A WRAAF Story – Life at East Sale 1962

23/02/2016 at 7:51 am

Dear Lyn
I was interested to read your account of life at East Sale in the Djinning Assoc. Newsletter which my husband, Lou Thompson, ex-COMMSOP receives. Who can forget Panic Nights and floor polishers!!?
I was sent to School of Air Navigation as a Clerk General in 1962 after completing recruit course at Point Cook. I arrived late at night at the WRAAF Quarters which seemed deserted and wandered around nervously until I spotted a light and knocked on someone’s door. I was put in a temporary hut for a night then allocated a room with four girls who became my friends for the four months that I was there. One was called Cora, I recall, and she seemed to be constantly on a diet and consuming Ford Pills to aid the process! There was a pretty blonde girl and I have photos of her but sadly I cannot remember her name and also Sophie Vladyka who I remember as being quite extrovert and good fun. I remember playing with a ouija board in our room and frightening the life out of each other in the dark.
I had my 21st birthday at East Sale and we went to a hotel for dinner where some commercial travellers gave me samples of their stock as presents! I still have a gold plated china dish from that event. Later in the year I was posted to Base Squadron, Point Cook. Other postings I had were Headquarters, Williamtown and Air Staff at Headquarters Operational Command, Glenbrook, where I met my husband and was discharged after four years service in 1966.
I attended the WRAAF Reunion in Brisbane in 2011 and had my photograph taken, wearing my old forage cap, with Quentin Bryce. I also met up with four or five girls who had been on my recruit course which was a bonus. Hope this is of some interest to you.
Pam Thompson (nee Jones)

We remember WGCDR Baxter Margaret Lynn

21/02/2016 at 12:34 pm
Regimental Books – Australian Military History

Was pleased to see that a WRAAF officer on the Regimental Books feed today. WGCDR Baxter was the CO at WRAAFTU when I enlisted. The post says Wing Commander but the phot is of her as a SQNLDR.

We Remember Today – Wing Commander Margaret Lynn Baxter MBE, RAAF.

Baxter joined the WRAAF in 1952 and she was commissioned in 1955.

Jan Griffin Margaret was at Uranquinty when I was there.Anyone else from Quinty still around.I am still friends with Joan Macklin and Maxine Phillips Jones. Met them in 1955.

Like · Reply · 1 · 3 hrs
Terri Tonkin
Terri Tonkin I was on her changeover rookie course. She took over from SQNLDR Cass.

Andrea Storm
Andrea Storm I remember her quiet well…….

Whoopee – Facebook is so good. Logged in to find women as fighter pilots on the agenda.

06/02/2016 at 5:16 pm

WRAAF Women Pilots F-35 operation 2016 No equality – true equality is not here yet, and perhaps won’t be in my lifetime. But if we turn back 50 years, and what a road we’ve travelled. Women poised to start flying RAAF fighter jets

Pioneering pilot Colonel Jeannie Leavitt in her F-15E Strike Eagle at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

Australia could soon have its first woman fighter pilot and is likely to have at least five women in the cockpit of the Joint Strike Fighter when the cutting-edge warplane comes into operation at the start of next decade.

The Chief of the Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, told Fairfax Media he was witnessing an “evolution” in attitudes towards women becoming fighter pilots nearly 30 years after the elite RAAF role opened to women.

Women have been eligible to become RAAF pilots since 1987, but fighter jet cockpits have nonetheless remained the RAAF’s last all-male domain, Air Marshal Davies said, akin to the army special forces or navy clearance divers.
Pioneering pilot Colonel Jeannie Leavitt in her F-15E Strike Eagle at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

Pioneering pilot Colonel Jeannie Leavitt in her F-15E Strike Eagle at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

The RAAF has one “fast jet trainee” at the NSW Williamtown base with 76th Squadron, training on Hawk jets. She is “progressing well”, he said.

She was expected to complete that section of fighter training at the end of June, after which she will graduate to training on Hornet fighter jets, which are currently being used to bomb Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria.

