Please let me introduce myself and explain my reason for contacting you.  My name is Russell Paten and I am the Vice-President of the Military Historical Society of Australia (MHSA). This year, MHSA is hosting a Military Spectacular at the Caloundra RSL on the Sunshine Coast from 14 – 16 October. Over two days and two nights, a cohort of high profile military speakers who have served their country will relate personal experiences of their service and provide insights into the future of the ADF.  I have attached a brief summary of the event to give you and your members additional detail regarding the Spectacular. I am contacting you directly to ask if you could distribute the details of this event to your membership to advise them of it and to allow them the opportunity to participate. All  surplus proceeds from the event will be donated to veteran welfare and interest groups.

The website for the event is:


Russell Paten

Vice-President MHSA

0427 207 307


The inaugural Australian Military History Spectacular will shine the spotlight on one of the most demanding periods in our nation’s defence history. In a vibrant three-day extravaganza on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast the Caloundra RSL’s Function Centre and Memorial Gardens will showcase this first-time event from 14th to 16th October. Not seen like this before, untold stories of our military activities since the Vietnam War will honour and commemorate our veterans, past and still serving. You will not have heard these stories before. And there is much more.

 “The Australian people found a new way to love their Navy, Army and Air Force … ordinary men and women, performing with great professionalism, good humour and exquisite compassion.” General Sir Peter Cosgrove (his Memoir p.131)

Eighteen astounding speakers; military police attack dogs; engineer explosive detection dogs; military band of 1st Regiment Royal Australian Artillery entertaining with pop, rock and military music; big guns, small guns and specialist vehicles; the Shadow 200 mega-drone; 155mm artillery gun; defence contractor exhibits; books authored by those who did the job; dinners with keynote speakers; photos and videos of the actions.

A concentrated program of activities and events will bring our recent living history to light to commemorate our service men and women’s courage, professionalism, resilience, innovation and pride. From the Function Centre indoors to the Memorial Gardens, personal story presentations of those who served, demonstrations of military equipment and performances will showcase how the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has lived the past and is preparing for the future. It will trace the key changes that have shaped our society and show how Australia’s national security has evolved in the period between distinctly different wars. These are real stories, not media selectivity. More expansive than a Military Tattoo.

From peacekeeping in the Africas, Europe, the Middle East and Pacific, to conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, nursing officers, doctors, infantry and special forces, naval and submarine officers, dog handlers and airmen will step forward painting a colourful picture and adding vital knowledge about our military heritage. The real-world experiences of veterans who have shaped our recent history will be captured through professional audio-visual recordings ensuring their service and stories are preserved for future generations with dignity.

The fascinating line-up includes the first female Executive Officer of a submarine; the female General who commanded a mixed force of 600 UN police and military in Cyprus; the Captain of HMAS Darwin in the Persian Gulf; the infantry force commander and female doctor awarded the Medal of Gallantry in Rwanda; the Bush Tucker Man; a Commando officer; the RAAF officer supervising the extraction from Afghanistan who was ‘last man out’; and many more.? Their stories have rarely – if ever – been told in public but are crucial to our military heritage.

The Military Spectacular will give locals and visitors alike a real understanding of Australia’s modern wartime heritage through the eyes of those who lived and created our history. This is an ambitious event being organised by the Military Historical Society of Australia’s Qld Division, a not-for-profit association. All proceeds will be donated to a variety of Veteran welfare and assistance groups.

TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE where you can get. early bird specials and group discounts. Enquiries can be directed to the Convenor, Neil Dearberg at [email protected] Trade and exhibitor enquiries are welcome.



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