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Coming together as a Community

May 2023

Last month we were grateful for a visit by the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Queensland Deputy Commissioner. We held our very first Finance Expo, which was very well attended. National Volunteer Week is on this month, and we are very grateful for all our volunteers who add capacity to our operations. We have nominated for the PM Employment Awards. We will name another hut, this time after an NQ indigenous soldier who served in WWI and WWII. We are holding the next handicraft market on Saturday, 17 June, and the weather will be beautiful in Townsville by then. We’ve been improving our management of clients, participants and subscribers, but there will be a few glitches as we change over. We have been running a popular competition involving social media and coffee at Dirty Boots Café.

Connections activity numbers up significantly

April 2023

We hit a record number or participants in connections activities at Homebase last month. Early analysis indicates that every $1 spent on The Oasis Townsville provides over double back to the community in social impact, according to the Australian Social Values Bank. Our recent Night Market were a huge success. The Queensland Government Veterans’ Legal Service pilot has proven its value in the first 12 months of operation. It’s great to see the change in direction of RSL Townsville with the change in President. In the coming months, the big activities will be a financial expo and a jobs expo. Easter will be a well-deserved break for all, especially Team Oasis.

Settling in for significant growth and development

March 2023

The Defence and Member Family Welcome Expo was a fantastic day. Banjo & Coffee Breakfasts are growing quickly, with over 100 at the last one. New Operation NAVIGATOR Project Manager has got Operation NAVIGATOR rolling quickly. Changes to the presentation on the website of events and activity at Homebase have improved ease of access. Qualitative Evaluation by CQU was briefed to the Board last month. Dirty Boots Café is going strong and numbers at Homebase for connections activities are still increasing. One of our Directors has been promoted in the QPS to Station Chief. Defence Health Limited Board was hosted and briefed at Homebase. And we are holding our first-ever massive Night Market this month on the grounds of Homebase.

Off to a flying start

February 2023

Happy New Year. We hope everyone had a good break and refreshed over the holiday season. Team Oasis has been back on deck for a few weeks and Homebase is already humming. Late last year we farewelled our Patron Brigadier Kahlil Fegan and welcomed our new Patron Brigadier David McCammon. Although we had half a month in December and another in January, lots still happened. We had Santa visit and Defence Housing Australia sponsored a Peewee Hut. We had a fantastic turnout at the Veterans Gaming Australia and Townsville Tabletop Gamers Expo at Homebase, and we launched #CheckYourMates in Darwin. Our client numbers continue to grow, and we’ve also had some big wins in all areas of support, particularly in the veteran's employment space. An evaluation of The Oasis Townsville by CQU was finalised and will be briefed to the Board this month. We have settled on a Strategic Calendar for the year to ensure all the big activities are spaced out sufficiently. This allow us to plan and implement each one, with some of those being markets, book fairs and open days, with more planned. In February the big event for the whole veteran community is the DMFS Expo at Townsville Stadium on Saturday 11 February. We continue to host many of Townsville’s ESOs to support their efforts in supporting the veteran community. Homebase has lots going on too, from crafts to singing, bands and wargaming and modelling to name a few – check out What’s On, on the website or the Oasis App. It also great to see a few of the other 15 Veterans and Families Hubs standing up also.

We’ll End a Great Year with a Big Bang

December 2022

Last month started with a visit by DVA Minister Matt Keogh and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles. We held our AGM and published our Annual Report. Our last Handicraft Market for 2022 saw a record 30 stalls. Operation COMPASS ends with a very well-attended event at Homebase. We have more than doubled the number of VBA members this year. We have begun working with Joint Transition Authority for the grant funding for Operation NAVIGATOR. In a couple of weeks, we host a veterans gaming expo with registrations filling fast. We will also host Defence Housing Australia, unveiling a plaque recognising their sponsorship of The Oasis Townsville for the next three years. This is the last ONtarget for 2022; the next one will be the first week of Feb 2023. All of us at Team Oasis wish you a fantastic Christmas and a very happy new year.

Slowing down towards the end of the year - NOT

November 2022

The big news is the Federal Budget included funding for us to execute Operation NAVIGATOR and it’s not an app! The third of our ventures into project managing employment opportunities has been a big success – Digital Skilling Capabilities. We took part in Veteran Health Week with a ‘Cast, Catch, Cook’ activity with veterans and families. The second Scuba Course was a great success. We received another big donation from Lamberts Produce who have taken us on as their charity of choice. The Veterans Business Alliance is now 20 strong. The end of Operation COMPASS is closing in fast. In sad news Lil Somers who we named one of our Peewee Huts after in August has passed away at 101 years old. We welcome another compensation advocate to our fold. International Volunteers Manager Day is on 5 November, and we will celebrate. For all the kids we have Santa@TOT coming in December. And there are many activities planned for the next 6 weeks, including the very popular Handicraft Markets.

