Slowing down towards the end of the year - NOT
The big news is the Federal Budget included funding for us to execute Operation NAVIGATOR and it’s not an app! The third of our ventures into project managing employment opportunities has been a big success – Digital Skilling Capabilities. We took part in Veteran Health Week with a ‘Cast, Catch, Cook’ activity with veterans and families. The second Scuba Course was a great success. We received another big donation from Lamberts Produce who have taken us on as their charity of choice. The Veterans Business Alliance is now 20 strong. The end of Operation COMPASS is closing in fast. In sad news Lil Somers who we named one of our Peewee Huts after in August has passed away at 101 years old. We welcome another compensation advocate to our fold. International Volunteers Manager Day is on 5 November, and we will celebrate. For all the kids we have Santa@TOT coming in December. And there are many activities planned for the next 6 weeks, including the very popular Handicraft Markets.
Operation NAVIGATOR got a big lift of $4.7mil in the Federal Budget at the end of October. We will expand the numbers on the significant increase in serving ADF veterans who have yet to seriously consider separation from the ADF, beginning the recon for transition. Understanding what they look for will be invaluable to how Operation NAVIGATOR will run as we intend to expand the base of serving ADF veterans to start their planning too. We’ll aim to support every soldier, sailor and aviator posted into Townsville on posting to their first unit. We want to help them start the thinking about what happens when one day they do transition, sooner or later.
It looks like we have 12 starters for the digital pathways education and training opportunity, taking advantage of all the wrap around support to be provided by many organisations. We see a niche for The Oasis Townsville to bring all of the stove piped offers of support and turn them into packages for members of the veteran community who seek education and work opportunities.
Veterans' Health week was a blast with The Oasis Townsville joining forces with another ESO Reelin’ Veterans to Cast, Catch and Cook up some healthy tucker. Our Adventure Camp went down well. And the second of the scuba courses went off without a hitch too. Testimonials speak for themselves. The goal is to have veterans and their partners and even some kids get together for a common interest and experience that all important human connection doing something they love – like in this case fishing, camping and scuba.
Lamberts Produce excelled themselves again. They have so many great ideas and keep raising funds for The Oasis Townsville. They've been involved in so much work so hard. We are privileged to have them right beside us. Most of their activities and fundraising has been in direct support of Operation COMPASS which is about to wind up at the end of the year. Operation COMPASS has been running for five years and we have learnt so much about the unique circumstance of the suicide problem in that time. Although the Federal Government funding ceases for COMPASS, our connection to the core issues of mental health and suicide will live on at The Oasis in Operation COMPASS forever. This will be most prominent in our promotion of the #CheckYourMates Campaign. One of the last activities for COMPASS will be a presentation by Dan Pronk on resilience and the hard lessons he has learnt on combat operations in Afghanistan.
It is our sad duty to inform that Lil Somers passed away last month. Our Hut 4 was named in her honour, and she unveiled the name in front of her vast extended family at The Oasis in August. Her name will live on at Homebase and we are very proud of her connections to us and the veteran community.
Our compensation advocacy function just got stronger with a new member to the team. We have been inundated with veterans seeking help with claims to DVA and this will help Team Oasis significantly in keeping up. And fittingly we have International Volunteer Managers Day on 5 November. All of our managers have volunteers, so we have quite a few to celebrate. We’ll have a special celebration for the work of our managers, especially for the work in ensuring Team Oasis stays strong.
Finally, it would be worth having a look at WhatsON on the website over the next 6 months. We are packed with activity. The big one not to miss is the Handicraft Markets that have become very popular. We have some amazing veterans and partners making some great handicrafts. And we’ll have a session for the kids and Santa too.