12 Sep 2005
Thanks to Maj Gen David Ferguson
A very thoughtful email was received from General David recently: The applicable areas he mentions have been rectified (see changes to "In Memoriam" page) . As an ex-staff member (twice over), he has also promised to assist with some anecdotes for inclusion into the Staff and History sections. Well done David - we look forward to those..!
As an ex Instr and Adjutant of OCS may I congratulate you and the team on the Site.
My wife and I visited the site yesterday [old times and very good times!]. There are two possible errors in the Honour Roll for Lt David John Brian. These need correction. Firstly, we have doubts in respect of the photograph in the frame. It may be David but if so it is a very poor likeness. Secondly, David was killed on 5 March 1964 and not in February as stated.
I have taken the liberty of attaching a photo of David together with a recent photo of the OCS Memorial at RMC and a further photo of David Brian's son [born after his fathers death and named David] paying his respects at the Memorial. The latter two may be of use.
None of the above is meant as criticism. I believe you have done a wonderful job. Our days at Portsea we have always treasured. Warm regards, David and Sara
Duntroon Society Lunch and Speaker Vic Bks Melb 22 Sep 2005
Brig Phil Davies kindly notified us of this event. If in Melb, and you would like to attend, please advise per the attached information flyer.
Class of Dec '67
Your Class Reunion info is also available from your own Class Page
The OCS as a Significant Tenant of the Pt Nepean Peninsula
Increasingly we have been receiving little "notes" of disquiet about the apparent lack of exposure OCS is having within the Pt Nepean Community Trust/Parks Victoria Newsletter. An example of one of these "notes" (by name witheld) is below. We are sending a copy of this to the Trust with a request that we, the OCS Portsea Alumni be recognised as a sincere and qualified "interested party in any discussions or planning involving the future of the area, and that we would also request the courtesy of our website being available from the Trusts "Links" page.
The Trust welcomes our input at any time (and we have certainly kept our "hand in"), but also invites any of our Alumni members to correspond direct with the Trust (
firstname.lastname@example.org ). Access to the Trust has been on our "Links" page for quite some time already.
We would certainly also invite our members to have a say...!! (Remember - the world is run by those who turn up..!)
"Have just browsed the Public Issues paper put out jointly by Parks Victoria and the Point Nepean Community Trust.
It barely mentions Defence Force occupation and use other than to warn of UXBs in the range area. Page 4 (Cultural Heritage Values) mentions the original fortifications, the quarantine station and its purpose and "Redundant structures and features within the former Range Area." Sure the area doesn't need a live firing range but is there an underlying animosity towards Defence use from the 50s to the 80s or am I too sensitive. Could their desire to obliterate all trace of military activity in the range area be extended to the area of the quarantine station where you and I lived and studied? For example see their comments on "miscellaneous remnant structures and roads etc.
The paper stresses the need to protect middens. I live on an island that is big on protecting aboriginal culture and I promise you a midden is nothing more than a rubbish dump. An old one admittedly but a rubbish dump nevertheless. What the aborigines did there was of importance but not so the refuse they left behind. My prejudice may be peeping through but it seems to me the is an imbalance in the paper. The authors have ignored a significant user of the Point ie. Defence but, predicably, are giving undue emphasis to a minority user group.
The twelve months I spent at OCS are high on my list of favoured memories and I'm am proud to have been selected to attend a very exclusive school and to be a graduate. I would like some trace of my Alma Mater to remain. Do we, the Alumni, have a voice on the matter?"
6 Sep 2005
OCS Portsea ties
Sample material has been received (both silk, one with part lining) , and the comparisons can be viewed here. From the "feel" of the material, I would suggest Sample A would be the best, although we will try to get a better colour match to the original OCS tie.
A slight departure from the original would allow us to have the logo in two
colours - silver and gold, equating more to the actual badge, albeit the size of the logo would be very slightly larger on the tie than the originals. Would such a departure offend anyone? Have your say in the Forum.
Please discuss and vote within the Forum on tie choice. We will go with the most popular vote.
Queenslanders - understanding you guys don't have much need for neck ties up there, however, they can be indispensible for "tieing" around your waist and holding up your "daks"
More Classes Joining Us
- December 1977 now has a Class Orderly - Roger Jones, and he is ready to start "gathering" class members.
- December 1985 has started its collection of "pics"
- John Hutchins has put himself up for Class Orderly June 1974 - well done!
