WRAAF Brisbane Newsletter October to December 2016

18/01/2017 at 9:13 pm

WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE Newsletter October – December 2016 Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division WRAAF Branch Newsletter Oct – Dec 2016 P a g e | 1 Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Kylie Stoneman, Division 4, ICC Message from our President Carol McCool The past couple of months have been a little quite as everyone is getting ready for the Christmas season. I attended a luncheon for ex-service women at Kedron-Wavell Services Club in October and the day was great. Thank you to the hosts and all who attended. At the R.A.A.F.A delegates meeting held in October and things were in a bit of an array as the sad passing of the state secretary had meant that the assistant would normally take over the duties but unfortunately she had not been advised of the meeting by mistake and so I had been delegated to take on the duties for the day. Luckily someone has put up their hand to take on the position and Mrs Fran Bridget from the Redcliffe Branch has been appointed the new State Secretary. There was quite a bit of a debate about the proposal put forward to create a new name for the national branch and a new constitution. My husband Stewart who represented the Redcliffe branch pointed out a few like the matter of confidentially at these meeting and stated at matters discussed at these meeting should be taken back to state and branch meetings for their attention. He mentioned that there should not be any conflict of interest as we should have the same ideals and objectives, and also that the presidency should be an automatic rotation between the states and territories, on yearly or 2-3 yearly basis. The meeting decided not to support the proposal as it stands and will take back a different alternative at the next meeting. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the members and their families a very merry Christmas and happy and prosperous New Year. ****************************** 2017 WRAAF Branch Meetings Meetings are held on the 3rd Saturday in January and then on the 2nd Saturdays in March, May, July, September & November at Ann Street Presbyterian Church Trust Offices Meeting Room at 143 Ann Street Brisbane (located between office tower at 145 Ann Street and the Church). Access is by Security Card so you will need to arrive by 9.50am at the latest and a Committee member will let you in. 21 Jan 2017 11 March 2017 13 May 2017 8 July 2017 9 Sept 2017 11 Nov 2017 ****************************** SOCIAL CALENDAR 2017 Date Event Sat, 18 Feb Bundaberg & District RAAFA’s 30th birthday celebration, $25 per person. Bundaberg Services Club, 1130 for 1200. Tue, 25 April ANZAC DAY March followed by lunch at Berkley’s on Ann WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE Newsletter October – December 2016 Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division WRAAF Branch Newsletter Oct – Dec 2016 P a g e | 2 Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Kylie Stoneman, Division 4, ICC WE, 14-16 July Bundaberg & District Ex-Servicewomen’s Association long weekend 50th Annual Birthday Reunion & A Salute to Ex-Servicewomen Exhibition, “Across the Waves Sports Club”. Sun, 30 July Council of Ex-Servicewomen’s Church Service, St Andrews Uniting Church, 1100 – 1130 Sat, 19 Aug Council of Ex-Servicewomen’s Tri-Service Lunch, Geebung RSL, 1130 – 1200 Wed, 13 Sep Council of Ex-Servicewomen’s Pine Rivers Memorial Service, 1100 followed by lunch WE, 20-22 Oct Hervey Bay Ex-Servicewomen’s Social Club Birthday long weekend celebration ****************************** VALES Thankfully no Vales for this period but did you know this? If you wish to have your final resting place marked to record your membership of the WRAAF a letter needs to be sent to the War Graves Commission requesting permission for use of the WRAAF Crest on a grave site. Give as much personal detail as possible. They require your maiden name, service number, dates of service, date of birth and date of death. ***************************************** WHAT HAVE WE BEEN DOING? Townsville air show and open day, 15th – 16th October 2016 (Janet Noack) Along with some 78 thousand aircraft enthusiasts, Branch Members Ellen Thompson, Jan Nichols, Heather Mewitt and Janet Noack experienced a rare aviation spectacular as the sky over Townsville’s The Strand foreshore was a buzz with aircraft for the Defence Air Show. Due to the extreme wind conditions, the initial start to the air show had to be cancelled. We unfortunately did not get to see Alan Moss jump out of an aircraft at 14,000 feet flying a 35kg 1500sq foot Australian Flag flanked by two experienced smoke flare jumpers. Both the 1 o’clock and 4 o’clock skydives had to be cancelled. But nothing could stop the United States Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon opening the show with an amazing burst of speed and thunderous sound. With a full load of fuel, F-16 Fighting Falcon can withstand up to nine Gs (nine times the force of gravity). This aircraft certainly got everyone’s attention as it not only opened the air display, it was also the closing aircraft spitting out flames as the sky darkened. Unbelievable!! Historical aircraft like the Lockheed Hudson, Catalina, Mustang, DHC-4 Caribou, Neptune and RAAF AP-3C Orion were such a contrast to United States Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, the RAAF Hawk 127 and the F/A-18F Super Hornet. We all love the old but got a greater buzz when those magnificent jets “do their Thing”. All the children around me oohed and aahed when the Air Force Roulettes took to the air. They performed breathtaking formation-aerobatic displays in their PC-9/A aircraft. – using only hand-eye coordination – at speeds of up to 590km/hr. Most of the Roulettes have more than 3000 hours of flying experience. They were incredible to watch. An awesome afternoon followed by a brilliant finale – a 30 minute fireworks display over the ocean. WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE Newsletter October – December 2016 Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division WRAAF Branch Newsletter Oct – Dec 2016 P a g e | 3 Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Kylie Stoneman, Division 4, ICC I had enjoyed an unbelievable day with my nephew David, his wife Dee and their lovable children, particularly the two littlies as they swam in the ocean, built sandcastles and played with all the children around them and not one SPAT! . And even more unbelievable was with a crowd of 78,000+, I not only caught up with Ellen, Jan and Heather once, but three times!!! All aircraft from the Defence Force Air Show (a total of 25) were on static display at RAAF Base Townsville’s Open Day the following. But that’s another story. ********** Combined RSL Centenary Luncheon Yeronga Services and Community Club, Thursday 27 Oct 2016 (Janet Noack) I attended this luncheon