Our 1st Anniversary approaching fast and getting busier
It’s hard to believe how fast we are approaching the first anniversary of taking ownership of our magnificent veteran community centre at Oonoonba and celebrations are in the wind. We are preparing for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide to come to Townsville on 20 June. We’ve had a fantastic uptake of positions on our Grant Preparation Support Workshops coming up this month. Our Veterans Business Alliance is taking off. We have Townsville Community Law doing a trial for a free legal service from Home Base. We are also preparing for the second of the BrothersNBooks highly successful “Townsville’s Coolest Book Fair”. Our Craft Fair is also well advanced in preparations. The scuba activity being planned for next month is very popular the team are getting ready to trial the activity we found most sought after by younger veterans. We have begun collecting KPI to prove to ourselves (and pinch ourselves sometimes) how successful the concept of our Oasis really is. And the activities on What’s On are growing strongly.
We’ll celebrate our first anniversary at 1 Staging Camp Avenue in Oonoonba on 25 June. It will become an annual event and we have lots planned. We will showcase some of the things we have been doing and ensure there is lots to do and eat and drink for all.
The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide is coming to Townsville on 20 June and staying for two weeks. Our submission was apparently well-received. Our work on Operation COMPASS and the lessons we extracted that led to The Oasis Townsville Veteran Wellbeing Centre have prepared us well for the hearings.
The Grant Preparation Support Workshops are well subscribed. After learning what really works in Townsville for the veteran community by giving out grants, we are in the next phase of supporting those that have good ideas and are looking to continue them but need help with the grants process. We have bought in an expert who has helped us. She will now help any community group that has in its membership any members of the veteran community.
The Veterans Business Alliance has taken off since it began meeting in February. With only two meetings to date the number of businesses keen to join has been overwhelming and very encouraging. We all knew Townsville businesses understood the value of having veterans as employees, we can now see the evidence. This group of businesses will be the front end of a campaign to put members of the veteran community into jobs that are good for them, good for businesses and good for Townsville.
Queensland Government’s Office for Veterans has funded Townsville Community Law to pilot a free Veterans’ Legal Service in Townsville. Townsville Community law is funded until the end of February 2024 to provide legal assistance services to eligible veterans in the Townsville community with some limited outreach to Cairns and Mackay.
The next Townsville’s Coolest Book Fair is on Saturday 16 July. The campaign has begun to collect books. We want to surpass the magnificent effort of 7,000 books collected last year. Please pass the word around and bring the books in. We take all the previous day to set up and categorise the books so it’s easy for customers to find what they want. Last year BrothersNBooks sold over 4,000 books. Let’s beat that!
Oasis Craft Markets are on Saturday 7 May only 5 weeks away. Last year’s market was a big hit and this year we are even more organised with more stalls.
Our Scuba dive is also proving popular. We are looking to experiment with a broad range of activities. Many will remember our Operation FARMER ASSIST trips out west, or the Outerlimits veterans adventure camp at Paluma last year. Well, now we are trialling diving and that’s with a veteran-owned business in Townsville – Remote Area Dive. The intent is to get veterans up and out in the fresh air and connect with others. Our attempts so far have helped many establish good friends that have continued well past the event.
We’ve begun performance measurement by some experimental KPI. This is in the lead into a formal evaluation to be conducted by CQU commencing soon. It is important for us to see the fruits of the hard work to ensure we put our effort into the things that work best. Each month we will measure how we are going and publish it until we get a better system in place as a result of the CQU evaluation. It's already looking impressive.
We’ve added a new cube to the front page of the website. We are adding all activities to our What’s On page in response to requests from groups that want our social media reach to increase their membership. It will be the place to go to do something you like doing with a group who love it too.