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We remember WGCDR Baxter Margaret Lynn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WRAAF Brisbane Newsletter July to September 2015

07/02/2016 at 12:17 pm

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

Lisa McCune narrates Coming Home: Australia’s RSL

07/02/2016 at 11:49 am

Lisa McCune coming home

[Mon 01/02/2016 2:19 PM]

By Staff Writer

RSLWA President Graham Edwards.

Coming Home: Australia’s RSL follows several veterans as they transition into civilian life.

Narrated by Lisa McCune, the documentary was given unprecedented access by the RSL.

“All Australians should watch this documentary”, said RSLWA President Graham Edwards, “because they will understand what these veterans have been through and how the RSL, through its work, helps rebuild lives”.

“It shows how the simple act of buying a poppy on Remembrance Day or a badge on Anzac Day makes a real difference.”

The one-hour documentary crosses the nation, illustrating the dedication of RSL sub-branch volunteers who are the organisation’s lifeblood.

After three deployments around the world, former Navy medic Hannah Amigh of Perth was discharged in 2013 with physical and mental issues.

As part of her rehabilitation, Amigh was sponsored by RSL WA to compete at the inaugural Invictus Games, an international Paralympic-style sporting event in London.

“I see the RSL as a huge support network. It’s somewhere I feel I belong,” Amigh said.

“We might not be from the same service or deployment, but you can come here and have a chat and there’ll be someone who knows what you’ve been through.”

“The RSL is here to help veterans and their families get through anything they might need us for”, said Edwards. “It doesn’t matter what: if you need help, come talk to us.”

Coming Home premieres February 6 on Channel Nine.

[Mon 01/02/2016 2:19 PM]

Us | Privacy | Copyright

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

06/02/2016 at 5:16 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An F-35 Join Strike Fighter.

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

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

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

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

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

“So it bloody should,” he added.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/women-poised-to-start-flying-raaf-fighter-jets-20160205-gmmt7s.html#ixzz3zMlP5rK6
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A WRAAF Story – Thank you Pam

