2017 10 14 Memorial for peace

DEFGLIS memebr Rachel recalls her time on peace-keeping operations on board HMAS Tokbruk.

I was part of the ships force protection team.

I conducted wharf sentry duties, which included talking to the locals and helping them understand that we were there to help.

I also drove the Army troops ashore on our organise LCVP, small transport craft.

I remember seeing the happiness on the faces of the local kids when they knew we were there to help.

They would gather of an afternoon at the boundary fence to talk to us. They would follow the Army LAV's down the street clapping and waving at them.

You knew it was volatile, so you had to be on guard all the time, I recall gun fire and small explosions.By the end we had more friends then enemy's and the ARMY troops loved coming onboard to get some

By the end we had more friends then enemies in Dili.

The Army troops loved coming onboard to get some well-deserved feed and sleep, before heading back out for another security rotation.

 

The Govenor-General said that it was important to aspire to peace, humanity and compassion.

“It’s much harder to achieve peace and to actually protect the vulnerable and the dispossessed.

“It seems part of the human condition to want it with every fibre of our being, but never to attain perfect peace.

“Well, for 70 years Australian peacekeepers have served and sacrificed in the name of peace and this continues to this day.”

The Governor General said in missions right across the world, from the Middle East to Africa, from Asia to the Pacific, Australian peacekeepers were distinguished by their dedication and courage.

“Protecting children from abuse and exploitation, freeing others from a life as child soldiers, supporting democratic elections that are free and fair, stepping in in times of crisis and conflict,” he said.

“They do so to make the peace, to keep the peace, and honour those before them.

“In their blue berets, peacekeepers are a symbol of hope, they save lives, they change lives, they restore order, and bring security and stability.”

Image by Jay Cronan for Department of Defence

2017 12 10 BlueChristmas

I would like to thank the board members who retired at the Annual General Meeting earlier this month. In particular, we recognise the experience and insights that Stuart Martin and Joe Monteith brought to DEFGLIS from their experience from serving on other boards, and Ellen Zyla for representing junior members, her leadership of the women's network and an exceptional job as a Master of Ceremony for the Military Pride Ball. I also thank Nigel Harrington for his service to the board before stepping aside due to work commitments.

2017 11 14 ABS Postal Survey

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has announced that a majority of Australians responded favourably to the question "should the law be changed to allow same sex couples to marry."

Of the eligible Australians who expressed a view on this question, the majority indicated that the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry, with 7,817,247 (61.6%) responding Yes and 4,873,987 (38.4%) responding No. Nearly 8 out of 10 eligible Australians (79.5%) expressed their view.

All states and territories recorded a majority Yes response. 133 of the 150 Federal Electoral Divisions recorded a majority Yes response, and 17 of the 150 Federal Electoral Divisions recorded a majority No response.

Australian Bureau of Statistics

2017 10 25 Intersex

Intersex Awareness Day falls on the 26th of October, providing education about intersex people, whom are part of the diverse sexuality and gender community.

Intersex people are born with sex characteristics (including genitals, gonads and chromosome patterns) that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies. 

- United Nations

The United Nations estimates that 'between 0.05% and 1.7% of the population is born with intersex traits... In some cases, intersex traits are visible at birth while in others, they are not apparent until puberty. Some chromosomal intersex variations may not be physically apparent at all.'

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