Below is the latest introduction of ONtarget Monthly Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe, head to the Home Page and click on the Join Mailing List button.
14 May 2020
Woollam Constructions has been appointed to construct The Oasis Townsville in Oonoonba. They will demolish half of the existing DPI building and construct the five huts and the coffee shop. Newlands have already been appointed to do the roads, although we are wondering why that hasn't started yet?
Six Wellbeing Centres around Australia are all now underway. WA, SA, VIC and NSW RSLs have taken the lead in those states and Mates 4 Mates is taking the lead in Darwin. DVA coordinates the progress from this website.
The VNQ Awards Night will be webcast this Thursday 21 May and The Oasis Townsville has an entrant. You'll have to tune in to find out who and how they go. You can register to watch from your own couch here.
Employment has slowed but wellbeing navigation (including compensation advocacy) has increased. We are now managing almost 100 clients and we are working to set up the whole case management system online so we can all do it from any computer and with various inevitable absences.
We are also working with a consulting company commissioned by DVA to create a User Guide. This Guide will provide access to essential information for all and varied stakeholders. This is an exciting project and one we are pursuing while we have the opportunity of movement restrictions.
2 April 2020
We'll cover COVID-19 (but not too much) and its Impacts on The Oasis Townsville; self-care; and our evolved 10 Human Needs Framework for Wellbeing Navigation. And the Building...
Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has hit the world and we hope that all of you are coping as well as could be expected. The Oasis Townsville is affected and we want to make sure our people are safe so we have closed shop front activity and all classes. Most of us are working from home. We have a very good IT system with MS Teams, Outlook, our own domain and a very powerful CRM that supports distributed work. We are still responding to anyone who completes the forms for an advocate or who is looking for work.
All activities planned for the next few months are postponed. We are especially sad to have to postpone Operation FARMER ASSIST VII. The Sewing and Craft Program has also ceased - for the time being.
An important job for us all is to look after yourself and those around you while we transition to a sustained isolation environment. We've started a Self-Care Page that we'll build on to help.
We are utilising a 10 point Human Needs Framework for wellbeing. It is a derivation of a number of frameworks used around Australia and the world. Importantly, it brings our efforts closer to the Joint Transition Authority which is due to commence operations in July this year. We think if all 10 of these needs can be addressed, we'll have a bunch of happy clients. Over the next few months, we'll be building the web pages. We've started 1 – Meaningful Work; and 2 – Good Mental Health and posted them in draft, intended for further development.
We are still hopeful that a major contractor will be selected in the next couple of weeks and we might see some construction effort at the site in Oonoonba. However, in the current crisis, we appreciate things may be delayed. Let's keep our fingers crossed that we are still able to move in around midyear as we recognise that the demand for this concierge service is only increasing as the current crisis takes hold.
Stay safe and #CheckYourMates. jcal
2 March 2020
Wellbeing Navigation is the centrepiece of our service. We're working towards a single-entry point and from there we'll refer to experts in everything from financial management and compensation claims, to housing and employment. Some of the experts in some domains are available through our local ESOs which is a good place to start for any member of our ex-ADF community. We know which ESOs help who and with what. Our Wellbeing and Advocacy Program is growing quickly with over 70 clients now being supported. On the employment front, we've been very successful as a newly established service. Our Employment Manager, Paul von Kurtz is now supported by a small team of two volunteers and is working hard to develop our job placement capability. With the Red Rock Recruitment MOU, and others in the wind, we're learning quickly and have had some big wins already. Our Employment Program is fast becoming one of our major activities. Operation FARMER ASSIST planning has commenced. Our first expedition for 2020 will be over ANZAC Day at Winton, after the enthusiasm for attendance by the team at ANZAC Day Winton last year. The sewing program has expanded with an experiment now being run for those who would like to quilt. We hope to have a new class developed soon to include in the program. Hounds4Healing are oversubscribed at present but there is always an opportunity to re-prioritise if anyone needs help sooner rather than later. The work at the site of the new building in The Village has commenced. The first sod was turned on 7 Feb and the fencing has been erected around the site. Roads will begin soon and we should know who is the managing contractor for the construction of the buildings by the end of March. And we developed a FAQ page, as we get to recognise what the main questions are, we'll add answers.
