True Blue August 2023

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True Blue Magazine

The United Nations & Overseas Policing Association of Australia, (UNOPAA) is an Australian incorporated, non-profit organisation, whose members are both serving or retired Police Officers from Police Forces throughout Australia, who have served or are serving with United Nation Peacekeeping Forces or AFP International Policing Operations throughout the world! TRUE BLUE is provided to its members throughout Australia and worldwide to where Australian Police are serving. Our magazine contains welfare, legislative and social information relevant to the well-being and camaraderie of UNOPAA members who have, or are serving in Australia’s National Interest.

Aims of the UNOPAA:

1. To maintain and foster the memory of UNOPAA members killed whilst serving with United Nations Forces or Overseas Policing operations.

2. To provide welfare, legal and financial support where and when appropriate to members.

3. To promote social occasions such as Reunions, etc., including United Nations and Anzac Day Marches.

4. To pursue and lobby industrial, legal and political avenues, when necessary in order to improve the welfare and industrial benefits to our members.

We acknowledge the assistance of Countrywide Austral Pty Ltd, who, in conjunction with the UNOPAA, have made the publication and distribution of ‘TRUE BLUE’ magazine possible! Your financial contribution to the publication of our magazine is greatly appreciated.

Views and opinions expressed in this journal are not necessarily those of the United Nations & Overseas Policing Association of Australia, the editor, the publisher or printer. “True Blue” is published by Countrywide Austral Pty Ltd, Melbourne from funds supplied by advertisers in this magazine. Please support our advertisers and their products.

Rod Walker

True Blue Editor


Mobile: 0411 953 966

UNOPAA Contacts

National President

Mr Mick Travers APM

Mobile: 0418 297 086


National Vice President

Mr Rod Walker

Tel: 0411 953 966


National Secretary/Treasurer

Mr Peter McDonald APM

28A Dinah Parade, Keilor East Vic 3033

Mobile: 0418 131 352


Australian Capital Territory State President: Dale Cooper RFD PO Box 7099 Karabar NSW 2620

Mobile: 0418 266 033


New South Wales

Acting Branch President: Dale Cooper


Acting State President: Paul van Gemert

Mobile: 0431 963 016


Queensland State President: John Walker APM

Unit 230, 96 Village Way, Little Mountain QLD 4551

Mobile 0474 157 982


South Australia State President: Garry Casey

40 Yarrabee Road, Greenhill SA 5140

Tel: 08 8390 3568

Mobile: 0427 188 449


Western Australia State President: Darcy Boylan

21 Templemore Drive Heathridge WA 6027

Tel: 08 9402 0030

Mobile: 0408 120 299


Northern Territory President: Allan Mitchell

5 Eureka Court Anula NT 0812

Tel: 08 8927 2676

Mobile: 0417 804 546


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Ph: 03 9937 0200


True Blue August 2023 2 5 From the Editor’s desk 6 Darwin Reunion well on track 9 60 Years of UNFICYP: An invitation to attend 10 RAMSI - 20 Years on 12 Anzac Day 2023 13 EUROPOL hosts Ukraine National Police photo exhibition “The war through the eyes of the Police” 14 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 16 Jordan International Police Training Centre Medal 17 Accepting and wearing of foreign awards by Australians 18 Cyprus: The Island of Love 26 Bali and Indonesia Bombings 36 Ex-Service Organisations (ESO) Forum 39 Unveiling of the Tasmania Police Overseas Service Honour Board 40 Letter to Minister 41 Response on behalf of Minister 42 Major General Cheryl Pearce AM CSC 43 The Are They Triple OK? Podcast 46 Vale 47 Membership Renewal or Application 48 Merchandise Contents Cover
Photo: 2024 Marks 60 years since Australian Police first deployed to UNFICYP

Do we have your Email Address?

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UNOPAA maintains a membership database and communicates with its members from time to time by email. If you haven’t been receiving these communications, it may be that we don’t have your email address, or it is out of date. If uncertain, or it appears we don’t have it, please send your email address to the Secretary, Peter McDonald, at 26 9 36 14 42 39

From the Editor’s desk

A lot has happened since the last issue of True Blue and there’s plenty to look forward to in the next 12 months.

April through to July is a busy period for commemoration services. In this issue there are articles and photos of ANZAC Day and International United Nations Peacekeepers Day. This year we were honoured to have the Australian Chief of Defence, General Angus Campbell AO, DSC join us for the International Day of UN Peacekeepers commemorative service held at the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial in Canberra. The following day, I represented the UNOPAA at an Ex-Service Organisations (ESO) Forum in Sydney. I have provided an overview of the outcomes of that Forum including what it’s all about.

July 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the first deployment to the Solomon Islands – the mission known as The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). Read the article in this issue.

2024 marks the 60th anniversary of the first deployment of Australian Police to Cyprus (UNFICYP). There are significant events being planned for this milestone. The events will not only be held in Australia but in Cyprus. The UNOPAA have been invited to attend the celebrations in March 2024. We are currently liaising with the Australian High Commissioner to Cyprus who has been fantastic in keeping us up to date with the progress of the proposed events. The High Commissioner has recently received an invitation from the SRSG of UNFICYP for the upcoming celebrations which has been shared with us. The invitation is extended to former Peacekeepers to UNFICYP to attend. If this heightens your desire/wish to travel back to Cyprus

– pencil it in your diaries, let us know and see the article in this issue.

Don’t forget the UNOPAA Conference and Reunion in Darwin in May 2024. If you haven’t advised Allan Mitchell of your intention to attend as yet – please do so ASAP to enable him and the organising team to properly plan for events. If you attended the last Conference and Reunion in Darwin in 2011, you know that Allan and his team really arrange a great event. See Allan’s latest newsletter in this issue. Also in this issue you will find articles in relation to:

• UNOPAA’s correspondence to the Veteran Affairs Minister and his reply re the new ‘all in one’ MRCA legislation.

• An article from Penny McGuire White, (widow of Ernie McGuire White). Penny tells us of her time as a teacher in Cyprus and how she met Ernie over there and eventually married him.

• One of our members submitted a request to the Australian government for recognition of the Jordan International Police Training Centre (JIPTC) Medal. He was successful in his submission and the JIPTC Medal is now included on the approved Foreign Awards list.