26 Jul 2005
LTCOL Lance Collins (Class of Jun '80 Aust Int). Seen the latest ? http://www.abc.net.au/austory/ and
Lance, maybe some have forgoten that "Loyalty and Service" is reciprocal - we haven't.......! You're "one of us" - we won't let you forget it...!
24 Jul 2005
Also available from "Political Comments" (above) (Discussion in Forum)
19 Jul 2005
Unfortunately, a sad fact but true - when it comes to Resting in Peace, we are all in the Queue.
Rather than give notices progressively here on the Main Page, there is an area within the Forum (Vale) where notices can be added by any member as the information comes to hand. We would also encourage you to make comment where and how appropriate - a personal farewell, an anecdote, a tribute of some kind would really be nice.
18 Jul 2005
Vale - James Grant Clark - graduated from OCS in June 1970 - passed away on 11 July 2005. Further information is contained in the Vale Section of the Forum.
Farewell Grant, Rest in Peace.
Remembrance Day. Probably fitting here to advise you all of the link above (In Remembrance) in preparation for 1100 hrs 11 November.
It's a Canadian video tribute, but says what we all know and feel in any language as a soldier or member in any Army or Defence Force, or as a family member of those who have "Served".. (it's in a Powerpoint Show format - play or save )
Perhaps we could have something similar here in Australia, pushed by Dept Vets Affairs, the Minister/s, State auhtorities, RSL, and all else of like thought...????
OCS Portsea Tie. If you haven't had your say about having an OCS tie made, please do so now in the Forum (General Discussions)
If anyone else is contemplating the manufacture of an OCS tie, would they please contact me ASAP, so we don't duplicate efforts.
1 Jul 2005
What happened to Jun? Sorry for the late up-dates, but here we go:
- Congratulations to Ken Gillespie on his promotion and new appointment as Vice Chief of the Defence Force. Who ever said an OCS graduate would never get there? Proved 'em wrong Ken - well done, and good luck
A. CDF AUSTRALIA WAF 240354Z MAY 05
The following is a (extract from) personal message from CDF:
" Yesterday, Monday 24 may 2005, the Prime Minister announced a number
of senior Defence appointments. MAJGEN Ken Gillespie, AO, DDC, CSM will be
promoted to Lieutenant General on 4 July 2005 and assume duties as the Vice
Chief of the Defence Force and Commander Joint Operations.) .....
- Also congratulations to Mike Clifford (RASigs Jun 76) for his promotion to Major General, and best of luck in the highly complex world of Information Management .
- And -although not an OCS member - a hearty "Well Done, Digger" to "Cos" (General Peter Cosgrove, Chief of the Defence Force) on his reitirement. We'll miss you, old son!
- Several new Class Orderlies have "volunteered" and soon we will have their Class contirubtions to add. Welcome, Guys
- Two Classes recently held their reunions at Portsea, utilising the "old accommodation", as spartan as it is, but setting the trend for many other Classes to follow. Their pictorial experiences are now included in one of the two new navigation buttons at the top of the page - "Reunions at Portsea". Unfortunately, one Class was already returning from a jaunt to the Point, while the other was making its way there, so there was little opportunity for an "overlap". But, as the place gets busy with "reunions" there will be plenty of opportunities for Classes to mingle.
- Another new button at the top of the page is the "Class Booklets" button. Some Classes have produced a "booklet" for various reasons, one being their reunion at any one time. It is intended to re-produce these in this area, obviously with links from their own Class Page as well. We would invite any other Classes who have already produced such "booklets" to submit them for inclusion
- The search for a new "tie" is on. Several manufacturers are being approached for a modern dark royal blue silk tie with gold embroidered crests. When available it is hoped we wil have them on the "Memorabilia" link for purchase. The cuff-links and lapel pins have been a great hit so far, as have the embroidered crests in "plaque" form
- And .... we finally have a "Staff" member (apart from previous Commandants). Welcome to Shane Faithfull, who arrived at Portsea for his posting as a Med Assist in '84, and stayed until '86. Shane has many photos of the "pack-up" of OCS in '85, and we look forward to seeing these. (Unfortunately, still nothing concrete on the "gates").
- Special request from Ken Gillespie - please take a look at the link above "Harrison Memorial Lectures". Well worthwhile being involved, and attending if you can.
23 May 2005
TWO NEW CLASSES JOIN US - The Classes of Jun '66 and Jun '70 have recently joined us on this website. Welcome guys, we hope we can assist you at any time, and that you will "spread the word" and help the site grow. Please make full use of the Forum for any discussions on any subject you may wish - saves a hell of a lot of emails.
