The real work has begun after the Grand Launch

The Grand Launch was an outstanding success and went exceptionally smoothly with over 2000 attendees. Operation NAVIGATOR preparations are going well and we expect to back brief workshop participants at a recall by the end of the year. Operation COMPASS has lit up again with the Department of Health committing to funding for a further year, although funds have not been forthcoming yet. We have some great stories from the veterans groups that received grants – Oasis Art was the stand out this month. We are also very grateful to the Army Rugby Union Old Boys for a further donation this year of $15k and a grant from the Morris Family Foundation of $20k to enhance our smartphone app. We've created an intro video to explain who we are, what we do and where it all came from, available on the home page of the website. Speaking of websites, it's undergone a facelift based on feedback and the need for more options for navigation. Check out the Testimonials Page. Don't forget our Christmas Craft Market and Townsville's Coolest Book Fair put on by Brothers N Books at Home Base on 27 November – we've already received massive book donations.

See a recap of the Grand Lauch including an outstanding video from our Governor-General, His Excellency The Honourable General David Hurley, AC, DSC (Ret'd). He is a strong supporter and we were very disappointed to see he and his wife Linda could not make it to the Grand Launch due to COVID restrictions. The page also has some great photos (see About Us/Our Grand Launch).

Operation NAVIGATOR is progressing well with more and more stakeholders recognising that the key to the transition problem is getting to soldiers, sailors and aviators early after they join-up, certainly well before they make a decision to depart the ADF by signing the AC853. That period between joining-up and deciding to go needs to be filled with trusted advice on how to best prepare for the inevitable departure and second career we will all have. It needs professionals who can assist with navigation of the complex and overwhelming number of support systems in place to help.

Operation COMPASS is also ramping up again. We have been promised further funding for FY2021-22 to continue the good work of the past 4 years but that funding is still yet to arrive. We've begun anyway with the help of funding from NQPHN. The big news is we are holding a reunion breakfast for everyone who has been a part of Operation COMPASS on 26 November at Home Base. We will not run out of coffee and sausages! This will be our launch of the 2021 Campaign for #CheckYourMates which has been reached millions all around the world.

Our 2021 Grant Program spotlight is on Oasis Art this month. They have successfully held an exhibition in the new Flinders Lane in Townsville's CBD. Our thanks to Martin Locke for allowing us to run it there. Sunday 31 October was a particular success with hundreds of visitors so see what veterans and partners can do with art and more importantly what it can do for them.

We've felt the generosity of many more this month. In the spotlight are the Australian Army Rugby Union Old Boys – the Leopards who raised $15k and the Morris Family Foundation (owns The Ville Casino and Resort in Townsville) who granted us $20k to develop the smartphone app so we can better judge what are the best services in Townsville. Many thanks to you both and to the many private donors who are also helping in a tremendous way.

Some surgery on the website. We hope you like it. We've had some very constructive feedback on how we can make it easier to navigate. We are also conscious that an increasing number of our followers are accessing the site from smartphones. We've added the quick links to the Home Page, put the fantastic Intro vid on the front page and pulled out Career Pathways as a special heading and growing focus for our operations. One quick link also takes you to a survey for you to tell us what we can do to enhance Home Base to feel more like home. And we have begun collecting Testimonials (About Us/Our Testimonials).

Lastly, don't forget the Christmas Market on 13-14 November and Townsville's Coolest Book Fair on 27 November.