HomeNewsSecretary Speaks at CDA Reunion

Secretary Speaks at CDA Reunion

The Secretary was invited to speak the Clearance Divers Association Biennial Reunion formal dinner in Adelaide.  The Event was held at the Adelaide Convention Centre.  Here is a transcript of the speech;

“Thank you.

  • Vice Admiral Crane and Mrs Crane
  • CMDR Williams and Mrs Williams
  • Our National President Mr Larry Digney
  • The organising committee of the CDA Biennial Reunion
  • Ladies and Gentlemen!

I have been requested by the organising committee of this biennial reunion to give you all a very brief (and I do mean brief) overview of Navy Clearance Diver Trust.

Hopefully you have received a copy of a brochure outlining the Trust.

The Trust was an initiative of former MCDOs Mick Edwards and Paul Papalia who saw the need to better provide for the needs of Clearance Divers (past, and present) and their dependants, who become deceased, damaged or permanently disabled in, or as a result of, their service or training.

It was also seen as a means of engaging the broader community, particularly the business community, in supporting our divers and their families in a meaningful way.

The Trust is modelled on the SASRT and CWT which have been particularly successful in raising funds to support their personnel and their families.

Those business and community leaders who started the Trust wanted a structured, formal and professional means raising significant funds to support the Trust’s goals.  They particularly wanted a way to do so outside of the Defence “bureaucracy”.

By adopting this formal structure, particularly that of a registered charity, the Trust is in a much better position to attract large corporate donations and Government funding.

The Trust was officially formed in November 2011.

The Trusts Patron is;

  • The Hon Kim Beazley, Ambassador to the US.

It Trustees include;

  • Mrs Sue Murphy as Chair, CEO of the WA Corporation (largest utilities)
  • Mr Peter FitzSimons, Author, Journalist and Broadcaster
  • Mr Steve Quill, Accountant
  • Mr Gerard Woods, BA LLB, Lawyer with Allen Arthur Robinson
  • Mrs Denise Goldsworthy, BMet Hons, Company Director Telstra Business Woman of the Year)
  • Adjunct Professor Dr Mike McCarthy
  • Vice Admiral Russ Crane,
  • National President of the RAN Clearance Divers Association
  • The Commander RAN Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Task Group
  • Dr Simon Smith!
  • I have the privilege of serving as the Trust Secretary.

Since its inceptions the Trust has run three major events;

  • Perth Launch (June 2012)
  • Sydney Launch (November 2012)
  • Perth Breakfast (June 2013) at which Paul de Gelder spoke.

In the near future we will roll out;

  • The One Precent initiative (brochures on tables)
  • The sale of Chair “Dozen” of premium wines of exceptional quality
  • More breakfast functions in Sydney and Perth.

To date we have raised around $60,000.00.  Our goal is to raise at least $5,000,000.  This will enable the Trust to provide support from the interest earned on capital etc. we hold.
Fundraising efforts to date are hindered a little by the fact that all Trustees are volunteers. 

However, all should understand that this is beginning of a long journey.  The SASRT has taken 17 years to raise the funds it now manages.  A journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step.  Our Trust has taken its first steps.

Some have questioned the need for the Trust.

Remember the mission of the Trust:

“is a perpetual not-for-profit Trust fund which provides relief to current and former members of the Clearance Diving Branch of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and their dependants, who become deceased, damaged or disabled in, or as a result of, their service or training.
While the Commonwealth Government’s support for service personnel and their dependants has greatly improved over the past ten years there are always gaps (in that support).  The Trust aims to fill those gaps.

If you are unsure if those gaps exist simply ask those that have been injured or disabled working in;

  • TAG East
  • Afghanistan; or
  • During routine training.

Or ask those who are no longer serving, if claims for service related injuries are fully covered today.

There is a need for the Trust.  The Trust still has a long way to go to be in a financial position where it can effectively support Clearance Divers.  We encourage all to support the Trust and more importantly seek to engage the boarder community in its work.

Please feel free to come up ask question tonight or contact us online @ www.ncdt.org.au of via Facebook!

Thank you!