06/02/2016 at 4:59 pm

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

Ex-WRAAF Association Vic Group March 2014 edition

06/02/2016 at 4:49 pm

MARCH 2014 Edition
Greetings to you and welcome to the first edition for 2014. I must begin with an abject apology. I have been trying to
prepare this edition for more than two months now, but unfortunately life kept getting in the way. Once I begin it is usually
full steam and the newsletter is done in a day or two, but sometimes I find it easy to put off any task I should be doing. In my
defence, some of the ‘life’ were things that HAD to be done THEN and THERE. I am sure you all have those events in your
We only had three editions since I became the editor last year and at that time I only distributed about twenty copies.
We have added a further ten names for the address list since then, which is pleasing. A couple of these are the ‘younger ones’
so it is great that they want to be kept up to date on the news. Welcome to all.
For some of you, your SAEs will shortly run out. As a warning, when I send the last envelope I intend putting a coloured
dot sticker on the newsletter to let you know a new batch is needed. I do hope you decide to forward a fresh supply.
It never ceases to amaze me how we come by names and addresses. A couple came via my daughter who knew ‘the
girls’ through her working life. One came when I attended an Australian Air Force Cadets’ Promotion Parade and during a
conversation between one of the cadet’s grandmother and my hubbie it emerged that she was an ex-WRAAF, so of course my
husband brought me into the conversation. It didn’t take long to sell her on the idea of the newsletter and now she has forwarded
her stamped-addressed envelopes and joined the list.
I’m not sure if I welcome this new year as I seem to be learning of too many deaths among people I know,
thankfully not only exWRAAFies. I had three funerals in just on two weeks, and a good friend of mine had two brothers and
a sister die within nine weeks. I’m not sure that I need to be reminded of my mortality so frequently. It is ages since I bothered
to read the birth notices, but not only do I not read the death notices now, I have given up buying the paper as one way
to avoid reading them.
It was very disappointing to have so few at our last luncheon. Not that I am complaining about the company as we had
a lot of laughter and riveting conversation but it would be great to see more at the next lunch. For the Melbourne Ladies (or
even for those planning on coming to the big smoke) details are inside. The few of us would welcome the chance to meet you
either for the first time or once again. Don’t think you will be a stranger, the chances are we know you or someone who
knows you—and we have a history in common.
During the past week my husband and I went to Seymour to visit the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk. May I
recommend it to you if you are traveling north of Melbourne. It is a short distance from the Information Centre (it is easy to
follow those signs) and is made up of panels which when viewed from a distance show photographs of that war involving
many Australian servicemen and women, and when you are close you will find that all the names are recorded, even the
Tracker Dogs. First target was to find my husband’s name and then many family names. Next just to look down the list for
many people we knew during our service life. There is one stand alone panel for those who lost their life. It is a lovely recognition
of their sacrifice and so peaceful. I can heartily recommend it.
Earlier this year we had the Museum celebration of the Royal Australian Air Force’s 93rd Birthday plus the years of
military flying at Point Cook. I must admit I decided to stay at home—seen many Air Shows, but from all reports this one
was spectacular. I am sure that if you go onto the Defence website there will be plenty of photographs to look at.
One of the features of the flying display was the replica Boxkite aircraft which has recently been finished and approved.
How fragile were those aircraft our early aviators flew? The instigator has been looking for a new project and is now
hoping to build a replica Spitfire aircraft and to display it outside the RAAF Museum at Point Cook. His name is Group Captain
(retired) Ron Gretton, AM and he is asking for help. For more information go to http://www.radschool.org.au/magazines/
Vol46/Spitfire_fund.htm. While you’re there have a look at the photograph collection and news about the WRAAF.
Some Light Relief
John was nine years old and was staying with his grandmother for a few days. He’d been playing outside
with the other kids, when he came into the house and asked her, “Grandma, what’s it called when two people
sleep in the same bedroom and one is on top of the other?”
She was a little taken aback, but decided to tell him the truth. “Well, dear, it’s called sexual intercourse.”
“Oh,” said little Jimmy, “OK” and went back outside to play with the kids.
A few minutes later he came back in and said angrily, “Grandma, it isn’t called sexual intercourse, it’s called
bunk beds …. And Jimmy’s mother wants to talk to you.”
I know that we are almost a quarter of the way into the year, but this is the the first edition of this year, so a belated Happy
New Year to all. I hope you all had great Christmas and New Year celebrations.
My Christmas was very quiet as my daughter Tracey and granddaughter Pania were headed overseas. My granddaughter,
who is 14, went to play hockey in England, Belgium and France. They played nine games, won three and drew one. As this
was a scratch team against seasoned players I think they did very well. Still they enjoyed my ‘overseas tour’ even if I could
only see the sights in my imagination and through their eyes.
Our luncheon at Elsternwick Bowling Club was disappointing as only 5 people turned up. Trish Hodda, Caroline Hanrahan,
Ann Steele, Brenda Douglas and Me. We still managed to have a very enjoyable meal and the company was most enjoyable
We were lucky to avoid having to pay extra as the venue had put on extra staff as we had booked for 13—20.
To all who are on the sick list, get better soon. And that’s an order!!
June Gospel ?
For those who aren’t avid
readers of ‘That’s Life’ this
notice was published recently.
Good to see the publicity.
Now this won’t be news to those who have already sent off their Expressions of
Interest (EOI) for this reunion, —- the venue has been changed. You can still send
the EOI which was attached to an earlier newsletter, and in return you will receive a
Registration form which contains the details of the venue, cost, souvenirs for sale
