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.Welcome to the 2nd Edition of the TPDSA of Central Queensland and the first Internet copy

In this edition we have it all for you, the Scientific Philosophy of life, reports from our President Paul Watkins and our Welfare Officer Charlie Bartkus plus a report about the Project "Welcome Aboard" and the reunion of the left handed cooks and the mighty Gray 8th Battalion. So grab a cupper or a cold one a sit back and enjoy a good read for a couple of hours.

A Reminder for Vietnam Veterans Day 18th August, a letter to TPDSA HQ, a report from our Auditor, a letter from Nev Tickner

In this news letter we will run a questioner asking a few question as it appears that the members do not want to come to the quarterly meeting at our last QM only two members outside the committee were interested in their association.

Our thanks go out to two members plus committee members who gave up their time during the Rocky show to sell lucky tickets. Phil Aplin and Nick Quigley our gratitude go out to these members. We raised just under $600.00 all up.                       Back to Top







Phil Aplin 49286711 - Nick Quigley 49282554

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Scientific Philosophy for Life
A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2" in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.                               Back to Top
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the
jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled in to the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The students laughed. The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.   "Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognise that this is your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health and your children - think that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
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The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff." "If you put the sand
into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks.  The same
goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on  the small
stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.  Play with
your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out
dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a
dinner party and fix the disposal." "Take care of the rocks, first the things that really matter. Set your priorities.  The rest is just sand." But then...
A student took the jar that the other students and the professor agreed was
full, and reached into his bag produced a can of beer and bottle of wine.
The student then proceeded to pour in some beer and then topped it up with
some wine. Of course the wine and beer filled the remaining spaces within
the jar making the jar truly full.
The moral of this tale is, that no matter how full your life is, there is
always room for some wine and beer.                      
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Questioner for the TPDSA

  • Q1a. The Annual Dinner after the Annual General meeting was to be discussed at the last quarterly meeting. But because of lack of numbers the question we ask is 'do we now have an annual dinner'?

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  • Q1. What would you like to see your Association provide or do for you?
  • Q2. Would you like to have e-mail messages deliver the latest news over the net.

(For members who do not have e-mail facilities we will continue to Post)

  • Q3. Will you provide your e-mail address? Yes/No
  • Q4. What type of outings would you like to see organised for you.

Bus trips, One day trips, Weekend long trips, mid week trips, BBQ after QM, Functions on special days, Other?                  Back to Top

  • Q5. Do you believe that the CQ TPDSA should subsidise any function that are held, remembering that the association only has an income of $15.00 per member and what we can by selling lucky tickets, per year to run the office and Welfare Trips.
  • Q6. Do you want to see the CQ TPDSA run small courses in certain subjects?

Introduction to computers?, Leather work?, Woodwork?, Other?

  • Q7. If the answer to Question 5 was yes how do you feel that it should be funded?

Completely by grants, Some by Association some by Member, Completely by member? Other?

  • Q8. Is their any other service your association can offer to do for you? Back to Top

Project "Welcome Aboard"

The project committee shall seek to acquire a suitable vessel to meet the objects of the organisation as described in the constitution and to meet the therapeutic guidelines of the Department of Veterans Affairs. By meeting these aims continually we will improve the Veterans independence and quality of life through organised maritime activities that will challenge, inform and enhance well being.

Primarily, the project will supply a different path for treatment and therapy for veterans whilst developing those activities that will better maintain and improve the independence and quality of life for veterans. Promoted through orderly participation in all areas of the organisations training and improvement programs. Those able bodied veterans and those with physical, mental and medical disabilities will be offered a very different but extremely rewarding avenue within which to break the bonds of geographical and social isolation.                            Back to Top

A social support network will be established to promote permanence of companionship. Thereby addressing the many symptoms of depression, anxiety and substance abuse in a happy an unexpected manner. This will be in an environment where the member will re-establish or learn new skills of belonging to a team and operating effectively within those team surroundings, using the applications of Naval themes and traditions.

