Australian Vietnam War nurses tell compelling stories of compassion

Terrie Ross was working in the maternity ward of the Goulburn hospital when she met a woman who would change her life forever. A local girl, Mrs Ross did her general nurse training in her hometown, before heading to Sydney where she trained as a midwife. She had come back to Goulburn for a month “that had turned into a year”; at 23 she wasn’t sure if this was what she wanted to do.

PHOTO: Terrie Ross was one of the first four army nurses to be deployed to Vietnam. Photo: Rohan Thomson

“I worked with a darling old nurse called Nora Marmont,” she says. “I knew she’d worked on a hospital train in Japan during the Korean War, but I knew that when she came home she had to look after her brother’s children – he’d lost his leg – and then her parents as they aged, and she worked night shift, every shift.

 

 

 

PHOTO: Terrie Ross secures a sling on an Australian soldier at the 8th Field Ambulance, Vung Tau. Photo: Dennis Stanley Gibbons

“One day Marmie said to me, ‘Young Terrie, you have to leave, if you don’t you’ll end up here with five babies and you’ll have been nowhere and seen nothing.’ ” ‘Go join the army,’ she said. And so I did.” It was May 1965 and Lieutenant Terrie Ross headed off to join the staff of the No.2 Military Hospital at Ingleburn, just outside Sydney.

 

In Vietnam, things were just starting to get interesting. The US had committed 200,000 troops to the conflict, the Australian government was just about to deploy the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. The first National Service conscription ballot had just been drawn.

 

 

 

PHOTO: Our Vietnam Nurses: Compelling Australian Stories of heroism, friendship and lives changed forever, by Annabelle Brayley. Michael Joseph. $34.99. Photo: Supplied

By August 1966, after the Battle of Long Tan, one of Australia’s heaviest actions of the war, the need for expanded medical facilities became obvious.

With just a few weeks to prepare, and sworn to secrecy, Terrie Ross became one of the first four army nurses to be deployed to Vietnam, deployed to the 8th Field Ambulance unit in Vung Tau.

Now 74 and living in Jerrabomberra with Mick – her husband of 44 years, who she met when they were both serving in Vietnam – Mrs Ross has plenty of fond memories of her time in Vietnam.

“Don’t get me wrong, it was hard work, we’d work 10-hour shifts, six days a week, the conditions weren’t great and the boys were so young, and some of the things you’d see,” she says.

“But it was exciting, and we learnt so much. There wasn’t much chance to look after patients with malaria or bomb injuries or shrapnel wounds back in the wards at home.”

The nurses in Vietnam would wear perfume so that even if injured troops could not see because of their wounds they knew they would be looked after. Mrs Ross, partial to wearing a bit of lipstick herself, was once criticised by the soldiers when she put some on a Vietcong woman they were nursing at the hospital. “I knew she was the enemy but I thought, if I was in the same boat, I’d want someone to do the same for me,” Mrs Ross says. She remembers one patient, Platoon Sergeant Alexander “Jock” Sutherland who’d been hit by direct rocket fire during the Battle of Suoi Chau Pha. Six Australians had been killed and another 20 wounded. She was on duty in the intensive care unit when Jock was wheeled in after several hours of emergency surgery.

 

“He was so sick,” she says, “I was trying to keep him comfortable and get him off to sleep, but he was worried he would never wake up if he did. But he said he would go to sleep if I stayed with him. “I did have a date that night,” she laughs, remembering it now. “But I said, ‘You’re on’, and I sat with him for hours and when he woke up he knew he’d be OK.”

Years later Mrs Ross was working in the radiography department at the Woden Hospital and a woman, Mindy, came in. She was Jock’s wife. When Mrs Ross told her that Jock had written her a letter, telling her about his trip home, and thanking her for caring for him, Mindy was surprised, saying she had never seen him put pen to paper. Mrs Ross gave Mindy a copy of the letter and the two women have remained in touch.

Our Vietnam Nurses: Compelling Australian Stories of heroism, friendship and lives changed forever, by Annabelle Brayley. Michael Joseph. $34.99.

