

 

Jodi Peck is taking on the task of organising the next National WRAAF reunion to be held in Canberra in April 2021 and Jodi has posted to social media her intent. Jodi is a Warrant Officer in the PAF and the daughter in law of a WRAAF Joanne Peck and her enthusiasm is a joy. Bookings through the Defence Force have been made, and the lead up to this exciting event will bring all the richness of our past back to us so that we can savour, and yes, remember all our treasured times.

 

I have been liaising with Jodi since the South Australian National Reunion in April this year (2018) and she has received approval to hold this reunion as a confirmed and supported part of the Air Forces’ 100th Anniversary and our WRAAF 70th Anniversary. I’m sure you all join with me in welcoming Jodi and her committee and look forward to working with her in her endeavours. Each state will be encouraged to contact Jodi to help get the word out to those of us who live without computers. You girls will not be left behind. Jodi and myself are conscious you have a voice. I will be helping Jodi throughout the next few years in some capacity. Hopefully a conduit to all my fellow WRAAF throughout Australia. You all know my address, 28 Jacqueline Rd Mt Waverley Vic 3149. My mobile is 0488 066 680. Please text on that number. For those without a smart phone, please leave a message.

 

There will be notices forthcoming as arrangements are made. It is early days but good days.

 

BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE

 

2021 will be a very good year. We will be spoilt with functions. Most of you are aware of the work that Trevor Benneworth has done over many, many, years in bringing stories of the Air Force to us through his website, Radschool Association Magazine. This year he has announced a week-long festivity in conjunction with Defence Force authorities to be held in Melbourne now 22nd to 31st March 2021. Yes, it has changed – go to  http://radschool.org.au/2021%20Celebratons/index.htm

 

During that week we have been given the ability to have a dining in night for WRAAF. It is a celebration of WRAAF that I asked Trevor to investigate, and I am delighted that it has been included. It will be on the Thursday night. At RAAF Base Officers Mess.  Details of the event will be planned and published as the months progress. In the meantime, you can access Trevor’s site at http://radschool.org.au/2021%20Celebratons/index.htm. If you are without a computer you can fill in a form that will be forthcoming with your details and send it to me, Lyn Mitchell, 28 Jacqueline Road, Mt Waverley Vic 3149. Please pass news of this function and our National Reunion 2021 to all who may not have access to digital media.

 

At this stage if you/partner/friend intend on attending the Radschool Association festivities, I would suggest then staying in the eastern states and head on up to Canberra for our 2021 National Reunion. If you can’t make it to Canberra, then we/you have an opportunity to attend a reunion in the form of a dining in night.

 

It is an exciting time to be an exWRAAF. We are all old enough and wise enough to forget the foibles of our youth. We can take time to forget for a moment the bad times and take heart at the character and fortitude we developed by going through those years; we can take pride in our grey or white hair, the wrinkles, the bits and pieces of our bodies that don’t quite look as they did some fifty years ago. Because by jove, we have lived a life that no one else has had. The life of a WRAAF.

 

KEEP THESE DATES IN MIND

22nd to 31st March 2021 Radschool RAAF Anniversary Celebrations (dates to be confirmed)

WRAAF Dining-In-Night to be held on the Thursday free night at Laverton RAAF Base, Officers Mess. Click link to see more http://radschool.org.au/2021%20Celebratons/index.htm

 

70th Anniversary Reunion – Canberra 23-25 Apr 2021.

Hello ladies, after conversations with ex-WRAAF ladies, Air Force Headquarters (AFHQ) and the Air Force 2021 Committee, I can now confirm the WRAAF 70th Anniversary/Reunion will be held in Canberra over the Anzac weekend 23-25 Apr 2021.

The Reunion will be in a similar format to those of the previous reunions: cocktail/registration event on Friday evening, dinner on Saturday.