on behalf of Carol and without a doubt; it was the best I had attended all year. A tasty 3 course meal with whatever you wished to drink. However, it was not the food and wine that marked this day, but meeting the delightful Grace Quane (nee Dwyer) and the charming Joyce Dallas. Joyce Dallas (Predeaux) had served during the war as a Teleprinter Operator at Archerfield, Brisbane WT from 1941-1943. Unfortunately we were not seated at the same table and my conversation with Joyce was limited. I was however, seated beside Grace Quane who joined the WAAAF in 1942 and served until 1945 as an Equipment Assistant. Her postings included Brisbane 3SD; USLO (United States Liaison Office), and Toowoomba 7SD. A Little bit of history on the side: 7SD buildings were camouflaged to look like lakes on aerial photographs – a Japanese dignitary visiting the area in the 1960’s asked if he could see the town’s lakes and produced a wartime map indicating the general area of 7SD. After surveying the site, he smiled and casually commented “If we had known (this), we might have bombed you” Janet Noack, Joyce Dallas (Predeaux) & Grace Quane (Dwyer) I enjoyed a wonderful chat with Grace and plan to catch up with her in January along with several other Triple A’s who uphold the tradition of meeting each month (whenever possible) at the Shingle Inn. ********** Hervey Bay Ex-servicewomen’s Social Club, October 2016 reunion (Jill Buckland) Hervey Bay Ex-Servicewomen once again put on a great 3 days of fun and entertainment. The theme this year was “My Island in the Sun”. The Beachside Motel was booked out with groups of WRAAC and Ex-WRAAF girls. Our unit was shared by Rosie Forster, representing the Council of Ex-Servicewomen, Vi Speis, Val Machin and myself. We had fun at night sharing a few drinks and playing board games with Julie Chapple and her WRAAC mates from next door. WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE Newsletter October – December 2016 Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division WRAAF Branch Newsletter Oct – Dec 2016 P a g e | 4 Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Kylie Stoneman, Division 4, ICC As the theme for the weekend was “My Island in the Sun”, festivities began with the Firewalking get together Friday night, the Hula Hula fun luncheon Saturday and the Tribal farewell Sunday. The dress code for the weekend was “your favourite island dress” which was embraced by the majority with many Hawaiian leis and shirts to be seen at all the tables which were adorned with sea shells etc. Saturday there was a competition for the best dressed and while not many wanted to get up and make a fool of themselves the WRAAF girls and several others embraced centre stage in our versions of tropical wear. The outcome was that Val Machin won 1st prize with her outfit which included a very stylish sun hat. Vi Speis and I were the runners up. There are some photos doing the rounds but may be censored. The whole weekend was a wonderful success thanks to all the hard work of the Hervey Bay Ex-Servicewomen. A lot of hard work was put in behind the scenes and the RSL as always made us most welcome. We look forward to returning next year. ********** Xmas lunch Kookaburra Queen, 10 Nov 2016 Sailing majestically down the brown river in a paddle steamer with a Dixie Jazz Band playing, the air so humid you could almost see it, fans whirring futilely and a cooling breeze wafting in through the open windows – 50 of us could have truly believed we were on a river boat on the good ole Mississippi!!!! With the possible exception of those who have really been on a river boat on the Mississippi that is, for we were actually on the Brisbane River having our 2016 Christmas lunch on the good ship Kookaburra Queen. A good time was had with several ladies – who shall remain nameless – seen “dancing” along the balcony to the strains of Sweet Georgia Brown. The band was good and created a riverboat atmosphere. The buffet food was plentiful and the drinks system worked – as evidenced by the aforementioned dancing display – despite the initially confusing voucher system. On the down side it was a bit of a tight squeeze with the tables so close we all had to breathe in very, very deeply to get out. Unlucky if you chose a window seat!!! However the window seats – as well as having a view – were lucky for providing the only cooling air. The fans were certainly not up to the job and our Secretary has given the KQ some excellent feedback in regard to these issues. We managed to dock just before the storm hit Brisbane and get into the bus just as the rain started pelting down. Our thanks to our bus driver Linda Hamer (ex-WRAAC) for getting us through the dark, wet, traffic clogged streets to the station and the bus terminus. A few of us got wet getting into the station but after the sticky heat of the afternoon it was a bit of a relief to cool down a bit. ********** WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE Newsletter October – December 2016 Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division WRAAF Branch Newsletter Oct – Dec 2016 P a g e | 5 Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Kylie Stoneman, Division 4, ICC RAAF Townsville Aviation Heritage Centre, 16 Oct 2016 (Janet Noack) WHEN IS A MUSEUM NOT A MUSEUM? Unfortunately on Sunday 16th October, I found out! I had arranged with Ellen, Jan and Heather to meet inside the WAAAF Display Nissan Hut located at RAAF Townsville Aviation Heritage Centre. I was finally going to meet Mrs Mary Hilbig and have the pleasure of seeing the fantastic display of WAAAF and WRAAF memorabilia Mary had gathered over many years and from numerous contributors throughout Australia. Oh Dear Me……………this is what we found………………. A sign saying “Sorry This Display Area is temporarily closed. The “Women of the RAAF” Display Is on loan to Canberra.” Jan Nichols, Janet Noack, Ellen Thompson & Heather Mewitt 16/10/2016 ****************************** THE WAY WE WERE – 40th Anniversary This year, come the 1st May, it will be 40 years since the WRAAF was disbanded and we were integrated into the RAAF. It was supposed to be a final milestone in the inequalities that existed between airmen and airwomen – following on from being allowed to stay in after marriage and pregnancy and equal pay. Only combat musterings remained closed to us Those of us who were still in in 1977 probably have mixed feelings and memories about the “integration”. It was the end of a “sisterhood” that we were all proud of but we are still “a force to be reckoned with” thanks to our commitment to our ex-WRAAF groups, our friendships and our reunions. Remember bed rolls, bed checks, Orderly WRAAF, Monday night panics, drawer inspections and applying for weekend leave? My particular bugbear was having my drawers inspected and I told a WRAAF officer that having this done to me – at the age of 24 – was offensive as even my mother wouldn’t do it. She was not impressed with my