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March 2018 News

Please come and join us for our gathering day this Saturday at Mates4Mates, Douglas St, Milton. 10am till 1pm (incl Lunch). Michael Stone is just back from a 10 Day Recon in Timor and ready to brief us on arrangements for TA6 8-18 Apr. Whilst there he had liaison on a range of other initiatives that he wants to float to our VCA community, including a scholarship scheme to train children of Timorese veterans at the ETDA hospitality school in Dili, plans for a special Anzac Day in Dili trip in 2019 and a 20 years since Liberation celebration in […]

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Timor Awakening 5 Qualitative Report

Timor Awakening 5 (TA5), a 12-day holistic health program for veterans, was conducted in from 14 to 25 October 2017. The program included 1 day in Darwin, 4 days in Dili and 7 days throughout rural areas of Timor-Leste (TL) including the Districts of Aileu, Ainaro, Manu-Fahi, Liquisa and Bobonaro. TA5 included 28 Australians (21 Veterans / 2 Care Participants / 5 support staff) and 12 Timorese Veterans. The 2 care participants included a wife/carer of one of the Veterans and the mother of a fallen Australian soldier who was killed in action in Afghanistan. Interestingly TA5 had 3 sets […]

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February 2018 News

Happy New Year!! Please join us for our next gathering: When: Saturday 17th March 2018 Time: 10:00am – 1.00pm (includes lunch) Where: Mates4Mates – Douglas Street Milton We at VCA are determined that this be the best year of our lives yet! Preparations are well under way for our sixth Timor Awakening which will deploy into Timor from 8 to 18 April with 22 participants and 5 staff. Each time we embrace lessons learned and suggestions from previous participants, and this trip will be slower paced and provide more times for sharing and reflection. We will still be engaging with many Timorese and staying overnight […]

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Life Coaching

The team here at Veterans Care Association is excited to announce that we now provide life coaching as part of our ongoing care to veterans. We know how much value the 11-day day Timor Awakening program has been for our participants and want to do everything within our capacity to ensure this momentum is not lost upon return to Australia. Our life coach Michael Albrecht is a former full time Army member, having served for 11 years, with operational experience in The Solomon Islands, Timor Leste and Afghanistan. His life-coaching journey started in 2014 and he soon began pursuing a […]

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November News

Please join us for our AGM and Christmas party on Sat 18 Nov at Mates4mates Milton at 11:00. Dear friends, We conclude 2017 fully satisfied that we are making a positive impact in improving the lives of veterans and their families. Every veteran completing our program is a prophet of Hope and a Compassionate Carer reaching out to those around them. Our October Timor immersion was our best one yet in terms of health outcomes for veterans and families. We were joined by nominees from the Commando Associations in Qld Vic, NSW and WA and visited all sites of Commando […]

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Veterans and Rotary Activity in Timor

A group of 23 Australian veterans conducted an 11 day Veteran Health programme from 14 to 25 October 2017 distributing 2,500 Kits4Kids in remote rural areas of Timor Leste.  The programme also involved a range of physical activities involving daily walks, some cycling, stretching and discussions on a range of physical activity options suitable for veterans.  It also included inputs on nutrition, nurture of the mind, the soul and relationships, as well as developing a future life purpose. A continuing aspect of the Timor Awakening programme involves the distribution of Kits4Kits packs to rural schools.  These small education kits consist […]

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President’s Report FY: 2016/2017

This last 12 months has seen the most significant increase in the range and number of services provided to veterans and their families by VCA, and a 10 fold increase in our financial receipts and expenditure . This has occurred largely as a result of the services provided in the Timor Awakening Programme, developed and delivered by Michael Stone.  Significant funding support has come from our major sponsor RSL Care- now known as Bolton Clark , as well as RSL Qld and Knights of the Southern Cross, and a range of other donors.  Generous volunteers have given the gifts of […]

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Retired Navy medic who suffered depression for 15 years turns life around through Timor Awakening

FOR 15 years former Navy medic Kerri Howie struggled with major clinical depression. Now the 48–year-old Kedron veteran has found a life-changing mission – thanks to the Veterans’ Care Association, headed by Catholic Deacon Gary Stone. A year ago Ms Howie travelled to Timor Leste as a member of Timor Awakening, a unique VCA rehabilitation program designed for veterans and with spirituality at its core. “My life changed and after all those years feeling isolated and alone I came out of the dark – I felt part of a community,” she said. Since her 11-day Timor visit, and with ongoing […]

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Strengthening Timor ties

CLOSE ties between Church and people are a legacy of last month’s Anzac Day visit to Brisbane by Timor Leste’s new leader accompanied by war veterans. It was the first visit to Australia by President  elects Francisco Guterres, a 24-year veteran of East Timor’s resistance to Indonesian occupation. Mr Guterres is keen to forge neighbourly ties, and is particularly concerned with improving the welfare of veterans in the fledgling Timor Leste. In Brisbane, the Catholic Church is playing a prominent part in both creating goodwill and assisting veterans re-integrate into civilian life.

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Mau Buti joins Anzac Day commemoration

TIMOR Leste’s independence struggle veteran Mau Buti spent 24 years as a guerrilla fighter living in the mountains. Last week Mr Buti mingled with Australian students and veterans as he and 30 Timorese veterans accompanied his country’s President-elect Francisco Guterres on a visit to Queensland to strengthen veteran ties and take part in Anzac Day commemorations. In Brisbane’s Anzac Square last Monday, he met Australian students who marvelled at him and several of his veteran companions, when they were told of the struggle Timorese guerrillas endured in a long and dangerous occupation by Indonesia.

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