Action plans for treating COVID, and improving your heart health

 

Dr Trish Batchelor
Deputy Chief Health Officer
Department of Veterans’ Affairs

 

 

 

COVID medications: Paxlovid and Lagevrio

I was hoping by the time I sat down to write this column that the impacts of COVID might be behind us. And while life is returning to some degree of normality and high rates of vaccination have had a huge impact on the rates of severe disease and hospitalisation, we are certainly not out of the woods yet. With the more transmissible Omicron variant dominant, we are now in a phase of continued transmission in Australia, with case numbers increasing as winter sets in. A fourth vaccine dose is now available via general practitioners (GPs). If you think you may be eligible, please have a chat with your GP. As at 7 July, it is recommended that anyone over the age of 50 receive a fourth dose.

You are probably aware that two antiviral medications to treat mild to moderate COVID are now available. They are Paxlovid and Lagevrio. Both can be prescribed by your GP on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme if you are eligible.

The initial trials of these medications were undertaken against the Delta variant in an unvaccinated population. They demonstrated that Paxlovid was around 80% and Lagevrio around 40% effective in reducing hospitalisations in higher risk individuals. Real world data in vaccinated people during the time of Omicron is just starting to be released. Studies from Israel and Hong Kong have showed very similar levels of protection against severe disease.  This is exciting news and adds to our arsenal of treatments for COVID for people at higher risk of severe disease.

However, critical to the success of these medications is that they be taken within the first five days of symptoms, and the earlier the better. I would urge any of you who meet the eligible criteria to proactively meet with your GP and develop an action plan. This way you can quickly access treatment should you test positive. There is currently no shortage of either medication in Australia.

This is particularly important as Paxlovid, while more effective and our preferred choice, has many drug interactions. In other words, it is more likely to cause side effects by interacting with other drugs you may be taking. Your GP will need to check that it is safe for you to take, or give guidance on any changes in your regular medications that may be needed if there are interactions with Paxlovid.

Please monitor the Australian Government Department of Health website for updates.

Heart health checks

Like many of you, I was shocked to hear of the untimely death of Shane Warne from heart disease. This sad event has raised awareness of the importance of proactive heart health checks. Since 2019 there has been a Medicare item number for a heart health check, meaning it can be bulk-billed. Anyone over the age of 45, or over the age of 30 if you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage, can access this.

Heart disease still causes one in four deaths in Australia and more than 1,600 hospitalisations daily. Risk factors that we can personally modify account for 90% of the risk for a heart attack, meaning that we can each do a lot to reduce our own risk.

The Australian Heart Foundation notes that two out of every three Australians have at least three risk factors for heart disease. However, one in three people who are eligible for a heart health check have not had their cholesterol or blood pressure measured within the recommended time frames.

The main lifestyle behaviours you can modify to reduce your risk of heart disease include quitting smoking, eating a heart-healthy diet, getting enough physical activity, keeping your weight in a healthy range and avoiding binge or consistently heavy drinking of alcohol. There are some medical conditions that if not well managed can also increase your risk, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and some mental health conditions, such as depression. As part of a heart health check, your GP should check all of these risk factors (which may require you to have a blood test) before using a risk calculator to assess your personal risk. Then, together you can develop an action plan to address those risk factors that are most relevant to you.

There is a tendency to think of heart disease as more of a male problem, yet heart disease is the second most common cause of death in Australian women, after dementia. There are some specifically female risk factors including polycystic ovarian syndrome, premature menopause, some autoimmune diseases (while not specific to women they are much more common in women) and breast cancer treatments including radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Additionally younger women tend to be more likely to present with ‘atypical’ symptoms of heart disease such as indigestion, jaw, shoulder or back pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness.

If, after having a heart health check, you find you need to address some personal risk factors, the Heart Foundation website (heartfoundation.org.au) has some fantastic resources. DVA runs a 12-month heart health program that you may be eligible for depending on your service history. The eligibility checker can be found on the DVA website.

Until next time stay well.

*Risk factors for severe disease include obesity, diabetes, kidney failure, heart failure, chronic respiratory disease, dementia, stroke or cirrhosis.

 

Soldiers train for urban warfare

by Mike Hughes

PHOTO: A rifleman from Alpha Company, 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, fires an F88 Austeyr rifle during urban operations training held as part of Exercise Ram Horn at the Wide Bay training area. Story by Captain Taylor Lynch. Photo by Corporal Nicole Dorrett.

Soldiers from 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (8/9 RAR), have been training to prepare for operations in densely populated cities and urban centres.

As part of Exercise Ram Horn conducted in the Wide Bay training area, the infantry soldiers recently fought their way through varied terrain over two weeks.

The training ended with an assault on the urban operations training facility that simulated a small township populated by an enemy force.