attitude!!!! But to this day my drawers still look like they are awaiting inspection. WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE Newsletter October – December 2016 Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division WRAAF Branch Newsletter Oct – Dec 2016 P a g e | 6 Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Kylie Stoneman, Division 4, ICC One memory I have of the integration – other than the equal pay which I recall taking some time to take effect – was having to replace our WRAAF hat badges. I deliberately kept wearing the old one until an eagle eyed officer ordered me to change over. ****************************** THE WAY THEY ARE NOW Some light reading Women in the ADF: six decades of policy change (1950 to 2011) Click here or go to http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/FlagPost/2015/December/Women_in_the_ADF Or a good read for the New Year One Woman’s War and Peace: A Nurse’s Journey in the Royal Australian Air Force By: Wing Commander Sharon Brown (Retd.) In 1999, idealistic 23-year-old Registered Nurse Sharon Brown left her comfortable family life in Tasmania and joined the Royal Australian Air Force with the aim of providing humanitarian aid to the world. Through her 16-year military career she deployed on three operations, barely survived a helicopter crash, struggled to return to military service, mixed in political circles in Canberra and around the world as Aide de Camp to the Minister for Defence, and commanded a combat surgical team during some of the most intense fighting in Afghanistan. During this time, she lost her mother to breast cancer and almost lost her policeman father to a homicidal psychopath on his way to shoot dead his girlfriend but who decided to kill a cop instead. From teaching East Timorese orphans to learn English to tending to wounded Coalition soldiers choppered into her surgical team from deadly battles on the Afghan dust, Sharon’s story is that of a sheltered civilian RN becoming a military Nursing Officer and a commander. Her military service was unique, varied and far-reaching but came at the cost of her physical and mental health. A broken back, shattered jaw and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are the price she has paid for a remarkable and inspirational career in the Royal Australian Air Force. ****************************** 65th Anniversary National WRAAF Reunion 2018 – IT’S ON !!!!! The South Australian WRAAF Reunion is on the 6th, 7th, 8th April 2018. We are looking into accommodation and venues for this function – too early for prices as yet. WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE Newsletter October – December 2016 Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division WRAAF Branch Newsletter Oct – Dec 2016 P a g e | 7 Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Kylie Stoneman, Division 4, ICC We are selling lovely white handtowels with state or territory flowers with WRAAF embroidery for $15.00. There are also dark blue with light blue WRAAF embroidery Polo Shirts $40.00; Sleeveless Vests $50.00; Ladies Scarf of light blue with dark blue WRAAF on the bottom, a beautiful warm fleecy material $22.00 and Jackets for $55.00. When ordering clothes, please include chest measurement either in inches or cm. Numbers only no letters. [[I think this means – Measurement and not size number]] Cheque, money orders or Credit card details (number and expiry date and CCU) Please contact Laeraine on (08) 9306 2681 any time. Expressions of interest are being called for and a $10 registration is payable and should include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Please contact Judy Bland at gjb41@bigpond.com or write to WRAAF Branch, AFME, Bull Creek Drive, Bull Creek, WA 6147. ****************************** RAAF NEWS ONLINE You can access the latest RAAF News – now simply called Air Force – online by going to http://digital.realviewtechnologies.com/?xml=defencenews_airforce.xml ***************************************** RAAF RADSCHOOL MAGAZINE 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 Maureen Stewart keeps in contact and sends out cards to those who are not well, those supporting a loved one who is infirmed or recovering themselves, and to those who have lost a loved one. If you know anyone in these situations let Maureen know – morsy@optusnet.com.au or phone her on 3389-5762 or 0424 741 527. Maureen is keen to expand her role and would like to encourage likeminded volunteers to assist her with the hospital and or home visits. ******************************************** 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 contact our President, Treasurer or Secretary please use the following emails: President@wraaf.org.au ; Treasurer@wraaf.org.au ; Secretary@wraaf.org.au **************************************** 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 Heritage Bank Account. ****************************************** WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE Newsletter October – December 2016 Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division WRAAF Branch Newsletter Oct – Dec 2016 P a g e | 8 Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Kylie Stoneman, Division 4, ICC WRAAF ACCOUNT ? Account Name:- WRAAF Branch Queensland ? Bank:- Heritage Bank ? BSB:- 638-070 ? Account No:- 13917374 ? Cheques made out to WRAAF Branch Queensland. ? Direct deposit – Put your name on bottom of deposit slip, include reason – fees, functions etc. & contact Truus Perry – see below – notifying her you have made a deposit and what it is for. ************************************ ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEES Membership fees must reach our Treasurer in time to send form & fees to the RAAFA by mid-April. If not received by this time you not be financial and must rejoin RAAFA/WRAAF Branch on 1 July. Full membership: $32.00 per year Associate membership/WRAAF membership: $12.00 per year ******************************************** YOUR EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President: Carol McCool Phone: 0419 798 567 Email: president@wraaf.org.au Deputy President: Pam Condie Email: pcondie@me.com.au Secretary: Janet Noack 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, Eunice Smith, Margaret Humphries Please contact an Executive Committee member at any time if you have a question or query ******************************************** Email for the newsletter If you have anything you would like included in the newsletter – a trip you have been on, a recipe, any photos you would like to share – please send them to newsletter@wraaf.org.au Feedback is invited. ******************************************** The WRAAF Website is www.wraaf.org.au ********************************************

WRAAF Brisbane Newsletter July to September 2015

07/02/2016 at 12:17 pm

WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
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.