Another woman is due to start training around the middle of this year.
An F-35 Join Strike Fighter.

An F-35 Join Strike Fighter.

Air Marshal Davies said both women were a “great chance” to become Australia’s first qualified fighter pilots. But he said the more exciting story was the number of young women in the pipeline.

“That basis is starting to grow and … I actually think our best chance is that we’ve grown a better pool from which to pull. Rather than having one female fighter pilot in a year or two years, I reckon we’ll have five or six in five or six years’ time.

“It’s a more positive picture than two women in pilot schools.”

He said they would be “eligible to go to JSF”. Australia expects to start operating the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from 2020. The latest Pentagon report points to continuing problems with the project but Air Marshal Davies said nothing in the report suggested the RAAF would need to changes its schedule.

Air Marshal Davies said with women poised to start flying fighters operationally, others entering the RAAF could see that “maybe that big, blokey, fighter pilot attitude is starting to dilute a little”.

“So it bloody should,” he added.

The increase in women entering the JSF program has also come despite another potential hurdle, which is Defence’s restriction on pilots weighing less than 62 kilograms from flying the F-35 due to an increased risk of neck injury during ejection.

Since 1987, 42 women in the RAAF have graduated the pilot’s course and gained their “wings”, flying planes such as C-17 Globemasters, C-130 Hercules and Wedgetail airborne early warning and control planes.

Other countries including the United States, France, Turkey, Israel and Jordan have female fighter pilots. Colonel Jeannie Leavitt became the US’s first in 1993.

Air Marshal Davies said the RAAF had made a “really strong” effort to convince young women that the job was an option. But also the generational changes in gender attitudes were helping.

“I would’ve given a fair wad of cash, I would’ve given a couple of free flights in a Hornet, if someone could give me that key.”

Former Labor defence minister Stephen Smith announced in 2011 that all military roles, including the SAS and 2nd Commando regiments would become open to women over the next five years.

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Vic Branch Newsletters From 2014 to 2016

06/02/2016 at 4:44 pm

Hello All
Having a Sunday quiet day and housekeeping my computer so it can have a rest in cyber hospital!
So as a result posting all these newsletters in one go. They may have been previously published but you can catch up on old news.
All the best in 2016
Lyn Mitchell

Chief of Army David Morrison tells troops to respect women or ‘get out’

26/01/2016 at 11:19 am

Source: ABC news

Army chief David Morrison has issued a stern warning to personnel after it was revealed that dozens of members were involved in the distribution of hundreds of explicit emails denigrating women.

Three soldiers have been suspended and the Director of Public Prosecutions is considering a brief of evidence against them from the New South Wales Police.

In a message to members of the army recorded on Wednesday and uploaded to YouTube, Chief of Army General David Morrison said there is “no place” in the army for members who “exploit and demean” their colleagues.

Key points

  • Army chief David Morrison has addressed defence personnel in a video uploaded to YouTube, telling sexist troops “to get out” and “find something else to do”
  • General Morrison says there has been a systemic problem, and urged personnel to uphold defence force values
  • Fairfax Media is reporting that a ring of soldiers calling themselves the Jedi Council swapped footage of their sexual encounters online without the women’s knowledge
  • In an interview this morning, General Morrison said that allegation is a “fair description” of what he had been told

“[The] conduct, if proven, has not only brought the army into disrepute, but has let down every one of you and all of those whose past service has won the respect of our nation,” he said.

“Evidence collected to date has identified a group within our ranks who have allegedly produced highly inappropriate material demeaning women, and distributed it across the internet and Defence’s email networks.

“If this is true, then the actions of these members are in direct contravention of every value the Australian Army stands for.”

General Morrison says there has been a systemic problem, and urged personnel to uphold defence force values.

“I will be ruthless in ridding the army of people who cannot live up to its value, and I need everyone of you to support me in achieving this,” he said.