Veterans suffer from a variety of physical, psychological and medical conditions. Community, ex service organisations and smaller groups currently aid them by providing a variety of care services. This project will allow members, their carers and families to widen their circle of socialisation by using the organisations controlled activities [ see appendix A]to challenge themselves to learn new or revive lost skills or simply enjoy the excitement of motor sailing through a world renown waterway and coastal area. The management plan for these activities is currently under development.

Establishing once again the experience and the thrill of achievement and building self worth and confidence.

The level of support for veterans in maintaining independence, reduction of social isolation, promotion of healthy life styles and access to the service is significant. A needs analysis is being conducted; early indications are that this proposal will get that high level of support from Veterans and Medical Professionals.                                         Back to Top

In summary this unique activity is mobile, able to be shared by the veteran community in a variety of districts while maintaining the elements of health promotion and priorities for 2001 as set out by DVA under their grants criteria. The project will be an example for years to come of the vast good financial assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs can do for veterans regardless of age, level of disability and geographical situation.

This is a different type of proposal, but not before time, but meetings with DVA have been negative. Nevertheless we all know the inherent problems in dealings with the department.

It is now, that we are asking for the support of the Veteran Community by completing the questionnaire and to provide letters of support for the concept.

Members of the management Committee are available to further explain the project.

Command Committee

1. President Malcolm Wheat                                     Back to Top

2. Commodore John Leak (55307590)

3. Secretary/Treasurer Bernard Kern (55229245)

4. Vice President Bill Boland (55768405)

5. Engineer Trevor Rowland


Controlled activities

1. Drug and Alcohol Information and Counselling Sessions

2. Lifestyle programs [Daily and Weekend]

3. Self Improvement Training

4. Disabled adventures

5. PTSD short term programs

6. Respite for carers                                      Back to Top

7. Designed activities for senior veterans

8. Hospital away activities

9. Isolated veteran program

i. Veterans children personal development.

ii. Teamwork skills development and participation.

Of course any help that any member can provide will assist in this project at this time all they want is letters of support at this time.

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P O Box 5197

West End


Dear Sir

Please find enclosed TPDSA CQ submissions for the state conference in Townsville in September 2001.                              Back to Top

We feel that the support given should be in the order given below.

Gold Card for Wives and Spouses

Special rate Pension/index at 75% of M.T.A.W.E.

TPIs without qualifying service to be brought into line with other T.P.I.

Conferences should become a policy making body

Rail passes shared with Wives and Spouses

For committee


John Elson                            Back to Top


By Charlie Bartkus

Although we are still waiting the final result of our request for a welfare vehicle, the President and myself were able to do a quick Welfare trip to Barcaldine and the Emerald area recently.

My recent involvement in the Welfare area has been with more senior members who, due to age and physical condition, need a higher level of care than can be provided at home. There have been a number of cases in the last year.

About 3 years ago a friend (TPI) had a stroke (aged only 55). All of a sudden every thing changed for him. He could no longer live at home, he needed constant care and attention.

When I lived in Victoria I worked as the admissions officer in an Aged Care Facility.                                    Back to Top

Its here that I gained some knowledge and understanding of what happens and what the requirements are when someone needs care and accommodation in such a facility. This place was called LYNDOCH and it had 47 INDEPENDENT LIVING UNITS (one bedroom flats), 100 AGED CARE HOSTEL separate rooms and 100 NURSING HOMES beds.

One marked thing I noticed then and still see today is the difference in understanding and preparedness between different individuals.

Some people have looked well ahead.

They have checked out, in their area, what accommodation is available. They know what costs to expect. They have made their own decisions in advance as to what they want to do and where they want to go, should the need arise.

On the other hand there are others who have been totally unaware and when something did happen, they become very worried and fearful and felt that all the necessary decisions were taken out of their hands.

