About the Outer Eastern Melbourne Sub-Branch (OEM)

This page provides a brief overview on various aspects of the OEM Sub-branch.

 

* Right: Concert at Nui Dat 1971

Photo: Nui Dat


Background

The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (VVAA) was formed in late 1979, principally out of concern/frustration that health issues relating to the use of chemicals (ie Agent Orange) and Post Traumatic Stress were not being adequately addressed. The VVAA represents Vietnam Veterans, and their families, across Australia on issues arising from, and specific to, the Vietnam War.

The Victorian Branch of the VVAA operated as a State Branch for the first 10 or so years. When significant growth in membership occurred in the early 1990’s, State Sub-branches began to be established. Victoria's Sub-branches now number 28 and are located throughout Victoria.

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Outer Melbourne Sub-branch

The OEM Sub-branch was formed in early 1995 and, with a current membership approachong 350, has grown to be one of the largest Sub-branches within Australia. OEM covers a wide geographical area, including the Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges and the Outer Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. This area includes 10 State and 6 Federal electorates (in whole or part), as well as 20 RSL's.

OEM prides itself on being "The Family Friendly Sub-branch”. The Sub-branch mantra is “Vietnam Veterans helping and supporting fellow veterans”. A key focus is on social inclusion and the community engagement of our members. OEM places a very strong emphasis on 'grass roots' welfare, both 'proactive and reactive', and maintains a strong advocacy role on Veteran issues.

The OEM is led by a committed and hard working Executive and Committee.

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Photo: OEM Group Photo


OEM Focus

Health and Welfare
The OEM places the highest priority on the welfare of its members and encourages all Vietnam Veterans within the outer eastern Melbourne, Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley to consider joining. A six member Welfare Team (3 husband/wife couples) is very active in maintaining a program of personal contact, home and hospital visits, follow-ups etc (for those not so well). Proactive welfare is a real strength of OEM and participation rates among members is very high. See the "Health and Welfare" page for more information.

Events
We rate the importance of an active social activity program very highly. An on-going calendar of functions, events, outings etc builds the comradery within our Sub-branch and positively reinforces our focus on "proactive" welfare. Our large membership, and the diverse nature of the interests of our members, has resulted in the formation of a range of interest groups, one of the more popular being the caravanning club the "OEM Gypsies". We commemorate ANZAC Day and Vietnam Veterans Day, at our own functions as well as at a number of community locations throughout the region. For more information see the "Events" page. Our "Vietnam Wives Group" operates independently of OEM and enjoys the strong support of our many female members.

Advocacy
Representing OEM, our Executive maintains a strong advocacy role on Veteran Issues (inc. pension entitlements) at a local and state level.

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Organisation

OEM membership numbers are now in excess of 350 and growing rapidly. An OEMVVAA Committee (including 5 Executive Members) have responsibility for administering the operation of the OEM Sub-Branch. An Annual General Meeting is held early in the year at which time nominations for the Committee are voted upon by members.

Supporting the Committee are a number of members who take responsibility for key activities within the Sub-Branch. Volunteers also play a significant key role in the success of the Sub-Branch assisting in commemorative functions, badge week, sausage sizzles and a range of other activities through the course of the year. This "helping your mates" and "sharing of the workload" approach is much appreciated and actively encouraged by the Committee.

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Executive and Committee

EXECUTIVE MEMBERS COMMITTEE MEMBERS
President Amat (Aff) Binnoore BEM   Committeeman Roger Buckingham  
Vice-President Allan Small AFSM   Membership Officer Pat Young  
Deputy Vice-President Bob Farquhar  

Social Events Co-ordinator

Tony Zammit  
Secretary Maree Ferguson  

Committeeman

Reg Mayberry

 
Treasurer Stephen Shortis        

 

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