“If we are a great national institution – if we care about the legacy left to us by those who have served before us, if we care about the legacy we leave to those who, in turn, will protect and secure Australia – then it is up to us to make a difference. If you’re not up to it, find something else to do with your life. There is no place for you amongst this band of brothers and sisters.”

He also issued a warning to army personnel who bullied or humiliated their colleagues.

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

“Those who think that it is okay to behave in a way that demeans or exploits their colleagues have no place in this army,” he said.

“If that does not suit you, then get out. The same goes for those who think that toughness is built on humiliating others.

“If you become aware of any individual degrading another, then show moral courage and take a stand against it.”

Fairfax Media is reporting that a ring of soldiers calling themselves the Jedi Council swapped footage of their sexual encounters online without the women’s knowledge.

General Morrison says the allegation is a “fair description” of what he had been told.

“There are other offences to do with inappropriate use of defence computing systems and there are references in the many emails we have seen to possibly the use of illicit drugs and they are all matter for investigation,” he said in an interview this morning.

The Defence investigation is continuing and is expected to last months.

VISIT MY REUNIONS TO COME WEBSITE. Radschool union in April 2016

03/01/2016 at 1:23 am


Reunion Cruise for WRAAF East Sale 60s group and East Sale Reunion for WRAAF & RAAF Coolum 2016

17/12/2015 at 10:29 pm

Hello All


I have just gone through my address book to select people who might be involved in an East Sale Reunion either WRAAF or RAAF. And then decided I’d best just let everyone know what we are thinking. We being a few East Sale girls who, within the WRAAF reunions, have a mini reunion of their own. We know as the years are passing the lines are blurring between musterings and years served, but also as people find each other there are groups from various bases developing.


With the future of an Australia wide WRAAF national reunion in doubt for the near future and perhaps not at all, we have decided to take our own path until the National Reunion finds a new way. So we have sent a message to all our contacts and have canvassed their opinion of going on a cruise in 2016. The time of the year best served would be September. Some feedback has been positive as I have posted to Ex WRAAF Group site (https://www.facebook.com/groups/142738155786984/) and Ex WRAAF & Airmen and others site (https://www.facebook.com/groups/164552793710692/).


However, the above group Ex WRAAF & Airmen are having their own group reunion at Coolum next year in November. This group was born through Equipment people but has expanded to accept all East Sale People. There reunion details are


2016 East Sale Reunion Coolum Perigan RSL Club David Low Way Coolum Beach

When: Friday 18th November 2016 to Sunday 20th November 2016 Friday 18th November 2016 Meet, greet and welcome on Friday. Afternoon / evening for those who arrive on the Friday RSL Club.

Saturday 19th Novovember 2016 Reunion Dinner Saturday night RSL Club. Saturday activities of choice to be advised.

Sunday 20th November 2016 Farewell Breakfast Sunday morning RSL Club Please note this flyer is to let you know the dates and venue for the 2016 Reunion. Accommodation and activities for the Coolum and Sunshine Coast area will be forwarded shortly. If you have any questions please contact any of the following:

Contact : Neil Short (shortn@bigpond.net.au ) or Kev Adams(kladam@bigpond.com)


It has been pointed out that we, the WRAAF group from East Sale, could conflict with the above reunion. I agree that this may be a problem, though the WRAAF of our group are very close and if that were all, then I don’t think it would be a problem. However, there are other people who have asked to be included and I am not one to turn away a reunion participant. After all, these reunions are to find other people and get them to join our post service reunions.

So, we will look into another time, after consultation with my friends, and hopefully we will all find what we are looking for.

I would ask the people on committees around the nation to please let the WRAAF know if you intend on taking up the cudgels and organise another national. If not, and only then, will I do as promised and try to organise the mother of all WRAAF cruises in 2017. Our East Sale Group are still considering our options for 2016.