2021 is an exciting year for Air Force – its the 100th Anniversary of the RAAF as well as the 70th Anniversary of the WRAAF. The RSL have confirmed Air Force will lead the 2021 Anzac Day parade at the Australian War Memorial. For those ladies who would like to participate, we will be marching as a National Group. And finally, I will also coordinate a church service.

To ensure that we reach the largest possible audience, in addition to this page I will create a 70th Anniversary page,

and I will liaise with the individual states to source contact lists so that I can send letters to those ladies not on social media.

Firm details will be confirmed shortly, however please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

I look forward to successful Reunion and seeing as many of you as possible.

Kind regards,

WOFF Jodi Peck

 

To see post on Facebook go to this link https://www.facebook.com/groups/142738155786984/

 

To keep in touch go to my website exWRAAF.com

 

 

Below is a copy of the updates from Trevor’s Radschool Website for those of you who do not have or spend time on computers.

 

UPDATES.

RAAF Radchool Association’s Celebration.

100th Anniversary of the Air Force.

12 April, 2018.

 

Allan George and I met with the RAAF’s 2021 organising committee (leaving names out) in Russell Offices in Canberra to discuss our plans for the Celebration and to learn of the RAAF’s official intentions. It seems the dates we have planned will have to be changed (again) as the RAAF has a large official function planned for the 31st March 2021 (The actual Anniversary day) which will be held in Canberra and at which the RAAF’s Band will be required.

 

The Avalon Airshow, at which the RAAF will have a very large presence, is usually held late in Feb, early in March so the week prior to our original dates (15th to the 24th March) could be available but as Easter Sunday in 2021 falls on the 4th April, the immediate week after is no good. We could perhaps go for the following week, 8th April to the 17th April.

 

The earlier period (15 – 24March) is not really suitable as it will conflict with the Melbourne GP – making accommodation very expensive, but there is not a lot on in Melbourne around the latter time (08 – 17April). We checked with the Melbourne Visitor Centre in Federation Square and that week we would only conflict with the Comedy Festival which shouldn’t worry us too much.  School holidays in Melbourne during that period will be 01 April –  19 April. That could be a benefit – cheaper accommodation, less traffic.

 

One concern the RAAF had was they did not want us to represent as being the official RAAF Celebration, though they have no quarrel with us organising as the Radschool Association’s Celebration – we have and will continue to do that.

 

The RAAF has not planned an Open Day at Point Cook so that won’t happen, unfortunately.

 

 

 

17 – 21 April, 2018.

 

Band.

I had several meetings in Melbourne that week. First up was at Laverton to see and hear the band. They allowed me to sit in during one of their practice jazz sessions and if you’ve never seen or heard the band in full cry, you’re missing something, they are fantastic. With them and the Army and Navy bands providing the entertainment for the Sunday we, along with the people of Melbourne, are in for a wonderful treat.

 

Army and Navy Bands.

I’ve spoken with the ADF’s Joint Operations Support people in Melbourne re asking for the Army and Navy Bands for the Sunday event. They have given me a form which I have to fill in asking for the “Assets”. We’ll wait until we confirm the dates before filling it out.

 

Hangars.

After Laverton it was over the road to Point Cook to see the XO of 21 Sqn who generously gave an hour or so of his time and showed me around the Base. We were hoping to hold the “Meet and Greet” and the “Farewell Dinner” in one of the hangars at either Laverton or Pt Cook but we couldn’t find anything suitable, most were either not big enough or were condemned or were being used. We’ve got an inquiry into the Melbourne Show-grounds to see what they have available and at what cost. More on that later.

 

We did discuss using some hard stand areas at Point Cook for bus assembly for the day out events and that looks promising.

 

Channel 7

I had an appointment with one of the Execs at Channel 7 in Melbourne to discuss the station’s thoughts on televising the Sunday event at the Myer Bowl but unfortunately we couldn’t hold a face to face meeting as he was preparing for an overseas trip to cover the Villers-Bretonneux event but we d

id have a phone hook-up. He said he has studied our plans for the Sunday event (at the Bowl) and without committing anything, at this stage CH 7 are very interested. We left it at that and will continue to liaise with him.

