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Veteran Community Homebase

Hut Names and Sponsors

The Oasis Townsville traces its history to the 13th Australian Personnel Staging Camp, established in World War II on the Queensland Government site occupied by our Homebase for the Veteran Community today. This location was where all troops deploying to and returning from PNG during WWII were held temporarily pending on-forwarding. Towards the end of the war, the focus of 13 APSC turned specifically to supporting demobilisation. Many service personnel were transitioned out of the ADF back into their pre-war civilian lives from this unit/area.


This is one of the key roles for The Oasis Townsville today.


The Queensland Government estate, within which Homebase sits, named The Village, has many of its streets named in recognition of the area's WWII heritage. Most prominent is Rawdon Middletone VC Park across the road from Homebase named in honour of one of RAAF Victoria Crosses from WWII. 

A few of the features of Homebase are reminiscent of some infrastructure features around Townsville during the War. The huts and the central feature based on a coastal defence gun emplacement are particularly prominent. In honour of the men and women who served in WWII from the North Queensland region, the huts will be progressively named after veterans, and each of the huts will also have a sponsor that is proud to have their name alongside the veteran's name and is noted for its support of the Veteran Community.  

As at the beginning of 2024, we have named two huts and have three huts sponsored by organisations that strongly support veterans and their families and contribute significantly to the efforts of The Oasis Townsville.


Behind each of the buttons below is more detail on the story of the individual the Huts is named after and the sponsor that proudly displays their support for the Veteran Community in Townsville and Region. 

Charles Alley Hut - sponsored by QBE

Lil Somers Hut - sponsored by DHA

'yet to be named' Hut - sponsored by Defence Health

PeeWee Hut Usage

Homebase is used extensively throughout the week, including after-hours and weekends. The huts are often referred to by their veteran or sponsor names. About 1000 members of the veteran community pass through Homebase each month, undertaking about 100 activities. The number is growing as we become more established as a Homebase for the veteran community, and the number of new attendees each month is rising. In early 2024, activity levels and participation were rising by about 5% per month, and new participants are about 50 per month. 

The statistics of usage are on our Outcomes and Impact page here.

QBE Hut has additional patronage with clients attending our in-house outsourced services. These include several hours a week from several organisations, including Australian Veteran Health Services (AVHS), Veterans Legal Service (a Queensland Government pilot being conducted at Homebase), and the Townsville Advocacy Community of Practice.

The Design Concept

Guidance to Architects

Counterpoint Architecture (a Townsville-based studio) in conjunction with Phorm architecture + design was responsible for the design. 

The DPI site had a large rectangular building dominating the block. That building was not conducive to community activity. The intent behind the design was to reflect an oasis with non-military-like lines. The design incorporated a concept for optimal use of space by veterans and their families and the communities and teams they generate. It was important to bring back to life the magnificent rain trees that now line Staging Camp Avenue. Where possible, a subtle focus on the high features of Townsville (Castle Hill, Mount Stuart) was sought. Significant features of Townsville’s WWII experience should be incorporated where that supports the other requirements. Counterpoint Architecture (with Phorm) took the brief and surpassed our expectations of what could be achieved.


Main Building

The old administration building was cut in half. With a clever application of reuse, only that portion of the old building that was needed to give space to the site was demolished. The half that remained had several key modifications to reflect the brief. The building has numerous lines altered to remove the more formal straight lines. This was enhanced by large glass French doors, which provided a strong visual connection through the rain trees to Mount Stuart. Below them, Lavarack Barracks, home to the 3rd Brigade and supporting units, sits.

Magnetic Island Gun Emplacement

The round concrete structure at the heart of the courtyard area is an interpretation of a gun emplacement on Magnetic Island. This area at the Home Base serves as a central circulation node to connect all parts of the site and gives the feeling of a gathering/meeting point. This central feature has a solid cover for protection from the sun and is a pleasant place to sit outside, which is a common desire of many ex-ADF personnel.

Gun emplacements on Maggy Island.jpg

Pee-wee Huts

The design includes huts for meetings and group activities. The P1 Huts (known during WWII as Pee-Wee huts) not only provide a link back to the US 5th Air Force but offer the independent meeting space required to support community activity and gatherings of community groups. By demolishing half of the DPI administration building, it also allowed for the huts to be placed such that the covered walkway between huts focuses attention on Castle Hill. This has the effect of reinforcing the significance of this iconic feature as both the heart of Townsville City and a significant place of observation and protection during wartime.

We have a plan to name the huts for which we are seeking community suggestions

P1 Hut.jpg

The Avenue of Trees

The Raintrees along Staging Camp Avenue are over 100 years old. These trees represent the history of the site for its military use through time. They are also highly valued for their shade and calming effect on the entire Homebase. They form the base of a triangle with buildings down either side from the café pointing to the north with the centre of the triangle forming the vitally important oasis.

2021-04-29 06.26.51.jpg
Aerial Photo DPI Station with New Suburb Overlay
TOTSV Area 1938 Aerial Photo with overla
Site Plan
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The Original Concept
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