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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
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WRAAF Branch SOCIAL CALENDAR 2015
Date
Event
9 – 11 October
WRAAF NATIONAL REUNION – GOLD COAST, QLD
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.
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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.
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IT’S FINALLY HERE !!!!!!!!!!!
WRAAF NATIONAL REUNION – GOLD COAST, QLD
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
WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
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
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WHAT HAVE WE BEEN DOING?
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
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WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
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
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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 –
Women
WRAAF
Worthwhile
Wonderful
Welcome
Wow
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
WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
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.
WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
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.
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Congratulations
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
THE ARCTIC CIRCLE
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
WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
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.
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THE WAY WE WERE
Canberra Times, 24 April 1970
ROYAL VISIT 1970 – DEAR FOLKS, I MET THE ROYAL FAMILY
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.
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WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
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.
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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.
TRAINING IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR:
?BOOKBINDERS ?STEWARDESSES ?PERSONNEL SUPERVISORS ?TELEPHONE OPERATORS ?TELEPRINTER OPERATORS ?STOREWOMEN ?CLERKS (Supply, Medical, General Purpose) ?TYPISTS
VACANCIES EXIST FOR EXPERIENCED WOMEN AS:
?STENOGRAPHERS TA1LORESSES ?GENERAL HANDS ?EQUIPMENT ACCOUNT CLERKS ?DR1VERS
In these jobs, Women’s Air Force weekly pay varies from $84.95 to $120.90 according to job and rank.
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WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
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
THE WAY THEY ARE NOW.
SQUADRON LEADER SAMANTHA FREEBAIRN Pilot / Royal Australian Air Force
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.
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RAAF NEWS ONLINE
You can access the latest RAAF News – now simply called Air Force – online by going to
http://digital.realviewtechnologies.com/?xml=defencenews_airforce.xml
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RAAF RADSCHOOL MAGAZINE
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.
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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
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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
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WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
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
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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:
President@wraaf.org.au
Treasurer@wraaf.org.au
Secretary@wraaf.org.au
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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.
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ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEES
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
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WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
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
YOUR EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
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
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Please forward any items of interest for publication in the newsletter to Pamela Ritter at secretary@wraaf.org.au with the subject heading “Newsletter”.
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The WRAAF Website is www.wraaf.org.au
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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.

WRAAF Brisbane Branch Newsletter Oct – Dec 2015

28/01/2016 at 2:19 pm

WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
Newsletter – October to December 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –Oct to Dec 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 1
Special WRAAF Reunion 2015 Edition
Message from our President
Rosie Forster
Welcome everyone to the last meeting for 2015. With only 41 days to Christmas one wonders where the year has gone.
It has been a busy time since our last meeting with the run up & ending with the Reunion. Firstly, my sincere thanks go to the committee for their wonderful support in making it a success. The feedback has been so positive & the Memorial Service was the icing on the cake. There were a few hiccups but that was to be expected & we overcame them.
I hope everyone enjoyed their time over the 3 days, as I did, it was so good catching up with old friends & making new ones. I thank all of you for help & support in making this Reunion a memorable one.
With the All Services Morning Tea being our last function for the year; looking back we have had a busy & exciting 2015.
In closing, I would like to wish you & your families a very merry Christmas & a happy & safe New Year & will see all of you in January.
Rosie
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2016 WRAAF Branch Meetings
New location for meetings
Meetings are held on the 3rd Saturday in January and then on the 2nd Saturdays in March, May, July, September & November at Ann Street Presbyterian Church Trust Offices Meeting Room at 143 Ann Street Brisbane (located between office tower at 145 Ann Street and the Church). Access is by Security Card so you will need to arrive by 9.50am at the latest and a Committee member will let you in.
16th Jan 2016
12th March 2016
14th May 2016
9th July 2016
10th Sept 2016
12th Nov 2016
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Newsletter Subscription $12.00.
For those not wanting to be a full or associate member of the WRAAF Branch but want to keep in touch with friends and the Air Force generally. You will receive 4 newsletters each year.
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AGM 2016
ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS
POSITION
CONFIRMED
President
Carol McCool
Deputy President
Pam Condie
Treasurer
Truus Perry
WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
Newsletter – October to December 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –Oct to Dec 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 2
Secretary
Jan Noack
Minute Secretary
Pam Condie
Assistant Treasurer
Jill Buckland
General Committee
Eunice Smith
General Committee
Gillian Shepherd
General Committee
Margaret Humphries
RAAFA Delegate
Carol McCool
RAAFA Delegate
Jill Buckland
CESW Delegate
Margaret Stevenson
CESW Delegate
Lyn Wilkes
Other positions
Health and Wellbeing Officer – Maureen Stewart
Honorary Auditor – Lorraine Claydon
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WRAAF NATIONAL REUNION – GOLD COAST, QLD
9 to 11 October 2015
A Reunion is defined as “a social gathering attended by members of a group of people who have not seen each other for some time”. Well on the second weekend in October almost 300 ex-WRAAFs did just that. We socialized with those we had seen a few weeks earlier, those we had caught up with at the last couple of reunions and in some cases with “girls” we hadn’t seen for 40 years.
