Happy New Year All – Newsletter from Brisbane Branch

10/01/2015 at 12:25 pm

Hi everyone
Trying desperately to catch up with everything but keep getting interrupted by ‘Life’. I haven’t got time to attach the file so just copied and paste. Enjoy.
Message from our President
Rosie Forster

Welcome to our last meeting for 2014. It certainly has been a busy year with the arrangements for the Reunion progressing well.

Since our last meeting I have attended the Kedron-Wavell Friendship Day, which was a great success. The girls do an outstanding job in arranging this & I thank you. Some of the members gave up their time to help out, selling poppies etc. for Remembrance Day. My thanks go to them for their commitment to help raise funds for the Reunion, as it has been hard trying to get donations from anyone.

I, along with everyone else received the open letter from the State President, Mr. Doug Bower. There have been many mixed reactions to this & I will speak about this later.

With Christmas approaching way to fast, I would like to wish you & yours a merry Christmas & all the very best for 2015. For those who are travelling, please take care, as next year is going to be an exciting time for all of us.

In closing, I thank you all for your continued commitment to the Branch to make it what it is today. So until January look after yourselves & take care.

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.

17 January 2015 (3rd Saturday) 14 March 2015 9 May 2015
11 July 2015 12 September 2915 14 November 2015

Please note that fees must be paid prior to the AGM on the 17th January 2015 if you wish to nominate or vote at the AGM. Se details re fees and payment at the end of the Newsletter.


Date Event
Sat, 17 Jan 2015 WRAAF Branch Annual General Meeting and Ordinary General Meeting
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 Bus Trip to Redcliffe by Council of ESWA
Sun, 26 July 2015 Ex-Servicewomen’s Church Service, St John’s Cathedral
Sat, 15 Aug 2015 Tri-Service Lunch
Wed, 9 Sept 2015 Pine Rivers Memorial & Wreath Laying Service




Group Officer L.K. Pitman, OBE, BA, Dip Soc. Stud
Wing Officer Carter left the Service in 1960 and was succeeded by Wing Officer Lois K. Pitman, later Group Officer.

Group Officer Pitman was born in Melbourne and educated in America and at St Michael’s Church of England Grammar School, Victoria. After leaving school, Miss Pitman worked as a Laboratory Assistant with CSIRO in Canberra and later as an Advertising Assistant, and before joining the WAAAF in 1942 as a Section Officer, qualified as Licentiate of the Advertising Association of Australia.

After completion of No.42 WAAAF Officer Training Course, Miss Pitman served between 1942 and 1943 as Officer-in-Charge WAAAF Pearce and Staff Officer WAAAF Headquarters Western Area. Between 1943 and 1944, Flight Officer Pitman was in turn Recruit Training Officer at No.1 WAAAF Depot Larundel, and Recruit Training Unit, Sandgate, Queensland, Staff Officer WAAAF Headquarters Southern Area, and later Officer-in-Charge WRAAF Officer Training Section, back at Larundel.

Squadron Officer Pitman left the Service to assist in settling Service girls into civilian life, and stayed with the Department of Post-War Reconstruction as an information officer for approximately six months.
Miss Pitman then commenced her career as a social worker, completing the Diploma of Social Studies Course with the University of Melbourne under the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme, and in 1949 completed an Almoner’s Course. Miss Pitman has worked as a social worker with the Red Cross Society, as a medical social worker in the Psychiatric Clinics at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, and while visiting the United Kingdom on leave in 1955/56, as a psychiatric social worker at St Thomas’ Hospital, London.

In 1960, Miss Pitman was invited to join the peace-time WRAAF and did so. Since then, her appointments have been – Staff Officer WRAAF, Department of Air, Headquarters Maintenance Group and Headquarters Training Command, and since April 1960, Director of WRAAF.