and some accommodation suggestions with (2014) prices.
If you didn’t receive the EOI form, and can get on
to the internet (if you can’t ask a grandchild to
show you how or do it for you—they can do it in
their sleep) log on to www.wraaf.org.au and you
can access an online form. For those doubting
thomases, it really is simple.
For those who really don’t know anyone who can
help them, just drop me a line with a SAE and I
will forward you the Registration Form.
If you haven’t sent your EOI in yet get on to the
website and fill out the Registration Form and
send it off so that you are kept up to date by mailout.
Time is running out. Believe it or not there is
only about fifteen months before the show starts.
We would love to meet up with you at the ‘Meet
and Greet’ or the Dinner.
If you have an email address, you will probably have read this already, but it is well worth repeating. As the person who sent
it to me wrote, “The only thing that worries me about this item is that it’s probably true.”
Theodore ‘Dutch’ J. Van Kirk was the navigator on the ‘Enola Gay’ when it dropped the A-Bomb at Hiroshima,
Japan, and is the last surviving member of the crew.
This really happened.
Dutch was asked to speak at a grammar school this week. The young teacher introduced him by saying
the speaker was a veteran of World War Eleven (as in WWII).
Dutch stood up and walked out of the school without saying a word. End of story.
Accounting Machine Operator
Enlisted 02 Oct 1962
Discharged 09 Dec 1964
Gwen served at Point Cook (Recruits) and at
1SD Tottenham
Also (again thanks to Sydney Branch)
Shirley Brown (French) Stwd
Olwyn Felton (Punter) – 09 Nov 13
Barbara Mary Cook (aka Sally)
(Nutting) – 25 Sep 13
Sharon Hewitt (Carmody)
Cse 173—01 Aug 13
Marion Marguerita Squiers (Coleman)
Still, we can only spread the news if you pass it on to us.
From the Sydney Branch newsletter, these
were published in March. Hopefully they
have all recovered now.
Barbara Marshall (Smith) is now in a
Nursing Home; Kay Kirkland (Harrison)
is now called the Bionic Woman; Una
Cooper (McCauley); Carol Johnstone
(Rudkin); Joan Martin; Laurie Heslehurst
(McPherson); Fay Wheatley (Brien); Margaret
Humphreys; Anita Simmons
(Barrett) and Dany Brown.
Is on Sunday 29th June.
Sargood Street
Just a short walk from the Altona Railway
Station. Parking is available on the club
site or across the street. Be warned that
the venue is surrounded by one-way
streets. You need to access the club via
Blythe Street and drive north up Sargood
Street. The club is on the corner of Sargood
Street and Railway Street South
which does not allow access to the club.
We are not booking a table as we cannot
afford to pay for those who don’t come
and we cannot predict numbers.
As I said earlier in this newsletter we welcome
all who care to join us and would
love to see a large group. But even if there
are only half a dozen of us we will have a
good time.
Do you have a Pensioner Concession Card and have you applied for your MyPost card yet? Every cent
saved is valuable and this card will allow you to purchase 50 stamps for 60c each per year, plus they
give you 5 free stamps when you join. I filled out the form online and took it along to my local Australia
Post (you need to do this as you have to present you Pensioner Card as proof) and they were very helpful.
The assistant asked if my husband was eligible and if he had applied for his card (he hadn’t) so she
filled out the form and it was all done in a short time. I could even sign it for him as my hubbie is recorded
on my card. Some service for a change. The website is auspost.com.au/mypost.
PRESIDENT — June Gospel (nee Hoy) Brenda Douglas victorian.exwraaf@gmail.com
SECRETARY —- Ann Steele (nee Dodds) 41 Bourke Crescent
EDITOR —- Brenda Douglas (nee Whiting) Hoppers Crossing Vic 3029
CAROLE YATES—MedOrd Recruit Course 131 Nola Popowycz is looking for her.
PHONE: 07 4774 7774
FAX: 07 4779 6837
Contact Roslyn direct to one of the above points and for any inews for Nola Popowycz let me know and I will forward the
information on. Contact details are below.
The Editor
The next twelve months or so will be extremely busy for the ex-service community. As you will be aware this year
is the centenary of the outbreak of World War I (The War to End All Wars!). Probably the largest concentration for Australia
will be on Gallipoli next year. Many people are making their pilgrimage to be there, even if only on board a ship in the
Dardenelles. The area cannot accommodate the projected crowds any other way.
We shouldn’t forget that there is another important date—in October 1914 the first fleet of troop ships assembled at
Albany WA for their departure for the Middle East. This beautiful expanse of water was, for many, the last sight of Australia
they would see. The fleet sailed on 01 November 1914. The commemoration doesn’t start at Gallipoli, it begins at Albany.
There will also be the commemorations of the many battles of WWI—The Somme, Poziers, Fromelle are all familiar
names for those with an interest in Australian Military History. Of course not only Australia and New Zealand people
will be reminded of their history, people from all around the world will remember the troops they provided on both
sides of the war. Britain will be commemorating many battles.
We regard April 1915 as the beginning of military history for Australia and New Zealand, but for Britain it goes
back a lot further. Next year they will be remembering the Six Hundredth Anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt which is
regarded as a watershed in their military history. The 25th October, 1415 saw Henry V leading his troops in a major victory
against the French, thanks to his Long Bowmen. We still recall that victory with the famous ‘two-finger salute’ to show
that they were unconquered. Many of us during our schooling learnt about the battle with our study of Shakespeare.
My husband and I had our taste of the Gallipoli commemorations this year with our youngest daughter there for the
Turkish Ariburnu Service, the Anzac Dawn Service and then up to Lone Pine Memorial for the Australian service. It was
an experience she will never forget and I must admit when the ABC crossed over to the Dawn Service I felt I was there
because she was. I found it very emotional. She was able to wear her Great –Grandfather’s medals. He, fortunately for our
family history, was there towards the end and survived. Our family was lucky.
Another historic milestone this year is the Centenary of Australian Red Cross. In August 1914, just nine days after
the declaration of war the Australian Red Cross was formed. What a busy one hundred years they have had!