• The UNOPAA sponsored the research and construction of the Tasmania Police Overseas Service Honour Board. See the article on the unveiling of the board.

• We also have another extremely interesting article from Marzio Da Re providing an overview of the Bali and Jakarta bombings.

There’s plenty more to read in this issue so until next time – bye.

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Hello from cold Canberra, either I’m getting old or it’s getting colder here (probably both).

Darwin Reunion well on track

27-31 MAY 2024

Planning for the Darwin Reunion in May, 2024 is well underway, with an additional day added.

The event will focus on Wednesday 29 May, designated the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. On this day, we will hold the march and church service, followed by a midday reception at Parliament House. Communications and updates will continue through our electronic newsletter, sent out on a roughly monthly basis. Our mailing list was obtained from our national membership database. We need to get to those who may not be members of UNOPAA but would still like to come. It is not a requirement to be a member to attend. Please let us know if you are not receiving them and we will add you to the list. By the time this

edition of True Blue goes to print, there will also be a Facebook page dedicated to the reunion, where you’ll be able to add photos, stories etc - should be fun.

Should you come?

You may say, I’ve been to Darwin before, with some having attended the previous two reunions, hosted in Darwin in 1998 and 2011, but Darwin has not stood still, and you’ll be surprised. I remember at the welcome function in 2011, we were shown a computer ‘fly-over’ of the then recently announced $50 billion, Inpex LNG project in the harbour. This has now been completed. The Waterfront has continued to expand, and you’ll be

overwhelmed for choice for things to do and restaurants to hold your smaller contingent get togethers. And the weather of course.

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We like to say, ‘same, but different ’, with our planning considerations which will encompass a welcome event, official march and church service, a day trip and the reunion dinner.

We are still actively encouraging those members that served in East Timor in the early 2000s. For many, this may be their first time returning to Darwin since their service there. Our preferred hotel, now called the Darwin Travelodge Resort, is the hotel where many of the ET contingents stayed prior to deployment - with a refurbishment since then. The hotel has plenty of break-out areas where we can catch up for a quiet drink and tell a yarn or two.

Discussions have been held with the Department of Veterans Affairs with a view to secure funding through their ‘Saluting Their Service’ grants. Donations

to assist the reunion have been received nationally from UNOPAA as well as many of the State branches. These all help to reduce costs and ensure we present an event worthy of your travel to Darwin.

The Cyprus Community of the NT are keen to support us with an event, and discussions with the East Timor Consul General here in Darwin as well as the Portuguese Timorese Assn in the NT will ensure their involvement.

We just need to fit it all in. Rest assured, we will leave sufficient free time to catch your breath and for smaller get-togethers.

Thank you to all our members who have responded positively to our reunion with confirmation of their attendance or expressions of interest. Please continue to let us know, it’s important for our planning process.

What to do now:

• Note the added day in your diary - Monday, 27 May to Friday 31 May 2024.

• Plan to add a day or two either side for additional sightseeing.

• Continue to confirm, tell us you’re interested, and not yet confirmed or even if you’re not comingthis helps us enormously.

• Pass this information on to all your mates and suggest they come along.

Contact us with any questions at all.

We look forward to seeing you all in May 2024.

Allan Mitchell for the 2024 Reunion Committee 0417 804 546


E. darwinreunion2024@gmail. com. – preferred

7 True Blue August 2023
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60 Years of UNFICYP


The UNOPAA has received an invitation to attend the 60th Anniversary of UNFICYP celebrations in Cyprus during March 2024.

The invitation is open to all former UNFICYP Peacekeepers. If you are interested in travelling to Cyprus and attending these celebrations, please contact the UNOPAA President (Mick Travers) via email at: We will need your responses/intention to attend before the end of October this year.

From your responses we will go back to the Australian High Commission in Cyprus with the names of those attending to enable official passes etc to be issued and to source appropriate accommodation.

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RAMSI20 Years on

In April 2003, the then Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Sir Allan Kemakeza, made an urgent request for international assistance.

In response, the countries of the Pacific region, through the Pacific Islands Forum, agreed to support the formation of a regional assistance mission to be led and funded by Australia and New Zealand with membership from all Forum countries.

The Mission would be enabled under the Biketawa Declaration, which Forum Leaders had agreed to in 2000. Under the Declaration, Forum countries could form such a mission and send it into a member country upon the request of the affected nation.

In June 2003, Sir Allan flew to Australia to formally receive an offer of assistance. Together with the Solomon Islands.

The Forum countries then agreed on the Mission’s mandate to address civil unrest and lawlessness, economic decline, corruption and a dramatic drop in service delivery and government administrative standards. This formed the basis of the RAMSI Treaty, signed on 24 July 2003, which allowed for the deployment of police and military forces to Solomon Islands.

On 17 July 2003, the Solomon Islands National Parliament unanimously passed the Facilitation of International Assistance Act 2003, which provided the authority under Solomon Islands domestic law for RAMSI’s activities.

Shortly after the first rays of dawn struck the tarmac of Solomon Islands Henderson International Airport on Thursday 24 July 2003, soldiers, police and civilians from Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu began to arrive in their hundreds.

Eventually amassing over two thousand personnel, these security forces came not in anger but rather as friends determined to assist a neighbour in need. In what was to become one of the most successful experiments in regional cooperation, RAMSI –the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands – was born.

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Commander PPF (Ben McDevitt) with munitions
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Kit being issued Militia Leader (Satan) being arrested –note the reflections in glasses Rod Walker ‘Ramp Riding’ on a Caribou Arrival at Henderson Airport – Honiara Prime Minister Howard farewelling RAMSI personnel 1st Wave of AFP prior to deployment The 1st Participating Police Force (PPF) Executive Team Weapons Surrender The destruction of weapons surrendered or seized

ANZAC Day 2023

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Canberra - ANZAC Day 2023 Victoria - Ken Hamilton & Peter Vaughan Victoria - Ken Hamilton, Peter McDonald & Peter Vaughan

EUROPOL hosts Ukraine National Police photo exhibition “The war through the eyes of the Police”

On the one year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Europol has hosted the opening of a photo exhibition on behalf of Ukraine National Police titled “The war through the eyes of the Police, in The Hague, Netherlands.