There is a saying "KNOWLEDGE IS POWER". In this regard the more we know and understand, the more ability we will have to plan ahead and make the appropriate decisions for our own future benefit and care. The earlier we know, the better prepared we can be.                      Back to Top

Here are some questions that might help us to begin to look and plan ahead.

Have I prepared my will current and up to date?

Have I arranged a POWER OF ATTORNEY? What is the difference between POWER OF ATTORNEY and ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY?

What Retirement Villages, Aged Care Hostels, Nursing Homes are in my area? What are they like? How well are they run? How well do the residents get looked after?

What costs are involved?                                 Back to Top

What if I’ve got of assets?

What if I’ve got nothing, only my TPI pension?

There are only some questions to help us think and plan ahead, if we want to.

Remember, your future is in your own hands.

I have thought that it may be worthwhile to arrange a seminar or information day, where details could be provided and questions answered.

Could people contact me, by phone in the office 49214644, or by letter, if they have any particular concerns or questions, or if you are interested in an information day etc.

Regards and Best wishes

Charlie Bartkus

Welfare Officer.                                   Back to Top

Letter from Evans and Hearn

Dear Sir,


With reference to our recent discussions and your letter received here today, we advise that we are prepared to undertake the consolidation of your financial records and to provide an audit report on the financial statements for the years ended 30 June 2000 and 2001.

We will conduct our audit in accordance with Australian Auditing Standards to provide reasonable assurance as to whether the financial reports are free of material misstatement. Our procedures will include examination, on a test basis, of evidence supporting the amounts and other disclosures in the financial reports, and the evaluation of accounting policies and significant accounting estimates.                     Back to Top

In addition to our reports on the financial statements, we expect to provide you with a separate letter concerning any material weakness in the internal control structures and any other matters that come to our notice that affect the financial affairs of the association.

Having in mind the extent of the procedures we have performed to date and the work yet to be accomplished, we estimate that our fee for the assignment would not exceed $2,500.00 (excluding GST).

Yours faithfully

Evans and Hearn.                                 Back to Top


Weekend get-together 1 March till 4 March 2002 Singleton NSW

We have Barracks accommodation available for our weekend Get Together.

Cost of self-contained unit accommodation: Officers’ and Sergeant’s Messes is $20.00 a night and Soldiers’ accommodation blocks $13.00 a night all exclusive of meals. (first in best dressed). So if you are interested in joining the NSW Branch at this weekend please send your cheque or money order to the Treasurer PO Box 547 Mona Vale NSW 2103.

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This weekend get-together is for all who served with the Grey Eight and while it would be good to hold this closer to our Birthday, most of us would be aware of how cold and miserable Singleton can, at that time of the year.

The CO and RSM of Singleton Army Camp are full supportive of this proposed activity and are keen to assist in anyway to ensure its success.

Itinerary to date:                             Back to Top

Friday 1 March 2002

Meeting and Greet at the Singleton Returned Services Club.

Saturday 2 March 2002

School of Infantry.

Participate in Classification Range shoot.

Tour of School of Infantry facilities accommodation lines, lecture facilities.

Participate in WETTE (Weapons, evaluation training technical Simulator)

Formal Dining Night Sgt. Mess. If more that 170 attending the dinner would have to be held in the OR Mess.                            Back to Top

Sunday 3 March 2002

Memorial Parade at War Memorial in Burdekin Park (This service will be to remember all who served with the 8th and have since marched on.)

Wineries tour

Monday 4 March 2002 Depart.

To ensure that this get-together is a success, and the venues are booked, we need to confirm numbers as early as possible. Your cooperation in advising the NSW Branch of your attendance and forwarding your accommodation fee as soon as possible would be appreciated.

The Treasurer 8 RAR Association NSW Branch PO Box 547

Mona Vale NSW 2103.                       Back to Top


I am writing this report as a request to you as members to get behind the Committee members that you, I must say, elected to get the Rockhampton Social Center back on a even keel.

I have a very dedicated crew working with me to do just that, but back slapping by you will as members unfortunately is not enough. We need a show of strength at our meeting so as we can answer all your questions and also receive guidance and input.