ex-WRAAF Vic Group September 2014 edition

06/02/2016 at 4:47 pm

SEPTEMBER 2014 Edition
Well, here I am running late again. The only consolation I can take is that I did most of this edition in September. I just
seem to have been snowed-under since then. I find I wear so many hats and sometimes it becomes difficult to prioritise the
time I need to devote to each.
Since my children were teenagers and became members of the Australian Air Force Cadets (or the Air Training Corps as
it was known at the time) I became involved with that organisation. After twenty years from my discharge from the WRAAF
I went back into uniform. I was lucky that I had kept close contact with the RAAF thanks to a serving husband, so it wasn’t
quite the culture shock it could have been. The changes had been an on-going part of my life. I stayed with the AAFC until I
reached the age limit and since then have continued as a Civilian Instructor. I am the Finance Officer / Administration Officer
for the flying flight in Victoria. That is a continuous job, monitoring the payments almost every day of the week plus preparations
of the invoices etc.
Both Ron and I are also civilian instructors for the logistics area and we have been extremely busy lately. We have to vacate
the building we are in and move to another location which seems to have required us to work three or four days a week
instead of the one day. Still the end is sin sight.
I also belong to my local unit of Australian Red Cross, which doesn’t take up as much of my time. If a group of local people
come along and indicate they want to take up the challenge we are willing to step aside. Almost all of our members are
my age and looking for the younger generation to take on the task. However community service is obviously becoming a
thing of the past. I was reading in our local paper this week that my local branch of Apex has closed due to inability to falling
numbers and people who are willing to give their time to their community. A sad aspect of modern day life.
I often express my thanks to my WRAAF training as it taught me to be organised and many of the skills I now use in my
current interests.
In between time I am very involved in tracing my family history. I find it so fascinating to learn what my forbears did
with their lives and how they were affected by their times. I would love to be an invisible observer in so many events to hear
the conversations and see just what went on. To see how they lived and where they lived. My prime piece of the jigsaw
would be to learn just when and where my grandparents landed in Australia. We just can’t find that fact.
Then when I get some spare time I would love to get myself on the sewing machine and knitting needles / crochet hooks.
That is one of my interests that has had to take a back seat for far too long.
Normally, I don’t hold forth on myself as I have just been doing, but this edition I am finding it more difficult to fill the
newsletter. I do seem to write like I talk. So I guess you could add talking as another of my interests. Ask my husband and I
am sure he will tell you I could talk the leg of an iron pot (as the saying goes), but I enjoy a good chinwag.
The Times They Are A-Changin’
A week ago I attended an End-of-an-Era function – The Closure of the Sergeants’ Mess at RAAF Williams
Laverton. A little over a year ago instructions were given to merge the Officers’ and the Sergeants’ Messes at
Laverton. The instructions were obeyed, but after a while a reprieve was granted and the SNCOs returned to
their ‘spiritual’ home if only in a limited capacity. Both messes had in the interim lost their dining-rooms and all
ranks now dine at the mess many of you would have known as the Airman’s Mess. It has become the only dining
room on the base. So on returning to the SGTS Mess there was limited bar service available and almost all
of the accommodation had disappeared.
Now the decision has irrevocably been made to create the Combined Officers and Sergeants Mess (COSM)
and the SNCOs decided to say farewell in typical fashion with a grand Spit Roast and a review of the history of
the mess. The memorabilia has been moved to the Officer’s Mess and will have pride of place in that building.
Shortly the SNCO Mess building will be demolished.
The farewell night was great for those who have had long connections with the mess. My husband (a former
CMC at Point Cook and Edinburgh) met several people whom he had known with his close connection to Laverton.
Farewell and thanks for the good times. Now there are newer traditions to be created—a new era has begun.
A sign of the times—this will surely happen at most, if not all, bases.
It is hard to believe it is almost Christmas, the time seems to go so fast the older we get.
Firstly, congratulations to Margaret Campbell on being named as the ‘Wyndham City’s 2014 Citizen
of the Year’. (The City of Wyndham is centred on Werribee Victoria and Margaret, as reported
in a previous newsletter, is a fellow ex-WRAAF.)
I’m afraid this year has been my ANNUS HORRIBULUS. The only thing that hasn’t happened to me this year is
being hit by a bus, but I’m thinking of taking public transport so I can knock that off my bucket list.
Just a quick summary of my woes—in February I had a bout of pneumonia, April I came out in a rash that I am
still trying to eradicate. Next I lost my Brother, then on the 30th of May I had a TIA and I’m having surgery on a
hernia this month. Hey, I’m still here and I still have my sense of humour so desperation hasn’t sunk me to the
Don’t forget the next Luncheon is at Ringwood RSL. It is almost directly opposite the Ringwood station plus there
is plenty of parking available on site which makes for ease of access for all. I hope to see you there if the bus
doesn’t get me first.
Some of you will already have read the following editorial in the Sydney ex-WRRAF Newsletter, but just
in case it is food for thought.
“Where is this once great country I grew-up in heading? When are the views of the fair dinkum Aussies
to be heard, including those of our politicians and church leaders? Despite the black flags of Islamic State
being flown and the idiotic hate being spewed from the mouths if some in places like Lakemba in Sydney,
nothing is being done to deter these so-called ‘Australians’. I have had enough of the bleeding hearts
and PC brigade telling me we must be tolerant and compassionate towards those intent on turning our
country into another nation destroyed by these cowardly barbarians. The average Aussie is too laid back
