Media Releases – Daw Park Site

Please find attached a series of media releases relating to the Daw Park site. 

25 Oct – Update to plans for Repat site     OpenDaws_Infographic_final                         FINAL Open Daws -Community FAQs

It is fairly self explanatory. In essence, RSL Life Care has withdrawn from the project and the government has moved to the alternate bid led by ACH Group to progress development of the site. 

I understand the RSL will remain involved.

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New Bill for current and former ADF members

Below is a message from the ESORT Deputy President, Mr Craig Orme DSC AM CSC, regarding the proposed introduction of a new Bill for current and former ADF members.

Dear members,

I’m aware of emails circulating in the veteran community about possible new veterans’ legislation being drafted. I’m emailing to advise that the Government intends to introduce a Bill to make a standalone version of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) for current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members.

 This would mean that the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs would be responsible for all compensation Acts for ADF members. Currently, the Minister for Employment has responsibility for the SRCA.

Should the new Act be passed by Parliament, eligibility and benefits under the Act will be the same as those currently available to serving and former ADF members under the existing SRCA. The new Act (if passed) will be the same as the current SRCA, so there will be no change to existing entitlements or access to benefits. The Bill simply replicates the SRCA – there are no additions or any other changes.

 This new Bill has been discussed for some time – it was referenced in a March 2015 media release of the former Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.

 The Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 will remain in place and will be unchanged by the new Act. 

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New Client Satisfaction Survey

Please be aware of the new DVA survey Secretary’s Letter – Client Satisfaction Survey

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Army Newspaper Edition 1384 – 20 October 16

Read it here

FORCE FOR THE FUTURE: New technology on show at the Army Innovation Day - SPECIAL LIFT-OUT

FLOOD OF SUPPORT: Soldiers help SA and NSW communities in flood relief efforts – COVER, PAGES 2-3 

LIGHT-WEIGHT LETHALITY: 1RAR and SOCOMD test new Mk 47 light-weight automatic grenade launcher and video sight – PAGE 5

MASTERING THE MAN: Teaching the gap on new MAN truck courses - PAGES 6-7

BONDS OF FRIENDSHIP: Australian and Chinese soldiers build life-long friendships on Exercise Pandaroo - CENTREPIECE

And in sport: ADF skydivers impress on NSW South Coast - BACK PAGE     


And in sport: Lawn bowlers look to the future - back page      

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RARA SA Xmas Drinks 25 November

The President and Committee Invites you to Christmas Drinks
To be held at the clubrooms @ 13 Beatty Street – Linden Park
On 25th November 2016 commencing at 5.30pm
Finger Food will be provided.
Please RSPV by 18th Nov 2016 to


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RARA SA President Mike von Berg visiting 5RAR in Darwin

Mike had this to say: ” Proud to speak to the 5 RAR Recon Platoon and then present the Student of Merit prize to Private Howard after the recent Recon Selection Course. Its great to see a young bright soldier like Private Howard who has only been in the Battalion for six months blitz the field.”    As always, click on the photo to enlarge.

5RAR Recon 13 Oct 2016


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You can view an application form to enter the Trojan’s Trek Support Walk on October 30th here 2016 A4 Entry Form Veterans Version

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RARA National Conference

The RARA National Conference was held in Adelaide Monday and Tuesday 3 & 4 October.

Here are a few photos of a number of the participants;


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Jock (Robbie) Buchan – a 6RAR Soldier lost but now found

An interesting article concerning Jock Buchan, KIA 11 December 1969, his ashes found in Scotland!

You can read it here  Buchan Article


Further to the above article, comments and a link from Paul Jackson, Jock’s Platoon Commander.

Hi Fred, 

What a special journey. It is hard to believe that after almost 50 years we have finally completed Jock’s story. We have come so far over the past year or so. A little over 12 months ago those involved in the action, Jock’s closest mates, did not even know where his body had gone after watching him being wrapped in a hutchie, tied on to a jungle penetrator and then winched slowly up to the hovering Dustoff chopper. Due to the tireless and dedicated work of a group of committed brothers-in-arms, Jock’s sacrifice has now been properly recognised, first with a Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial and now with your special service at his gravesite in far off Scotland. 

Most of you reading this email would not be aware that Jock Buchan’s death holds a very special place in our Vietnam war history. On the day of the action, an official Army photographer was moving with the company and took a series of photographs immediately after the contact. Of the many thousands of photographs taken during the Vietnam War, these are the only ones that actually record the death of an Australian soldier. For this reason I believe that Jock’s death has become symbolic of all those Australians who lost their lives in that conflict. Too graphic and politically sensitive to be publicly released at the time, the images are a poignant reminder of the human cost of war. 