Regards to all

Lyn Mitchell (nee Kyte) East Sale 1965 – 67) married to Ian Mitchell (AFFITT East Sale)


WRAAF East Sale Reunion Cruise September 2016

15/12/2015 at 3:24 pm

Hello All, this is Lyn Mitchell.Our Sale Group is attempting to jump into the ‘breech’. We are thinking of going on a 7 day cruise next September 2016. If you would like to join us please let me know through messenger here or if you know my email, or through the group I’ve set up. The group link is
At this stage it is expressions of interest and please leave your email by personal message on the group site, or my own facebook site.

Equipment Reunion July 2016

05/12/2015 at 6:27 pm

Equipment Supply Reunion 2016

Brisbane Branch Newsletter July to September 2015

23/11/2015 at 7:54 pm

Sorry ladies
Sometimes other things take over.

Newsletter – July to September 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –July to Sept 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 1
Message from our President
Rosie Forster
Welcome everyone, it has been a busy two months. The Branch was well represented at the Toowoomba Christmas in July, although some were disappointed in the main course, the company & day was really enjoyable.
The Tri-Service Luncheon was a great success & the WRAAF’s won the singing competition – thanks to Margaret Huntley for the choice of song.
I attended the RAFFA Redcliffe President’s lunch on the 29th August, another enjoyable day.
I attended the Kedron Wavell Friendship lunch on the 6th September & thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Last Wednesday was the Wreath Laying & Memorial at Kallangur.
2015 WRAAF Branch Meetings
Meetings are held in the Brisbane Square Library Community Meeting Room on the ground floor (all Saturdays at 10 am to 12 noon). You can gain access to the Library via the side entrance through the food court any time after 9 am. The security guard will let you in.
14 November 2015
9 – 11 October
14 Nov 2105
WRAAF Branch Christmas Lunch, 12 noon Café Brisbane
5 Dec 2015
All Services Morning Tea 10 am Berkely on Ann
**** Christmas lunch cost $25 to be paid by 6 Nov 2015 and All Services Morning Tea cost $15 to be paid by 20 Nov 2015.
Newsletter Subscription replaces Social Membership.
This subscription is for those not wanting to be a full or associate member of the WRAAF Branch but who want to keep in touch with friends and the Air Force generally. You will receive 4 newsletters each year.
IT’S FINALLY HERE !!!!!!!!!!!
9 to 11 October 2015
See Special Events on our website www.wraaf.org.au for information.
Numbers have been given to the venues and NO REFUNDS will be given after 12th September 2015.
DIETARY REQUIREMENTS. If you have not done so please advise if you have any dietary needs. Email Rosie – president@wraaf.org.au or ring on 3889 3728
Newsletter – July to September 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –July to Sept 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 2
PROGRAM – COOLANGATTA SANDS HOTEL, cnr McLean & Griffith Sts. Coolangatta
Friday, 09 October 2015
4.00pm Registration (Enter off McLean Street)
6pm-8.30pm Meet & Greet – Ground Floor, Coolangatta Sands Hotel
Saturday, 10 October 2015
Rest Day explore at your leisure
Registration 5pm
5.30pm for 6pm Formal Dinner (miniature Medals may be worn) Ground Floor, Coolangatta Sands Hotel (Concludes 10pm)
Sunday, 11 October 2015
11am Memorial Service at Currumbin RSL (WRAAF blouses, blazers may be worn)
12noon Light lunch will follow the service. Buses will be provided to & from Coolangatta.
Shuttle buses will ferry attendees from:
Sebel Hotel 9.30am and 10.10am
Ocean Plaza Resort 9.35am and 10.15am
2pm buses will ferry attendees back to Coolangatta
Army Nurses Lunch in July
I attended this delightful gathering on behalf of the branch at the Casino Kitchen restaurant. The Army Nurses are a small, friendly group who made me more than welcome even though I won 2 out of the 5 raffles. (Pamela Ritter)
Tri-Service Lunch and Singing Competition
The Council of Ex-Servicewomen’s Associations Queensland is a State wide organization and was originally set up to encourage ex-servicewomen from all services to come together to enjoy each other’s company at Ceremonial activities and also at social functions. Prior to the Council being formed very rarely did ex-servicewomen from these separate services meet each other. Prior to 2007 the Council held many social functions, bus trips and also the Tri Service lunch. In 2007 it was decided that to make the Tri Service Lunch more interesting a singing competition among the Associations would be introduced. This proved to be very successful and great fun has been had by all at every lunch since then. To take part in this competition it is not necessary to be able to sing.
