Veterans Care Association News
7th Edition: April 2016

Dear reader

its just amazing how  this ministry of love for our Veterans and families continues to grow and develop .

Much of our attention in recent weeks has been preparing for our first Timor Awakening programme.

Its actually started already as we get expressions of interest and start engaging with potential participants. 

Michael Stone is leading this project and will be giving us all a full brief at our next meeting Sunday 15 May at Kookaburra Cafe, dinner at 6pm, meeting at 7pm.

We will be joined by the first participants on this adventure. Participants  in this first programme are generously being funded by RSL QLD.

Over 12 months of engagement we will make a significant impact in the lives of these 20 Veteran families.

Hopefully more programmes will rollout in following months as sponsorship is found. Before then we will have featured at the Brisbane Lord Mayors Prayer breakfast in City Hall on Friday 13 May with me as keynote speaker.

Seats can be booked  at  A great boost to our Pastoral outreach has occurred with Kirsten Wells, joining our staff team as Veterans Services Coordinator.

Kirsten, an army Veteran herself, is qualified and experienced as a psychiatric nurse, health educator, and counsellor and has already started engaging with veterans.

Welcome Kirsten!

There's much new material to read on the website. we look forward to seeing you on 15 May. 

May Peace be With You!


New Veteran's Rehabilitation Program in Timor

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 sponsored the program, which will provide holistic health care for 200 Australian veterans.

It will include an 11-day Timor Leste trip during which the Australian vets will visit sites of historical wartime interest, and team up with Timorese veterans and their families. 

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Timor in hearts and minds

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 year they would gather at Darwin’s Larrakeyah Barracks to fly by RAAF aircraft to Dili airport which they had clandestinely observed from the hills to the south at Dare.

There the Timorese provided sanctuary while the Australian and Dutch soldiers reported on Japanese movements from the airstrip just kilometres away by line of sight.

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Australian Veterans Suicide Rates are Tragic

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 Iran-Iraq, East Timor, Bougainville, the Asian tsunami, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. “These are men who have been to war, endured tough things,” he said. “It is the coming back, the reintegrating into life that’s difficult.”

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