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June 2023

Stepping-up connections, jobs and planning for the future

We’ve named another hut, this time after an indigenous veteran who served in the Army in WWI and WWII. Early in May, we had another visit by senior leadership from DVA. We’re working closely with CSC to present on superannuation, which is extremely popular. We will hold our first signature careers event for veterans and partners in July. The next craft market is getting close and has every stall space taken. We’ll do a cooking workshop for Men's Health Week. Our BBQ tables are almost complete; some veterans gained great carpentry experience. Save the date for our 2nd Anniversary Open Day on 12 August.

The second of our huts has now been named. This one was after an indigenous soldier who served in WWI and WWII. Charles Alley was 16 years old when he enlisted in WWI and joined the 11th Light Horse. He rejoined the Army for WWII with 15 descendants serving in the ADF. We were immensely proud to have so many of his family attend the naming ceremony and some from as far away as Sydney and Darwin. We have an excellent video created of the event and donated by Creative Flare NQ.

We’ve also had another visit by the senior leadership of DVA. Teena Blewitt, Deputy Secretary of Enabling Services and Commemorations, came to Homebase for a tour and a brief less than a month after the new Secretary of DVA Alison Frame visited. There is significant interest across Australia now that DVA is in the process of developing 16 Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs, like The Oasis Townsville. It will be amazing when we can refer veterans, especially transitioning veterans, to other hubs near where they intend to settle.

When we were still at 143 Walker Street before moving to Homebase, we struck a great relationship with Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation and had them give an extremely popular brief to veterans and families. They’ve adapted and been working on their service, and we’ve reconnected to establish a regular brief from them on superannuation at Homebase. The first of these was just held at Homebase, and demand for more was strong.

In July, we will hold our inaugural signature Career Connections event. We will combine that with the formal launch of our Veterans Business Alliance (VBA) which now has 30 members. The event will be held at Homebase on 19 July. All VBA members will be involved, given their demonstrated passion for supporting veteran community members into employment. Many are owned or operated by veterans, and there are some big businesses, small ones, and many in between. They all signed a pledge and signed up for the PM’s Veterans’ Employment Program.

Craft Markets are on again in June. Great weather for them, and we have all 40 stall holder spots taken. We’ve even had stallholders signing up for the next one, and we haven’t set a date yet! These handicraft markets are an enormous success, bringing in over 2000 visitors. It is amazing how many serving veterans' partners have set themselves up as small traders, which mitigates the job-seeking problems of moving with their serving veterans.

Everything looks on track for our BBQ tables to be delivered from Dubbeld Studio this month. We’ve had a team of veterans and partners being taught carpentry by Dubbeld Studio (Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Townsville Sunrise) and building the furniture. Some of the stories are amazing. One individual who had not left home for a long time was out socialising and back in a team. That’s gold.

Save the date for our 2nd Anniversary Open Day at Homebase on Saturday, 12 August, from 1000h to 1300h. This one will be even bigger than before. We had over 4,000 at the last one, and we are better prepared for even more this time. It’s an enjoyable day, and we’ve moved it forward to take advantage of the great weather in August.

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