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Kedron-Wavell Ex-Servicewomen’s Association

 

Kedron-Wavell Ex-Servicewomen’s Association

The Ex-Servicewomen enjoy social functions and outings, fellowship with women from all branches of the Defence Services and participate in fundraising for charity.

The Kedron-Wavell Ex-Servicewomen’s Association invites servicewomen from all eras; World War II, including Land Army, post World War II to currently serving Defence members to become a member of the association and help to continue to preserve the history of Women’s Defence Service.

The Ex-Service Women’s Association hold a meeting  in the Services Club Long Tan Room on the last Tuesday of every month at 1000 hrs at the Kedron-Wavell Services Club.   Members are invited to attend.  For further information please contact the Ex-Servicewomen’s Association Hon.Secretary email: eswa@kwrsl.org.au

 

HummingbirdHouse Charity Morning Tea

ANZAC – Speech by Jedidiah Fesolai

Each year, on the 25th of April, we commemorate and honour the sacrifices of those who have laid down their lives in service to our country. Today, most importantly, we remember those Australian and New Zealand volunteer soldiers, who landed on the battle-stricken sands of Gallipoli – what is now called ANZAC cove, almost 103 years ago. We admire the countless sacrifices of past and current service men and women, for our sovereign common-wealth.
Lest we forget.

World War 1 was a war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Over 500,000 Australian and New Zealand troops were mobilised, and were shipped off to assist in the western front, in Europe. With Turkey allying with Germany, this opened up a new opportunity for the Allied forces to weaken the expansion of the German invasion, and to establish a new front through the east. This campaign was intended to force Germany’s ally, Turkey, out of the war. The campaign began with an attempt to force their way through the Gallipoli Peninsula in the Dardanelles, by naval power alone but early bombardments on the coastal ports failed. In light of this event, the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces comprised of British, Indian, French, Australian and New Zealand forces, with members 70,000 strong, were to use a different method as opposed to naval warfare, a full frontal assault. 30,000 of these men, were courageous ANZAC’s.

Before dawn on Sunday 25 April 1915, the first three battleships carrying the first wave of Australians had reached the coast near the Gaba Tepe headland. The expected result was a swift take-over of the beach at Gallipoli, but a combination of unexpectedly hostile terrain and ferocious Turkish defence soon stopped any potential advance and the campaign degenerated into the familiar deadlock of trench warfare.

The day of the landing saw some of the most terrible fighting of the whole Gallipoli Campaign. When officers fell to Turkish bullets, small parties of Australians pushed inland, and fought and died where they stood. Some men were able to reach the third ridge, and others climbed the summit of the height called ‘Baby 700’. However, they were overwhelmed by Turkish attacks.

By the end of the first day, the Australians were relentlessly holding the ragged crests of First Ridge, digging trenches to await the inevitable counter-attacks, while the air sang with the whine and crack of bullets, machine gun fire and shells. By the day’s end, 3000 Australian soldiers were killed or injured, and their beach-head was barely one kilometre deep, instead of the expected seven.

This battle lasted eight months and would be etched forever in our minds. Perhaps the battle that best portrayed the true ANZAC spirit, is one often referred to as, “The Battle of Anzac”. At 3am, on the morning of 19 May, 1915, there were barely 17,000 Anzac troops at Anzac Cove, when they were suddenly attacked by an army of 42,000 Turkish soldiers. After hours of struggle, 10,000 Turkish soldiers had fallen, and a majority of them lay dead and dying in ‘No Man’s Land’. Compared to this, the Anzac casualties were only 628 men. As the days went past, the cries of the wounded Turkish soldiers moved the hearts of the Australian soldiers to pity. These Anzacs were moved by the bravery and courage of the Turkish soldiers. On that day, they arranged a truce, and the Anzacs helped the Turkish bury the dead. This act of kindness would change the attitudes of both sides, acknowledging that above being soldiers, they were still people.

Despite the eight months of tireless fighting, and conflict, the Anzacs held on to their humanity in a world that seemed to resent it. Their bravery and courage, was only matched by the kindness and compassion they were capable of. Let us remember them not only as soldiers, but as the very foundations of this sovereign and free nation we live in today.

Lest We Forget!

Jedidiah Fesolai

Korean Veterans Newsletter “The Voice” August 2016

Read the latest copy of The Voice from the Korean Veterans Association click here.

