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September 2023

Satisfaction grows for Team Oasis in being here for all the Veteran Community

After the tragic helicopter accident in the Whitsundays during Exercise Talisman Sabre, we were very proud to see an uptick in attendance at Homebase of those who just wanted to be somewhere safe while they thought about how the accident impacted them. Last month, Homebase hosted another amazing Open Day for the Veteran Community in Townsville – our 2nd Anniversary. One of the event's outcomes was the significant uptake of the Oasis App, which is developing rapidly. We also launched our Remembrance Path and have begun selling pavers for inscription to remember those who mean so much to members of our community. We have begun trialling the content of the one-day workshop we’ll launch in early 2024 for all serving veterans who arrive on their first posting and to Townsville for the first time. The information sessions that are the ‘find-out-more’ extension of the Operation NAVIGATOR one-day workshops have begun. We co-hosted lunch with the Veteran Community Business Chamber (VCBC) for senior executives from the Commonwealth Bank keen to support veteran-owned and operated businesses. We have had significant interest in the concept we have been advertising to Townsville’s GPs regarding ‘social prescription’ that generated an ABC story after the podcast of last month. Significant effort is going into examining the new Veterans Transition Strategy, supporting the development of the Defence and Veteran Mental Health Strategy, and discussions being led by the RSL for a peak body and framework for the ESO community. The big event for September is the Townsville District Scale Modellers Expo 2023, which will take up the entire facility for the weekend. We’ve also updated The Oasis Introduction Video - just 5 min long.

Our Team was very proud but saddened to see an increase in attendance by individuals who just felt the need to be somewhere they felt safe and respected while they reconciled the tragic MRH accident near Lindeman Island during TS23. Most just wanted a bit of quiet, while others were keen to talk. We all felt our Homebase community centre served well those who needed us in the veteran community.

Our 2nd Anniversary Open Day on 12 August was a huge success. With well over 2,000 members of our veteran community and locals, it showcased our facility and services. The number of clients seeking support has risen significantly since. As part of the day, we launched the Remembrance Path. Anyone is welcome to purchase a paver, and have it inscribed to remember forever someone who means something to them in the service of Australia. The Oasis App also got a big shot in the arm with a huge number (25% jump in numbers) downloading it to stay in touch and have ready access to What’s ON and services at Homebase.

A diverse range of veterans has scrutinised Operation NAVIGATOR to help us ensure the one-day workshop we will commence in 2024, is as relevant as possible. This will then also become the basis for the development of our app and to readily see the information extensions available for all, especially those who often get left behind in a veteran's transition – the family!

We are very excited to see the interest the Commonwealth Bank is taking in veterans' and partners' business ownership. In a joint venture with the VCBC, we hosted CBA senior executives to brief them on our operations and how we work with VCBC; and for them to detail how CBA is engaging the veteran community. Some amazing opportunities are coming.

We continue to work on and provide input to various planning activities in the veteran space. The Veterans’ Transition Strategy, recently released, is being closely examined. We are working to participate in the consultation over the Defence and Veteran Mental Health Strategy. We are also participating in the discussions led by RSL National to formulate best how to establish a peak body and ESO framework. All three of these, together with the concept for establishing regional representation in the ESO community by DVA, based on the emerging Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs, could lead to significant change in the veteran community ecosystem.

Our plan to focus on one big event each month is starting to settle, with this month being the Townsville District Scale Modellers Expo 2023. This event was held last year at Homebase and was huge. Best of all, it involves all manner of creativity for all ages, from teenagers to Vietnam veterans. In the last few months of 2023, we’ll have another Handicraft Market and a Career Connections Showcase – watch the website (or Oasis App) What’s ON for details.

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