The exhibition marks the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

EUROPOL Executor Director Catherine De Bolle along with the Ukraine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Netherlands and the Swedish Ambassador to the Kingdom of Netherlands, spoke at the opening in front of a large gathering of EUROPOL Liaison Officers and staff. Sweden was represented as the current Presidency country for the EU Commission.

“Exactly one year ago today, Russian forces began their unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. In an instant, the spectre of war appeared in Europe once again, and Ukrainian families were plunged into peril, uncertainty, and danger. The outbreak of conflict makes the work of law enforcement even more indispensable; new threats face residents, new opportunities arise for organised crime, and communities look for support in times of despair. It is far beyond the normal call of duty, doing the utmost to police and protect while the threat of injury, abduction and imprisonment by invading forces looms large. The work of Ukraine's law enforcement in the last 12 months is full of examples of heroism and communitymindedness. The Ukrainian National Police wants to show Europol's staff and visitors

exactly what this type of police work looks like”.

The intent of the exhibition is to show the real impacts of the daily work experienced by members of the Ukraine National Police.

The images give a true reflection of the ongoing challenge of policing in a war zone. The images serve as a powerful reminder that there are no winners in war!

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Street damage from a Russian missile Evacuation of a 7 year old and her family who had not left their basement for five months under constant shelling EUROPOL Executive Director, Catherine De Bolle, opens the exhibition Evacuation of a pensioner A Russian Shell inside a residential building in Kramatorsk

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

29th May 2023

National Service held at the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial, Canberra.

On a cool but bright clear sky morning approximately 30 Peacekeepers gathered at the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial in Canberra to commemorate the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

This year we were honoured to be joined by General Angus Campbell AO DSC - Chief of the Defence Force, Acting Assistant Commissioner Jo Cameron (Chief of Staff) - Representing the AFP Commissioner, Mr. Damian Cardona Onses - Director United Nations Information Centre, High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus - H.E. Mr Antonis Sammoutis, President of the Royal Commonwealth Society - Hon Prof Matthew Neuhaus, Director Australian War Memorial - Mr Matt

Anderson PSM, Chairperson of the ‘Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans' Association – Mr Ian Lindgren, Representing NSW Police - Chief Superintendent Toby Lindsay and Representing POSA (Victoria) - Mr Wayne Bastin.

The service was hosted by the UNOPAA with ACT Branch President Dale Cooper MC-ing the event. General Campbell gave the occasional address while Mr Onses delivered the UN Secretary General’s message.

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General Angus Campbell AO DSC, Chief of the Defence Force delivers the occasional address Group photo of the attendees
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UNOPAA President Mick Travers APM and UNOPAA Chaplain Steve Neuhaus AFD greet General Campbell AO DSC AFP Chief of Staff, Acting Assistant Commissioner Jo Cameron APM with CDF General Campbell AO DSC, Rev Steve Heuhaus RFD and Captain Alice Dunn (Aide-de-Camp to the Chief of the Defence Force) UNOPAA President Mick Travers APM delivers the invocation with UNOPAA ACT Branch President, Dale Cooper RFD in the background

Jordan International Police Training Centre Medal

15 December 2021


In 2005, I was deployed as an Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer on a AusAID mission to Jordan to assist in the rebuilding of the post-war Iraqi Police Service (IPS). As a result of this deployment, I was awarded an official ‘Kingdom of Jordan’ award, namely the ‘Jordan International Police Training Centre (JIPTC) ’ Medal. I received the medal at a formal AFP Investiture Ceremony at Government House, in Perth on 20 August 2007. The JIPTC medal is not currently recognised on the Australian Foreign Awards Register.

JIPTC Mission

Following the end of the Iraq War in 2003, Australia received a request from the United Kingdom who was sponsor of the post-war Iraq ‘Coalition Provisional Training Authority ’ (CPAT). The request was for the deployment of two Australian police trainers as part of an international training team to help re-build and establish a new Iraqi Police Service (IPS).

The international training team comprised 316 police officers

from 17 Coalition Nations, as part of a broader post-war capacity building mission across Iraq. The Coalition’s objective was to train 32,000 members of the IPS to provide security in urban areas throughout the country. In order to meet the IPS capacity required, two academies were established, namely the Baghdad Police College in Baghdad, Iraq; and the Jordan International Police Training Centre (JIPTC), located at Muwwaqqar, Jordan.

As a result, under AusAID funding and direction, two AFP officers were deployed to JIPTC in May 2004 and a total of 16 AFP officers served on rotation until April 2007.

The post-war security risk at JIPTC, was deemed to be a ‘very high’ level of concern. Inducting criminals into the IPS was a continual problem, as well as infiltration by intending terrorists or insurgents. At the time, there was sufficient evidence that such persons indeed were among the ranks of the IPS recruits and security provisions at JIPTC reflected that level of ‘very high ’ risk AFP instructors encountered.

The JIPTC Mission was an integral part of broader international coalition post-war contributions in Iraq to establish stability, strengthen governance, build institutional capacity, train civil servants and police, support key economic reforms and continue support through multilateral agencies.


To recognise the contribution that the JIPTC Mission was providing to the re-build of post-war Iraq, the King of Jordan, His Royal Highness King Abdullah II, authorised the ‘Jordan International Police Training Centre (JIPTC)’ Medal on 6 September 2006. The JIPTC medal is an official ‘Kingdom of Jordan’ award that was awarded to both Jordanian and Coalition police instructors, including the 16 AFP police.

On the 20th of August 2007, an award investiture ceremony was held at Government House in Perth, hosted by the AFP. At that ceremony, myself and another police officer were formally awarded the ‘Jordan

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International Police Training Centre (JIPTC)’ medal.