The soldiers navigated the challenging urban terrain, with its different levels, rooms, rooftops and access points to buildings, while civilian role-players and booby traps added extra layers of complexity to test the soldiers’ decision-making abilities.

The assault of the urban operations training facility was conducted using paint ammunition, adding realism to the training.

Warrant Officer Class 2 Phil Brown said 8/9 RAR had increased its focus on urban operations training in recent times, and it differed from other types of training.

“8/9 RAR has been increasing the priority of urban operations training as more training facilities become available, and as doctrine is being rewritten for the contemporary environment,” Warrant Officer Brown said.

“Urban operations present unique challenges that other environments don’t have, requiring different techniques and procedures for close combat.

“Contact is often at very close range in challenging conditions and low-light situations.

“We’re fighting up, we’re fighting down and we have to be aware of a multitude of different threats, including drones and cyber attacks.”

PHOTO: Riflemen from Alpha Company, 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, enter a building via a window during Exercise Ram Horn. Photo by Corporal Nicole Dorrett.

Warrant Officer Brown said the use of non-lethal paint ammunition provided real-time feedback to soldiers.

“If a combatant conducts incorrect combat behaviours, they know about it instantly through a pain response when they’re hit,” he said.

“The paint ammunition also improves the training instructor’s ability to identify correct combat behaviours and poor combat behaviours.”

Having been deployed on operations Bushfire Assist, COVID-19 Assist, and Flood Assist in recent years, Warrant Officer Brown said 8/9 RAR’s soldiers appreciated the opportunity to train in their core role of seeking out and closing with the enemy.

“Noting the battalion has been heavily committed to domestic operations, the soldiers have reacted extremely positively to being in the field,” he said.

“We’ve raised the training baseline of the battalion and learnt better ways to train our soldiers.”

 

Royal Navy seizes Iranian missiles

Defence Connect

Iranian surface-to-air missiles were among a tranche of weapons seized from smugglers in international waters.

The UK Ministry of Defence has revealed Royal Navy Duke Class frigate HMS Montrose seized Iranian surface-to-air missiles and engines for land attack cruise missiles from speedboats deployed by smugglers in international waters south of Iran.

The seizures, disclosed on 7 July, took place on the early hours of 28 January and 25 February 2022, helping to enforce UN Security Council resolution 2216 (2015).

As part of the Royal Navy’s operation, HMS Montrose’s Wildcat helicopter leveraged its radar capability to scan for vessels smuggling illicit goods, with the crew spotting small vessels moving at speed away from the Iranian coast.

The February seizure was supported by United States Navy destroyer USS Gridley, which deployed a Seahawk helicopter to oversee the operation.

After HMS Montrose crew were alerted of suspicious cargo aboard the speedboats, a team of Royal Marines approached the vessels on two rigid-hulled inflatable boats before securing and searching the vessel.

Crew reportedly discovered dozens of packages containing advanced weaponry, which were confiscated and brought back to HMS Montrose.

The packages were returned to the UK for technical analysis, which confirmed the shipment contained multiple rocket engines for the Iranian-produced 351 land attack cruise missile and a batch of 358 surface-to-air missiles.

The 351, capable of a range of 1,000 kilometres, has been deployed by the Houthis to strike targets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was separately used to attack Abu Dhabi on 17 January 2022, killing three civilians.

On Friday, 24 June, the Ministry of Defence hosted the Panel of Experts established as part of Security Council resolution 2140 (2014), relating to the conflict in Yemen.

The panel inspected the seized weapons and received a technical brief by the UK’s Defence Intelligence analysts.

Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said the seizures formed part of the UK’s commitment to securing the region.

“The UK is committed to upholding international law, from standing up to aggression in Europe to interdicting illegal shipments of weaponry that perpetuates instability in the Middle East,” Minister Heappey said.

“The UK will continue to work in support of an enduring peace in Yemen and is committed to international maritime security so that commercial shipping can transit safely without threat of disruption.”

Commanding Officer of HMS Montrose, Commander Claire Thompson, lauded the efforts of Royal Navy personnel.

“These interdictions demonstrate the professionalism and commitment of the Royal Navy to promoting stability in this region,” Commander Thompson said.

“I am extremely proud of my crew – the Royal Navy sailors, aircrew and Royal Marines involved in these endeavours and the significant positive impact they are having in maintaining the international rules-based order at sea.”