After her appointment as Director, Group Officer Pitman, BA, Dip Soc Stud, undertook further study, and majored in Psychology at the National University Canberra. Her interest in this subject and her training as a social worker made her admirably suited to understand the behaviour and problems of young girls.
In 1968 Group Officer Lois Pitman was awarded the OBE for her distinguished service in senior staff appointments associated with WRAAF administration, for her untiring efforts to ensure the welfare of members of the WRAAF, and in recognition of the credit due to her for the high regard in which members of the WRAAF are held.


WRAAF “G” L123756
Member WRAAF Branch – 1996 to 2013

DAPHNE Nunn was one of the first women to make their mark on the Royal Australian Air Force after the Second World War. Known to her mates as “Daph”, the Booval-raised woman enlisted in the air defence forces in 1951, at the young age of 23.

During that time, the Women’s Royal Australian Air Force had just reformed after the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force was disbanded in 1947.

Daph enlisted at Amberley but completed her training at Richmond in NSW to become a service policewoman. The following year in 1952, she was among the 23 WRAAF who opened up the stores depot at Toowoomba. She returned to Amberley and when she wasn’t working at the barracks, Daph was showing off her athletic skill out on the hockey fields.

Her talent for the hockey saw Daph represent Queensland in the sport numerous times. She also won numerous inter-service championships for netball, tennis and athletics. She was given the honour of raising the Olympic flag at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.

When she was 27, Daph resigned from the WRAAF so that she could further her career in the defence force and joined the commissioned officer ranks. She then served on most units of the service and rose to the rank of Flight Officer. After 18 years of service, Daph resigned from the air defence force and settled in Brisbane.

She died on December 1, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. She was 86 years old.

More than a dozen ex-WRAAF personnel attended the service held at the George Hartnett in Holland Park on Tuesday. Former WR Faye Ison said Daph was a well respected and admired policewoman and officer.

“Those who worked with Daph have nothing but praise for her,” Ms Ison from Booval said. “She was such a wonderful and caring person. We will miss you, Daph.”
(From the Queensland Times)

Verna Harris Course 88 (Information from the VIC Branch)

Newsletter Subscription replaces Social Membership.

A newsletter subscription is available to those persons who do not wish to join as a full or associate member of the WRAAF Branch. It is envisaged that this subscription would be taken up by those living out of the Brisbane metropolitan area but who still want to keep up to date with what is going on with their friends and the Air Force generally. With this subscription, you will receive 4 newsletters each year.

9 to 11 October 2015
See Special Events on Site Menu on our website www.wraaf.org.au for information and Registration Forms.

2015 Calendars are now on sale. They have great pictures of previous reunions and would make a terrific gift or keepsake. All proceeds go towards the reunion. Only $20 (includes postage. Email orders to Rosie president@wraaf.org.au or ring on 3889 3728

Remember to order any memorabilia for the reunion – umbrellas, visor, medallion and keying all with the WRAAF crest. See the details on the Reunion registration form.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS. If you have already put in your complete forms for functions, could you please advise if you have any dietary needs? If you haven’t completed your forms yet, please advise of any requirements you may have next to the functions list. Email Rosie president@wraaf.org.au or ring on 3889 3728

Registration forms must be received by 31 January 2015 and payment for functions/merchandise must be received by 30 June 2015

PROGRAM – COOLANGATTA SANDS HOTEL, cnr McLean & Griffith Sts. Coolangatta
Friday, 09 October 2015
4.30pm Registration (Enter off McLean Street)
6pm-9pm Meet & Greet
Saturday, 10 October 2015
Rest Day – explore at your leisure
5.30pm for 6pm Formal Dinner (miniature Medals may be worn)
Sunday, 11 October 2015
11am Memorial Service at Currumbin RSL or have a leisurely stroll on the beach
12noon Light lunch will follow the service. Busses will be provided to & from Coolangatta. Details TBA.

