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John Caligari

What is your role in The Oasis Townsville?

I am one of the founding directors and currently Chair of The Oasis Townsville board of directors. It fits well with my role as Chair of Operation COMPASS also and Patron of Legacy and 1RAR Association.

Tell us about yourself


I joined the Army at 18 years old and retired in 2015. I served on combat operations in Somalia, East Timor and Afghanistan. My favourite job in the Army was as CO 1RAR and taking the Battalion Group to East Timor on operations. I finished up as a three-star general in designing the ADF and writing the requirements for the platforms and equipment of the ADF. Since retirement I enjoy holidaying with my wife, getting to know my parents again, passing on my experiences in leadership and governance to anyone who’ll listen and supporting the veteran community in Townsville.

Why have you joined the team at The Oasis Townsville?

I have many friends from my days in the Army who have not fared well after leaving the Army and the ADF and the group of like minded veterans have banded together to help our brothers and sisters who need our help to transition successfully back to civilian life, or have been out for a while and are looking for the camaraderie we are all accustomed to.

What are you most proud of in your life?

I can’t choose between having my father who was an ex-CO of 1RAR take the CO’s sword from my predecessor to hand to me on parade in front of the Battalion the day I became CO 1RAR; or walking the Kokoda Track with my two sons aged 16 years old.

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

The best fun I’ve had with family and friends was when Narelle and I and the kids went on holiday to Europe for a month calling in on friends all over and visiting all the must see tourist attractions. Best country was Italy where we stayed with a few of our old friends from my days as an observer with the UN in the Middle East.

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