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November 2023

Aren’t things supposed to slow down toward the end of the year?

If last month wasn’t busy enough, the next is flat out. We have new connections activities starting all the time, and they are a great way to find new interests and new friends. We had a few very popular activities last month, like the Veterans Health Week Reelin’ Veterans ‘Bait to Plate’ and the Alliance Rehab Cooking Classes. ANVAM Persona has been displayed at Homebase for the last month and has inspired a few new artists. We were also very grateful for donations and sponsorship, especially last month from the Nashos and Defence Health Limited.  This month is also packed, starting with Twilight Markets on 10 Nov. And later in the month, we have the 2nd of our popular Career Connections Showcases, this time sponsored by Regional Development Australia - Townsville and NW Queensland. We are very happy to see our Veterans Health Training Package for GPs to be conducted in NT this month. Operation NAVIGATOR focus sessions have concluded, and we’ve got some great takeaways in preparation for the pilot startup in Feb 2024. We’ve compiled many of the excellent photo stories published in the Townsville Bulletin that document our journey.  

More and more interesting activities are being proposed to us to conduct at Homebase every week. A favourite from last month is the 3D Printing Club and starting this month is the Oasis Scale Modelers Group. These activities are held at Homebase and conducted by community groups. All of them involve members of the veteran community, serving, ex-serving and their families. The number of participants and number of activities continues to rise. There is more capacity yet, though, with over 50% of the activities being conducted after hours utilising our unique digital access system. Our hours of operation continue to be 0730h to 2200h every day. Over 100 activities and 1500 participants per month.

We are grateful to Australian National Veterans Art Museum (ANVAM) for choosing The Oasis Townsville’ Homebase to display their very popular display of Persona for all of October. There are many veterans and family members taking up art as a means of connecting, learning and therapy. Check out the story in the Townsville Bulletin about Troy Hutchinson, a veteran from Tasmania settling in Townsville and almost accidentally falling into art. We have plans for more art for our veteran community.

The support we get from the ESO, business and civil community continues to amaze and inspire us. This last month we were particularly grateful for a donation form the Nashos and Defence Health Limited. Although we offer ESOs to meet for free at Homebase we have been blessed to have many of them fundraise for us. Most recently and through some very hard work we had the Nashos donate to the cause. And significantly we had Defence Health sponsor Hut 5. We now have substantial sponsorship from businesses and three huts sponsored. Hut 6 sponsorship is coming close.

We are hosting another of the very successful Twilight Markets on 10 Nov. Homebase is so beautiful and cool in the evening and with food trucks and 34 stalls, most of which are operated by veterans and partners, it will be a great night. The last Twilight Markets saw over 2000 people attend and we expect this to be even bigger. What a great place and time to get that special handmade gift for Christmas.

The big event for November is the Career Connections Showcase on Wednesday 29 Nov. We held our first in July to test the demand and it was exceptionally well received and attended. The event will provide job opportunities, networking opportunities, and key takeaways to help you get the job you seek. Come and meet organisations who are looking to employ Veterans and their families! Our Veteran Business Alliance members are very keen to support the Veteran Community.

Finally, it’s been great to see our GP Training Package, run by Dr Kerry Summerscales, conducted in the Northern Territory for NTPHN. It was a very successful Operation COMPASS initiative and we have found it essential to inform GPs of the ease with which they can serve veterans and families if only they understood how to make the most of the DVA support systems. The number of NAV Sessions is ramping up. The one-day Solid Foundations Workshop for new members of the ADF and nely arrived in Townsville is just the start; more info will be coming on the Oasis App and the NAV Sessions, which ties the support system together. Watch our What’s ON page for details. We’ve added a page to the website for the best Bulletin pictures, most of them by Evan Morgan, who is an outstanding photographer.

And don’t forget the last Banjo’s Breakfast, sponsored by RSL Townsville, is on Fri 1 Dec and will kick off again on Fri 9 Feb.

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