I struggled for some weeks to write this column. It reminded me that our patrons often struggle to find the words to express what’s happening in their lives.
In August our local church marked the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan with a special ceremony in the Sunday liturgy. The brother of one of our parishioners died in that battle at the age of 21. It caused me to reflect how she had lost the companionship of her brother for most of her life and the pain she must feel. It’s not too hard for me to imagine, as my eldest brother was in the conscription lottery and I have three young adult sons.
A number of our patrons and their families suffer greatly from the effects of having been to conflict zones. You, our volunteers and supporters, not only have listening ears but more importantly listening hearts which reach out to share their pain. I see it in the empathy so evident in the faces and hands of our volunteers. I sense it in the heartfelt notes attached to donations. I feel it in the warmth of gifts delivered from all across Queensland for our patrons.
Rosies is looking to how we can better collaborate with other organisations whose specific mission is to assist ex-service men and women. Thank you for your continued efforts as part of the Rosies family and especially to our students and young volunteers.
In the Long Tan camp the soldiers erected a cross believing there is hope beyond the pain and death. Sometimes words aren’t necessary but the love of a friend is.
May I also take a moment to mark the 200th OMI celebration mass held on 8 August. What a wonderful milestone for our Ministry.

Andrew O’Brien
Rosies General Manager