Guidelines for Accepting and Wearing Foreign Awards

(Cth Gazette S159, 2012)

The circumstances surrounding the offer and acceptance of the JIPTC medal appears to adequately meet the requirements set out in the Commonwealth “Guidelines concerning the acceptance and wearing of foreign honours and awards by Australians (approved by Her Majesty The Queen August 2012) ”, namely;

• The 16 Australian Police Officers deployed to JIPTC were on “Government service” (clause 1)

• The JIPTC medal was authorised and offered by the Head of State, the King of Jordan, His Royal Highness King Abdullah II and

Australia at the time maintained Diplomatic relations through the Australian Embassy in Amman (clause 2)

• The JIPTC medal was accepted by the Australian Federal Police in 2007, who presented the award at a formal investiture ceremony held at Government House in Western Australia. The JIPTC medal is listed on the AFP website as an internal award. (It is unclear if the AFP sought formal approval with the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat in the Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General, prior to the 2012 Guidelines coming into force and subject to clause 5).

• As an Australian citizen who was given formal permission to accept and wear the JIPTC

medal by the AFP, I am seeking approval for the foreign award and my name to be placed on the Register subject to clause 6 and 11 of the Guidelines (clause 6 & 11).


I am no longer a member of any Government agency and have received no other Australian Honours & Awards recognition for the Iraq JIPTC Mission (apart from certificates).15 As a member of the general public, I request that this official ‘Kingdom of Jordan’ JIPTC medal that I received be added to the Foreign Awards Register, and that my name be included alongside on that register in accordance with the Foreign Awards Guidelines.


Accepting and wearing of foreign awards by Australians

Australian Citizens may accept and wear foreign awards if they are on the below schedule of approved countries and awards.

The Guidelines concerning the acceptance and wearing of foreign honours and awards by Australians outline the rules and process around whether foreign awards are able to be formally accepted. Under these guidelines, the Governor-General, on the advice of the Prime Minister, determines whether Australian Citizens can accept and wear foreign awards. Awards that may be accepted and worn are listed in the below schedule.

Schedule of Approved Countries and Awards

(as at 12 April 2023)


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The Island Of Love

Penny McGuire White, (widow of Ernie McGuire White) relates her time in Cyprus and how she met her future husband.

After just reading the article in the latest issue of ‘True Blue’ I thought that I would write a few words about my time in Cyprus and meeting my husband there.

My name is Penny McGuire White, and I am the widow of Ernie McGuire White [ Ernie White]. I was the first English Teacher to marry an Australian UN who she met in Cyprus.

In 1964 I applied to several places to get a position teaching overseas and was interviewed for, and offered places by, an independent school in the West Indies, a British Colonial school in Swaziland, an RAF school in Singapore and a British Army school in Famagusta, Cyprus.

I decided not to follow the West Indies one because the retiring teacher had attended the same Teacher Training college as I had, and I did not want to be expected to follow her lead but to go my own way. My Dad who was a retired colonial Office employee advised against the Swaziland offer in case I should end up being based in a village miles away from a town and, as I had spent my teenage years in Hong Kong, I did not go for the Singapore position because I thought that the life would be similar to what I had already experienced. Fortunately for me I was offered the Cypriot position.

In 1964 the troubles between Greece and Turkey had just begun. Before that time every teaching position

advertised for Cyprus had received ten applications and three people were interviewed. After the start of ‘’The Troubles’’ hardly anyone was applying for positions there.

The five teachers who successfully applied for the Primary schools in the Famagusta area that year all had family experiences of working abroad. As mentioned already, my father was retired from the Colonial Office, two girl’s fathers were retired Army officers, another girl’s father was already working as a civilian on the Signal Base there and the fifth girl was on a ‘’working around the world trip’’ who was happy to work anywhere. [She ended up marrying a Farmer in WA.]

Also, at that time, Officer’s wives who were teachers were being

employed to teach in the Service schools. This was not usually done because of the possibility of conflict between a teacher and the parents of a problem child - which might cause interaction involving the Commanding Officer.

On the day we left London we met somewhere in the city, but I have forgotten where, to be taken by coach to Stanstead where we boarded an Army plane, and I was interested to find that we were seated in alphabetical order and that the seats faced backwards. I was sitting next to the girl I had met at the conference that we had attended after our appointments had been finalized. It was a Turboprop plane and took nearly all night to get to Nicosia.

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I was met at Nicosia airport by the teacher at my school who had been delegated to that task. He bought with him a thermos of cordial drink which was very welcome. Nobody came to meet my new friend so the teacher from my school offered her a lift to the hotel that I had been booked into.

When we arrived at the hotel, we found that it was being used as the HQ for the Australian UNs. I had been booked into the room next to the one that they used as their ‘’HQ’’ that overlooked the outdoor cinema over the road. Nothing had been booked for the other girl. When the hotel owner found out which schools we were teaching in he put her in what was booked to be my room

as his son was going out with the daughter of the Headmaster of her school. I was put in a room that looked out onto the hotel roof and it shared a bathroom with another room that was occupied by two French Canadian soldiers who were over on R and R from the Kyrenia area. To add to the situation the toilet’s flush was broken so it had to be flushed by tipping a bucket of water down it after use. Fortunately, I had spent the last two years of my schooling staying at my grandma’s cottage in Cornwall so was used to this type of existence so that did not perturb me.

When we went to lunch, we met another teacher from my school, Mrs D, who had been teaching in

Famagusta before the troubles and had just returned. She was also staying at the hotel.

The Australians sat at a long table running down the centre of the room and they all had their own seat which interested us as sometimes there would be six at one end and one by himself at the other end. All the other tables in the room were for two or four people. When we went for the evening meal, we found that the tables had been moved outside. We were put to sit beside a lemon tree which was a novel experience for me as I had never seen one before. The Aussies all watched us as we walked past them then again as we left after the meal. They all said ‘’Goodnight’’ to us.

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A ‘Novelty’ – Ladies ticket to the cinema Famagusta Palace Hotel Nicosia – Interesting sign. Reads: “Out of Bounds AFTER 18.30 HOURS UNTIL 06.00am”

I was very impressed by the UN uniforms but I had never seen shoes like those the men were wearing before, and I thought that they spoiled the rest of the outfit. We found that the Australians were very polite to us, and we were polite back. It was a really peculiar situation - as if both sides were waiting for something or someone to relax. On considering the situation, I think that they might have regarded us as invading their space. It was one thing to meet with people outside their ‘’home base’’ but quite another to relax with strangers around. I think this way because the Teachers who had lived in Cyprus since 1962 /3 had met with the various groups of UNs as they arrived and were friendly with them.

