LSTAA AGM 2023 minutes – to read use link below
Brevet Parade – Added 09 May 2023- to view use link below
Brisbane ANZAC Day 2023 – to view use link below
LSTAA Constitution Draft Version 8 published 05/07/2023- to read use the link below
Notice all Vietnam Veterans - please read the following.........
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm unit Citation (VCGPU)
To all Locators, the Department of Defence has advised the following:-
In September 2018 an application was made to Defence Honours and Awards that those members of the Army who served at Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral should be awarded the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation (the VCGPU or Citation).
After much correspondence the application was eventually denied by Army and was then appealed to the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal. On 31 May 2022 the Tribunal advised that it had;
- Decided to recommend that all units and elements of the 1stAustralian Task Force – Vietnam be awarded the VCGPU: and
- Also recommend to the Minister that the Department of Defence be directed to consider whether there are any other units of the Australian Defence Force that should similarly be recommended to be awarded the VCGPU.
Advice has been received in a letter from the Hon Matt Keogh MP, the Minister for Defence Personnel, that the Department of Defence has recently completed the necessary research required to identify the relevant units, and consequently individuals, who are eligible to apply for and receive the Citation. Your attention is drawn to this welcome decision and to the following webpage on the Directorate of Honours and Awards website,
The link below specifies that service with Detachment 131 Div. Loc. Bty. 01 April 1966 – 19 August 1971 qualifies for the award Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
Information on making an application for the Citation, including those made by family members of deceased Vietnam veterans who may be eligible, can be found at
Keith is asking for someone willing to pursue having this citation awarded on a heritage basis to current members of 131 Bty. Meanwhile you are encouraged to apply using the above link.
Locator’s service recognized.
The King’s Birthday 2023 Honours List recognised and celebrated 1,192 recipients, including awards in the Order of Australia (General and Military Divisions), meritorious awards and recognition for distinguished and conspicuous service. Of those to receive awards this year were former Locators :
Rieny Anthony Nieuwenhof OAM for services to veterans and their families, and to the community. Detachment 131 Div Loc Bty Feb 71 till Aug 71. Geelong and District Sub Branch, Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia.
- President, since 2013.
- Vice President, 2012-2013.
- Life Member, since 2017.
- Leader, Vietnam Veterans’ Avenue of Honor Restoration, and Memorial Park, 2015-2017
- Supporter, Geelong Sub-branch, the Returned and Services League of Australia, current.
- Chairman, Geelong Surf Coast Veterans’ Centre Committee of Management, 2013-2017
- Inaugural Chairman, Community ANZAC Day Dawn Service Committee, Eastern Beach Geelong, since 2017.
- Member, National Servicemen’s Association, current.
- Member, Geelong RSL Club, current.
- Member, Portarlington – St Leonards RSL Club, current.
Geelong Cemeteries Trust
- Trustee, since 2017.
- Co-Chair, Community Advisory Committee, and Gisborne Community Advisory
Saint Ignatius College, Geelong
- Speaker, Anzac Day Commemorations, current.
- Director of Mission, 2008-2010.
- Assistant Director of Mission, 2011.
- Religious Education Teacher, 2008-2011.
- Deputy Principal, St Francis Xavier College, Berwick Campus, 2002-2008.
- Principal, Presentation College, Moe, 1995-2002.
- Deputy Principal, St Joseph’s College, Newtown, 1984-1995.
- Religious Education Coordinator, Mercedes College, Adelaide, 1978-1984.
- Teacher, Parade College, Bundoora, 1975-1978.
- Teacher, Watsonia South Primary School, 1972-1975.
- Headmaster, Weerangout Primary School, 1969-1972
Lieutenant Colonel Shamus Michael Armstrong CSC for outstanding achievement as Commanding Officer 20th Regiment Royal Australian Artillery. Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong’s inspirational leadership, championing of Army modernisation, and deep targeting and surveillance expertise have greatly advanced Tactical Un-crewed Aerial Systems capabilities for Army and the Joint Force. Under COVID-19 restrictions and heavy domestic operations, he established a unit culture based on professional mastery and high readiness. He also deftly informed introduction into service planning for Army’s new Tactical Un-crewed Aerial System and was central to contemporising Army’s Information Warfare concepts of operation. Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong’s was Commanding Officer of 20th Regiment RAA from Jan. 2020 to Dec. 2022.
Lieutenant Colonel Wendy Jayne Wheadon CSC for outstanding achievement in the application of exceptional skills and judgment as principal logistics advisor and Brigade Aviation Maintenance Officer, 16th Aviation Brigade. Lieutenant Colonel Wheadon has displayed exceptional technical skills and judgement in aviation fleet management planning and industry engagement directly resulting in increased Tiger and Taipan helicopter serviceability and operational preparedness. The application of her engineering expertise and risk-based analysis of technical data has been pivotal to the timely and positive resolution of complex maintenance issues resulting in increased aviation support to the Australian Army, Australian Defence Force and Australian community. Lieutenant Colonel. Wheadon was the Senior Maintenance Manager in 20th Regiment from Jan. 2014 to Dec. 2015 and then as BC CSS Bty from Jan. 2016 to Dec. 2017.
Aviation capability combined- Army newspaper
Annual NSW Locator's Christmas Reunion 2023
1. The usual informal Christmas NSW Locator's Reunion will be held at the - Panania Diggers Club, Childes St, Panania, 2213, on Sunday, 17th December 2023, commencing at 1145 am. All members are invited to attend. The normal finger food will be provided.
2. A report on the current activities of the Association and 20th Regiment will be presented by Joe Kaplun OAM, KSJ, CMC, JP.
3. RSVP re numbers to Joe Kaplun via phone/email to Mobile: 040 774 1473 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“From little things big things grow”
With permission from the UAV Group on Facebook, follows is brief story of LSTAA members and younger veterans that are now involved in Australia’s Civil UAS Industry.
“Last week was the AAUS annual RPAS in Australian Skies Conference in Canberra. This event is the main industry event for RPAS vendors, SMEs and business to come together and discuss and share experience on RPAS current and future operations and opportunity (civilian space).
We took the opportunity to get a picture of all current and past 20th Regiment RAA members in attendance at the Gala dinner.
I hope everyone sees this image as an example of “there is life outside” Defence, and our skills and knowledge are very valuable.”
From left to right…Andrew Crowe, Dave Hickey, Keirin Joyce, Phil Grieve, Sue Osborne, Daniel Jachimowicz, James Finch, Phil Swinsburg & Carly Maritnez
Posted by Phil Swinsberg….. ”Great post Sue. Was humbling to think where this all started and the lives that have been touched and new careers created. Awesome work.”
Captain-General of the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery
Head of Regiment Order of the Day By Brigadier D.J. Hill, AM
I have today received a message from The Master Gunner St James’s Park informing me that His Majesty King Charles III has agreed to become Captain-General of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, succeeding in the role from his Mother, Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
His Majesty will also fulfil this role for the Regiments of Royal Australian, Royal Canadian and Royal New Zealand Artillery. This is a great honour and continues a tradition established by His Majesty’s Grandfather, King George VI, who at a dinner at Woolwich in 1950 expressed his desire to be Captain-General Royal Artillery rather than Colonel-in-Chief, a change in title that was effected in January, 1951. This also revived a rank originally dating from the 15th Century.
The Royal Regiment looks forward to establishing a close relationship with our new Captain- General as the Gunners look to a brave and exciting future.