Andrew Bligh

What is your role in The Oasis Townsville?

I am the Service Delivery Manager and have come on board to provide daily oversight to the range of programs delivered by The Oasis here at Homebase and in the community. The single aim of my team and I is to work alongside Veterans, their families, and the community to provide the best support and information to assist people in engaging in meaningful activities, work and be fully immersed in their everyday life.

Tell us about yourself

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My background is quite diverse and includes roles in community development, disability, large sporting event management and even a time as a professional sportsman. I have four children who range in age from 27 down to 15 years of age. My oldest recently graduated as an occupational therapist and is currently working on rehabilitation strategies for adults after a workplace injury. I am passionate about target archery and am Vice President of the Townsville Target Archers and can be found most days of the weekend on the range in Rosslea. I share my time with my family, work and pastimes with a long-term committee and volunteer commitment to the Challenge Games. This event has been in formation for 25 years and delivers a sporting opportunity to children with a disability in Townsville each year which is unique to our North Queensland community.

Why have you joined the team at The Oasis Townsville?

After many years working inside government systems which had morphed to be an administrative action I wanted to return to a role that was able to make effectual changes at a personal level. In my past, I have worked alongside individuals to support them to make real changes in their lives so that they could be welcomed by the community to experience the benefits which have resulted from meaningful connections among people. These brokered and supported connections had shown me the transformational change that could be realised through personal connections and social identity. The programs and people at The Oasis have offered me an opportunity to connect and again align myself with these vital, meaningful and impactful actions which could alter the outcome for veterans, their families and the community which wants to support and embrace them.

What are you most proud of in your life?

The fact that I have been married for over 20 years to the best blind date ever. I am proud that together we have worked through both the truly great moments and banded together when our family needed our strength. My children have served my wife and I with the opportunity to learn to be resilient and adaptive as we have had to overcome their unique challenges they each face each day due to disability, gender and mental health.

What’s the best fun you’ve had with family and/or friends?

The day the Cowboys won the Premiership was a truly remarkable day. My whole family was together and we videoed our reactions as we watched as JT missed the conversion in the final seconds and then dropped the field goal to ultimately win the title. I still smile widely as I watch our antics and emotions that were taped in the final moments on that day.