HMS Montrose has been deployed to the region since early 2019, tasked with supporting multinational maritime security operations and protecting the interests of the United Kingdom and its allies under the control and direction of the UK Maritime Component Command (UKMCC), based in Bahrain.

HMS Montrose also regularly works alongside international partners as part of the 38-nation coalition Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

 

Eight key lessons from Ukraine being carefully studied by Xi

There is no question that the Chinese president is creating the option for the PRC to attack Taiwan, using Ukraine as a test case on how — and how not — to attack a neighbour.

By PETER JENNINGS

The China Daily’s sharply worded editorial criticising Anthony Albanese at the time of the NATO summit was sparked by the Prime Minister comparing Ukraine and Taiwan. Russia had become a “global pariah” because of its “strategic failure” in Ukraine. Asked if China should take heed of that, Albanese said “attempts to impose change by force on a sovereign country meet resistance”.

“Taiwan is not a sovereign country,” was the curt response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing. How could Albanese have such a “poor grasp of political realities”, the China Daily wondered, “a parallel cannot be drawn between Ukraine and the Chinese island”.

In fact, no country is watching the Ukraine war more closely than China. The country’s huge intelligence system, the People’s Liberation Army, a vast number of think tanks and university departments and the Chinese Communist Party itself are studying the war, looking to extract strategic lessons about the role of the West, about Russia’s resilience and the conduct of the war, and about how Ukraine is mounting such tough resistance.

Beijing’s obsession with the “lessons” from Ukraine is to help better position the PRC in its strategic competition for dominance with the United States. Will China have to fight the US to take control of Taiwan? If so, does the Ukraine experience offer insights on how to prepare for, and fight, that conflict?

Crucially, when should Beijing attack? Does the Ukraine war bring forward or push back the time when a conflict across the Taiwan Straits is most likely to deliver the mainland the victory it wants?

Xi Jinping is surely also comparing his leadership with that of Vladimir Putin. A week after becoming China’s President in March 2013, Xi visited Putin in Russia. The two leaders have met around 30 times since then. Xi in Moscow in 2019 described Putin as “my best friend and colleague”.

But Russia is a difficult friend for China. Putin is happy to make Russia a global pariah to sustain his domestic power base, but Xi’s interest is to dominate the global system, not simply smash it. Xi will be drawing his own lessons about how to harness nationalistic enthusiasm for a war.

The consensus position in China is that the West, in particular the US, forced Russia into attacking Ukraine. China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, set out this case in February a few days after the invasion: “Given NATO’s five consecutive rounds of eastward expansion, Russia’s legitimate security demands ought to be taken seriously and properly addressed.”

A recently released ASPI study examined the huge social media output of PRC embassies around the world on Ukraine. Overwhelmingly, those posts blamed the West, called for peace, repeated Russian propaganda about the war (for example, calling it a “special military operation”) and promoting a conspiracy theory that the US had biological weapon labs in Ukraine, linking these to earlier propaganda attempts to say it was the US military that brought Covid-19 to Wuhan.

In Xi’s China there is little chance to take a different view from the official line. Chinese media has reported the war largely from Moscow’s perspective, showing little of the destruction wrought by Russian artillery and missiles on Ukrainian civilians.

Even in China, not all social media can be controlled. The journal Foreign Affairs reports that after the Russian attack “some anti-Russia Chinese netizens began rehashing the unfairness of the 1858 Treaty of Aigun, which ceded roughly 230,000 square miles (600,000sq km) of Chinese territory to Russia”.

That’s a reminder that Russian territorial expansion has benefited from Chinese weakness in the past. Today the power balance is reversed. China will benefit from a more dependent Moscow, able to supply energy and commodities. Xi won’t abandon Putin.

Judging by the alarmed tone of Chinese media coverage, the party leadership has been surprised by the extent to which the US and key allies have provided Ukraine with weapons, training and intelligence assistance.

The presence of Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand at the NATO Madrid summit, the AP4 group, is being written about in China as NATO’s attempt to operate in the Indo-Pacific. The China Daily editorialised at the end of June: “NATO’s insidious creep into the Asia-Pacific on the bases of AUKUS, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and various security treaties between the US and its allies will gather pace.”

We should see Beijing’s concern as a positive sign. If anything will give Xi pause to doubt the wisdom of an attack on Taiwan, it will be the collective willingness of the democracies to support Taipei.