At this year’s Singing Competition our WRAAF members competed against the Nurses, WRAAC and the WRANS and we won. This is the second time the WRAAF have won. The first time was in 2009. We will be there to defend our title next year. Our big challenge is finding a suitable song that is easy for everyone to sing as we have very little chance to rehearse. I can’t recall that we have ever rehearsed. If any members would like to either write or adapt a song for next year’s competition please do so. I have provided the songs every year and I am running out of ideas so any input would be greatly appreciated.
Margaret Huntley
Newsletter – July to September 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –July to Sept 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 3
The Tri-Service Lunch
Once again for the umpteenth year the Council of Ex-Servicewomen’s Associations Qld organised the Tri-Service Lunch at the Kittyhawk Function Centre (formerly known as the Community Centre) at Kedron-Wavell Services Club on Saturday, 15 August 2015.
This lunch is all about the 3 main services (Army, Navy and Air Force) and the nurses getting together in a pleasant atmosphere and having a delicious lunch, some great conversation, winning a raffle prize and taking part in a singing competition which is great fun.
We have all ages there from post war to some very sprightly WWII ladies – they won the singing competition last year.
Would you believe which service won the singing trophy this year – WE DID!!!! Many thanks to Margaret Huntley who every year painstakingly searches out a new song to sing, usually with an old tune which we all hopefully remember as we sing it without music.
Added to this we have a lovely 2 course lunch, perhaps a glass or two of vino or water or whatever and you may even make a new friend or get to know someone better by a little more conversation in a convivial atmosphere.
Also, added to all that excitement, the Council elected a new President at their AGM on 13 August 2015 and it is none other than our own President, Rosie Forster, who has just signed up for 3 years as the President of the Council of Ex-Servicewomen’s Associations Qld. Rosie is capably assisted by another WRAAF Branch member, Rosemary Coleman as Secretary of the Council. However, we must not forget our long serving delegates to the Council, Margaret Stevenson and Lyn Wilkes.
So next year why don’t you make it a New Year’s resolution to attend the Tri-Service lunch at Kedron-Wavell Services Club on Saturday, 13 August 2016? Hope to see you there.
Rosemary Coleman,
Secretary, Council of Ex-Servicewomen’s Associations Qld
Trip to RAAF Base Amberley 17 August 2015
Judy Morris
There is an unassuming letter in the alphabet we call “W”. On its own this little letter doesn’t stand out but when you notice some of the words ‘W’ leads, it becomes a giant among letters. Words like –
All of these words can be used in describing our visit to Amberley on 17 August. We were hosted by Sqn Ldr Belinda Johnson and WOff Kathy Furlan and the welcome and respect we were shown was quite overwhelming. We were accompanied by Cpl Chris Bell of the Service Police (I am not sure who was being protected – us or the RAAF Base). We were very ably driven around all day by LACW Hayley
Newsletter – July to September 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –July to Sept 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 4
Pearce and lots of photos were taken by Cpl Shannon McCarthy. We very much appreciate the time and effort put in by these ladies.
A great friendship between our members and serving members began several years ago when WOFF Kathy and our President Rosie arranged for serving members to be invited to join us on our Anzac Day march. The numbers have grown beyond expectation and last Anzac Day, 76 serving members marched with the ex-WRAAF. A wonderful bond of friendship and camaraderie is being nurtured by enthusiastic women of several generations, both RAAF and ex-WRAAF and even though WOff Kathy is leaving Amberley, Sqn Ldr Belinda is very keen to continue the friendship.
Belinda and Kathy went to a great deal of trouble preparing an itinerary which included a visit to Doggie section where we had a guided tour of the residents’ quarters and a very informative narrative of the dogs’ personalities, capabilities and training programme. We were also given a demonstration of the dogs and handlers in action which was very impressive. A little MWD (military working dog) in training whose name is Blok was introduced to us and seemed to love the attention he received.