And, don't forget your photos, from OCS, during your careers, and present. There is guidance from the "Guidance" link to help you with the photo submissions.
18 May 2005
Return to Portsea - PLEASE NOTE - "RETURN TO PORTSEA POSTPONED' - With a sharply reducing time frame and not enough indications of attendance to date, we have no alternative but to postpone the Return to Portsea.
That's Ok - it gives us a greater lead time to organise, and more time for the "Trust" to have a few structural things fixed to make it all the more "useable". Hopefully by then there may be kitchen facilities of some sort, so we don't have to "hot-box" in.
PLANNING for mid NOVEMBER 2006 - put in your diaries and please spread the word - there are heaps and heaps of OCS members who still don't know about the website, let alone activities/functions
ANNUAL PICNIC BAR-B-Q. The Annual OCS Alumni Picnic Bar-B-Q will still be held on Sun 11 December 2005, in front of old Sgts Mess, beach side. From all indications, there should be quite a roll-up this year.
Please, if you are travelling from interstate and linking up with old classmates - make sure they are aware of your intentions immediately before you depart from home. (Where the cap fits .....!). More information on Events calendar.
Heritage Meeting Badcoe Hall 15 Jun 05 - The invitation to attend a joint Heritage Meeting (Parks Vic and Pt Nepean Com Trust) at Badcoe Hall on Wed 15 Jun 05 has been extended. Rob de Haas will be attending on behalf of the Alumni. If anyone else in the Melbourne area wishes to also attend, please let Rob know so he can advise the Trust.
OCS Portsea Gates - There are a number of individuals and groups who are trying to track the current whereabouts of the old iron gates that used to "shut us in" at Portsea. The gates haven't been located yet, but there are still a number of avenues yet untried to help locate the gates, or at least find out what happened to them. It's always easy to criticise after the event, but obviously (at the time) some things may not have had the importance that they now may have been given.
No rumours please -as facts are uncovered, we'll let you know.
15 May 2005
Conditions of Service - The Conditions of Service (those conditions and states of employ that we agree to work under when we "sign up") are also the conditions under which our Government looks after us and our families when we have given that Service, and suffered under that Service. A disturbing paper of "recommendations" has been published by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (click the link to see the paper, and note end of page 19 to page 20) As individuals who have and are still serving, this affects us personally. More importantly - as officers we have been and are the "leaders" and "commanders" of the very people whom any change in Conditions affects. Does our responsibility to these men and women stop when we discontinue our Service? What a rhetorical question?Please read the letter written by Tim McCombe, President of the Vietnam Veterans Federation. Based on your own research, then take the necessary action to continue to look after the welfare of the men and women who have served, or who are still serving under us.Correct me if I am wrong, but was this not one of the most important aspects in our training to become Officers?
We won't get an "extra drill" or "stoppage" if we don't do anyhting, but we can do an awful lot to help just by continuing our responsibility as Officers.
6 May 2005
By the Way
On SBS last Tue evening (17 May) at 2030, Frontline screened "Hearts of Soldiers", an insight into the mental and psychological traumas experienced by returning soldiers from conflict. Billed as being concerned with Vietnam returnees, it actually involved the US returnees from Iraq.
Several years ago now, LtCol David Grossman (ex US Marine Corps and now psychologist) gave some extremely interesting lectures on "Killology" in Australia. With his second book "On Combat" still in draft, he allowed me to proof it and use excerpts of it for a series now printed in the (RASigs) Signalman magazine over the past three editions.
I mention this as I believe it would be advantageous to bring David Grossman out here to Oz for a series of lectures - particularly as we have an increasing number of returnees from various conflicts. Our members need to understand what they will be facing when they return. They need to understand it before they set off, and we at home need to understand it and apply remedial measures when they return. Most importantly, our Defence hierachy and the Politicians need to understand and prepare. While in Sydney over Anzac Day on a reunion with my Platoon from Vietnam, I realized that all bar one or two of the Platoon members were now TPI. I have been informed that TPI "membership" is on a huge increase, and will continue whilst we are involved in the various current conflicts around the world.
Are we prepeared?
Are our soldiers prepared?
Are our support agencies prepared?
Has our Government budgeted enough to cater for this increase (let alone what we already have)?
Is there sufficient recognition and suport for all the families affected by the traumas our members have been, and will be, subjected to?
Where and how do we start?
Suggestion.......... Start by reading "Killology" as a background.
Progress to "On Combat" and see how we can understand and help.