The importance of this series of photographs is also well recognised by the AWM who have been corresponding with me recently seeking help identifying other members of the platoon captured in those iconic images. With your agreement Fred I would like to send your article to the Head Curator, Photographs, Film and Sound at the AWM. She has already expressed interest in the Dundee ceremony. I believe that this would also be an appropriate place for ‘Jock’s Story’ to be recorded.   

On behalf of all Jock’s 12 Platoon brothers, well done and thank you. 



ps For those interested, the AWM link to those photographs is attached below: 



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Latest Issue of Holdfast for August 2016, Issue No 29

A good read.  Here is the link to the Tunnel Rats Newsletter page

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New Online Resource

We welcome the first edition of NSCnews Online   (published by the same people who published the Northern Services Courier in Townsville for the last 10 years – it will take a short time to load).

It’s a great resource for anyone connected to the military in Townsville and those who may have left and remain interested in what’s happening there.

Please share it with as many of your network as possible. And don’t forget to use the form on Page Two to let them know what you liked… and, perhaps what you did not like.

Note the ADSO United we Stand video promotion on the last page.

Enjoy the read.

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Latest Infantryman

You can view the August 2016 edition here Infantryman August

and the  April edition here Infantryman+April+2016

There are numerous excellent articles and a list of activities at HQ for the foreseeable future.

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Regimental Dinner Photos (25 June 16) – click on the photo to enlarge

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A Duty Done

Here is the final copy of  A DUTY DONE Addendum   The Addendum describes a number of new operations, including;  three by 1RAR in 1965 (Iron Triangle, New Life and Smash), two by 9RAR in 1969 (Matthew and Hat Dich), one by 5RAR in 1969 (Kings Cross) and the one by 6RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Battalion on 17/18 August 1969 when the original Long Tan Cross was erected. It is necessary to have a copy of A Duty Done to read the Addendum.

And here is a name index to be used in conjunction with the original A Duty Done A Duty Done Index of Names

Here is the Price List for A Duty Done and Addendum

To order this excellent book, please view this  A Duty Done Order_Form_Sep

If paying by EFT, please ensure you place your initials and surname as the reference.  If you have a specific book number, also please insert that ,e.g.  VX Smith 591

You can also read the original A Duty Done here.

Please note the erratum for A Duty Done A Duty Done Erratum

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RSL Virtual War Memorial – Updated site

If you have not visited this site yet, it is very interesting and has some current members of the RARA SA on it, including the President, Mike von Berg MC OAM and Robert “Dogs”Kearney.

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Two tunes worth watching/listening to on You Tube

Watch “My Dog Nui Dat – Dale Duncan” on YouTube

And watch “Thunderstruck” here


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Vietnam War: new book on D445 and the Battle of Long Tan

Chamberlain, Ernest: The Viet Cong D445 Battalion: Their Story (and the Battle of Long Tan). Vietnam Veteran and linguist Ernie Chamberlain has recently written and privately-published a book that would certainly interest all who served in Phuoc Tuy province during the Vietnam War. The core of the work is a translation of D445 Battalion’s history - as written by Vietnamese historians in 2004. In order to provide context – and to analyse and comment upon the Vietnamese writings, the book is comprehensively referenced. The comments cite a large number of captured NVA/VC documents – many not previously translated or available to researchers. Additionally, signals intelligence (SIGINT) material related to the Battle of Long Tan – that was only declassified and released to the author in February 2016, is also included. The work also has 18 annexes covering aspects such as VC personalities, an analysis of casualties at Long Tan, SIGINT, the 275 VC Regiment etc.  While the book is not available commercially, the text of the book has been placed on the Internet as  –

Perhaps the sections of most interest to veterans include the Viet Cong’s version of the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966 – including the first available VC sketch map of the Battle, and SIGINT aspects.

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Recent Photo of C Coy 7RAR

See attached photo of C Coy 7RAR with RARA SA Patron Laurie Lewis and A Duty Done Author, Fred Fairhead   C Coy 7RAR (002)

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Australia and the Vietnam War

A very informative website with an interactive Roll of Honour Image Gallery that provides background information on the serviceman.


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‘He should have died’: the Vietnam veteran who never really returned

Please take the time to read this article which is primarily about Michael McKernan’s book, “When This Thing Happened”. The title defers to Michael Stawyskyj’s constant reference to the moment in Vietnam in 1969 – “When this thing happened”.  Michael Stawyskyj is the father of Joe Stawyskyj. a 5RAR digger serously wounded in 1969.

Here is the link

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