Xi’s top strategic priority is to isolate Taiwan, to make sure it doesn’t have the international connections Kyiv has, and to weaken any attempts like AUKUS and the Quad to build new security structures in the Indo-Pacific.

Another sustained theme in PRC commentary is that ASEAN should stay neutral in a strategic competition between China and the US. Beijing sees strength in Indo-Pacific political weakness.

It’s possible the perception of stronger democratic support for Ukraine will prompt Xi to conclude that an attack on Taiwan is advisable sooner rather than later – attempting to secure Beijing’s strategic aim before Taiwan gets militarily stronger, or the democracies provide more strategic support. The important point is that Xi is not yet deterred from an attack. Offsetting the better performance of NATO and the Pacific allies is a deep CCP conviction that America is in inevitable decline and that the West will ultimately lose heart helping Ukraine.

Another Ukraine lesson Beijing is absorbing is that Russia, with a far weaker economy than China, is surviving sanctions. Most of the population supports Putin and what dissent there is can be stifled. At all times the Chinese Communist Party’s chief obsession is staying in power. So far, Ukraine shows it’s possible to mount a major war opposed by the international community while strengthening repression domestically.

From a PLA perspective, Taiwan presents different military challenges. An island 161km off the Chinese coast will be harder to attack than Ukraine, but it will also be easier to cut off from air and sea resupply. There are also no easy ways for civilians to leave the island once conflict starts.

Here, I suggest eight strategic and military lessons from the Ukraine war that will be being carefully studied by China’s security hands.

First, Russian intelligence failed to read Ukraine’s determination to resist the invasion and major Russian efforts to build support in Ukraine with planted agents came to very little. Beijing will redouble efforts to build a fifth column infrastructure in Taiwan. Taipei has a huge counterintelligence task on its hands.

Second, Russia’s failure to kill or capture Volodymyr Zelensky was a major tactical blunder. Zelensky has become the global embodiment of Ukrainian resistance. China will want to prevent a parallel in Taiwan.

The PLA will be thinking about how it can quickly decapitate Taiwan’s political leadership. Expect special forces operations and precision missile strikes.

Third, Russia’s inability to ground the Ukrainian air force and to comprehensively flatten Kyiv’s air defences will shape PLA thinking about what Taiwanese military bases need to be targeted early. Overwhelmingly, the need here is for precision strike weapons.

From open-source literature it’s impossible to know how advanced the PLA is in its capacity to find and hit precise targets. We know the Russians are dreadful at it and have reverted to Soviet-style indiscriminate bombardment. My guess is that the PLA will want in the first instance to avoid indiscriminate targeting of civilians, meaning there will be a major investment in building stocks of precision strike weapons.

Fourth, China will observe that Russian propaganda has largely failed to persuade the world about the rightness of its cause. Based on Australia’s experience of the past few years, Chinese Communist Party propaganda aimed at foreign countries is even worse than Russia’s efforts. We should expect to see strenuous Chinese efforts to lift its game in international propaganda terms.

Fifth, Beijing may now expect that the Taiwanese will put up a fight and not welcome their communist attackers. The more Taipei can do to build that expectation, the more Beijing may hesitate to attack.

A key PLA task will be to shut down communications from Taiwan to the rest of the world. The generals will not want the war to be broadcast. Social media won’t work if Taiwan’s underwater IT cables are cut.

Sixth, the sinking of the Russian cruiser, the Moskva, and Ukraine’s effective defence of the port city of Odesa shows amphibious operations against well-armed and determined defenders are difficult. How does China overcome this situation?

Much like Russia’s abortive air assault with paratroopers who failed to take over Hostomel airport northwest of Kyiv, it is likely the PLA may use air assaults to take over Taiwanese air bases and sea ports in an effort to secure a safe landing for heavier forces coming by sea. What Western strategists have most often thought would be an attack from the sea may well involve more special forces from the air.

Taiwan should be investing heavily (as should Australia) in low-cost smart sea mines and in land-based mobile missile systems like Ukraine’s R-360 Neptune anti-ship missile, which hit the Moskva. Note that after the Moskva’s sinking, Russia shelved expected plans for a maritime assault on Odessa.

Seventh, don’t run out of missiles. It seems clear that Russia is largely out of stocks of modern weapons and has resorted to using 1960s-vintage Kh-22 anti-ship missiles. These are inaccurate weapons, originally designed to carry nuclear warheads where precision was not necessary. China has some significant weapons stockpiling to complete.