The ‘’established’ teachers that I was with all liked to spend time at the Officers Club in Dhekelia where teachers were welcomed as they were classed as Officers. I did not enjoy myself there as it was all prim and proper. I got the impression that everyone was trying to outdo everyone else cow-towing to the more senior Officers.

One UN from the NT once told us we could wash our underwear and hang it on the clothes lines on the roof to dry and that they, the UNs, would not look at it. We had to smile because we had been doing our washing every day and hanging it out on the lines, but, because of the heat, the washing dried and was brought in long before the UNs got back after their daily duties.

One evening a young UN member, I think from NSW, celebrated his 21st Birthday. The others warned us that there would be a big noise that night when they got back from the celebrations. Sure enough there was a big noise and we were all woken up but everyone in the hotel ended up

laughing and laughing because the ‘’Birthday Boy’’ was giggling as he climbed up two stairs and then went back one. The more he giggled the more the others said,’’sshhhhhhhhhhh’’ That was such a fun night.

After a few days the men got to talk about their homes and families. My friend once asked them to go out as it was Saturday night but none of them wanted to go so we sat in the hotel lobby and talked.

I had only been at the hotel for a couple of days when I heard my first few sentences of ‘’Aussie talk’’. Someone had left the radio on in the Land Rover and the Boss was

back in ‘’Fama G’’. Suddenly this stream of words that I had never heard before came hurtling down the stairs.’’who was the …… idiot that left the ……… radio on in the land Rover? …….., …….. ……. ……. ………. ‘’ Mrs D said, ’’that’s the man in charge. When he came down the stairs, she introduced us as the new teachers, so he greeted us with a big smile and a polite, ‘’Good Morning.’’

After a couple of weeks, we moved out of the hotel into our own flats and it was there that the next time that I heard those words was when my ‘’date’’ came to my house for the first time and he jumped up the marble steps and slid into the cactus plant in the pot at the

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Famagusta Palace Hotel

top of them. I began to wonder if this was the normal Australian language and could not help laughing as I listened from behind my front door.

Because of the troubles we were very limited in where we could go and what we could do. We were not allowed into any Turkish areas. Not long before we arrived there the Army had to send an Armed Personnel carrier to rescue two teachers from a British school who had wandered into a Turkish zone. If that had happened to us, we would have been sent home in disgrace.

Fortunately, it was possible for us to visit the ancient remains at

Salamis as when we were living there a chariot was dug up and we were able to go and have a look at it. One of the English ladies that I met at church had some beautiful pottery on display at her house that had been discovered at Salamis. She explained that she was not allowed to remove it from the island and had to hand it in when she left. It was recorded in the Register at the museum. There was only one restaurant which served lunch and evening meal that we could eat at, ‘’Johns’’. I think that it was open all day and everyone went there. We were not supposed to go to Greek Tavernas or restaurants unescorted. Lucky for me, when I started to go out

with Ernest, he took me to these places. I worked on the principle that if I was caught, I would plead ignorance.

We did have to be careful in those days because the lingering problems with EOKA and ENOSIS were always in our minds - almost to a greater extent than the problems between Greeks and Turks. The two Greek groups occupied our thoughts more than the international ones. Everything seemed to be influenced by the Grivas versus Archbishop Makarios [Black Mac] situation.

Archbishop Makarios came to visit the church in my street one day, so I had to draw the blinds and stay away from home for the day. Luckily it was a school day. One of my teacher friends met a Greek man at the weekly Sunday Promenade which took place along the top of beach. She queried why he could not understand some of the words the locals were saying. He eventually told her that he was in the Greek Navy and was on duty around the island. Some local words differ from the mainland ones. We had not realized that the situation was so severe that mainland Greeks were being sent to sniff out how the situation on the ground was going on the island. The teacher eventually married the man, and they went to live in Middlesex.

I did rebel against some of the things that the other Teachers told us was the ‘’correct‘’ thing to do. One was that I did my greengrocery shopping at the local market when I had been told that teachers had to shop at the NAFFI. It was lovely in the Spring as all of the stall holders gave their customers a bunch of beautifully scented wildflowers. Some of the other teachers berated me for this. I also used to catch a local bus to attend the Scottish Dancing

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Salamis Ticket to Salamis

evenings at the school as I did not have my car licence then. This was definitely a ‘’no no’’. I was once offered a lift to attend one of these evenings at the Officers Club at Dhekelia but it was not so much fun so I did not go there again.

I sat my car driver’s licence in Famagusta after taking some lessons from a local Instructor. A tester came from Nicosia to test several of us. Everyone who took their test on that one day passed. This was because of a tradition that if one member of a class spent the evening with the Tester then everyone passed. One girl offered to do this so were all successful! This was not really helpful for driving in Australia or the UK because drivers in Cyprus seemed to be able to do what they liked never mind the rules.

In the building where I lived the owners lived upstairs and downstairs were two flats. A single one where I lived and a double one which was occupied by an RAF couple and their two sons. One good thing was that I used to babysit the two young boys. This gave me the opportunity to watch Beirut TV. This always ended the evenings with a cowboy film followed by Belly dancing last thing.

I was talking to my Landlady one day when she told me about when her elder son was born and how the doctor had saved his life. She mentioned that he was a Turkish Cypriot and how sad it was that they could no longer stay in touch. - [all the mail going between names of different nationalities were removed], on continuing the conversation it turned out that this doctor was a great friend of my father’s as they had both been in the colonial Service together. She was thrilled that I was able to give her news about him and his family. One good thing about teaching in Cyprus in the summer was

that with Grades Prep, one and two, the school hours were 7.30am to 11.30 am. This gave us time to complete marking and preparation while still giving us time to spend on the beach. In the winter the two-hour lunch break when the children went home and back for lunch gave us time to mark and prepare before the afternoon sessions.

The Army arranged a trip to Beirut for teachers over the half term, but I was the only teacher to go. The rest of the people were Nurses or Army officers’ wives. Before I went the teacher who had met me at the airport made a torch similar

to those used in Jesus’s time. He had an argument with a shopkeeper when the latter had tried to tell him that articles in his shop were genuinely old. The Teacher had made the lamp to show him that even a Brit could make one these days! He asked me to take it to him. I set off by myself and asked a French speaking policeman the way. He would not let me go alone so took me to the shop. I got back to the hotel OK keeping to the main road. [The shop keeper had been interested to receive the article and let me purchase a beautiful enamel hand painted cup and saucer for less than the quoted price.]