What can we do better, more of, or differently?

October 2022

September saw more intensive activity on our qualitative and quantitative evaluation processes. We’ve had another bumper connections usage of Homebase, and the financial sessions are proving popular. QBE Hut is proving very suitable for the in-location outsourced wellbeing services we offer members of the veteran community. Our Service Delivery Team have seen a 16% increase in client numbers and referrals. Operation NAVIGATOR completed a final working group with key stakeholders for the upcoming trial. Sales of our EKO Coffee (roasted by Dominion and powered by Ottos Townsville) have seen strong demand, including inside Lavarack. Our Smartphone App gets stronger every day, especially with organisations around town utilising the Digital Veteran ID. We have a Veteran Health Week fishing and cooking activity called "Cast, Connect, Cook with Mates", and we’ve been busy supporting other organisations to conduct other VHW activities, including some at Homebase, and participating in the RSL Townsville Veteran Health Festival. We are focussed on Digital Skills this month in collaboration with others – Info Briefing on 11 Oct at 1700h at Homebase. In October, we will also focus on expanding our successful Handicraft Markets into a Hobby Expo. For those interested, we have also now published our Annual Report for FY2021-22, and it is available on our website: About Us/Our Official Data.

Measurement shows strong performance

September 2022

We now have one of our Huts officially named the 'Lil Somers Hut', named by WWII veteran and 101-year-old, Lil Somers herself. The Craft Market was a tremendous success; keep your eye out for the Hobby Expo in October. The Oasis not only took out the 2022 Queensland Architect Awards, but it has now also taken out Queensland Housing and Construction Project of the year. But the big news is Dirty Boots re-opened with over 1500 customers in the first week after it underwent a massive makeover, and our Dominion roasted coffee – EKO is a big hit. Do you want to feel more in control of your finances? Try one of our monthly 1hr sessions after work starting on 5 Sep. We have the Townsville District Scale Modelers competition on Sat 10 Sep. CQU will conduct two days of evaluation workshops on 12 and 13 Sep.  We are learning fast that our niche role is bringing together multiple agencies and organisations offering to support veterans and partners so that the collective value of their individual offerings is greater than any of the supports offered. – next big event is the Digital Skilling Info Brief on 11 Oct at Homebase.  

Books, Scuba and Coffee

August 2022

Townsville's Coolest Bookfair did it again with over 3000 customers and over 6000 books sold – well done to BrothersNBooks. The Oasis has been supporting ACU in establishing a facility to support veterans and partners getting into uni. Our Veterans Business Alliance (VBA) is growing strongly. We've had some high-profile visitors at Home Base interested in our efforts. Having been in our new Home Base for a year, we have engaged some external professionals to help us evaluate our operations. We will follow up on the raging success of our last Scuba Diving Expedition with another this month. Hut 3 will be named by a 101-year-old veteran. We will relaunch Dirty Boots Café and launch our coffee blend – guess what it's called?

Townsville confirmed as biggest garrison town by ABS

July 2022

Includes: Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, Official Launch of the Black Dog Institute Report, Anniversary Open Day, visit by new Minister for Veterans Affairs, ADF Transition Expo and Joint Transitions Authority info session, #CheckYourMates BBQs and Banjo & Coffee Breakys, our Architects won the NQ Regional Architects Award, Lamberts Produce Cook-off and fundraiser, growth of the Veterans Business Alliance, new activities starting at Home Base, Townsville's Coolest Book Fair by BrothersNBooks. Dirty Boots Café temp closure. Handicraft Markets. Next scuba diving operation. Naming of Hut 4. New record, over 10,000 hours of utilisation of Home Base.

Prevention through Connection - In Action

June 2022

Includes: Scuba Diving Camp, National Volunteer Week, #CheckYourMates BBQ and Grant Support Workshops for Operation COMPASS, Outdoor Movie Night, Anniversary Open Day, smartphone app, Queensland Government Legal Service established at The Oasis, Architect Awards, Support to Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.

Home Base getting busier by the day

May 2022

We are now averaging over 1000 visitors per month to our Home Base for the Veteran Community. The Free Queensland Government legal advice for the veteran community provided by Townsville Community Law is proving a big hit. The Grants Workshops for ESOs and community groups were very well received, and we have more arranged in the months ahead – see What’s On. Some amazing employment and education initiatives are rolling out – the latest being the advanced manufacturing opportunity to get veterans trained and employed immediately. We have the Royal Commission in Townsville from 20 June and the Commissioners are set to visit The Oasis Townsville to see our operations. All systems go for a re-enactment of our Grand Launch with our Anniversary Open Day on 25 Jun – put it in the diary. Our coffee and banjo breakfasts are a big hit, even with our local members at State and Federal level. Do you have our app yet?