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Switchie Reunion.


The Switchie girls decided to get together in Brisbane on Saturday 24th September at the Kedron Wavell Services Club. Back when the Switchies ruled the world, a vast majority of them were girls but occasionally one or two blokes would join their ranks and over the years they saw a lot of changes. When most joined the Air Force the exchanges they operated were the old cable and plug type then gradually these were replaced by more modern exchanges until in 1996, everything was automated and the Switchies went the way of horse farriers.


In 1996, the Switchies were all remustered to Clerks then Mr RAAF wasn’t happy with the Clerk name for a mustering, so it was changed to (believe it!!) Personal Capability Specialist – PCS.


Shane Jarrett (nee Paget) (right) decided it was high time everyone got together again, it was time for a few quiet Chardies, a few nibblies and a good old chin wag, so she organized the get together and about 30 enthusiastic girls turned up.   


And we were invited!!


We go to a lot of these get togethers, but I don’t think we’ve been to one which was exclusively female. For a couple of hours we were surrounded by about 30 gorgeous girls, this sure is a tough job but I suppose someone has to do it. We battled on – and we’re definitely going to the next one!!


And even though the mustering finished 20 years ago, the feeling of camaraderie amongst those present was thick in the air which just goes to show how proud these girls were of the job they used to provide all those years ago.


The following photos have been crunched to allow for quicker opening, you can access the HD version by clicking each photo. You can then download and/or print each one out.


All names are left to right and where possible, the girls’ maiden names and the years they served are in brackets.



The wise man, even when he holds his tongue, says more than the fool when he speaks.



Cathy Brennan (Coffey),  Bernadine Swan (Nash. 85-93),  Lois Shand (77-89).


Debbie Lowthorpe (84-96),  Narelle Farback (Moran 77-93),  Nereid Gwilliams (Crooks 84-90).


Ken and Diane Kochevatkin (71-83 then 83-98 reserve).


Liz and Ron Kunde (Sanderson 72-74), Rhondda Kelleher (Wyer 65-68)


Cathy Brennan (Coffey),  Lois Shand,  Narelle Farback (Moran 77-93),


Loretta Anderson (Peccinelli 85-97),  Jenene Dew (Voss 87-92),  Jenny Henderson (Magnus 86-92).


Lynette Wright (Evans 86-95),  Maureen McQuade (84-94),  Bernadette Bell (Murray 81-95)


Leanne Higham (Drewry  89-97)


Rod “Pud” and Helen Daalmeyer (80-99).


Sharon Bright (82-95).


Sue Nussey (Yourell 75-77),  Ann-Maree Downey (MacKenzie 76-80),  Margaret Dare (Wright 74-79).


Sharon Bright (92-95),  Shayne Jarret (Paget 89 – now),  Lynda McQueen (Wilson 91 – now).


Terry and Kaye Williamson (73-76).


Nicola Dunne (Warrilow.  85-91),  Leanne Pridmore (Groom 87-96),  Leanne Higham (Drewry 89-97),  Sharon Bright (82-95).



We finally managed to get the girls to down Chardies and stop the chatter for a few minutes, to get together for the group photo.



One old friend is better than two new ones.



Come fly with me - Australia gets its Air Force One.


Fairfax Media recently reported that Australia is getting its own Air Force One – albeit a budget version. After years of deliberations and political hesitancy, the Defence Department has been given the go-ahead to convert one of its KC-30A air-to-air refuelling aircraft, essentially an Airbus A330, into the VIP jet, replacing the ageing leased fleet.


The current Australian VIP jets, which include two Boeing Business Jet 737s as well as three Bombardier Challengers, are shared between the Prime Minister, dignitaries, visiting royal family members, the Governor-General and ministers. Leased in 2002 during the Howard years, frustrations have recently risen over the fleet's limitations, of which size is one. The 737s can carry fewer than 40 people, meaning business delegations and (paying) media cannot travel on the same aircraft, raising issues during multi-stop trade missions.



The range of the 737s has also proven frustrating – a trip to Washington required two stops for refuelling. The RAAF describes the KC-30A on its website as being capable of carrying 270 passengers while in transport mode, with a range of 14,800 kilometres.


The new, larger jet won't solve all the government's transport woes as the decision means the government is replacing two planes with one and protocol dictates the Governor-General takes precedence over the Prime Minister but a former adviser who often travelled on the current Boeing Business Jet said it would be an improvement, with the BBJ planes "not great for the role".


"They are not suitable planes for a country on the other side of the world," he said. "They are very small and only fit staff, which is an issue when you are on delegations, or need to take the media with you, which is what every other country does. "It's understandable that there has been political angst over the purchase – as there is for any large expense that seems extravagant, but a plane like this is something every government in the world has and we are a serious middle power and it is entirely appropriate we have the same."


Sean Kelly, a former adviser to prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, wasn't quite as harsh in his assessment of the current VIP fleet – "It's a great trip, you're on a plane, there are private staff there to really meet your every whim, there is a reasonable amount of space, there is a lot of privacy, it's a joy to fly with them" – but agreed there were limitations.