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Church on the way to NAFI. Small church dedicated to St Barnabas Bus Ticket

On November 14th, 1964, Mrs D gave a Housewarming party in her new flat. She invited all the Aussies who were at the hotel and who would like to come. One of the other teachers gave me a lift there. At one point in the evening, I was standing talking with a group of people when I became aware of someone standing behind my left shoulder. I turned around and came face to face with ‘’my future’’. We introduced ourselves and he said his name was, ’Ernie, or Ern’.

We danced then went into the kitchen to get something to eat then he went to get a beer and I stayed talking in the kitchen.

After a while I went back into the main room, and he said ‘’You have been gone a long time, where have you been and what have you been doing?’’ I thought that a bit odd as I had only known him for about ninety minutes at the most, but it did not seem out of place to me.

On the Monday Ernest went on an organized tour of the Holy Land. The next time that I saw him was when he was at the roadblock that we had to pass through on our way to and from school. At the road blocks the young local Police always appeared to be playing ‘’Hunt the Tampon’ in the women’s handbags while either the Swede

or Aussie UNs sat in deck chairs watching them. [or at least that is what it looked like to us.]

The Teachers were then invited to a party at the Canadian Officers HQ in Kyrenia and they came and fetched us in a convoy. It was held in a beautiful house that had been taken over by the Canadians as their Mess.

The next party was at ‘’The Purple People Eater’s house. I don’t know who she was or where she lived but we went there by car. I went in one car and Ernest went in the other. Sometime during the evening, we arranged to meet again [that is when he ran into the cactus].

The only time I had heard of the name ‘’Ernie‘’ was in a book that my sister had so I asked him if that was really his name, he said that he was called all sorts of things, so I asked him what he wanted me to call him and he said, ’Ernest’.

[We later discovered that one of the Swedish UNs who came to the beach was also called ‘’Ernie‘’ so we called them ‘Ernie’ and ‘Swedish Ernie.’ The Swede UN’s were living in the Posh hotel next to the beach.]

I asked him about the shoes that the Aussies wore with their uniform, and he said they were Desert boots. He went on to say that they were given two pairs each, but he had given one pair to a member of the [Royals] Division of the Queen’s Household Cavalry. Apparently one of the Aussie bases was next to the HQ of the Cavalry and the Aussies were invited into their Mess.

This interested me because prior to going to Cyprus I had been teaching in a school in Windsor, Berks. The school was situated in the area abutting the housing estate where members of the Queen’s Household Cavalry lived. When he mentioned the man’s name I was surprised because that

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Beach at Famagusta UN Swedish HQ Famagusta (large building on end of coast)

man’s wife had been the teacher in the classroom beside mine in Windsor.

He then went on to say that he had become friendly with AB. AB’s elder son had been in my class and I was friendly with AB’s wife. This episode got me thinking: In Cyprus teachers were regarded as Officers yet the two teachers that I knew from my school in Windsor were both married to men of Other Ranks. Would the Senior Officers have allowed those women to teach in Service schools if the necessity arose?

Sarah Ferguson’s [Prince Andrew’s former wife] father was the CO of the Cavalry Regiment at that time, and he was extremely stern with the men. Ernest used to mention some of his actions. I suppose he had to be strict because these were the men who rode in all the Queen’s Royal Processions in London dressed in their red jackets, plumed helmets and pressed riding breeches while riding their black horses. Nothing could be out of place.

Ernest was sent up to the mountains at one stage but managed to get down to Fama G by escorting the oranges. He appeared unexpectedly on Christmas Eve just before I went to church. I still went to the service while he stayed at my house. On Christmas Day we went to a hotel for lunch and had roast beef. While we were walking back to my house he said,’’I wonder what we will be doing this time next year?’’ and I replied that I was going to Egypt. I did not go this year because it was my first Christmas away from home.

We became engaged on April 3, 1965. I only know this was the date because Ernest wrote it in his diary!

Over Easter I went on a tour to Jerusalem which was a wonderful

experience. It was an advantage going from Cyprus because prices dropped in the shops when we appeared and there was no one else around. To be able to witness and experience Easter in Jerusalem was an unforgettable experience that I will always remember.

When he arrived in Cyprus, Ernest had asked around to find men whose fathers had fought at Gallipoli as his had done. I think there were four or five Aussies and Kiwis [ who were also part of the UN at that time] whose Fathers had been involved.

Ernest asked the relevant Officers if they could go to the fiftieth anniversary as they were so near to it. After a while they were told that they could go but they had to go in Mufty. They set off and changed planes at Athens. Apparently when they reached Istanbul the passengers were told to stay seated as the VIPs, which included the British PM, were to disembark first. The Australians were stunned when they were guided off the plane ahead of every one else.

Their magical experience started then. It turned out that they were Official Guests of the Turkish Government and that is why they had been not allowed to wear their uniforms. They travelled in chauffeur driven cars, stayed in first class hotels and had good seats for every event. I am sure it was one of the highlights of their lives. They came back on a real high. Once or twice, Ernest hired a car and took me into the Turkish area. One of those visits was to Kyrenia, Belapais and the surrounding countryside. I am so glad that I saw that area because of it’s connection to Richard the 1st. Kyrenia was full of American Sailors that day.

When Ernest and I became engaged I asked my school

Principal if I could leave before the end of term, and he said ‘’NO’. He contacted the Education Head who also said ‘’No.’

We were the second couple to get married after meeting in Cyprusthe first was a member from NSW who married a Cypriot girl. At the Aussies big farewell function Ernest introduced me to another Victorian UN and his girlfriend who was a nurse. They later married in Australia. We decided to get married at the local church near my parent’s house as the wedding would be ‘’a welcome to my family’’ for him and a ‘’farewell party ‘’ for me as I was leaving England to come to Australia. This proved to be a good idea as it was the last family event that several of my elderly relatives attended.