and apathetic and thinks ‘she’ll be right mate’. Remember those who fought and died to keep us free and
safe, and speak up to your politicians and church leaders, who apparently haven’t got the bottle to speak
for the majority, or one day it will be too late for those left after we leave this mortal coil. I for one have
no intention of ‘converting or die’. I read somewhere words to the effect that ‘evils succeeds when good
men do nothing’, and wonder whether those who fled to the top of that mountain and the Christians being
slaughtered in the middle-East had heard those words. If you disagree with my views, perhaps you should
take a crash-course in Arabic now. Why do the leaders of these people call themselves ‘Australian Muslims’?
The rest of us call ourselves Australian, not Australian Christians, atheists, Buddhists, etc. my
church tells me we should turn the other cheek, but you can only do this so many times before you become
punch-drunk. A must read for all concerned Aussies is ‘Salute to Denmark’ online—very concerning.
If I have offended anyone (apart from Islamic State followers, I apologise. Perhaps I should ask God
to keep His are around my shoulder and His hand over my big mouth and writing hand—what do you
If you need to make contact with the Queensland Branch at any time and you have access to email, life is a little simpler
now. You don’t need to know the name of the executive office-holder on their committee but can email them by the alias.
For example if you want to contact the secretary send it to secretary@wraaf.org.au. The same applies to the president and
treasurer by using that position in the address. This should make life simpler and save having to regularly update address
books and contact lists.
WAAAF & WRAAF 1951-1952
(CPL Course 2)
Still, we can only spread the news if you pass it on to us.
Wyndham City’s Citizen of the Year
Werribee resident Margaret Campbell is Wyndham City’s 2014 Citizen of the Year, receiving the honour at the Wyndham
Community Volunteer Awards dinner held on 22nd August, 2014.
Margaret was recognised for her outstanding volunteering contribution of almost 50 years, which continues today
through her active membership of 15 community organisations. Her interests are wide and varied and she is regarded as a
friend and mentor to many. Margaret is particularly known for her advocacy regarding Aboriginal rights, and as an advocate
for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
A lady who leads a full and busy life.
In typical ex-WRAAF tradition we add our salute to Margaret.
We are proud of you.
We know there are many more very busy ladies out there.
Why not tell us how you fill your life so we can let everyone
know. Don’t hide your talents – we are all marvellous people.
Margaret has been a board member of the Wyndham Community
and Education Centre for 15 years, eight of which
were spent as either chair or vice chair. For the past 16 years,
she has been a member of the committee of management of
the Wyndham Community Arts Alliance, sat on the advisory
body for the development of the Wyndham Cultural Centre
and is a long-time member of Aboriginal advocacy organisation,
Margaret’s passion for poetry and literature has led her to
publish extensively, writing on the history of Wyndham, most
notably on migrant and local history. She has contributed to
several literary organisations, including the Western Women
Writers, the Fellowship of Australian Writers and the Werribee
and District Historical Society. Another significant contribution
is her work with a young writer’s group in Wyndham,
mentoring, teaching and developing a love of literature in
young people.
PRESIDENT — June Gospel (nee Hoy) Brenda Douglas victorian.exwraaf@gmail.com
SECRETARY —- Ann Steele (nee Dodds) 41 Bourke Crescent
EDITOR —- Brenda Douglas (nee Whiting) Hoppers Crossing Vic 3029
DIANNE PATTERSON , Course 144 Telop at RAAF Laverton is
boing sought by Margaret O”Heir (Rose) 07 4936 4816
Fay Ison is seeking info on anyone of Courses 12, 28, 34, 35, 38,
after 1500 hrs on 07 3816 0906.
ROSIE FINN, Dentast, served during the 70’s and originally from
Brisbane is being sought by Pamela Ritter of the Brisbane Branch.
Lyn Mitchell is looking to make contact with IRIS KATHLEEN
Ringwood RSL at 1200 hrs on Sunday 31 August 2014.
This venue is ideally located directly opposite the Ringwood Railway Station (don’t forget those with Seniors Cards have
free transport on Sundays). The club is on the corner of Station and James Street Ringwood and for those driving there is
plenty of parking behind the club.
Melways Map 49 Grid Reference H9
I have just received a report of another memorial to visit. It has
been highly recommended. This is the AFGHANISTAN AVENUE
OF HONOUR and is located at Yungaburra overlooking
Lake Tinaroo near Atherton (south-west of Cairns for those not
familiar with Queensland locations).
I received a few photographs but especially liked this one. We
all willingly salute our service personnel, especially those who
paid the supreme price, but we should also salute those dogs
who gave their lives and service—after all they had no choice.
The dedication is most apt.
If you are planning to be in the area this might be a place to add
to you list of places to go.
An email currently doing the rounds contains complaints apparently
made to councils in Britain by ratepayers. Here are some of the ones
we can safely print.
1. I wish to report that tiles are missing from the outside toilet
roof. I think it was bad wind the other day that blew them off.
2. My lavatory seat is cracked. Where do I stand?
3. The toilet is blocked and we cannot bath the children until it
is cleared.
Tickle the Funny Bones
A husband and wife are sitting quietly in bed
reading when the wife looks over at him and
asks the question:
“What would you do if I died? Would you
get married again?”
Husband: “Definitely not.”
Wife: “Why not? Don’t you like being married?”
Husband: “Of course I do.”
Wife: “Then why wouldn’t your remarry?”
Husband: “OK, OK, I’d get married again.”
Wife: “Would you live in our house?’
Husband: “Sure, it’s a great house.”
Wife: “Would you sleep with her in our
Husband: “Where else would we sleep?’
Wife: “Would you let her drive my car?”
Husband: “Probably, it is almost new.”
Wife: “Would you give her my jewellery?”
Husband: “No, I’m sure she’d want her
Wife: “Would you take her golfing?”
Husband: “Yes, those are always good
Wife: “Would she use my clubs?’
Husband: “No, she’s left-handed.”