"The main benefit would be being able to take the press pack and that is a benefit for the Prime Minister and for the journalists themselves," he said. "Right now you have this crazy situation, where journalists who are conducting exactly the same trip as the Prime Minister, who are flying with the Prime Minister around the world, jumping from country to country, sometimes for weeks at a time, have to make their own arrangements entirely separately, which is not only inconvenient but also means it is a struggle for journalists to make sure they are actually at the same place at the same time as the Prime Minister and that obviously impedes coverage.


"If you bought a bigger plane, then you would be able to take the press pack with you, which would automatically mean that coverage of the Prime Minister was made simpler, which would also serve voters."


Malcolm Turnbull's office declined to comment.


Fairfax released a video, you can see it HERE.



You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.



Sale Equipo’s and Friends’ Reunion,

18th to 20th November, Nov 2016.



Over the years blokes and blokettes who worked at East Sale in the Equipo mustering kept in touch with each other by sending out Christmas cards and sometimes including a little note on how life and families were progressing.


As time moved on, a lot of these people scattered to towns and villages all over Australia and face to face contact between a lot became very infrequent and contact dropped off. This was apparent when a few old friends did meet and the conversation eventually became: “what’s old so-and-so doing these days” – sadly no-one knew!! It was a no-brainer when some-one suggested, “let’s plan a reunion so we can all get together again”. So the search began.


As was the norm in the years they served, as mates they knew a lot of personal facts about each other, they knew where their mates came from, where each of them grew up and in a lot of cases knew their mates’ families. Knowing all that personal info made it a lot easier to find people, they contacted people in some of the small towns their friends came from, white-pages on line was very handy as was word of mouth, some-one knew some-one who knew some-one and eventually a sizeable contact list of names was put together.


Virginia and Ralf Faber and also Mick Hawryluk (right) led the push and eventually it was decided to hold a reunion for Ex Sale Equipos and friends and to hold it over the weekend 27th to 29th October 2006 at the Gippsland Veterans Welfare Centre in Sale. Fliers were sent out and 75 people positively responded – and it was on. The reunion went well and people came from all over Australia.


At the 2006 reunion it was decided that they would hold the reunions every two years and that would call for a volunteer(s) to put the next reunion in place. Neil and Kay Short took up the baton and made an executive decision to hold reunion number 2 over the week-end 10th and 12th October, 2008 and that everyone would travel to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast with the venue being the Coolum-Peregian RSL. 56 people made the journey.


At Coolum, the baton was once again passed, this time to Ian and Julka Shaughnessy (right) who decided to hold the 2010 reunion at the Adelaide Shores Caravan Park with the Saturday night dinner to be held at the Westward Ho Golf Club. This time they had 64 attendees.


The baton then passed to Jack and Pam Simpson who elected to hold the reunion on the 2nd to 4th November at Rathmines RSL. 56 people made the journey to Rathmines which also co-incided with the Catalina Festival which drew thousands of people.


At Rathmines everyone stepped back, except for Ralph and Virginia Faber (right) who were left with the organisation baton and to Jim Birrell who was volunteered to be the PR man.


This time, the reunion was held back at Sale, back to where it all began, with the venue being the Greyhound Club on Sale Road. 78 people arrived and all had a great time.


As people move into their twilight years, it is noticeable that they enjoy coming together in true mateship to talk about the times when they served their country. Neil Short (right) and Kev Adams were passed the baton and they organised the 2016 reunion back at the Coolum/Peregian RSL Memorial Hall.


77 people responded and below are some of the people who were at the Friday night “Meet and Greet.” 


All names left to right. 


Click each pic for a bigger and better quality view.




The RSL Memorial Hall - Coolum.



The Friday night Meet and Greet.


Harry Allie welcomed everyone to the reunion.


Barry Roberts,  Trevor Teis,  Mick Hawryluk.


Jackie Kershaw,  Kieran Daggan,  Michael “Pebbles” Daggan.


Dianne Scotney,  Kris Powell,  Jutta Rossington, Janice “Woody” Brunton.


Greg and Jan Cummins.


Harry Allie,  George Rossington,  Bev Allie.


Diane Scotney,  Kris Powell,  Jutta Rossington,  Kay Short.


Jenni Eising,  Marie Roberts,  Bob Eising.


Harry and Vicki Wyatt.





Jenny Hawryluk,  Beryl Teis.


Julanne Williams,  Joy Mahoney.


Julka Shaughnessy,  Jenny Clarke.


Jutta Rossington,  Graham Poole,  Barry Roberts,  George Rossington.


Kris Powell,  Gerry Ninnes.


Lorraine Adams,  Pat Anderson,  Dick Dangerfield,  Ros Dangerfield.


Lorraine and Kev Adams.







Madonna and Trevor Geyer.


Paul Ninnes,  Daryl,  Keith Kershaw.


Peter and Linda Rees.


Ron “Ug” and Pat Anderson


Tom Fehily,  Neil Short,  Dino Matto.


Sue and George Torrens.


Jack and Margaret Khan.




The baton was then handed to Ian and Julka Shaughnessy who plan to hold the next get together in Adelaide in 2018. Mark your diaries.



Hair curling irons have a warning tag that says “For external use only.”

Which one of you sick people made that necessary?



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