After Doggie Section (I think we stayed too long as everyone was reluctant to leave) we were driven to Fire Section where a demonstration of the enormous fire trucks was given and was great. A couple of lucky ladies went for a ride in the truck and played with the water hoses. Once again, we were thoroughly entertained and greatly impressed.
Off then to the Mess where lunch was served. Our hosts had invited other serving members to join us for lunch and we had an opportunity to speak with women serving in different areas in the RAAF. It was amazing to engage with such women of achievement – no sign of a glass ceiling here at all.
After lunch, we were off to 36 Squadron where we were met by Sqn Ldr Samantha Freebairn who is a C-17 pilot. How fantastic to be shown over this massive aircraft and we all had the chance to sit in the cockpit. It was quite moving when Belinda spoke of the humanitarian work done by our service people and this mighty aircraft. A wonderful experience. Definitely something to brag to the grandchildren about.
Newsletter – July to September 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –July to Sept 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 5
We were all feeling a little overwhelmed by the day and the enormous effort put into the day’s activities on our behalf, when Sqn Ldr Samantha told us that women of today’s RAAF have a great admiration and respect for members who served ‘back in the day’ because without the small steps taken by our generations, today’s serving women would not have the choices they have. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house at that moment. We sure felt the pride. A great day.
To Kaye Horne who won 1st and 3rd prizes in the EKKA Creative Art & Craft Category – Papercraft – General Greeting Cards Any Subject.
Member’s travels
By Gillian Shepherd
On our trip to Canada and Alaska we spent time in Victoria and Vancouver, and then travelled on the Rocky Mountaineer through Kamloops to Jasper. From there we travelled by bus to Banff, Lake Louise, Kelowna, Whistler and then back to Vancouver where we boarded our ship for our 7 night cruise to Alaska, stopping at Ketchikan, Juneau and Scagway. We also cruised Glacier Bay and College Fjord on our way to Whittier, Alaska. After disembarking at Whittier we travelled to Cooper Landing on the Kenai Peninsula and then on to Mt McKinley, Denali National Park and finally Fairbanks.
As some of our members have done this trip I do not want to bore you with the details of our trip except to say that it was fantastic with many highlights, including the flight across the Arctic Circle, which was an optional extra on our tour.
We left Fairbanks at about 3.45 pm for the Arctic Circle on a Piper Navajo 8 passenger twin engine aircraft and flew north towards our destination of Coldfoot. On the way we flew over the Yukon River and the Alaska oil pipeline which stretches from Prudoe Bay in the north to Valdez, a length of 800 miles. Unfortunately, our view was impeded somewhat by the smoke from some of the 360 bushfires burning in Alaska at that time. We were told that the fire fighters were working to extinguish 60 bushfires and were allowing the others to burn out. Our pilot announced that we were crossing the Arctic Circle and we were able to photograph the instrument display showing its position of 66 degrees and 33 minutes north.
When we arrived at Coldfoot (permanent summer population 10) at about 4.45 pm, we were met by a guide who was to drive us north to Wiseman which is a small settlement in the middle of nowhere, approximately
Newsletter – July to September 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –July to Sept 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 6
20 km north of Coldfoot, and was originally established after gold was discovered nearby. Wiseman’s population now is about 25 and is the only year-round lived in community on the Dalton Highway which stretches from Prudoe Bay to Fairbanks. We were given a talk by a local about subsistence living (shooting game for meat, chopping wood for heat, trapping furry creatures for fur, fishing, growing vegetables and using wind/solar power for electricity, etc.). He also showed us some wild animal skulls, rocks from the local area and animal pelts. We then viewed some of the homes that the locals inhabited in the past. The local people now live on the other side of the settlement in much more modern homes.