Vic Branch Newsletters From 2014 to 2016

06/02/2016 at 4:44 pm

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

EX-WRAAF Association Vic Branch December 2014

06/02/2016 at 4:38 pm

Hello to all. I am making a determined start to get this newsletter prepared and out to you on time for once. Fingers crossed
my plans come to fruition.
We Victorian girls were saddened by the loss of Lois Pitman. She has been a part of our life for so long, even if only as the
name behind the appointment Director WRAAF when we were much younger. Many of us saw her infrequently and then
usually in an ‘official’ capacity when on inspection visits to all bases where WRAAF served or if there was a problem
which required her attention. Some may only have seen her during their recruit training when she spoke to the course.
In our life after service, in Victoria, we came to know her more closely as the Patron of our branch and until, about ten
years ago, a regular attendee at our reunions and luncheons. She also welcomed our newsletter to keep her abreast of our
news and gossips. A lady who walked with dignity and pride and who made a valuable contribution to the lives of many
young women.
She had prepared her own funeral service some twenty years ago, including her own eulogy which was read by awn
Parsloe at Lois’ request. She had no living relatives, but was blessed with many friends. All ex-WRAAF were represented
at the funeral service by some five or so members of this branch.
I had begun this newsletter a few weeks ago, but now I am grateful I hadn’t rushed to distribute it as I have just received a
copy of the eulogy. Then last night I learned of the death of another well-known name in the world of WRAAF with the
passing of Daphne Nunn. The ranks are becoming thinner.
I know it is part of the aging process, but I am getting a little tired of going to funerals or learning about the passing of another
friend or acquaintance. I am not in any hurry to join them, but it is getting lonelier down here. A few weeks ago I had
two funerals in two days, just too much of a good thing. Both gentlemen were in their nineties, had had good lives but were
recently in poor health so it wasn’t exactly a surprise that they left us, but it does leave a hole in the fabric of life.
Hopefully you have made all your preparations for Christmas. Sadly, I have very few presents to buy now that most of our
grandchildren are adults, and even our children can’t give us any semblance of a wish list. I now going to finish this section
of the newsletter and get busy making my Christmas cakes (they are ones that don’t need to be stored for
ages). Tomorrow will be the day I buy the Christmas Tree so it will need decorating and I still have to
write our family Epistle (actually more of an annual report) which we send to most people on Christmas
Card List. Then I can say that I am organised.
Regards to you all
The Countdown is on for Coolangatta—Ten Months to go. See you there?
We have had a request from a younger woman for photographs
of her father. He died when she was young and
she only has three photos of him.
His name was ‘Titch’ Turner and he was a RAAF Photographer
(which explains why there are few photos of
him). He served for 22 years, discharging in 1987 and
died the next year, aged 41 years. He was posted to Butterworth
and with 2SQN in Vietnam. Can anybody help
I think I have made this request before, but while you are
going through the photograph albums perhaps you have a
photo of FltSgt Annie May HYLAND, a Mess Supervisor.
We have been given her medals, which includes the British
Empire Medal and wish to have them mounted for display
with a photograph of the FltSgt and a profile. We have the
citation from the presentation of the medal and her eulogy,
but little else. Can anybody help with more?
Please, what about spending some time going through your collection of photographs over the holidays. Help is needed.
Well, another year has almost gone. I hope most of you have had a better year than I have,
however I am on the up now and looking forward to 2015 and the Coolangatta Reunion.
It is sad to note the loss of Lois Pitman and Daphne Nunn, but none of us are getting any younger.
We are thinking about another venue for October 2015 as the food at Ringwood wasn’t very good. We will
let you know what we decide, but are open to suggestions of another location. Ringwood has been a good
place to us and when the extentions which are currently underway have been finished the club will be bigger
and better.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and look forward to seeing you in 2015.
Here, according to an email doing the rounds,
are more answers given by children when
asked questions about the Bible.
“David fought the Finkelsteins, a race of
people who lived in Biblical times,” said
one child.
And this, “Solomon, one of David’s sons
had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.”
“When Mary heard she was the mother
of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta,” was
another gem.
“Jesus was born because Mary had an
immaculate contraception.”
“St John the blacksmith dumped water
on his head.”
And finally there’s this one, “Jesus enunciated
the golden rule, which says to do
unto others before they do one to you.”