The feedback has been fantastic and a great time was had by all. A lot of planning went into the Reunion and it started almost immediately after the Perth Reunion in 2013 when the Brisbane Branch offered to host 2015. Thanks go to our President Rosie Forster who raised the idea to undertake the reunion and to the Reunion Committee who formulated the plans and organized the venue, the food, the events etc.
Friday Night 9th October Meet and Greet
The Reunion Committee were at the Coolangatta Sands Hotel early to set up and compete the last few details for the Meet and Greet and ladies began lining up at the door well before the appointed time. By the time rolls were checked, names ticked off and merchandise picked up 258 of us were circulating around the room. There was lots of calling out names, searching faces to see if we recognized someone familiar and then shouts of joy and hugs when we re-connected with friends from decades ago. A few glasses of wine, nice finger food and lots of photos and then all too soon it was time to finish up, get some rest and regroup for sightseeing and Saturday night’s big dinner.
WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
Newsletter – October to December 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –Oct to Dec 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 3
Saturday Night 10th October Dinner
Saturday’s weather was perfect for strolls along the beach and doing lunch and shopping before getting ready for Dinner. As with Friday night ladies were lined up early and this time 276 of us rocked up, dressed up and partied. We also had 2 serving airwomen who joined us. We had a witty and vibrant MC, Jill Chivers, who managed to keep us interested and made herself heard above 276 of us catching up and reminiscing. She also presided over what must have been the longest raffle in history. There were lots of great prizes thanks to the generosity of many of our members and many lucky ladies went home with handmade gifts and gift cards.
There was lots of circulating and catching up from where we had left off the night before. Jill Chivers introduced our guest speaker for the evening – Wing Commander Colleen Higginson (Staff Officer Workforce – Air Force Headquarters). Colleen is a 37 year veteran of the RAAF who joined as an ACW and is currently a WgCdr. Her talk covered those 37 years and the changes she has seen and the work she is currently doing. Her experiences are so different from those of many of us and she has achieved so much. She talked about retention strategies for women, diversity and career options. Many of us would have liked to have had the same opportunities but they were “different times’. However her closing remarks resonated with us and summed up the reason why we love these reunions – “However the one thing that has always, and will always remain, is the camaraderie shared between us women with all other women who have worked and continue to work in the Air Force no matter what year that has been. We are all members of a very unique fraternity and have come together this evening to continue the spirit and friendships of our careers and our loyalty to the Air Force …”
All too soon it was past 10pm and time to finish up, say goodbye, and swap email and phone numbers and head off. Many were travelling back to every state in Australia the next day and many were going to the
WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
Newsletter – October to December 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –Oct to Dec 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 4
Memorial Service at the Currumbin RSL on Sunday. There was a call for another reunion in two years’ time and hopefully we will be able to say “See you in 2017 in ……….”
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Presentation at Dinner Saturday 10th October by special guest Wg Cdr Higginson
Wing Commander Colleen Higginson
Staff Officer Workforce – Air Force Headquarters
Presentation to WRAAF Reunion Dinner
10 October 2015
Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you this evening at my first WRAAF Reunion. Rosie asked me to speak about some of my experiences since I joined the Air Force in January 1978 and how things have changed since I first joined. Tonight I will start by giving you an insight into my background and roles I have done in the Air Force and I will follow this by concentrating on the wonderful policies that are currently available to increase women’s recruitment and retention in the Air Force. When I look at the changes during my career, I believe many changes have been incremental; however in the last few years, the changes have been quite revolutionary, especially for women.
WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
Newsletter – October to December 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –Oct to Dec 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 5
Myself… I grew up in Rockhampton and attended Central Girls primary school from 1963- 1969 and then I went to Rockhampton Girls Grammar school from 1970 – 1973. I came from a family of three girls, no brothers, and a mother who worked in our family business since I was born. When I left school, I started a Nursing career in 1974, however left to live in Brisbane and worked as a credit agency reporter. I returned to Rockhampton in early 1977 and by chance noticed an advertisement in the local paper about the Defence Force recruiting opportunities and I applied to join the Air Force as this seemed such an interesting career. I did not come from a military family, however yearned to live in the city once again; this seemed an exciting way to fulfill my ambitions. The Air Force was looking for Medical Clerks – I thought I could combine my Nursing and clerical background to be great in this role – however the recruiting officer was looking for Communications Operators (COMMSOPS) and convinced me I would be better suited to this work – it paid more than the Medical Clerk, so I agreed!
I joined the Air Force on 16 January 1978, having turned 20 years the week before. I left Rockhampton by train, was put up in the People’s Palace (now backpackers) and signed the Oath at Recruiting before we were flown to Melbourne. At Laverton, my first home in the Air Force was Block 100 where I was a member of 252 Recruiting Course. After graduating from the Recruiting Course on 27 Feb 1978, I moved to the blocks over the road, and started the COMMSOP training at School of Radio (RADS) in Laverton. After graduating as a COMMSOP, I was posted to RAAF Glenbrook to the RAAF Telecommunications Unit (RAAFTUS).
The first job I had as a COMMSOP was fun. I can remember one day you would be rostered onto SEND and you would stand and push the torn tape messages into the mainframe computer after writing the message details on a little pad which was checked by the CPL supervisor at various intervals throughout the day. The next day wasn’t all that much different, rostered onto RECEIVE, you would be take the torn tape messages from the computer, annotate the details on the little pad, and once again be checked by the CPL supervisor. The next day you would be rostered on to actually type the messages that were to be SENT – and gradually the full round of COMMSOP duties at that junior rank were performed.