We were then driven back to Coldfoot to wait for our aircraft to return to take us back to Fairbanks. The time was spent at the truck stop where we could buy food to eat which we ate on the deck out front of the building. Coldfoot consists of the truck stop, a post office, the airport (gravel strip) and some accommodation. Our aircraft arrived back with another load of passengers and we departed Coldfoot at about 9.30 pm arriving back at Fairbanks at about 10.30 pm in complete daylight. For the entire time we were travelling in Alaska there was a maximum of 2 hours of semi darkness each night.
Canberra Times, 24 April 1970
Four excited WRAAF members certainly have something to write home about. The Queen, Prince Philip and Princess Anne stopped to talk to the bright-faced group during the walk about which halted the Royal progress about. 15 times on the way to the car which carried the visitors off to Government House.
LACW Sue Growcock, of Grafton, NSW, LACW Kathleen Powell, of Queenstown, Tasmania, Corporal Karen Roberts, of Brisbane, and LACW Dianne Tinniswood, of Adelaide, were pink with excitement as they reported to other not-so lucky members of the Air Force:
“Well, the Queen said, ‘Are you serving here?’ and we said, ‘Yes, Your Majesty”. We remembered. And we said, ‘Pity it’s so wet, it was good until a few days ago’ and she said, ‘Yes, the Prime Minister told us that you had had good weather before’.
“And Prince Philip said, ‘Do you live here?’ and we said, ‘Yes, Sir!’ and he said, ‘Do you look after the administrative side of things?’ and we said that we were clerks and short hand typists and that and he said, ‘Jolly good show’.
“And Anne said, ‘How many of you are there on the base?’ and Kathleen told her 48 and Dianne said 50. Then she said, ‘You do the donkey work then’ and grinned at us”.
The Queen made no concession to the weather. Her matching dress and coat were of silk printed in a green and white plaid pattern, a green beret was pushed well back on her head and she wore the same shoes as her daughter — white with gold chain across the instep.
Princess Anne appeared in a tangerine close-fitting coat, hem above the knee, and a broad-brimmed navy hat, turned up at one side and with a navy band spotted in white.
Newsletter – July to September 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –July to Sept 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 7
Canberra Times, 9th April 1973
Pay for servicemen
Sir, – Frank Cranston, your Defence and Aviation Correspondent, recently commented on the report of the Woodward Committee inquiry into services pay and conditions. From the services pay aspect, the absurdity of the proposed pay scales would have best been illustrated by simply using the following comparative scales.
AC or ACW (level 6) (Lowest RAAF or WRAAF rank) $4,965 per annum.
Pilot officer S4, 915 per annum.
It is good to see our WOs, NCOs and other ranks, both male and female, receiving due reward for their services at long last: nevertheless, when the factors of qualifications, responsibility and skills are taken into account, surely the most unobservant person must see that there is something wrong with these pay scales, let alone a committee which took a great deal of time in providing its report on same.
From the qualification aspect alone, the majority of pilot officers in the engineering branch for example are graduates of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. In addition, many officers will, in fact, suffer a net loss in their take-home pay. This, coupled with such things as some officers getting a good deal less than most of their staff, surely makes the Woodward Report the greatest non-event in the history of services pay, as far as officers are concerned.
The ultimate absurdity is that a pilot officer could resign his commission, re-enlist at the lowest airman rank of AC or alternatively undergo a sex-change operation and re-enlist as an ACW, and in either case be $50 per annum better off. SERVICE OFFICER, Narrabundah.
Canberra Times, 23 March 1974
Interesting jobs for interested women in today’s Air Force
The Air Force needs women to train for a variety of interesting jobs. You’ll derive a great deal of satisfaction in joining a happy and productive group of young women who are already serving as members of the Air Force.
In these jobs, Women’s Air Force weekly pay varies from $84.95 to $120.90 according to job and rank.
Newsletter – July to September 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –July to Sept 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 8