10 Reasons why we know Santa is a man
1. No ^r_ss s_ns_.
2. N_v_r r_pli_s to your l_tt_rs.
3. Th_ ]h[n]_s of g_tting wh[t you [sk for
[r_ nil.
4. B__r \_lly.
5. Will only ]ommit to on_ ^[y [ y_[r.
6. O\s_ss_^ with sto]kings.
7. H_ n_v_r stops to [sk ^ir_]tions.
8. Too l[zy to sh[v_.
9. H_ [lw[ys w_[rs th_ s[m_ ]loth_s.
10. Only willing to ^o [ jo\ wh_r_ p_opl_ l_[v_ foo^ [n^ \ooz_
out for him … [n^ h_ ^o_sn’t w[sh th_ pl[t_ up [ft_rw[r^s!
Everybody Needs a Laugh or Two at This Time of the Year
Y d’ n h
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GP.OFF. Lois Katrine Pitman O.B.E.
Director WRAAF (1960—1972)
Age 95 years
Died, 30 October, 2014
Funeral, 10 November, 2014

FLT.OFF. Daphne Hilda Nunn
WRAAF Officer
Age 86 years
Died, (about) 04 December, 2014
Funeral, 09 December, 2014
Late of Cazna Gardens, Sunnybank Hills and
formerly of Mansfield, Brisbane

Margaret Favell nee Griffin
Telephone Operator
Died, 12 December, 2014
Tewantin, Qld
{Butterworth Bus Escort in the 80s)
Formerly of Gympie, Qld
This is the text for the eulogy read at GP.OFF. Pitman’s funeral
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.
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 the C.S.I.RO. 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 Pitman1. served between 1942 and 1943 as Officer-
in-Charge WAAAF Pearce and Staff Officer WAAAF,
Headquarters Western Australia. Between 1943 and 1944,
Flight Office Pitman was in turn Recruit Training Officer at
No.1 WAAAF Depot, Larundel, Victoria and Recruit Training
Unit, Sandgate, Queensland, Staff officer, WAAAF
Headquarters southern Area, and later Officer-in-Charge
WAAAF Officer Training Section, back at Larundel.
Squadron Officer Pitman left the service to assist in resettling
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
(Melbourne), 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
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 (ed’s note—
in the Queen’s Birthday Honours) the OBE for her distinguished
service in senior staff appointments associated with
WRAAF administration, for her untiring efforts to ensure the
welfare of the WRAAF, and in recognition of the credit due
to her for the high regard in which members of the WRAAF
are held.
According to the Australian War Memorial Honours and Awards she was a
Warrant Officer of the Royal Australian Air Force!
Approximately ten years ago.
PRESIDENT — June Gospel (nee Hoy) Brenda Douglas victorian.exwraaf@gmail.com
SECRETARY —- Ann Steele (nee Dodds) 41 Bourke Crescent
EDITOR —- Brenda Douglas (nee Whiting) Hoppers Crossing Vic 3029
Noelene Park
Lyn Mitchell
Still, we can only spread the news if you
pass it on to us.
????Can You Help ????
This message was passed to me recently. It is about six months old and it may have appeared on a facebook account, but I
am repeating it here for those (like me) who don’t go near facebook.
“Someone I knew many years ago and have made contact with through facebook informed me of the above (WRAAF Reunion
East Sale, ed). Would have loved to be there to see if any my friends were about. I have been trying to make contact
with Pattie Large, she worked in equipment I think. Married a Bob Piggott (not services). I was Nola Herriman, and worked
as teleprinter operator (cypher). Was there between August 1959 to October 1961. only person I have been able to find is
Marion Powers, lives in Sydney now. She worked as a telephonist. Also remember Pat Healy, she was in charge of my hut.
Still have lots of photos, I used to play basketball for the WRAAF’s and was the first time we beat the ‘civies’. I now live
just outside Townsville, my husband Bill Wood, who was with 2ACS East Sale has just had a total reconstruction of his
knee so we are grounded at the moment. We do have a caravan, and still have rellies in the Sale area.”
If you want to make contact with Nola call 0428 635 031
Roll Call from our last luncheon
(at Ringwood RSL)
June Gospel
Colleen Withers
Val Alcorn
Ann Steele
Brenda Douglas
Maureen Molloy
Margaret Elkar
Trish McCormack
Lynne Forrester
Caroline Hanrahan
Trish Hodda
The next Luncheon:
Sandham Street
(between St Georges Road and Orrong Road)
Sunday, 22 February, 2015
Plenty of parking. Melways 67 G2
Elsternwick Railway Station is about 1km walk away.
The meals may be a little extra (around the $25.00 mark for the main course)
but there is a less-standard menu than at our other venues. This club is a smaller
facility and therefore a little quieter (until we arrive, of course) and we have
had no need to pre-book.
Note: we are on the lookout for a new venue as a change from the Ringwood
RSL where we have been welcomed for some time now. They tell me that a
change is as good as a holiday. It must be able to cater for up to twenty or so
quiet ladies, does not need to be in the same area as Ringwood but close to
public transport is an advantage and be a place that does not require us to prebook.
We are unable to make a booking as you ladies will not, or cannot, commit
yourself to attend. The few regulars are not willing to paying for a set
number when you don’t turn up! So any suggestions are welcome. Please contact
the President or the Editor.
Merry Christmas to Everyone and Their Families
A Happy New Year
We look forward to seeing you again in