As the first group of Aussies had been given ‘’First class Roundthe-World’’ tickets, Ernest asked the Commissioner of the Commonwealth Police [as it was then] if he could swap his return half First class ticket for two tourist sea fares. This wish was granted so we came to Melbourne in an Italian Migrant ship.

Ernest stayed on in Fama G, unofficially, to help me organize getting my trunk to Melbourne through London. We asked the shipping company about the labelling etc on the trunk as he said it had to go through London. He said put ‘’Mr WHITE; LONDON’ on it and you can collect it from there and send it on to Melbourne. The necessary arrangements fell into place in the end, and it all worked out well.

When he left Cyprus Ernest visited Rome, Paris, Copenhagen - where he caught up with a Danish UN who he had met in Cyprus, who gave him a set of Danish teaspoons for a wedding present - and London. He then went on a coach tour to Spain, Portugal, and

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Morocco before making his way down to my Parent’s house in St Ives. Cornwall.

We sailed to Australia from Genoa with no Italian money, but Ernest did manage to find enough change from his visit to Rome to buy a bottle of beer in Naples which we shared. [The Ship’s Bank opened once we left Naples]

As the ship went through the Suez Canal, we took a coach tour to Cairo. We were lucky enough to be on the coach that was directed to the hotel next to the Pyramids. It was the hotel that appears in lots of old films. Ernest was the first person off the coach, so we got the room right beside the Pyramids. It was the room that the top film stars stay in when they are filming there. After the evening meal we walked around the gardens then around where the ANZACS walked when they were camping there before going to Gallipoli. This was the icing on the cake for Ernest – being able to walk in his father’s footsteps.

And I DID get to Egypt even though it was not at Christmas time!

We think that our first son who was born in May 1966 is the first UN Cyprus baby, the second one was the daughter of a former NSW Policeman and our daughter born in July 1967 may be the third and goodness knows how far down the line our son born in December 1969 comes in the line.

The experiences featuring my time in Cyprus never seem to end.

About Twenty-five to thirty years ago I was teaching in a school in Springvale, Victoria when an Emergency Teacher came for a while. He was introduced as ‘’Mr D’. When he said his name was’’ L’’ it rang a bell with me, so I asked if his parents were E

and S and they were! It was good to meet him.

In February this year I went ‘’ Cyclone’’ cruising around New Zealand. I got talking to an English couple who asked how I came to be Australian now. When I mentioned Cyprus they asked me what school I had been teaching at. They could not believe their ears when I told them. They told me that the man had been the CO at the Signals Base in 1991 to 1993. His name is Brigadier Nigel Jackson, and he sends his regards to the Australians that he got to know during this time.

I am the first person that they have ever met who taught at the school where their children went and who had lived in Famagusta when it was under the Greek flag.

When I experienced a dose of COVID, I was very grateful for the training I had received in Cyprus in regard to the compulsory order of having two week’s supply of food in the cupboard. Even though it was so long ago the Cypriot practice just clicked in as if it was the natural thing to do.

I am SO glad that I went to Cyprus when I did.

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Kantara Castle Larnaca

Bali and Indonesia Bombings

20th Anniversary (2002 - 2022)

An inside account of how a ten (10) year joint Indonesian National Police (INP) and Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation dismantled and eliminated Terrorist Organisation Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiyah (Jemaah Islamiyah).

On 12 October 2002 the Bali Bombings rocked the Island of Paradise, the ferocity of which rattled Australia. Terror had come to our doorstep, 202 people were killed, 88 Australians, hundreds of victims, scars that will remain for a lifetime. The impact on Indonesian citizens was similarly immeasurable.

Out of the ashes of the Sari Club and Paddy’s Pub bombings the Australian community demanded an immediate response. Decisive action, leadership, collaboration, and sensitive negotiations paved the way for the formal identification and repatriation of victims, the evacuation of injured, many with horrible burn wounds.

Whilst the repatriation process was quickly and heroically undertaken, the law enforcement investigative response in a foreign jurisdiction was complicated by a myriad of relationship, legislative and sovereign issues. In short, we had no powers, negotiation, and agreement between the Indonesian National Police (INP) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) was required, to undertake any activity in Indonesia.

Crucially and part of Australia’s response was the AFP’s ability to engage with the INP where we already had a long standing and

established liaison post in Jakarta. Typically, the liaison officer’s primary duties are to initiate, facilitate and coordinate Australia’s law enforcement issues with Indonesia. Mostly transnational crimes such as People Smuggling, Narcotic Trafficking, Child Sex Tourism and many other matters of transnational crime impacting on both countries. The Head of the Indonesian Police (KAPOLRI) was General Da’i Bachtiar. To undertake and provide any assistance to the INP, in any official capacity, there was a requirement the AFP be first invited to Indonesia

to assist. The offer of AFP assistance was initially passed to KAPOLRI’s Aide De Camp by a locally engaged staff member working as a translator in the AFP Office at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. The offer was quickly accepted, and an invitation issued for AFP to set up alongside other responding foreign law enforcement agencies to work with the initial INP response. A joint investigations agreement was signed between the Head of the Indonesian Police (KAPOLRI) and the Commissioner of the AFP Mick Keelty on 18 October 2002.

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The Head of the INP (KAPOLRI) assigned Police General Made Mangku Pastika, to head the INP response and shortly thereafter Colonel (later General) Gories Mere as INP lead investigator.

The AFP assigned Graham Ashton as the Forward Commander and Steve Jackson as his Deputy. Graham Ashton, who later went on to become an AFP Deputy Commissioner and then Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, had a very sound understanding of the Indonesian legal system and his Indonesia Bahasa language skills were invaluable to the early part of the response and investigation.

AFP Operation Alliance supported the repatriation of victims and injured, as well as bonding with the newly formed dedicated INP Investigation Team under the direction of Police Colonel Gories Mere. The taskforce soon after moved from Bali to Jakarta where members of the AFP joined with the INP taskforce operating from what was referred to as the Field Office. This quickly evolved into a multi-disciplined and effective investigation team.

From very early in the investigation it became obvious that the mobile telephone record keeping, and tracing system of mobile phones was inadequate. Law Enforcement had no tracing capability or access to records that accurately detailed who had possession of certain handsets. Phones could have then been purchased and set up without appropriate identification and authentication.