I became quite captivated by the air as a 7 year old during a visit to the cockpit on a family holiday. The sun was setting, the clouds were a mesmerising assortment of shapes and colours, my ears popped and the pilots looked very important. My fate was sealed! After joining the Royal Australian Air Force as an 18 year old because they had the fastest aircraft, I currently fly the C17 Globemaster heavy airlift aircraft and previously captained the C130H Hercules.
My flying career has been challenging and exciting with numerous humanitarian missions, including evacuation of victims of the Bali Bombing, along with combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. A defining moment has definitely been meeting Nancy Bird-Walton whilst on pilot’s course in 1999. The complex negotiations of retaining femininity whilst balancing military peer acceptance were put in perspective after spending time with a woman who was a mother, a wife, a pilot and a lady. She was a champion for women in aviation supporting other women in aviation and that is an area I have been most passionate about facilitating within the military.
I’m very proud to serve in the RAAF and have chosen to continue to serve because of progressive leadership that has enabled me the choice to return to operational flying after motherhood.
You can access the latest RAAF News – now simply called Air Force – online by going to
You can check out the latest issue of the Radschool magazine by going to www.radschool.org.au, click on Magazines then follow the prompts to the latest volume.
RAAF Amberley Museum
Remember to keep an eye on the website for updates on how the WRAAF collection is progressing at http://www.raafamberleyheritage.gov.au/women-in-the-air-force.aspx
Health and Well-Being Officer
Cheryl Souvlis, sends out birthday greetings and get well cards and regularly keeps in contact with members who are not faring too well. If you know someone who is not well, going or been to hospital or experienced a bereavement let Cheryl know – cjpsilvous2@bigpond.com
Newsletter – July to September 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –July to Sept 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 9
Update Your Details
If you change your email or postal address or phone number PLEASE advise the Secretary ASAP – secretary@wraaf.org.au
Important Email addresses
To make things simpler when people leave positions we have decided not to use personal emails addresses for the President, Treasurer and Secretary. To contact those members in their capacity as President, Treasurer or Secretary please use the following emails:
Paying for functions, trips etc.
Payments for membership, functions, fees, clothing etc. can be made to the Treasurer at meetings or deposited (electronically or manually) into our Suncorp Account. Please note the details below.
Account Name: (WR) WRAAF Branch RAAFA Qld Div. BSB No. 484 799 Account No. 04107 1771
Cheques made out to WRAAF Branch RAAFA Qld Div.
If direct depositing write your name on bottom of the deposit slip and include what it is for, e.g., fees, functions etc. Contact Truus Perry – details below – notifying her that you have made a deposit and what it is for.
Please ensure your membership fees reach our Treasurer to allow adequate time to forward form and fees to the RAAFA State Treasurer by mid-April so you can remain a financial member. If fees are not received by this time, you become unfinancial and will have to join RAAFA/WRAAF Branch again on 1 July.
Full membership: $32.00 per year Associate membership/Newsletter Subscription: $12.00 per year
Newsletter – July to September 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –July to Sept 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 10
President: Rosie Forster Phone: 3889 3728 Email: president@wraaf.org.au
Deputy President: Pam Condie Email: pcondie@me.com.au
Secretary: Pamela Ritter Email: secretary@wraaf.org.au
Minute Secretary: Pam Condie Email: pcondie@me.com.au
Treasurer: Truus Perry Email: treasurer@wraaf.org.au
40 Sunnyside Road, Scarborough, Qld 4020
Assistant Treasurer: Jill Buckland Email: jillbuckland@bigpond.com *****
General Committee Members: Jill Buckland, Gillian Shepherd, Judy Morris and Eunice Smith, Shirley Van Stam
Please contact an Executive Committee member at any time if you have a question or query
Please forward any items of interest for publication in the newsletter to Pamela Ritter at secretary@wraaf.org.au with the subject heading “Newsletter”.
The WRAAF Website is www.wraaf.org.au
DUE DATES – Minutes and newsletters contain due dates for notifying attendance and paying for functions. Payment for functions should be made to the Treasurer or directly into the bank account.