July Newsletter 2019

Dear friends,

May peace and contentment be with you all. We’ve just completed an incredible Timor Awakening program and are preparing for our next one, Timor Awakening 10 (14 to 25 September), during which we will commemorate the 20th anniversary of INTERFET. During Timor Awakening 10 we will be opening and dedicating ‘Hampel house’ and ‘ANZAC house’ English Language School at our Veterans’ precinct at SAME.

At our VCA Gathering on 10 Aug, we will be reflecting on the goodness that’s coming from all this activity and more detailed briefing on the September programme by Michael Stone who has been instrumental in shaping this International event. We will also be giving support to an RSL commemorative delegation in September.

Our support team gather every Monday at our office at 2 Victoria Park Rd Kelvin Grove. Last Monday, we reflected how rich and diverse our services have become. Strategically, we are pleased that other organisations and practitioners are embracing the concepts of holistic health promotion and post traumatic growth, and we are increasingly being asked to give talks and presentations on what we are achieving and learning. Yesterday I was asked to brief a Gold Coast doctor, who has seen such amazing growth from one of our Timor Awakening participants that he wants to share what we are doing with the entire Gold Coast primary health network of clinicians. Every veteran who shares the growth they are experiencing contributes to our strategic objective of transforming the Veterans Health paradigm from a sickness treatment focus to a health and wellbeing focus.

TA9 in June took our program to a new level with the ‘hands-on” work we did at Same in painting and tiling a teacher accommodation block, landscaping and laying foundations for an English Language Institute, as part of the RIAK Retreat project (www.timorawakening.com/riak-retreat). We see this not only as healthy activity but also “paying it forward” for veterans who want to make a difference in the lives of others. No health and wellbeing funding we receive is being used for this work. This project, like our sponsorship of veterans children gaining hospitality qualifications at ETDA in Dili, is to be funded by veterans for veterans.

Please consider donating. Donations are tax deductible and are true acts of compassion and charity.

If you’re looking for an easy way to fundraise for VCA that can raise up to $2000 on weekends and $1000 on weekdays, consider as some VCA members (raising funds for Riak Retreat) have done  by booking a sausage sizzle at Bunnings. If you’d like to do the same at your local bunnings, here is an example letter that you would need to initiate this. You just need to talk to the activities coordinator. It’s a great activity to give witness to our Veterans Care work,  a great local team activity, and sure to help you identify other veterans in your area!
AND… “Giving is good for your health”. (From Michael Stone quoting Mother Teresa)

A few “Awakening” comments from TA 9 participants included:

  • This has been liberation. I had disliked Timor. I now realise my attitudes need to change. TA opens your eyes.
  • The importance of Family; we have become a family.
  • Forgiveness is what I have learned. Now we must live that out into the future.
  • This has been mind-boggling. I’ve met really lovely people in this group. TA has given me somewhere to reflect.
  • I’m inspired – inspired.
  • This is the first time in a long time I’m feeling at peace. Thank you Gary and Michael and the team. You have my friendship for life.
  • The whole trip has been a highlight, especially getting to know the Kiwis. It has been an emotional roller coaster.
  • I can now dream to do something different.
  • My experiences here have moved me from being an atheist to being a believer, and I now want to be received into the Catholic Church.

As we ponder the many positive outcomes, I must continue to acknowledge and thank our two primary sponsors, Bolton Clark and RSL QLD and the many other individual sponsors who give what they can to enable this work to continue. In addition to the hundreds who’ve benefited from Timor Awakening, daily we field many other requests for support, information, resources, comments by others in the veteran community. Ongoing collaboration is improving the lot of many. But it takes time and money to do so.

If you aren’t already involved know that your support is appreciated in whatever form, but financial support is critical. Into a new financial year, we invite friends to renew their memberships and to consider making a regular monthly contribution. We have 10 donors who give from $30 to $120 and this is life blood for us to enable us to pay the underpinning unavoidable costs of insurance, fuel, phone, internet and Health and Wellbeing resources.

The pictures attached will say more than words, But underpinning this all is a message of HOPE, sandwiched between Faith and Love.

We live in hope that our lives can improve and that we can improve the lives of others. We have faith in each other and God’s divine love for us, but we do all this because we are centered in an attitude of LOVE that has forgiveness as a foundation.

May you know our love for you and may you share that love with others.

Upcoming activities

  • Sat 2 Nov  VCA Christmas party 1000-1330  @ Mates4mates Milton
  • Sat 8 Feb   VCA gathering/ Prep day for TA12  1000-1330  @ Mates4mates Milton
  • 22Feb- 4 Mar    TA12
  • 20 Jun – 1 Jul       TA13
  • 17 Oct – 28Oct      TA14
  • 14 Nov 20 VCA Christmas party 


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