Ocean Plaza Resort -80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta (2 Blocks from venue)
1 Bedroom – sleep2/1night – $269 per night 1Bedroom – 2nights = $318 5 Nights = $745
2Bedroom – sleep 4/1night = $280 per night 2 Bedroom – 2 nights = $358 5 Nights= $845
3 Bedroom – sleep 6 = Min 2 nights only 3 Bedroom – 2 nights = $598 5 nights=$1350
When booking mention Air Force Reunion for these rates.

Mint Coolangatta Points North Apartments – 66 Marine Parade, Coolangatta (2 blocks from venue)
1 Bedroom – sleep 2/1 night = $267 1 Bedroom – 2 nights = $344
2 Bedroom – sleep 4/1 night = $294 2 Bedroom – 2 nights = $398
3 Bedroom – sleep 6/1 night = $464 3 Bedroom – 2 nights = $718

Tweed Heads & Coolangatta Accommodation – Tweed Tourism 1800 674 414
Contact Janet & she can organise & book your accommodation for you

The Sebel – 3 McLean Street, Coolangatta (opposite venue) Ph.: 07 5589 0000
1 Bedroom- sleep 2/2 nights = $518 sleep 2/3 nights = $568 sleep 6/7 nights = $1,057
2 Bedroom- sleep 4/2 nights = $616 sleep 4/3 nights = $666 sleep 6/7 nights = $1,309
3 Bedroom- sleep 6/2 nights = $714 sleep 6/3 nights = $764 sleep 6/7 nights = $1,645
***Upgrade to any superior Bedroom Apartment (High Level above 7th floor) for more panoramic ocean views of Coolangatta beach and beyond for only an additional $25 per night.***

The Beach House Resort, 52 Marine Parade, Coolangatta (behind venue) Ph: 07 5630 6637
2 Bedroom- sleep4 + sofa bed (2 extra) 3night minimum stay = $630 7nights = $1320


Hervey Bay 30th Anniversary Birthday Weekend on 17-19 Oct 2014 (by Val Machin)

A group of 83 ladies from Sydney, Albury, Bundaberg, Brisbane, Caloundra, Maroochydore and surrounding areas came together for the Annual Birthday of Hervey Bay Ex-Servicewomen’s Social Club weekend. This year was their 30th Anniversary.

The theme for the weekend was called “WONDERS OF THE SEA”. On Friday night was the PEARLY SHELLS informal “Get Together”. On each table placement, sat a shell with a pearl in, which was a very nice touch. We had a lovely ‘light’ smorgasbord with endless delicious punch and it seemed an endless ‘over the bar’ drinks tab too. It was great to see familiar faces and to meet new ladies.

There were the usual raffle tickets to buy, and lots of prizes on offer. Most of the gifts related to ‘Wonders of the Sea’…tins of tuna & salmon and lots of lovely coloured stuffed whales, nemos, seahorses and many other creatures. A great way to start the weekend.

The Saturday morning rest before the luncheon was spent, shopping, checking out the beach, shopping or catching up with friends new and old or shopping. Get the gist.

Luncheon theme was “JEWEL OF THE SEA”. Well….from the photos you will see how much trouble some of the ladies (mostly Brissie girls) went to. They looked fantastic. No prizes for the best dressed, but if there was, I think Elizabeth and Vi would have scooped them all! The local paper came and took pics so they were (or will be) local stars.

We had an alternate drop sit down meal, with that endless tab of drinks – the HB RSL is very kind and looks after their girls. More raffles. Lots of prizes. There was also a ‘guess the number of jaffas in a bottle’ game. Can’t remember who won….but they were shared with everyone.