We as a committee do not want to be put into a position of doing something that we believe is right thing for you as members, then having it thrown back at us by saying," That we did not receive the input of members to make such a decision ."                                   Back to Top

We had an Quarterly General Meeting on the Monday 25th June 01 to report on the current situation of the centre i.e. Auditors report and also receive Submissions for the state conference. We had a huge response of the executive and two (2) members out of a membership of over one hundred (100) members is not what I would call a huge success, I cannot see any excuses for the low attendance because it was in the last newsletter and also in the " Morning Bulletin". We as a committee are willing to work for you but if we do not get the members support it is hardly worth carrying on. So the ball is now in your court, the next meeting is the Annual General Meeting to be held on Monday 24th September 01 will show how dinkum you all are. I can tell you all that we are not here for our own gains but for the members of this Center only.                          Back to Top

There are one or two gutless individuals out there who are still trying to bring this Center to it knees by trying to under mine the efforts that my committee are doing by trying to character assassinate and spread rumour with no facts. They have started to under mine the ladies Auxiliary, and if things don’t improve on the social centre side, they may have a win there, Ill ask the question do you want to loose the TPDSA Rockhampton Center to Malicious rumour or innuendo by some as I said before "gutless" individuals who have to hide behind their skirts, and are endeavouring to start their own little cliques. If not show your support and, and get be hind us.

I must say I hate using phrases but in this case it is quite true " United we stand divided we fall" so members it is up to you.

Kind regards

Paul Watkins

President                            Back to Top

To my fellow TPI.s        Back to Top

Our rally on the lawns of parliament house in Canberra next September is a watershed event. It is the culmination of a long fruitless campaign by the TPI Association, to return the repatriation TPI benefit to the level agreed to by the Australian government over 80 years ago, the sum of the average male weekly income. The case presented by the Association was unsuccessful, not because it was "not convincing enough", but because we are divided and weak. The case did not fail because the RSL, as an organisation, refused to support it, it failed because those in power, politicians and influential ex-service elite’s believed that the individual TPI had no option but to accept the result. Well, I think we need to prove them wrong and your attendance at the Canberra Rally will be the catalyst for this process. This gathering of TPI.s has nothing to do with being a member of any organisation, not the TPI association, not the RSL, not the Vietnam Veterans Association or Federation. Those who attend will do so because they recognise that the erosion of benefits, is erosion of the Anzac tradition. Back to TopThe service given by over half a million Australians, the majority of whom are now dead, should not have been in vain. They had to fight for everything they ever achieved, not just in war, but also in peace, for not one benefit was ever granted on the conscience of the government alone. Every Australian owes them a double debt for making us a stronger nation and for making us a stronger people. For that reason alone, the honour and dignity they sought and were granted in terms of repatriation policy, should not be conceded because of our indifference to its defence. This rally will be a unique gathering of grass roots members of the wider ex-service community and provides us with an opportunity like never before. An opportunity to demonstrate to DVA, to all sides of parliament and to the Australian public that we are united on this issue. Just as our differences are put aside in the commemoration of Anzac day, so they should be in our duty to protect conditions that so few who deserved them, ever lived to experience. We may have lost our prosperity through service, we should not lose our dignity through inaction.

Support the cause in Canberra

Yours sincerely

Nev. Tickner

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BY Charlie Bartkus

Getting old, frail, feeble and less capable of looking after oneself is something that only happens to others and won’t happen to me! This is probably the way most of us think. We might not be young, but we can still get around. We still have all our facilities. Other might need help or special care but we won’t get like that!

SORRY! WRONG THINKING! As long as we live we will grow older, frailer and less capable of doing all sorts of things and will eventually need care.                                      Back to Top

I’m only 54 years of age, I play golf, lawn bowls, go fishing and drive a car. In spite of this however there are lots of things that I used to do but now I can’t do.