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50th Anniversary Battle of Long Tan – 18th Aug 2016

Kedron-Wavell remembers the sacrifice and service of all Vietnam Veterans in this week commemorating the 50th Anniversary when the soldiers of D Company 6 RAR fought the Battle of Long Tan in a rubber plantation near the base of 1ATF at Nui Dat in Vietnam.

 

Emotions flow on trip to Timor

August 4, 2016

LAST week 27 Australian veterans returned from an emotional 10-day visit to the Republica Democratica de Timor L’Este.

blahOrganised by Gary Stone and sponsored by the Queensland RSL branch, it was the first time many had ret­urned since Australian-led INT­ERFET forces intervened as East Timor transitioned from Indonesian occupation in 1999.

What they discovered then was a nation in ruins, its precious but minimal infrastructure deliberately and wantonly destroyed as the bitter, vengeful Indonesians reluctantly withdrew.

What many had not seen nor properly understood was the equally bitter 25-year conflict between Timorese Falantil and Fretilin guer­illas against the occupying Indonesians, who had in Timorese eyes simply replaced Portugal as the occupying power.

In late 1975, when Australia was itself racked by political upheaval and in the post-Vietnam environment, no government was prepared to commit to another Asian war, Indonesia was able to seize both East Timor and the Oeccussi enc­lave in a swift, brutal invasion.

Even the murder of five Australian journalists at Balibo on October 16, 1975 did not convince timid Australian politicians to intervene.

For many serving in the ADF at the time it was seen as a betrayal of the Timorese who, at great cost, had loyally supported Australian commandos during 1942 as Japan swept relentlessly south.

Perhaps if those same Australian politicians could have known that thousands of Timorese would be murdered, “disappeared” or relocated by the Indonesians over the next quarter century they might have acted, but the reality is they did not.

Estimates vary but approximately 200,000 Timorese died during Indonesia’s brutal occ­upation and, according to Timorese tradition, the nation is attempting to locate and ­recover the remains of the missing so their spirits can be at peace.

During their visit, Australian veterans were joined by Timorese veterans of the guerilla war against Indonesia, men and women who showed them battle sites where they had ambushed Indonesian forces, and the caves where they had hidden, many of them for years separated from families and communities.

It was a story many Australian veterans had not known and they were deeply moved when shown memorial mausoleums containing thousands of Timorese flag-draped coffins of recovered remains.

Witnessing a repatriation ceremony at Natarbora for ano­ther 510 sets of remains, they could not hide their emotion as they compared that ­occasion with the recent ­repatriation of Australian war dead from Terendak cemetery in Malaysia.

Last week at Balibo they discovered a thriving, vibrant community in stark contrast to the silent, deserted, devastated ruins INTERFET forces witnessed on their arrival in 1999.

As the kindergarten choir from the Australian-sponsored Balibo Five primary school sang a welcoming song, some veterans were able to exorcise their personal demons that had haunted them since their own Timor service.

Timor and its people still have a long way to go but, des­pite their differences with Australia over the Timor Gap oil resources, they are grateful for what Australia has done for them since 1999. For the Diggers it finally made their sacrifices seem worthwhile.

LEST WE FORGET

Lest we forget…

100 years ago today – the HMAS Sydney sank the German Raider SMS Emden.  This was the first action fought by the Royal Australian Navy.

Pensions & Advocacy

Did you know….

The Sub Branch Pensions and Advocacy Section has a volunteer network of Pensions Officers and Advocates, who are trained, qualified and experienced, to assist serving and former members of the ADF.  Services include claims for pensions, compensation, associated allowances and income support payments, as well as information on treatment and benefits under the relevant Commonwealth legislation, e.g. VEA, MCA, MRCA and SRCA.

Pensions Officers and Advocates are qualified under the DVA-sponsored Training and Information Program, otherwise  known as “TIP”.  Pensions Officers are authorised to assist all members of the veteran community, and their families who are eligible for the above services, including the preparation and lodgement of claims and applications for an increase in benefits.

Advocates, in addition to the provision of the services listed above, have the skills and expertise to prepare applications for review by the Veterans’ Review Board.  This entails the preparation of written submissions to the Board, and representation along with the veteran at the Board Hearing.  An integral responsibility of the Advocate’s role is the mentoring of Pensions Officers.  The services provided by Advocates and Pensions Officers are all provided at no cost to the applicant.

Persons seeking assistance with their pensions claims or advocacy representation, should contact the Sub Branch to make an appointment for interview, either by phone on (07) 3359 0460, or by email at pensions4@@kwrsl.org.au.  If there are circumstances where a visit to the Sub Branch is not feasible, a home visit may be arranged.