CITATION FOR LIFE MEMBERSHP
Mr Graeme Ware
Citation for Life Membership and Gold Badge
NAME: Graeme WARE
ADDRESS: PO BOX 93, FINCH HATTON QLD 4756
CITIZENS AUXILIARY MEMBER NUMBER: 9902837
NOMINATING SUB BRANCH: Finch Hatton
DISTRICT: Pioneer – Fitzroy – Highlands
MEMBERSHIP DETAILS: Joined 26/02/2010
Finch Hatton Sub Branch
Treasurer Citizen’s Auxiliary – 2010 – Current
Graeme is heavily involved in delivering welfare to members of Finch Hatton Sub Branch, giving many weeks of his time annually as well as personal equipment/materials to try and improve the quality of life of those in need. An example of this was when a member was terminal – a cancer patient determined to remain in his own home for the remainder of his life. Graeme negotiated the donation of a chairlift from another community member and installed the chairlift himself, making necessary modifications to the member’s steps to accommodate for this. Further, he is/has been active in visiting those hospitalised for any reason over the years and makes himself available to assist them and/or their family as required upon their return home. Graeme is also active in supporting members on a regular basis by simply ‘being there’ when a member needs company, a listening ear or more practical support. He actively promotes acceptance of all members and works hard to ensure that all members’ service is valued in the sub branch and the wider community. He initiated and built a new bar in the sub branch hall honouring Vietnam veterans, complete with artwork and the framed service photographs of our two Vietnam veterans on display, working to have an official opening before one of them sadly passed away. Graeme arranged for that member to attend and participate in the grand opening and the celebration of his service. The physical and psychological welfare of the sub branch’s members is of vital importance to Graeme, and it drives his other actions. This year he initiated and spent several weeks assisting a builder in extending the RSL Hall deck and roof in response to the growing profile of the sub branch and associated increase in numbers attending events held there. All of this is, of course, volunteered time and energy.
Welfare activities have to be supported by fundraising and Graeme, longtime Treasurer
for the sub branch, is central to all fundraising activities every year. Many years ago, he designed and built a portable display for the sub branch’s memorabilia stall – with a member – that fits into the back of his ute. He also mans this stall twice a year for 2 full days at a time at Marian Town Centre, as well as on Show Day in the Pioneer Valley, selling memorabilia online as well, at different times in the year. Additionally, Graeme conducts raffles at regular intervals throughout the year as well as Christmas ham raffles in the leadup to the festive season to support the sub branch’s fulfillment of the objects of the RSL. With Containers for Change becoming part of the landscape, Graeme collects all containers from the sub branch and, twice weekly, Pinnacle Hotel, processing the bottles, plastics and cans and delivering them to the nearest depot which until recently, meant a 150km round trip every 4 weeks or so using his own vehicle and trailer. (He is grateful for the opening of a depot in Gargett!) This activity is even more noteworthy because Graeme is collecting these containers not just for the sub branch, but for 122 Army Cadet Unit which receives the proceeds of the cans collected but who were having trouble getting out to Pinnacle to collect them. Graeme offered to do this for them. Sometimes welfare and fundraising overlap and an example of this is the inaugural Rally Against Veteran Suicide event the sub branch hosted, where Graeme worked in the refreshments tent for the afternoon and evening, getting up the next morning to cook breakfast for those veterans and families who camped the night.
Graeme’s family history is at the core of his drive to work for Finch Hatton RSL Sub Branch to make it the most responsive it can be to the ex-service personnel who call it home. His father, Corporal Norman Albert Ware (QX55402) served in Papua New Guinea in World War II and his mother, Laura Grace Ware, was a foundation member of the Finch Hatton Women’s Auxiliary all those years ago. Graeme’s strong links to the community have seen the number of members and auxiliary members grow over the years. His ‘reach’ goes beyond Hatton though, with people, young and more mature, joining from further afield simply because they are drawn by his passion for the sub branch and his genuine interest in them as people. They also see evidence of his dedication to continuous improvement in the delivery of welfare and friendship, and want to be a part of such a positive atmosphere, where there’s always a conversation to be had, a laugh to be shared and everyone welcomed – especially family members. He not only works on projects for the sub branch, but supports those who have their own vision for respecting and preserving our community’s military history. An example of this is a project to rehome the 88 year old Owen’s Creek Community Hall that is in its embryonic stages but which Graeme is assisting with as much as he is able, providing guidance and advice, and also working actively to find land to remove the hall to, as its current position is not secure. This hall has a strong military history, despite this not being reflected in its name. It was the place enlisted personnel were farewelled from in the community and the place that their safe return was celebrated.
Other Relevant Remarks:
Graeme’s local knowledge and contacts were also intrinsic to the sub branch’s success in completing a 2018 major project that commemorated those who served in World War I, according to the sub branch’s Honour Roll. He was also able to find a number of family members, descendants of these soldiers, so that they could be invited to the unveiling of the Honour Gallery in an event staged at the hall. Additionally, he was one of the auxiliary members who donated their time to assist the builder in creating the space to hang the gallery.
Sub Branch President Comments
“Graeme Ware is the most hardworking, diligent treasurer and auxiliary member and I was unhesitating in my endorsement of his nomination.” Tammy Sprott 4.6.2022