6 February 2020
The year is off to a great start. There is a feeling of re-invigoration in the air as we get back to work. I hope everyone had a good break after a tough year. In late January we signed two MOUs. One with Volunteers NQ which has us working closely together to ensure the best experience for veterans and their families. And we’ve signed an MOU with Red Rock Recruitment who have been very attentive to the needs of the veterans we have sought their help to get a job for and been successful too in find placing our people in jobs. They understand the uniqueness of ADF service. The Owner’s son recently transitioned out of the ADF and has firsthand experience. Very useful! We’re also spent much of the first weeks catching up on where the applications to DVA stand for many of our clients. We have the capacity to help more, with six working advocates and two mentors/case managers, so if you know of someone who needs help with wellbeing or compensation please direct them to our office at 143 Walker Street. We’ve begun planning the next Operation FARMER ASSIST for when things cool down a bit out west! And we are very grateful to the Rotary Club of Townsville Central who donated to allow us to do another trip to Winton this year. And already this year we’ve had several people undertake courses, learning everything from professional volunteer management in Cairns to wellbeing navigators who can help veterans and their families with all aspects of wellbeing and settling into civvy street. The Sewing and Craft Program has started, and we hope to add more connections programs as the year progresses. If there is something you are keen to learn or do as a hobby and you have a group who just need a little support to get off the ground, let us know and we’ll help. And finally, the building in Oonoonba is not far away. We expect the roads to begin by the end of February or early March and the main constructions to begin when the wet season is over as current DPI admin building needs to be cut in half!
Don't forget to #CheckYourMates, jcal.
9 December 2019
This is our last ONtarget for 2019. What a busy year! At our AGM held last week we realised we had $0 in the bank at 1 July 2018 and had turned over $200,000 by 30 June 2019. More importantly we have over 50 volunteers and even more participate in Operation FARMER ASSIST and now Operation TOWNSVILLE ASSIST; and we have over 50 veterans on the books receiving assistance with advocacy from our team of 9 advocates. We've even exceeded job placement expectations and placed a few veterans and partners into employment around Australia. We've been working in a number of partnerships and MOUs with organisations that are experts in their fields and we can draw on to best support our veteran community. The development and application of these will be a main effort next year. On the building front, we have seen in the last weeks the tender for the roads that surround The Oasis go out and we expect the tender for the construction of the buildings to hit the streets this week (by Friday 13 December - or is that Black Friday!) All is on track to commence construction on these two components of the new facility at Oonoonba, early in the new year. You might have noticed some new pictures of the more mature architect designs on the Home page and on the Projects page. We hope all of our supporters have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year, and most importantly a great time with family and a good rest. We look forward to opening for business again on Tuesday 21 January at 0900h.
Don't forget to #CheckYourMates, jcal.
1 November 2019
As this edition of ONtarget is being prepared we are about to begin Veterans Health Week and there are many events around town being conducted over the period 26 October to 4 November. We had ours at Rawdon Middleton VC Park across the road from The Oasis Townsville in The Village in Oonoonba last Sunday. It was a big success and we are now set to establish it as an annual event. Our progress on training advocates and setting up an employment program have been steady with lots still to learn. We have a trailer for Operation FARMER ASSIST almost complete. The trailer is intended to ensure we are not an unreasonable burden on the farms we are supporting. It will be a basic but very solid build and we'll add to it over time as we raise more funds. Intent it is to have a BBQ, fridge, storage etc. This trailer is made possible by a donation of $12,000 from Shaw Wines near Canberra. While we are talking about ASSIST we have a new operation named TOWNSVILLE ASSIST. We are working with many other charities and NFPs in Townsville to help those who are experiencing difficulty getting back into their homes due to insurance issues. Some camping out the back! We will take the lead and work on the pilot houses to show how it's done! We are also working with the Townsville Enterprise Emerging Leaders Program on Project JIGSAW. It involves employment. More on that next edition, if we are successful in the grant application. And lastly we can report that it is now likely we'll see the roads commenced construction and the tender out for the building of The Oasis Townsville by the end of the year. Exciting times.
Don't forget to #CheckYourMates, jcal.
1 October 2019
Lots happening in this edition of ONtarget. Biggest news this month is the fast growing employment support service we have begun. Still lots to learn but the whole employment system has veterans and supporters keen to help, scattered throughout it. This looks likely to go gangbusters! We completed Operation FARMER ASSIST VI this last month and we are planning for one more before the end of the year - before it gets too hot! We've been encouraged to get involved in Veterans Health Week this year - we were planning to lay low until we got established in our new building, thanks IPAR. We'll hold our event at Rawdon Middleton VC Park (opposite The Oasis in Oonoonba). We've got news about Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) coming back to Townsville in November for one-on-one financial advice consultations for those who really want to get into the detail, thanks to our successful CSC Presentation and interviews in September. We highlight Allan Evans, an RAN ex-clearance diver as our volunteer profile for the month – he's also our CFO! And in Health News we draw attention to how habits help! Check out the new webpage on Veterans Issues. We've also started work on the detailed design of the new site in Oonoonba. We could see construction of the roads commence before the end of the year.
Don't forget to #CheckYourMates, jcal.