I married at age 24 years – I was an LACW and my husband was a CPL COMMSOP. I was now working in the Air Operations Communication Centre (AOCC), a very satisfying role due to the immediate response of communicating with the aircraft. We were posted to Darwin in November 1984 – just before the house we were building was finalized – now this was a fairly typical thing that seemed to happen to people who bought/build houses and we had to rush the house so it could be rented out.
In Darwin, I became pregnant with my son Christopher who was born in September 1985. I took the three months Maternity Leave as well as two additional months of recreation leave, and returned to work feeling confident I was able to combine motherhood and work. I was a shift worker and had been approved to work a different shift to my husband, which enabled someone to always be at home during the night and therefore Christopher only needed childcare during the day. I believe returning to work as a married mother was the very first time I ever felt ‘different’ to my colleagues, and the first time I faced what I now realize was probably unconscious discrimination, however this was understandable given the era. My work supervisors, all male, had a perception that married mother’s should still be at home, and I faced difficult times balancing changing shifts and finding good childcare, and facing crises when Christopher was too ill and to attend crèche or Family Day care – and at times would have to fly my mother to Darwin from Rockhampton to help me continue.
At this juncture, I would like to acknowledge that many of you women here tonight may have felt discriminated in your career due to marriage and/or pregnancy, once again as it was the policy of the day, it was accepted. It was only after the Commonwealth Public Service allowed women to retain their positions
WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
Newsletter – October to December 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –Oct to Dec 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 6
after marriage in 1966, that the Women Royal Australian Air Force (WRAAF) instigated this policy in 1969. Up until then, many of you were required to leave your beloved Air Force careers because you had ‘fallen in love’ and married. The public service abolished automatic discharge on pregnancy in 1973 and the WRAAF followed this policy in 1974 – so I now acknowledge the difficult time this may have been for some of you who didn’t want leave the Air Force.
I continued my COMMSOP career, juggling the demands of parenthood and in 1987, recognizing shift work was going to be difficult to maintain as a parent, I started a part-time Bachelor of Public Administration at the local Charles Darwin University with a goal of commissioning as an Administration Officer. Most folk I worked with thought I was a bit crazy to study, especially with a small child, but I persevered and after three years of part-time (assisted by the Defence Assisted Study Scheme DASS) study, I was fortunate to be offered civil schooling to finish my degree full time, and I was then commissioned as an Administration Officer in 1991.
Attending the 17 weeks Officers Training course as a mature 33 year old mother of a six year old once was an amazing opportunity – we did wonderful things such as abseiling, cave climbing, cross-country skiing, and I remember Sir Edmund Hilary’s grandson as one of our mentors on the training. Officer’s training was a time when you were able to grow your confidence and do things you had never thought you could do – it was also a time when I needed to socialize with my younger peers. I was the oldest member on the course, and when we were all allowed to go into town, they were grateful to me as I was the one who would retire early to sleep in the car and drive everyone back to Point Cook when they finished.
I had my first two postings as an Officer in Darwin, one to 2CRU (Control and Reporting Unit – the Air Defence unit) on Lee Point Road and then the Base Support Centre on the RAAF Base at Darwin managing Air Force and financial administration. I continued in training courses away from Darwin – Basic administration for 6 weeks and Finance for 4 weeks and I also continued academic study.
I left the permanent RAAF in 1996 and became a Defence public servant managing the Pay Centre for Army and then the Housing Management section with a team of Air Force, Navy and Army and public servants. During this period I was a Reservist at the then 13SQN, and continued my development as a FLTLT Administration Officer.
I found myself a single parent in 1999, and was offered an opportunity to rejoin the Permanent Air Force, and was posted to RAAF Glenbrook – where my career had initially started. After this I have had other postings back to Darwin (XO/CO 396ECSS), Canberra (Coord and Committee Secretariat in AFHQ), back again to Darwin (DCO and NORCOM), Adelaide (SOPERS/CO HQAOSG) and I am now in Canberra in a Workforce position.
I have also had deployments to the Afghanistan and Iraq conflict – for both of these deployments I was the Financial Advisor – meaning I was in control of the money for Defence and the Australian Military Commander on these operations. I recall how shocked I was once when I was required to transport more than USD 10,000 from one UAE country to another and when I queried the bank manager on the feasibility of this with cognizance of our customs policy of not taking/bringing more that AUD 10,000 into/out of Australia. The manager said…in this country, some of our people take more than that on a weekend away with their families. Needless to say, the wealth of our host country was quite a shock to me.
I clearly remember the anticipation I felt during my first deployment when I needed go the US Bagram Afghanistan to do some financial work – I might add I really was quite excited but at the same time fairly frightened as this was ‘real time’ and I guess you are never really sure what can happen, and if your weapon
WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
Newsletter – October to December 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –Oct to Dec 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 7
training had prepared you well enough. I can also remember when I was on the Iraq deployment when I was stationed in Qatar – I regularly needed to go to other locations, and flying to Kuwait when the entire city was under military control was interesting – the liberties I previously had to wander to the city were not enabled. I was now totally armed and dressed with Kevlar vests at all times. I can remember the anticipation when the base was under fire.
Before I move onto discuss the opportunities that have now been made available for women, I would like to read an interesting quote, cited by Bomford and published in the Australian, from Major Barbara Maxwell, Chief Instructor and Commanding Officer of the Women’s Royal Australian Army Corps (WRAAC) School in Sydney in 1972. Major Maxwell said of the women under her command:
We try to keep our girls soft and feminine… I think there are jobs for men and there are some for women… We do a lot of communications work and driving and catering, jobs that suit the mentalities and abilities of women…I just don’t like guns, I suppose. It isn’t very feminine is it? Shooting, I mean!