 

Shirt

I went out to Summit Safety in Bayswater to see them about a Celebratory shirt which everyone who attends will receive. It’s got the Radschool Crest on the left (no pocket though) and the words “RAAF Radschool Association, 100 year Anniversary of the RAAF” on the right sleeve. This is the shirt, it’s not confirmed but it’s a start.

 

AFL.

I met with the Head of Broadcasting and Scheduling at AFL House in Melbourne and in memory of the RAAF being stationed at the MCG during WW2, asked whether it would/could be possible for the AFL to make available sufficient free seats for all at the Radschool Celebration to watch a game at the “G”. Although not promised, this request was received very favourably – more on this later. And – thinking along the same lines, we also discussed the possibility of a RAAF style CEO sleep-out where current and ex-members of the RAAF could sleep rough for one night at the “G” in memory of and similar to the RAAF bods during the war. The AFL could not OK this request as they don’t have control over the MCG, it has to be submitted to the MCG trust – but it looks hopeful.  Any and all proceeds raised from this event will be given to a charity.

 

RAAFA

We saw Carl Schiller, the National President of the RAAF Association. If/when the Sunday event goes ahead there will be possibly 10,000 people at the Music Bowl, all of whom will be looking for a program, a soft drink, something to eat, etc, (the Bowl people have the liquor licence and sell the alcohol) but the RAAFA supports several charities and we discussed whether they could involve these charities to provide people to sell programs, food and drink and raise much needed funds.  More on that later too.

 

 

We’re still some years away from the event but the cogs turn slowly – we’ll be ready when it happens.

 

 

 

23 April 2018.

 

We’ve heard from the Melbourne Show-ground, they have this facility below under construction which will be finished mid 2019. As we’re expecting about 1,000 people, this looks perfect for our Registration/Meet and Greet and for the farewell dinner. Train service is available right to the door.

 

There is an excellent possibility that we will get the building rent free, paying only for catering. Drinks will be available at cost.

 

 

 

 

 

14 May 2018

 

We’ve received approval from the Melbourne Showgrounds for us to hold a “Sleep Rough” night at the Showgrounds as part of the celebration. There will be more on this later but it will be open to all ex and current serving RAAF people, both male and female. We’ll encourage you to get sponsorship and all funds raised will go to the RAAF Association which will donate them to one of their charities.

 

We’ll organise the food and drink (water) – all you’ll need to do is bring something to keep you warm as you’ll be sleeping in the open in one of the Showground stands or somewhere else as directed by the Showground management.

 

RAAF 100 year celebration.

March 2021

 

Overview.

 

 

 

 

Back in January 1920, the Australian Flying Corps became the Australian Air Corps which, on the 31st March 1921, became the Australian Air Force. It obtained the King’s consent to become the Royal Australian Air Force on the 13th August 1921.

 

 

On the 31st March 2021 the Australian Air Force will be 100 years old and as the Air Force was born at Pt Cook, we think it would be a golden opportunity to hold a giant celebration in Melbourne and to invite everyone who spent time at Pt Cook and/or Laverton.  And – as we’re a Radschool Association, the invite would also include anyone who was trained in the radio game, whether tech or operator, at either Ballarat, Frognall or Laverton and of course the trainers as well as all the support staff. The invitation would also include your wife, girl-friend, husband, boy-friend (or all of the above). We’re all getting on a bit and this might be our last hurrah, so we’ll make it a good one.

 

The 31th March 2021 is a Wednesday, so we think we should plan for at least a week-long event starting on the 22nd March.   There will be lots of events so start putting away your pennies now, we’ll need confirmation of your attendance, and as we’ll need to pay deposits etc we’ll need your full payment some months prior to March 2021.

 

For those that live north of the Murray, the weather in Melbourne in March is not too bad. Temps are in the low 20’s during the day and drop to the low teens during the night. There is only a 25% chance of rain so any outdoor event should (??) be fine.