Victorian WRAAF Group – December News

03/02/2016 at 3:54 pm

Well Ladies, it is the time of the year to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy 2016. It hardly seems
twelve months since we were preparing for the new 2015.
We had a lovely luncheon at the Box Hill RSL; the food was lovely and reasonably priced plus the staff were very helpful.
There were eleven ladies in attendance and all seemed to be enjoying themselves. There was no pressure on us to move on
or to make less noise – we are always a very loud group with conversations going on all the length of the table. As you
know we have decided not to go back to the Ringwood RSL, so we are currently looking for another venue. Please, we welcome
suggestions, remembering that at least 4 or 5 of us travel from the west. One suggestion received was a river cruise,
but on contacting ‘City River Cruises’ I learnt that they only cruise for one hour and only serve morning or afternoon tea.
Our congratulations to Jenny Lumsden (daughter of Shirley nee James) who, with effect 01 December, has been promoted
to Air Commodore. We are all excited and proud of this recognition of her skills and efforts. We are still waiting for a copy
of her ‘official’ photograph but we did include a photograph of her in a newsletter about eighteen months ago. Jenny is a
highly qualified Nurse at Melbourne hospital, specializing in the Intensive Care area.
Ann Steele and I joined many fellow ex-WRAAF at Coolangatta. We stayed at the ‘Sofitel’ in Broadbeach and with my
CabCharge we were able to use it to get around. The ‘Meet and Greet’ and the Dinner were most enjoyable if a little crowded
due to numbers. Food was excellent on both nights, so congratulations to the Queensland girls. Patsy Lumsden, Trish
Hodda, Lyn Mitchell Marj Dixon, Lorna Dowsley, Brenda Douglas, Margaret Marshall, Caroline Hanrahan, Cate Pettit and
Di Hoopert were the Victorian girls I can immediately recall seeing among the crowd. My apologies if I missed your name
here. From reports, the Sunday Service at Curumbin RSL was excellent (I missed this event)
While we were in the area, Ann and I decided to play the tourist and enjoy ourselves. We went to Movie World where we
went on the raft ride down the waterfall. Exhilarating! We also went to Curumbin where we had to fight the ibises whilst
trying to eat out lunch. Disappointingly, we didn’t see one of the famous coloured birds the day we were there, but it was
lovely. We also contributed to the tourism dollar by visiting Sea World and even ventured into Pacific Fair (never been to a
shopping centre before—a new experience!). As you can see we had a very busy time and arrived home tired but very happy.
And the photo below shows my smiling face (with the greyer hair above it). The other face belongs to Ann Steele, our
secretary. This was taken during our tourist activities up north looking at souvenirs.
Cab Charge
Many of us qualify to use this service, but may not have
made the effort yet. Application forms are available at
your Doctor’s surgery. You need to complete the form
and forward it. You also need to let you doctor know you
have begun the process as he has to do his/her part
online. Until he/she does, nothing will happen. Once
these two steps have happened you will receive a plastic
card by post and an accompanying letter.
If you are planning on travelling interstate, I found it
very easy to make the necessary arrangements.
I rang them and this is what occurs. You need to inform
them where you are going, with the exact date of arrival
and exact date of departure. They will send a book of
Interstate Vouchers. These will effectively half the cost
of your travel, but there is a limit to the cost of the trips.
All these details are in the accompanying letter. When
you have enjoyed your holiday you must return the unused
While talking about the services for we aging members of society,
if you have Disabled Car Stickers, it is recommended that
when planning travel it is wise to contact the municipal authority
where you will be going to see if they recognise your sticker.
Don’t take it for granted.—you just might find you are abused
and/or fined.
October Luncheon Attendees
At last I have begun the final newsletter for 2015. I have been mentally planning what I need to
say and then (still mentally) changing and amending it all for a few weeks now. But today is the day
when I get down to the job in earnest.
As usual, I have several tasks that I need to get stuck into especially with Christmas breathing
down my neck. I still haven’t made my cakes. I always have the best of intentions to do this in September
before the heat makes baking less appealing but the time goes by a such a speed that here it is December
and I am still planning on baking. I also have our annual Family Report to write and that is becoming
more pressing with the arrival of several Christmas cards over the last few weeks.
This year I have spent considerable time working on my Family Tree and have loved every minute
of it. Once started it becomes a serious addiction. My eldest daughter and I are sharing the investigation,
which is great, as it gives me someone to share successes and failures with, plus bounce ideas
off. It is amazing what problems one can solve during, or following, a conversation. I find I am replaying
them in my mind at the oddest of times and sometimes I manage to have an ‘Eureka’ moment.
In the last year or so the husband of one of my cousins has joined the team and we have been able to
share information. I have learnt about the youngest generations, the ones I don’t get to see or know due
to being interstate for so long. Most of us in Australia hope to find a convict on our tree and at last we
have succeeded. My Great-Great-Grandfather was transported to Van Diemens Land for life—by modern
standard his crime of horse stealing was minor. Few people get life for murder nowadays! We still
have many more branches to find, so the research goes on.
I enjoyed my trip north for the reunion. There were about 275 other ex-WRAAF there and boy
could we talk. It was a crowded room as well as a loud one. It was even nice to have a guest speaker if
only to revel in the relative quietness. My eldest daughter ventured north with me and we enjoyed ourselves.
We drove up the Newell Highway and returned via the coast to Sydney, calling in on towns connected
with our family, visiting friends both before and after the reunion and enjoying being a tourist.
The weather was excellent and it was lovely seeing family and friends again. More chatter and lots of
nostalgia for me.
Now we are waiting for the solution to the big mystery—where and when will be the next reunion.
To date I haven’t heard any rumours let alone an announcement. I know there are a couple locally
who would dearly love to enjoy another Victorian reunion, but I for one don’t feel up to the work involved.
I have enough going on in my life as it is, and from experience I know that there is a lot of work
to do. Here in Victoria we consider we were very lucky as much of the work was done for us last time.
Just finding a venue is a difficult task. I know someone involved in another organisation’s national reunion
and they are encountering the same problem. We also need to consider the advancing age of the
majority of our ‘membership’ – for many travelling is becoming more and more problematical. Just
talking to a couple of the girls who went to Coolangatta about the trouble they had with the airlines and
their mobility aids is a learning curve in itself. And I haven’t got the stage of having to rely on a walking
fame yet, but that may happen in the nearer future than I would wish, hence my preference for combining
the reunion with a holiday and preferably a self-drive one.
The annual Melbourne reunion of RAAF Ex-Apprentices will be held on Saturday
23 January 2016. This function is for all ex-apprentices and their partners / friends,
and will be held at the Werribee RSL (not far from both Point Cook and Laverton
for those who are not familiar with the western suburbs of Melbourne). There will
be a $20.00 entry fee to cover costs, and normal RSL dress rules apply.
For information, please contact Graeme Oxley
Phone : (03) 9256 3858 (business hours)
Email: graeme.oxley@defence.gov.au
Our next luncheon is due on 28 February 2016.
It will be at ? ? ? ? ?
We have repeatedly asked for a new venue. If we don’t have at least
one suggestion by 5 February 2016 (to June 03 9741 5562) then we
will have to cancel the February luncheon. It is up to YOU now.
PRESIDENT — June Gospel (nee Hoy) Brenda Douglas victorian.exwraaf@gmail.com
SECRETARY —- Ann Steele (nee Dodds) 41 Bourke Crescent
EDITOR —- Brenda Douglas (nee Whiting) Hoppers Crossing Vic 3029
ANN STEELE (knee reconstruction)
If your name hasn’t been mentioned here and
you are on the Sick List it is because we haven’t
been told about it, so please take our good wishes
for a speedy recovery as read.
Still, we can only spread the news if you pass it on to us.
WRAAF Recruit course 16
Enlisted as Equipment Assistant
Remustered to RAAF Police
Died 27 Sep 15 age 84 years
The following names were garnered
from Mufti (RSL quarterly publication
in Victoria)
from Nhill
HOBBS from Box Hill

Three of the ‘Sale
girls’ who have a
Reunion within a

Queensland President,
Rosie Forster, reciting
the Ode at the Service of
Remembrance at
Curumbin RSL.
(I was pleased to see the
Australian Air Force
Cadets assisted at this
service. From all reports
they did an excellent job,
not that that surprised
me. I know they always
do on such occasions —
this is an unsolicited
comment from the Editor)
To each of you and to
your families, our wish is
for a Safe and Happy
Christmas, and the hope
that 2016 will bring you
Health and Happiness.
Enjoy the break, and see
you in March.
Why did the turkey join the band?
Because it had the drumsticks!
What does Santa suffer from if he gets stuck
in a chimney?
What did Adam say to his wife on the day before
It’s Christmas, Eve!
What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations?
What is the best Christmas present in the
A broken drum – you just can’t beat it!