It was great to see many familiar faces in Hervey Bay. Each year many of the Qld Ex-Wraaf girls make the pilgrimage north. This year 3 Brissie Ex-Wraaf attending for the first time shared a “party house”, attached to a local motel with 3 of their mates all Ex-Wraac and a few stories could be told about their Saturday night and 5 or 6 bottles of wine that were consumed. Boy those army girls know how to enjoy themselves…back in my unit of 4 ladies, we were all in bed by 9pm!! Um…

The weekend didn’t end there….Sunday breakfast was called “PEARL DIVERS BREAKFAST” which consisted of fresh fruit and orange juice to whet the palate, then the wonderful ‘full English breakfast’ followed by tea and coffee. And of course the good company of friends. Lots of photos were taken, of which I have included a few. Thanks Harvey Bay girls for a wonderful weekend; Special thanks to Pam Lock & the Hervey Bay Ladies – you put on a bonza 30th Birthday extravaganza. Hope to see you again next year…..even if your event is one week after our WRAAF Re-Union in Coolangatta. What a month October will be!!!!

Christmas Lunch Saturday 13 November 2014 (Photos taken by Val Machin)

After the last meeting of the year we all made our way across Reddacliff Place to the Market Buffett at the Treasury Casino for our Christmas Lunch. There were about 50 of us and we all settled down for some good food, lots of talking and surprises from Secret Santa.

The buffet was plentiful and the staff at the Market Buffet set things up for Secret Santa and they don’t seem to mind that we take over most of the restaurant. It was a good end to a year that had its ups and downs.

All Services Morning Tea 29 November 2014 (Photos taken by Val Machin)

We had a merry group enjoying high-tea at Berkley’s on Ann St. Brisbane. 45 guests, 12 from our sister ex-service associations met at the Rendezvous Hotel for our annual get together.

The morning tea was a fun event again this year. Those who required gluten free food were catered for but the gluten free sandwiches weren’t the best. This will be improved next time.

The morning was enjoyed by all with lots of talking and joviality as it was a last chance to catch before the Christmas and New Year break. The raffles provided light entertainment with lots of happy winners. Thanks to everyone who bought tickets and donated raffle prizes.

DVA Xmas party Tuesday 2nd Dec 2014

Jill Buckland and I attended the Department of Veteran’s Affairs End of Year function for members of the Ex-Services community. It was also a farewell to Deputy Commissioner (Qld) Alison Stanley who was retiring. Ms Stanley has been a good friend to the Ex-Services community and was given a rousing round of applause and a beautiful bunch of flowers to mark her retirement. There was a good turn-out and I was finally able to put some faces to names of people from the WRANs, WRAACs and TripleAs etc., who I had only dealt with via mail or the phone. The food was excellent and everyone enjoyed themselves.


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.

THE WAY WE WERE – a few articles on the life and times of
Group Officer Lois Pitman

11 Dec 1950, Daily News Perth
MELBOURNE, Mon: Two of the first four officers to be appointed in the Women’s Royal Australian Air Force are West Australians. One was the last WAAF to be demobilized. She is Miss Mary Peck, of East Ivanhoe, formerly of Mt. Lawley, who left the WAAAF as a Squadron Officer on July 17, 1947. The other three are Miss Lois Pitman, of Elsternwick; Miss Hope Forster, – of St. Kilda, formerly of North Queensland, and Miss Eleanor Brett, of Perth. They have all been appointed with the rank of Flight Officer. All were members of the WAAAF.
The senior WRAAF officer, with an eventual salary of £664 annually, will be appointed from these new officers, or officers appointed through the recruiting campaign just started. General verdict of these new officers is: ‘There’s a job to be done— and we liked the life before.”
12 Dec 1950, The Argus
They’re the first of new W.R.A.A.F.
RECRUITING for the new W.R.A.A.F. has begun, and yesterday three flight-officers who were among the first to join the W.A.A.A.F. in war- time enlisted again.
After they had signed np, they went to the Commonwealth Clothing Factory at South Melbourne where they tried out the new uniforms. From left: Flight – Officers Mary Peck, Lois Pitman and Hope Forster, admiring the new officers’ hats.
The basic plan provides for 30 officers and 832 airwomen. At present the call is for drill instructors and administrative staff to form the nucleus for /the training of new recruits, which will begin at Laverton, Victoria, and Richmond. N.S.W., on January 15.
20 Feb 1960, Canberra Times
Squadron Officer Lois K. Pitman, whose appointment as Director of the Women’s Royal Australian Air Force was announced yesterday. Her appointment follows the retirement of Wing Officer Doris J. Carter, who had been in charge of the W.R.A.A.F. since April, 1951. In announcing the change, the Minister for Air, Mr. Osborne, praised Miss Carter’s work with the women’s section of the Air Force both during the war and since the service was reconstituted.
8 June 1968, Canberra Times
Queen recognises 304 Australians today
Three women are among the 29 ACT residents who have been honoured by the Queen. Thirteen service personnel have been honoured including the chief of the WRAAF, Wing Officer Lois Pitman, of Griffith.
Wing Officer Lois Katrine Pitman, of Griffith, director of the WRAAF. OBE
21 April 1972, Canberra Times
The director of the Women’s Royal Australian Air Force, Group Officer Lois Pitman, will retire next month after more than 25 years’ association with the air force.