My eyesight is failing and so is my hearing. I look like a right idiot trying to look up a phone number in the telephone book without my reading glasses and I think my most common question these days is "WHAT DID YOU SAY AGAIN?"

Arthritis in my hands is a major problem for me, and although its not all the time, occasionally I have trouble with my shoelaces, my belt and as dreadful as it might seem even my fly. (HOW EMBARRASSING).

I remember at times some years back, my daughter having to do the knot in the tie around my neck.                                 Back to Top

At 50 odd years of age its pretty horrifying to admit needing help dressing yourself. (I suppose I could have gone out without a tie on).

What’s my point with all this?

Well we are all different. Some people will accept getting older and plan accordingly. Some people will ignore it and pretend it won’t happen and believe everything will always be as it is now. Some people may actually fear getting old and frail and therefor never even think about it.

But not thinking about something won’t stop it from happening.

I believe that fear comes from lack of knowledge, i.e. we can fear things we don’t understand. But on the other hand the more we know, the more we understand, the more we are then able to plan ahead and make arrangements that best suit our needs.

Let me tell you a little story about people that I actually knew when I lived in Victoria and worked at an AGED CARE FACILITY. The names will be changed to protect the innocent.                        Back to Top

Keith and Mavis lived in a high set, four bedrooms house with a very large yard and garden. They loved the place but it was now getting a bit hard for them to cope with. It was too big for just two of them.

Their kids had all grown up, married and moved away. Maintenance of the house and yard was becoming a problem.

Keith has recently retired. He was 65 and Mavis was 62.

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They began to think about how things were going to be as they got older.

It didn’t take them long to realise that with the big house and yard things were going to get harder not easier. Painting every five years using high trestles. Having to repair guttering and down pipes and regular mowing and gardening etc.

Although they really loved the house, they began to realise it no longer suited them. They actually wanted a free lifestyle now.

Kevin and Mavis began to look at their options.

They found that there was place called Lyndoch, which was a sort of retirement village and also an Aged Care facility for people who needed a little help it also had nursing home facilities for those who needed more constant care.                                   Back to Top

Kevin took Mavis on a tour of this place one day and they discovered that there were available, small but very comfortable flats with a garden and garage facilities. There were 47 flats and they met some of the other people who lived there.

The grounds were well tended and there were commenced areas for barbecues and other gatherings. They found out that there were internal social activities organised on a regular basis. There was also regular trips away that the residents of these flats could become involved in, if they wished to. It was also apparent that the flats were separate and private and that if people wanted to live a more secluded lifestyle, then they were free to do so.

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To cut a long story short, although it took a little time and certain decisions had to be made and financial arrangements reached Keith and Mavis sold their house and moved into a flat at Lyndoch.

In time they bought a caravan and outfitted it with all the comforts that they wanted. Regularly they would be gone, for months at a time.  Back to Top

Travelling, visiting family and friends all over the country.

They found a freedom that previously they could only dream about. With the sale of the house there was spare cash that they never had before.

With their pension they found it easy to cover the rental of the flat. They had no maintenance worries or costs.

When they did go away in their new caravan they felt that their flat and belongings were quite secure in the retirement complex as there was always friends and other people around to look after things. A neighbour even looked Mavis’ garden for her till she got back.  Back to Top

Keith and Mavis were glad that they had looked around and checked on what was available and considered all their options.

As they get older now they know what they are facing. They know the aged care facility, what it is like, what accommodation is available, what choices they can make and what costs will be applicable to them. They found out that everybody’s case is different but they now know what relates to them and their needs for their future. Then there was Mrs. Hazelwood!

Mrs. H was now 85. She was blind and lived all alone in a highest 3 bedrooms house on 4 acres of land. The house was totally run down and the land was all overgrown. Mr. Alfred Hazelwood had died of a stroke 10 years earlier, at the age of 76.

Well folks that draws to and end this news letter for July the next one will be out about a fortnight before the AGM.

May you all travel well with a cold one always with in reach, and think about giving the loved ones and extra cuddle.

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Revised 22 July 2001