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Update from Gary

Just sending a quick update following recent events, and to mention our next gathering is at Kookaburra Cafe on Sat 2 July. All members are welcome especially spouses! Our presentation at the Lords Mayors Prayer breakfast went very well. About $10,000 came up in the collection from the 300 present, but so many people were touched by this ministry of compassion, and grateful for what we are doing . We are certainly now on the Brisbane radar! Click here to read my presentation. . The meeting to brief our Timor Awakening participants attracted 42. I’ll let them tell you about […]

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Rebuilding Veterans’ Lives

DEACON Gary Stone and his son Michael arc both defence veterans and passionate about helping our young soldiers return to their families and civilian life. Together, they took on a new challenge last week — calling for greater public awareness about the plight of returning veterans, and seeking financial assistance for their mission through the Veterans Cam Association. “The association started about one-and-a-half years ago, and our mission is very clear. We am determined to save lives and save families,” Mr. Stone, a former army major, told Church, business and community leaders at the 2016 Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Pray Breakfast. […]

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New veterans’ rehabilitation program in Timor

Article originally published in the Catholic Leader 14 April, 2016. Written by Mark Bowling New veterans’ rehabilitation program in Timor to combat “health crisis” and increased suicide rates with spirituality HUNDREDS of Australian veterans are expected to travel to Timor Leste as part of a unique rehabilitation program with spirituality at its core. The 12-month program, called Timor Awakening, is taking aim at a “health crisis” amongst young Australian veterans, who suffer from a frightening suicide rate. RSL Queensland has RSL Qld has agreed to sponsor the first 20 participants in the programme which will eventually expand to 200 veterans and […]

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Timor in hearts and minds

Article originally published in the Townsville Bulletin 14 April, 2016 at 8.33am. IN the years after World War II, Australian Sparrow Force veterans regularly returned to Dili in Timor to help locals who supported them in 1942. It’s about 720km from Darwin, the same distance from Rockhampton to Townsville. Mostly veterans of the 2/2nd Independent Commando Company, gunners, engineers, medics and Tasmania’s 2/40th Infantry Battalion, part of Australia’s tragically doomed 8th Division, these men took part in an annual pilgrimage to return to the gallant Timorese a little of the support given to them at great cost. Around August each […]

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Management Committee Meeting Minutes – 14th Feb 2016

Meeting Details Location: Kookabuurra Café Paddington. Date: 14 Feb 2016 Opened: 19:30; President Gary Stone, Chair. Present: Gary Stone, Lynne Stone, Geoff Fry, Colin Ahern, Paul Randall, Ellen Randall , Claudia Randall, Graham Harvison, Les Anson, Gaye Hull, Christina Hully, Bruce Bonney, Andrew Regget, Donna Regget, Rev. Peter Devenish-Meares, John Jordon, Kevin Lappin, Rosella Fowle, Gary Fowle, Bill Kenny, Barbara Kenny, George Stack, Byron Court, John Hull, Peter Lehmann, Steve Hall, Caitlin Proctor, Col Ahern.

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Australian Veterans Suicide Rates are Tragic

IT’S a shocking, whispered truth about our modern military – far more of our veterans take their own lives after returning home than are killed during overseas operations. In the last few weeks, two more veterans took their own lives – the toll is more than 260 since 1988, compared to 46 listed as fatalities in conflict, according to the Australian Veterans Suicide Register. “It breaks my heart, it’s tragic, it’s simply hard for people to comprehend,” Deacon Gary Stone, who is chaplain to the ex-service community in the Archdiocese of Brisbane, said. Deacon Stone is a veteran of recent operations including […]

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February 2016: Update on Veterans Care Activities

Support for Veterans & their Families We were hoping the Christmas/New year period would  be quiet but it has involved  a wide range of engagement and significant pastoral care interventions.  We have had numerous requests for assistance as well as the emergence of new and exciting possibilities. Our Raison d’etre is providing spiritually-based pastoral care as well as education in holistic health, but we have also seen a number of families seeking assistance in crisis. We have been helping families and abused and abandoned by abberant veterans, including assistance in court actions. One family member responded, “I didn’t know how […]

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Homily – The Family

Luke 2:41 -52 “….Jesus went back to Nazareth with his parents and lived under their authority . He grew in wisdom and strength and God was pleased with him….”. We come together today to celebrate the holy family of Jesus Mary and Joseph but also to celebrate the human families that we live in and the sacredness of family life. We are mindful that not all families experience joy and peace at Christmas time, as some will be concerned about what s missing in their family experience. But drawing on the scriptures,  tradition and lived experience,  I would hope to […]

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Christmas Message

We wish you all have a joyous and happy Christmas , particularly remembering the reason for the season – that God became one of us in the person of Jesus. The work of VCA in raising the health of the Veteran community is a compassionate ministry of love that is grounded in the love of God that inspires us to love our neighbours in distress.

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Nov 2015: Update on Veterans Activities

This last quarter of the year has seen us involved in a wide range of engagement. It has also been a period where we have become aware of how wide and complex the needs of our veterans and their families are. We have had numerous requests for assistance as well as many people suggesting additional things that we could be involved in. Our Raison d’etre has been to provide spiritually based pastoral care as well as education in holistic health. In working with veterans and their families we have tried to encourage people to take self-responsibility in building resilience in their lives once they are empowered with the information to do this.

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