Whilst I joined the Air Force six years after this, I fitted into this category perfectly – I worked in communications and we did not have to handle a weapon or were expected to deploy to a war zone. So much has changed for women in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in the years since Major Maxwell expressed her particular view of women’s roles in the army.
The role of women in the Australian military significantly began to change after 1975, which was the International Year of Women, and the WRAAF was abolished in 1977; the WAAC in 1979 and the WRANS in 1985, as female members were merged into the services. Equal pay was granted to all servicewomen in 1979.
Despite being integrated into the military, there were still restrictions on female service. The ADF was granted an exemption from the Sexual Discrimination Act when it was introduced in 1984 so that it could maintain gender-based restrictions against women serving in combat or combat-related positions. As a result of personnel shortages in the late 1980s the restriction against women in combat-related positions was dropped, and in 1990, Air Force women were for the first time allowed to serve in combat squadrons.
However it was not until the then Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, instigated several reviews into aspects of Defence and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) culture during 2011-2012 that there has been revolutionary changes for women. Reviews were held into the Treatment of Women at the Defence Force Academy; Review into the treatment of Women in the Defence Force (both by the then Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick) Review of the use of Alcohol; Review of pathways for women in the Defence APS; and the DLA paper review of sexual and other forms of abuse in Defence.
Defence responded to these reviews by implementing a program called, Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture. Air Force implemented its own “New Horizon” program to implement the culture change for Air Force members and as a part of New Horizon there are several policies that are available to women to enhance their recruitment and retention.
Air Force has recognised the strong capability imperative required to improve the treatment of women in the ADF and to enhance their career opportunities. It also recognises that policies to attract, retain and give women more opportunities makes good sense when there is a shortage of personnel in, and wanting to come in, to the Air Force in a time when Australia itself is looking at having an unprecedented shortage of human resources in the next decade in most sectors. Competition for the talent required in the Air Force in the future will be difficult and therefore, Air Force needs to increase its number of women as a capability issue.
WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
Newsletter – October to December 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –Oct to Dec 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 8
Women in Australia comprise 51% of the population, 46% of the workforce, but only about 15% of the ADF and 18% of the Air Force. Whilst this figure has grown from 15% women in the Air Force in 2000, it is optimal for Air Force to try to increase its participation of women to at least 25% in the near future.
Attraction/Recruiting Strategies
Flight and Tech Camps were instigated in 2013 to support the exposure of non-traditional careers to girls aged 16-18 years old. Their primary objective is to provide a hands-on, risk-free experiential learning opportunity for yond women to experience aviation and technical roles, particularly pilot, in the Air Force and give the girls an opportunity to discuss Air Force careers with women working in those fields.
Gap year. The Australian Defence Force Gap Year is an opportunity for young adults to experience military training, service and lifestyle. It targets those members of the Australian community between 17 and 24 years of age who have completed their Year 12 (or equivalent) education. The aim of the Gap Year is to provide young men and women with a meaningful experience to gain a better understanding of the opportunities available to them in the ADF, and to facilitate their potential selection for ongoing Permanent or Reserve service.
CAF Flying Scholarships Air Force is encouraging the development of young female pilots and two sponsored scholarships open to women under the age of 24. The scholarships are available through the Australian Women’s Pilots Association and provide a grant of $2000 for each recipient.
Graduate Pilot Scheme was introduced in 2013 and this program is a targeted pilot recruitment model that aims to encourage women already studying Bachelor of Aviation degrees to consider joining the Air Force as pilots. Air Force has partnered with Griffith University to offer this program and work is underway to implement similar programs at other aviation universities.
Why is the Air Force only targeting women? As I said before, the growth in the Australian labour force is slowing and with our aging population, the number of young people available to enter the Air Force is shrinking. Policies that improve female recruitment enable Air Force to tap into a significant pool of talented people who are not currently joining Defence, particularly in Air Crew specialisation.
Retention Strategies
The Women’s Integrated Networking Group (WINGS) program brings women of all employment groups and ranks together to provide mutual support and advice for having a lasting career in Air Force, whilst also offering the chance to hear from invited guest speakers at monthly sessions at all Air Force establishments. The program is designed to empower women in Air Force to build the support and mentoring networks required to sustain a long term career in Air Force.
Technet. Is a mentoring and networking group for airwomen in non-traditional roles? It offers an open environment for technical women to seek guidance, support and mentoring on a variety of topics for personal and professional development.
Women’s Forums. The initial forum was held in 2012 and has been held yearly. The focus is to provide opportunities for participants to engage with Air Force senior leaders as well as executives from external organisations such as UN Women, Australian Financial Review, and the ABC Network, banking, IBM as well as personal development and networking opportunities.
WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
Newsletter – October to December 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –Oct to Dec 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 9
Promotion. The Air Force has achieved above-average promotion outcomes without the requirement for gender targets in the promotion process. In 2014, there were significant changes introduced within the promotion system to order to ensure transparency and equitable decision making. All promotion board members were provided with unconscious bias training as part of the pre-board awareness package.
Breastfeeding Accreditation. Air Force was last year accredited as a “Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace” by the Australian Breastfeeding Association, the first military organisation in the world to achieve such an accreditation. This recognition publicly demonstrates Air Force’s commitment and support to women returning to work following maternity leave.