Eighth, a final lesson for China is to reduce its economic dependence on the West, in holding US Treasury bonds and other assets that could be frozen in sanctions action. That’s exactly what Beijing is doing. The PRC’s holdings of US Treasury securities were sold down 3.5 per cent in April to the lowest level in 12 years. But Beijing still holds more than a trillion dollars of US Treasury bonds, a critical vulnerability in event of Western sanctions.

There is no question that Xi is creating the option for the PRC to attack Taiwan, using Ukraine as a test case on how, and how not, to attack a neighbour. The West’s democracies’ response to Russia’s behaviour in Ukraine therefore helps to deter the PRC’s aggression in the Indo-Pacific, but quite possibly not for long.

 

 

 

And we think we have problems – with our Defence Force

Hair colouring and face tattoos are permitted under new military dress rules

Department of National Defence says changes meant ‘to support respect, diversity and inclusiveness’

Members of Canada’s military will soon be soldiering under much less strict dress rules as the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) introduces updated regulations on personal grooming.

Under the new rules — which were released Tuesday and go into effect in September — CAF will allow military personnel to, among other things, colour their hair and grow it to any length, and to sport face tattoos.

“The bottom line is, the Canadian Forces Dress Instructions are about fifty years old and so the policy as a whole was overdue for revision,” says a Department of National Defence (DND) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page detailing the update.

“The appearance of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has not kept pace with the Canadian society which it serves.”

Many of the new liberties are conditional. Unnatural hair colour, for example, is allowed “unless it inhibits an operational duty,” the DND page says.

For example, bright coloured hair may have a negative operational impact during field operations or training. Leaders are invited to discuss with their members to find a simple, suitable accommodation, such as a scarf to cover the hair.”

Restrictions on hair length are also out — hair can be grown to any length but it must be tied up if it extends beyond the shoulders. Hair also must not inhibit a CAF member’s vision and must allow them to wear head coverings, such as berets.

Facial hair may also be grown to any length, so long as it’s neatly groomed and symmetrical. Commanding officers will still have the right to order a member to shave or to not grow facial hair, depending on safety and operational requirements.

A backpack can now be slung over just one shoulder, so long as it’s the left.

“This leaves the right arm free to salute,” the page says.

“Uniformity does not equal discipline, or operational effectiveness, any more than the colour or length of your hair defines your commitment or professional competence,” Gen. Wayne Eyre, Canada’s chief of the defence staff (CDS), said in a video CAF posted to Twitter on Tuesday.

He acknowledged the changes could be divisive within the military.

“Some will consider this progress, while others may see this as unwarranted,” Eyre said.

“We must be wary of the false dichotomy that we must choose between changing our dress and appearance or be strong.”

The updated dress instructions follow similar moves by other military forces around the world, including the United States Army and the United Kingdom Army.

Uniforms are no longer divided by gender

CAF uniforms will no longer be divided into “male” and “female” categories and can be worn in combination.

“Both catalogues are open to all members, and they may be intermixed. CAF members may choose whichever design best fits, if it is worn as per the Dress Instructions,” the page says.

Under the current Dress Instructions, only women are permitted to wear skirts and blouses as part of a uniform. The revisions allow men to wear these items as well.

In a statement issued to CBC, a DND spokesperson said the changes are meant to strike a balance.

 

Vale: LTCOL Michael Dinnison (Rtd) – RAA

We have received advice of the death on Saturday 9 July 2022 of Mike Dinnison. Mike had not been well for some time. In mid-2021 he moved from Townsville to Victoria with his partner to be closer to his children and grandchildren.

Mike served in Rwanda with the ADF Contingent, and Hilton Lenard advises that Mike served in 4th Field Regiment from around 1975 as Section Comd and Regimental Signals Officer in HQ Bty.  He returned as BK of 107 Bty then BC HQ Bty later that decade then again as Regt 2IC under Arthur Burke. He last served as Ground Liaison Officer (GLO) (or similar) in Darwin as LtCol. He took his discharge and returned to Townsville where he remained until 2021.  During his time post Army, Mike served for some years as President of ‘Gunners North Queensland’. He worked for many years in the Aged Care industry with RSL Care then the Masonic Home in Townsville. For most of the last decade, Make has been a senior interviewer with ABS, doing ABS surveys through North and Far North Qld and NT.

No funeral details are known at this stage.

RIP Mike Dinnison

Peter Bruce

Obituary Resource Officer