 

We’ll have an indication of costs later, but these won’t include accommodation which will be your responsibility. As some people live in the area, some will come by van or mobile home, others stay with friends and some will stay in motel/hotel accommodation, individual accommodation costs are a variable so not included.

 

We’ve commenced negotiations with the RAAF for access to Laverton or Pt Cook, (we don’t have it yet) as we’d like to have the main events in (perhaps) the old ARDU or 1 AD hangars at Laverton or in one of the hangars at Pt Cook – it will all depend on what is still available in 2021.

 

It’s still a few years away but these things take time to organise. We are going to chase sponsorship to keep our costs down – more on that later. We think we’ll need to organise for at least 1,000 people so there’s a bit to do. Make sure you tell your friends, we want as many people as possible, the more the merrier.

 

Let us know what you think. The events we have planned you can see below but we need to know what you think.  We’ve booked the Myer Music Bowl for the Sunday the 28th March (a pleasant Sunday afternoon) and we’re negotiating with the RAAF, Army and Navy to have their bands entertain us during the day. We’re also proposing an “Air Force has talent” contest where several serving pre-auditioned members will vie for a cash prize and we’re negotiating with a Melbourne TV channel which will televise all or part of the Music Bowl event – this will make it easier to obtain a sponsor to cover all the costs – so it will be free.

 

If you don’t normally get the RAM, but would like to be involved, click HERE, fill in this general form and once we have your email address we’ll include you in all future mail-outs.

 

We have some ideas but to get an idea of your thoughts, would you fill in the fields in the form below and send to us, there will be much more detail later. (Use your TAB button to navigate from one field to the next.)

 

 

You can access the celebration form HERE and if you have any queries, you can get in touch with us  HERE.

 

 

 

Schedule of Events.

 

 

Monday 22 March 2021

Registration, Meet and Greet – Melbourne Show-grounds.  Evening event.

 

 

Tuesday 23 March 2021.

Bus trip to RAAF Ballarat and Ballarat gold fields (Sovereign Hill). (About 1½ hours each way).  Daylight event.

 

 

Wednesday 24 March 2021. 

Tour of the Liberator and  Werribee Park.

Sleep rough night – Melbourne Show-ground.

 

 

Thursday 25 March 2021.

Free Day.

Proposed WRAAF night – Laverton Officers’ Mess

 

 

Friday 26 March 2021

Proposed AFL match MCG/Etihad. TBA advised by AFL HQ.

 

 

Saturday 27 March 2021.

Bus tour to Phillip Island. Tour Vietnam Vets Museum, Penguins at dusk, return to Melb. (About 1½ – 2 hours each way)

 

 

Sunday 28 March 2021.

RAAF, Army, Navy Bands concert Myer Music Bowl, including Air Force has talent contest. RAAF fly past. Daylight event. Sponsored and televised. Open to the public. Sunday night free.    (See the proposed Sunday event HERE).

 

 

Monday 29 March 2021.

Free Day.

 

 

Tuesday 30 March 2021.

Bus to Yarra Valley Chocolate and Ice Creamery and Puffing Billy steam train. (About 1 hour each way). Night Free.

 

 

Wednesday 31 March 2021.  (Anniversary Day)

Farewell luncheon hosted by Senior Officer of Air Force – Melbourne Show Ground.  Evening event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

REUNION 2021 FOR ALL RAAF/WRAAF AND FAMILIES

18/03/2018 at 2:02 pm

Click for Radschool Association 100 year celebration site

Air Force Health Services Association Reunion – Caloundra RSL October 2018

13/02/2018 at 4:55 pm

No automatic alt text available.

2007 WRAAF Reunion Photos Source Lyn Morrison

12/11/2017 at 6:27 pm

WRAAF Moral Leadership Course No 46 June 1964 Source: Neelie Kuiper

11/11/2017 at 2:38 pm