Diversity Handbooks. To assist both staff and managers, Air Force has produced Diversity Guide Handbooks – titles include Breastfeeding, Sole and Non-Custodial Parents; A working parents toolkit; One titled Flying through Parenthood, and a guide for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender members.
Flexible Working Arrangements. Defence has policies which enable flexible working arrangements for all staff in some posting position. Not all postings and positions are able to accommodate this, and whilst you may be in one posting which allows it, the operational nature of the next posting may not support flexible working arrangements such as Part Time Work for two, three or four day weeks, Variable Working Hours, and working from home arrangements.
White Ribbon. Air Force is seeking to become a White Ribbon Accredited Workplace. White Ribbon is Australia’s only national, male-led primary prevention campaign to end men’s violence against women. White Ribbon workplaces recognise that violence against women is both a human rights and a workplace issue. AMG has been proactive in the White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation program and the most visible aspect of their campaign was the pair of large white ribbons painted on a C130H and C-17, and associated flypasts.
Conclusion
I have seen quite a lot of change since I first started my Air Force career in January 1978 at RAAF Laverton. There has been an incremental change in policies over the years; however during the past four years there has really been a revolution of change in policies which have really benefited women. This has resulted in an increase of women in non-traditional roles, and the number of women pilots has increased from 19 in 2010 to 24 in 2014.
The retention policies that have been introduced are important to both men and women, but have been very successful for women. In Financial year 2011/2012 there was an 8.04 percentage of women separating from the Air Force, however during financial year 2013/2014 the separation rate has only been 5.18 percent of women.
Whilst women have always played an extremely important role throughout the entire time from when all of us have started our Air Force careers, women today are expected to perform in roles that were once as Major Barbara Maxwell would have said were not actual jobs for our girls who are soft and feminine…today women must use guns, whether this is considered feminine or not.
However the one thing that has always, and will always remain, is the camaraderie shared between us women with all other women who have worked and continue to work in the Air Force no matter what year that has been. We are all members of a very unique fraternity and have come together this evening to continue the spirit and friendships of our careers and our loyalty to the Air Force – I wish you all a most wonderful evening.
WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
Newsletter – October to December 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –Oct to Dec 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 10
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Sunday 11th October Memorial Service – Currumbin RSL (Rosemary Coleman)
The memorial service for the National WRAAF Reunion was held at the Currumbin RSL Club and proved to be a very fitting end to a wonderful weekend with 195 ladies attending. After the service the Reunion Committee received extensive comments, phone calls and praise for the service. However, the pivotal force behind the service was Mr Ron Workman, President of the Currumbin RSL Club who is also a long-time friend of Peg Lindsay and it was through Peg that Ron became involved. He proved to be an outstanding Master of Ceremonies but also a great organiser and a man of many contacts. Ron organised the cadet squadron from 213 Squadron Australian Air Force Cadets, Elanora Qld, and they did a superb job in the Catafalque and Flag Parties. It is lovely to see such enthusiastic young people taking part in these memorial services and carrying on the traditions of defence service. It is understood that the WRAAF Branch made a donation to 213 Squadron as a thank you for their participation and contribution to the service. A number of ladies were impressed with the music “Absent Friends” and we intend to contact Ron and ask him for details of this music. The poem “A Little Sprig of Wattle” was included as a contribution to the ANZAC Centenary. 186 ladies stayed on for the lunch afterwards and by all accounts it was a very enjoyable affair and rounded off the reunion weekend.
For more photos check out Lyn Mitchell’s website https://wraafreunion2015coolangatta.wordpress.com/
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WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
Newsletter – October to December 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –Oct to Dec 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 11
RAAF NEWS ONLINE
You can access the latest RAAF News – now simply called Air Force – online by going to
http://digital.realviewtechnologies.com/?xml=defencenews_airforce.xml
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RAAF RADSCHOOL MAGAZINE
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.
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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
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Health and Well-Being Officer
Maureen Stewart 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 Maureen know – morsy@optusnet.com.au
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Update Your Details
If you change your email or postal address or phone number PLEASE advise the Secretary ASAP – secretary@wraaf.org.au
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Important Email addresses
To contact our President, Treasurer or Secretary please use the following emails:
President@wraaf.org.au ; Treasurer@wraaf.org.au ; Secretary@wraaf.org.au
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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.
? 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.
? Direct deposit – Put name on bottom of deposit slip, include reason – fees, functions etc. & contact Truus Perry – see below – notifying her you have made a deposit and what it is for.
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ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEES
Membership fees must reach our Treasurer in time to send form & fees to the RAAFA by mid-April. If not received by this time you become unfinancial and must rejoin RAAFA/WRAAF Branch on 1 July.
Full membership: $32.00 per year Associate membership/Newsletter Subscription: $12.00 per year
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WRAAF BRANCH BRISBANE
Newsletter – October to December 2015
Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division
WRAAF Branch Newsletter –Oct to Dec 2015
Printed with the kind assistance of Councillor Bruce Casos, Division 4, ICC 12
YOUR EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
President: Carol McCool Phone: 0419 798 567 Email: president@wraaf.org.au
Deputy President: Pam Condie Email: pcondie@me.com.au
Secretary: Jan Noack 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, Eunice Smith, Margaret Humphries
Please contact an Executive Committee member at any time if you have a question or query
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Please forward any items of interest for publication in the newsletter to secretary@wraaf.org.au with the subject heading “Newsletter”.
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The WRAAF Website is www.wraaf.org.au
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WRAAF Brisbane Newsletter Jan to March 2013

12/07/2013 at 4:13 pm

Hello All

I’ve been remiss in not loading the Brisbane Branch newsletter from way back. Click on

WRAAF Brisbane Newsletter Jan to March 2013