Two years ago I asked Peter Cosgrave (and through him, Peter Leahy, and Training Command) if it was possible to arrange a lecture tour in Australia for LtCol David Grossman. I even passed on the draft of "On Combat" to both "Peters" (Dave Grossman kindly permitted this). "Cos" kindly wrote back to me and suggested that he (Defence) would like to see the "reviews" of "On Combat" before deciding. Well, the book has been published and commercially available for a while now> I know the Federal Police are interested in Grossman's teachings (and use them already in their training), and I would imagine that interest to have extended to the State authorities also. In the interests of an increasing number of those going into conflict, and those returning, it is not before time that something like a "Grossman Tour" be organised for Oz (and NZ) - Defence and law enforcement bodies primarily, but public also.
Can anyone give me some suggestions on how this could be initiated??
a. Download (right click link, select "save as") and read the "Killology" transcript (574KB) from Grossman's last Oz tour. (It's in .pdf format - needing at least Ver 6.0 Acrobat Reader)
b. Clcik the "Killology" link on our "Links" page - it's been there all along.
c. For the Frontline program, click this "Hearts of Soldiers" link, or above.
.5 May 2005
Vale - Arthur Lambert Schaske (RAE) - OCS Grad Jun 1960 - OCS Staff 1967+. Arthur passed away peacefully at Greenslopes Hospital on 2 May 2005. Family and friends are invited to celebrate Arthur's life and to farewell him at St John's Anglican Church, Wishart, on Thu 5 May, commencing at 1100 hrs. Rest in Peace old mate.
22 Apr 2005
Pt Nepean Update - (See printed information) An open forum meeting was held at Badcoe Hall last Fri night (15 Apr 05), conducted by the Pt Nepean Community Trust and Parks Victoria. Fairly well attended by mostly local people.
The intention of the Forum was to give a progress report on how the management and the development of the once Defence land was going. An interesting overview was given on the flora and fauna side, talking about species and growths I had previously no idea about, nor (during my time at Portsea) did I particularly want to know about - except how to stop the sandflies from biting me!
On the heritage side, it was noted that a lot of thought will be going into the "sustainability" of the area, whilst maintaining the heritage aspects. "Sustainability", in this sense, meaning to secure an income to be able to maintain - rather than simply making it all a museum without an ability to support itself.
As an Alumni with very strong connections to the area, that should enthuse us to make any number of suggestions on how we can maintain a presence in the area, whilst contributing to the maintenance of it all. The Pt Nepean Community Trust would welcome any suggestions our members might have, and there is ample opportunity for us to discuss this amongst ourselves within our own Forum pages. By all means, please join in and think of ideas that would "fit the bill".
"Return to Portsea" Preparations - Tentative dates have been included in the events calendar for this event.
However, it does require considerable planning and implementation, as you can imagine. We have a dedicated group here in Melb that can carry this off, but only if we have the numbers that could support it.
BY THE END OF MAY we need to have firm indications of numbers wishing to attend. If the numbers are not forthcoming, then we will have to postpone it. That would be a pity, as the end of this year marks the anniversary of the closure of the OCS, and a "return" would be more "fitting" this year, than in a subsequent year. Let me hasten to add, the event istelf would be still as "memorable", whenever it occurs!
A number of overseas members have indicated an intention to attend, and we must allow them (and interstate members) time to make their travel arrangements.
Static History of OCS Multi-Media Presentation - One way in which we can secure our long term presence and assistance in the area is to provide a "projected multi-media" presentation, probably within the confines of the Quarantine Museum, and also add a couple of "touch screen kiosks". The hardware provision we can work on, the software development and expertise is already available , but the content of any project such as this must come from us, the members of the Alumni. The same content can also be utilised for the History pages of our website.
Content needed such as:
- Video clips of interviews with past staff members and graduates
- Specific historic articles and graphics
- Video clips of the area and surrounds, current and past
How do we accomplish this? We wil produce a list of requirements and if you can assist in providing any of these, we would hope you could let us know. This way we can ensure we don't duplicate any efforts unneccessarily. The list and associated details will be posted within the next few weeks.
By the Way
Buckley's Chance. I had a sumptuous breakfast on the grass, under umbrellas, on a superb Saturday morning last Saturday, and mentioned to the proprietors that if their other meals were as bountiful as their breakfast, then I would not hesitate to recommend them to our Alumni members for visiting whenever in the Sorrento area. Highly recommended. And yes - they also do catering! (See "Buckley's Chance" card in adjacent column) (Rob de Haas)
b. Badcoe Hall Dedication Plaque. For those who thought this plaque had gone missing, it hasn't. It is in the RMC Museum, suitably framed, etc - according to RMC Museum Curator
c. OCS Portsea Gates. Still unsure where the gates are. Although we are now in touch with the people who were there at the time, so should have an answer shortly.