Squadron Leader Samantha Freebairn, a C-17 pilot with No 36 Squadron at RAAF Amberley, has won a top award in the Telstra Business Women of the Year Awards.

In 2011, SQNLDR Freebairn began to develop the Graduate Pilot Scheme (GPS) in response to an Australian Defence Forces’ action plan to recruit and retain more women in the ADF. “My scheme has expanded the pilot recruiting pool by incentivising the option of a military flying career to those who had not previously considered it,” she said. “Since 2011, the Air Force has recruited just two female direct-entry pilots, compared with 70 males, despite the fact that about half of the aviation students are women.”

As a trailblazing RAAF pilot herself, Samantha was determined to address this imbalance. The GP Scheme encourages higher numbers of women to apply for pilot training, by grouping candidates together for mutual support, providing mentors and paying university fees. The GPS recruiting pipeline already has a number of high calibre female candidates leading to a doubling of the number of women pilots within two years, and will also potentially produce more female fast-jet fighter pilots in the RAAF.

Telstra Awards judges said the scheme has substantially increased recruitment rate, profiled female pilots, and it is now part of Griffith University Aviation course. The judges described Samantha as “persistent with an engaging personality and an ability to see a problem clearly and use ‘hard’ analytical skills and ‘soft’ personal skills to work with others to put a solution in place.”

Having flown many humanitarian and other C-17 tasks, including missions into Iraq and Afghanistan, SQNLDR Freebairn is now one of the most experienced C-17 pilots in the RAAF. Her exploits are now featured in the latest book Air Force by Defence author Ian McPhedran. SQNLDR Freebairn also established the Flying Females networking brunch at the Australian Defence Force Academy, and produced ‘Flying Solo’, a magazine-style guide to better equip female trainees to deal with the male-dominated environment.

As a mother, Samantha has no problem with her daughter following in her footsteps. “If my daughter ever wants to be an Air Force pilot, I want to feel secure in the knowledge that she’ll be judged on her skills and given a fair and even opportunity to achieve her full potential.”
Ipswich Life 7 October 2014.

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 – 3286 2076 or silvouscjp@bigpond.com

Update Your Details
If you change your email or postal address or phone number PLEASE advise the Secretary ASAP – secretary@wraaf.org.au
New 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, eg, fees, functions etc. Contact Carol McCool – 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



President: Rosie Forster Phone: 3889 3728 Email: president@wraaf.org.au
Deputy President: Cheryl Souvlis Phone: 3286 2076 Email: silvouscjp@bigpond.com
Secretary: Pamela Ritter Email: secretary@wraaf.org.au
Minute Secretary: Pam Condie Email: pcondie@me.com.au
Treasurer: Carol McCool Phone: 3284 3490 Email: treasurer@wraaf.org.au
53 Kurumba Street, Kippa-Ring Q 4021
Assistant Treasurer: Jill Buckland Email: jillbuckland@bigpond.com

General Committee Members: Jill Buckland, Gillian Shepherd, Judy Morris and Eunice Smith

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.