Update from Lee Pattinson

Ian Callan has just passed on the following update from Lee:

 Classmates, Hi! 

I just realised why I have not heard anything for a fair while, (must be getting old and doddery), and that is because I changed email address after 20 odd years, had to because of the advent of the NBN. 

New email address is general537@bigpond.com 

I have been retired now for 3 years and still live in Deniliquin, still drive cabs Monday and Tuesday every week, along with every second Thursday. 

Play golf (or attempt) 2 days a week, bowls 2 days a week and still involved with the Lodge. For any of the classmates that are interested, I am a member of both the NSW and Victorian Constitutions, hold the rank of PSGW in NSW and am currently a member of the Victorian 2018/19 Grand Ceremonial team as GStdB, and that finishes in May this year. 

Throw in my vegetable garden, looking after grand kids and finding time for a beer, I appear to be busier now than I was when working full time. I guess I’m pretty lucky as Winnie is still working, though I don’t know for how much longer, (need her to keep going to keep me in the manner to which I am accustomed). 

That’s about it I think, 

Cheers to each and all 

Lee 

Defence Abuse Reparation Scheme (DART)

For those not following our class Facebook page, Pete McCann has posted the message below:

G’day all,

This post is to make you aware, if you are not already, of the Defence Abuse Reparation Scheme (DART) which has opened up the possibility of getting reparations for the events of 1969 and before.  This scheme is administered  by the Defence Ombudsman and is set up to make reparations for the most serious forms of abuse and/or sexual assault in Defence.  I considered that bastardisation was a serious form of abuse particularly considering that many of us were under 18 and therefore a minor.   I have long been irked by the fact that Defence has never apologised for its actions.  So, in February last year I wrote to the Ombudsman using the DART form which is on their website Defence.Ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.au.  I didn’t shy away from naming names where necessary.
I gave the following examples of abuse:

– Multiple bathroom sessions, including one particularly abusive one at ANZAC Hall where I had a powerful hose directed on the family jewels while playing dead ants.  These are important because, while not sexual per se, they involved  performing humiliating acts such as bathroom “obstacle courses” while naked and introduced an element of indecency.
– Taking showers in uniform,
– Bullying and harassment in the Mess including sinker races, eating spoonfuls of Vegemite, square and/or submarine meals etc,
– Having the contents of my room thrown out the window for no reason,
– Being verbally abused by a drunk section commander (guess who?) inches from my face,
– Stealing food from the Mess under orders from the senior class.

I carefully left out anything that could be deemed educational or militarily necessary such as the screed test.

Factors that the Ombusman takes into account are:
– The age of the complainant,
– The position held by the alleged abuser(s),
– the duration of the abuse, and
– the gravity of the alleged conduct.

The Ombudsman assessed my submission as ” ..an ongoing campaign of bullying and harassment that included unlawful interference with an element of indecency.”

We are fortunate in a way that all this is documented in the initial Military investigation and the Fox Royal Commission.

There are 2 levels of reparation $20K and $50k.  While the level of abuse in my case did not reach the $50K level because there was no sexual element or physical injury the Ombudsman considered it was a case of serious abuse and therefore met the $20K threshold.  There is also a supplementary reparation of $5K if Defence knew about the abuse but did nothing about it.  This was easily satisfied by directing the Ombudsman to the Commandant’s Directive that “fourth class training”  was allowed but had to cease at the end of the first term due to problems they had experienced in 1968.

Defence have offered to conduct a formal session to offer a formal apology and counselling if needed but I decided not to take up the offer. just before Christmas I received $25K tax-free dollars.

If you feel strongly about this I would encourage you to apply and spread the word.  You get a dedicated liaison officer who keeps you informed of progress along the way.  I am happy to help if you need any assistance.  It’s taken nearly 50 years!!

Cheers

Peter McCann

Due to the sensitive and confidential nature of his submission, that understandably won’t be made publicly available. Pete has, however, offered to provide assistance to anyone who is considering making an application.

A suggestion was made that a ‘class action’ could be mounted, but apparently that option is not available (subject to confirmation).

Additions to Bibliography

A  couple of new books have been added to the Bibliography (https://duntroonclassof1972.com/bibliography/):

Evans, Peter, Half a mile in thirty years : from Duntroon to Russell,Barrallier Books, Canberra, 2018.

Stone, Gary, with Breen, Bob, Duntroon to Dili : mayhem and miracles, traumatic stress and trust in God,Barrallier Books, Canberra, 2014.

Both are available from Echo Books (https://www.echobooks.com.au/books/), including in ebook format. Echo Books is a niche publisher run by Ian ‘Groover’ Gordon, Class of 1973. There are some other titles of interest, including Pat Cullinan’s White Sherpas, and Chris Clark’s Olaf’s Suitcase (the latter nothing to do with RMC!)