9 Apr 2005
"Events" link - now showing available information for reunions and events. Please advise your event details for early inclusion
6 Apr 2005
Fund Raising Update: An update after 3 months is available in .pdf format from within the Forum, the "Fundraising" topic. Note: only full members have access
3 Mar 2005
Govt changes military compensation criteria
Is this what the Govt means when it says they want to "look after" military personnel?
2 Feb 2005
Funeral Arrangements for the late Phil Dawe:
Date: Friday 4 Feb 2005 at 1000 hrs.
Loc: Allambe Chapel, Allambe Memorial Gardens, Nerang-Broadbeach Road, Nerang, Gold Coast. QLD 4211
Medals: by personal choice.
1 Feb 2005
VALE: Philip Vernon Dawe (Phil) - Dec '60 RAASC/RACT, died on Mon 31 Jan 2005.
No details at this stage, but expect funeral to be on Fri 4 Feb at Gold Coast.
Our condolences to Phil's family and friends. You'll be sadly missed old friend!
15 Jan 2005
Our collective condolences and heart-felt sympathies to all who suffered in any way as a result of the tsunami on 26 Dec. Please use our network of members to assist in any way possible. As a start, please visit acehsumatera if you are in small to medium business and feel you can assist businesses in Aceh, SumateraAnd, let's hope that 2005 will be a most enjoyable, safe, and prosperous year for everyone.
The website has had a few problems over the past few weeks, and we apologise. Thank you for all the kind phone calls asking whether I had fallen ill or eevn "fallen of my branch". And thankyou also for the many people who contacted me just to find out what happened to the website. It all is a great verification that the website has become a part of many people's lives and routine, and I'm proud that we have played a part in that for you.It was actually the servers that suffered - php access denial hack - we needed new servers anyway, so now they are in place and we are going through the nausea of configuring and fine tuning. There may be some downtime from time to time as this happens. The mail servers are also back up and running. As you go through the website, if you notice any broken links, please inform me (except the Events Calendar and Forum, which we already know about). Unfortunately, we lost the Forum and the Events Calendar - both of which will be replaced shortly. Information in the Events Calendar needs to be re-inserted, so if you have sent info in the past about events yet to occur, please make sure you re-advise me.
A new Forum should be up shortly - but everyone will require re-registration, so pass the word around please. Contents of the new Forum will not be visible to anyone unless they are logged in. To be able to login:
1. applicants must first register for normal membership. You will receive an email from the Forum asking you to click on a link to "activate" your membership.
Once you can login (you still won't be able to see anything), you must then go to "User Groups" , select your Class Group and request to become a member of that group.
The request will be directed to your Class Orderly, who will verify that you are a member of that Class or a Staff member of that era.
Once the Class Orderly has verified this, he will give you "permissions" to see everything in the Forum from then on each time you login.
This means several things:
- There needs to be a Class Orderly (or proxy) for each Class, and
- The applicant needs to be recognised by that Class Orderly as a bonefide member of that Class, or Staff Member in the time of that Class, or
- General application can be made to the Forum Administrator, but actions will need to be taken to verify the applicant's bonfides.
So - if your Class does not have a Class Orderly - organise one!
(Note: A Class User Group will only be listed if there is already a Class Orderly for that Group.) This information will be repeated on the Forum Entry page. What does this accomplish?
Firstly, some empowerment for the Class Orderlies (we used to call it delegation).
Secondly, a more "open" discussion forum "behind closed doors" - leading (hopefully) to greater use.
- Thirdly, tighter control over entries into the Forum.
Return to Portsea
A meeting will be held at end of this month (Jan) by a group of Melb based members who have volunteered to assist to get the end of year "extravaganza" under way. There will be a lot to be done, so expect some "delegations", favours asked, etc. Updates will be provided here on this page, and discussions are encouraged within the Forum.
The Forum will have a Poll to determine level of interest in the Return to Portsea concept, and also seeking to determine best time, ie eraly Dec, or early/mid Nov.
Already two Classes have indicated an interest in taking part, and even deferring their Jun reunion to the end of the year! We've always liked challenges - so the challenge we would like to take on this year is - how do we do this for so many people?Yes - there will be costs involved, so if you know of any donors, sponsors, advertisers, or benevolent billionaires - please let the "Return Committee" know immediately.