September 2022

Measurement shows strong performance

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. Our second scuba diving activity was another great connection activity. 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 – KO 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.

Early August saw the naming of our first PeeWee Hut. 101-year-old WWII veteran Lil Somers came to Homebase with dozens of her relatives and descendants and unveiled the nameplate on the building herself. This was the first, and we aim to name the rest at about six monthly intervals. We have a competition running if you have a suggestion. Our sincere thanks to Lil and her family.

The Oasis Craft Market was a tremendous success, and many took the opportunity to drop in on it and then head to Lavarack for the Open Day in support of Northern Queensland Legacy. Over 2000 people came through the markets over the day and had the chance to see and buy some amazing handicrafts by members of the veteran community. Some seriously talented people in that lot.

Last month also saw the 1500sqm facility we call Homebase win two prizes at the Master Builders Housing and Construction Awards. This caps off the two awards for the Architects who designed Homebase. We enjoyed working with Counterpoint, Phorm and Woollam Constructions on the project, and we are incredibly pleased to see them recognised for their excellent job.

Our biggest news for August was the re-opening of Dirty Boots Café, and we were overwhelmed with the support from the veteran community and the locals. It has an entirely fresh look, a new menu, and the best prices in Townsville. Our new EEKO (Early Knock Off) coffee is also a big hit, and as it is roasted locally by Dominion, we have an assured supply line with a consistent taste. Ottos have been working with us to ensure our baristas are trained and we get the best result. Thank you, Townsville, for your fanatical support. If things keep on track, we'll consider re-opening on Saturday. Some settling to do first!

We've begun to test the concept of running information sessions on sought-after topics and their importance to the veteran community. The first to kick off is on finances. "Do you want to feel more in control of your finances"? We'll do these each month at a time indicated by most as the best time to get partners together and not interfere with family routine too much. The first is on 5 Sep at 1730 for an hour in Hut 4. We hope to add other interesting topics soon.

Townsville District Scale Modelers are having their big event at Homebase on the weekend of 10-11 Sep. This is an extremely popular activity, especially with the younger veterans. It would be worth a look if you think you might be interested. We're opening Dirty Boots Café on Saturday and will have a few exclusive cafe deals from 0800h to 1300h.

We owe a special thanks to those who have signed up to evaluate the services we provide at The Oasis Townsville. CQU will run two days of workshops, each session only an hour or two. They'll also do interviews, by video if necessary, and have a survey to send out in October. While we have a good model that is proving extraordinarily successful, we realise there are things we could do better. We have been overwhelmed by the numbers participating in our community hub while establishing the processes to execute it, but we haven't stopped. We need to understand better which of our activities work best and are of the most value to the veteran community for the donations and sponsorships that keep us running. Still some space available if you'd like to join in.

The Oasis Townsville will also host the Digital Capability and Skilling Program. The program brings together several agencies to support transitioning veterans and ex-serving veterans and their families in a new digital career. You would not believe what digital careers are or will be in the next few years. There will be an info session at Homebase at 1700h on 5 Oct.