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May 2023

Coming together as a Community

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.

We hosted Alison Frame and Tara Hatzismalis at Homebase last month. It was so good to see the new Secretary of DVA out and about along with our Queensland Commissioner. It was a good chance to let them know what we are up to and how things are going, but also to better understand the Secretary's thoughts and ideas on the DVA’s efforts to support the veteran community.

We also recently hosted our first Financial Expo and were very pleased to have representation from several organisations to give members of our community a brief on their service, such as Bravery Trust and RSL Queensland Veteran Support Officers. We are encouraged by the turnout and plan for more as part of the Operation NAVIGATOR info sessions coming later in the year.

This month we celebrate an important week for National Volunteer Week 2023, “We are the Changemakers”. We could not do without our volunteers; they add valuable capacity to our operations at Homebase.

We have nominated for a PM Employment Award, given our outstanding success in supporting veterans and partners (and a few veteran's children too). We held back last year but recognised that what we have achieved is as significant as many of the nominees in 2022. Fingers crossed.

Another Peewee Hut will be named this month after an indigenous soldier who served in both WWI and WWII. This will be a significant event if it's anything like the ceremony we held for Lil Somers last year. We have his descendants officiating.

Watch out for our next Handicraft Markets on Saturday, 17 June. Over 40 stall holders mainly veterans and partners who have taken up a hobby to sell, especially given the difficulty of gaining employment when moving so often. We’re aiming to break the record again this time round. We seek expressions of interest to take a stand.

Please bear with us as we reconfigure the management of clients, participants and subscribers. Working with DVA on evaluation has shown us what we need to collect and prove to stay at the forefront of service to the Veteran Community.

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