The jewel in our assistance was our ability to collect, analyse and direct the INP to telephones that were of high interest and high priority. This was visually produced onto intelligence charts and analysts were able to articulate which phones were important (and why) and likely to be held by persons of high interest.

To ensure the best prospects for success in tracing those responsible for the bombings the AFP disclosed, deployed, and shared leading-edge technological capabilities with our Indonesian partners. As some of those capabilities were, and perhaps still are, considered somewhat sensitive disclosure was not made without due consideration to the circumstances and the potential risks to future operations.

The AFP held and ultimately managed millions of pieces of data, information, intelligence and debriefs, much of which was extracted from field operations, interrogations and from Indonesian telecommunications companies. Through the combination of analysis and charting, crucial information emerged which was critical in forming targeting packages for the INP investigators to ‘hunt’.

First Bali Bombing – 12 October 2002 – Police Brigadier

General Gories Mere THE BREAKTHROUGH

In his address at the recent 20th Anniversary of the Bali Bombings in October 2022, INP Brigadier General Gories Mere reflected and admitted that the scale of the disaster presented the INP an unprecedented challenge.

Crisis management, effective crime scene management, the demand for competent investigations, dealing with mass casualties all combined with the world media spotlight pointed to a very confused situation at ground zero.

Six (6) days after the bombing the INP Chief General Dr Da’i Bachtiar appointed Inspector General Made Mangku Pastika to Head the INP response to the bombings. On 24 October 2002 Pastika appointed Brigadier General (then Colonel) Gories Mere to head and lead the Investigation Taskforce. This was to be a master stroke.

General Gories immediately consolidated the investigation, commencing at the crime scene, despite it by that time having been heavily contaminated. General Gories was a strong believer in thorough investigative processes, accepting forensic examinations, taking witness statements, collecting material evidence, and rebuilding the suspected bomb vehicle, all designed to provide some clue, however minute that could point to the identity of the bomber(s).

On 2 November 2002, one week after the appointment of General Gories a forensic examiner, amongst the Sari Club debris, discovered “DPR 15463” stamped into a chassis rail identified as part of the L300 Mitsubishi Van suspected of delivering the Sari Club bomb. The number was in fact a Denpasar Motor Registry commercial registration number stamp hidden on the chassis. The reason for ‘hiding’ chassis numbers was an attempt by the authorities to thwart the theft of vehicles.

A visit to the registration office by INP investigator Nicolaus Eko was unable to locate relevant records of that number in the usual registry offices. Eko suspected perhaps complicity on the part of an employee however, a determined approach saw him search the registry’s warehouse. Fortuitously locating the documents which revealed the true registration of the L300 as DK 1324BS as well as the five previous owners of that vehicle. The last recorded owner was identified as Aumah Yudi who was interviewed immediately by INP, and later by the AFP Investigator Andy Thorp. Yudi had sold the vehicle to a person named Amrozi from near Lamongan, East Java.

On 5 November 2002, within 3 days of discovering the DPR number on the remnants of the L300 used in the bombing, an INP squad led by Senior Investigator Carlo Tewu

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had located and apprehended the first Bali Bomber, Amrozi. Amrozi was to become known in the media as the smiling assassin. This arrest provided the first breakthrough and uncovered receipts for the purchase of potassium chlorate, bomb making tutorials, VCRs on Jihad, financial notes on spending and money distribution and various handphone numbers.

On 4 December 2002 in a raid on a Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Command Post at Laweyan, Solo, Central Java the INP located and confiscated ‘The General Guidance of Jemaah Islamiyah Doctrine’ known as the PUPJI. Also seized were documents relating to various military and intelligence strategy and training literature. This was an incredibly significant finding as it detailed the existence of a JI training camp called Camp Hudaibiyah in South Mindanao, Philippines.

The PUPJI had been mentioned but until that time authorities had not located it in hard copy. It detailed the organisational structure of JI, their vision, mission, strategy, and culture of the organisation. This early knowledge gained by the INP revealed the existence of the terrorist network throughout the Region and was organised under structures or units called Mantiqi’s across the region, these included Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines, and Australia. Australia came under the Command of Mantiqi 4.

General Gories further assigned Senior INP Taskforce member and close confidant, Colonel Benny Mamoto, to liaise with Malaysia’s Special Branch and Singapore’s Internal Security Department.

JI which had its origins in Malaysia, with two of their citizens Dr Azhari and Mohammed Noordin Top being principal suspects. JI intelligence sharing between police across Asia was and remains effective when undertaken through personal relationships based on trust.


General Gories reflections on the investigation at the recent 20th Anniversary commemorations in Bali in October 2022 paid tribute to the AFP efforts over the extended period of this investigation and collaboration, and stated, inter alia, The 2002 Bali Bombing case finally opened the collaborative relationship between the Police and various law enforcement institutions from abroad. It grew more intensive since the process of uncovering the bombing case Bombing Taskforce as it was based on operational success, it was replicated into interoperability in other areas. The AFP continuously supported the Bombing Taskforce in the IT sector by transferring technology expertise and sharing best practices. This was the beginning of the rapid development of professional police investigations using technological advances which we call scientific and forensic criminal investigation. On the 20th Anniversary of the 2002 First Bali Bombing, I would like to express my gratitude to all those involved in the disclosure process of the Bombings. Without the determination of investigators to steer the investigation and process of crime scene through scientific and forensic criminal investigation and the role and of support from the law enforcement community from various countries, the events of the First Bali Bombing would never have been so quickly revealed.

Disclosure and law enforcement measures are very important to give public confidence in Indonesia and the Island of Bali as attractive and safe tourist destinations. The threat of terrorism has not disappeared, indicating the existence of various terror networks that threaten security both in Indonesia and throughout the world. Our work is not yet over.

Reflections by AFP Senior Investigator Andy Thorp

Andy was deployed to Bali on the first plane as part of the AFP Assistance and Response Package. He remained with the investigation until May 2003 and was certainly instrumental in helping forge strong relationships with the INP investigations team.

In mid-November 2002 a decision was made to deploy investigators, intel analysts and technical team members to Jakarta to work directly with the INP field team. The joint INP/AFP field office was established in the Park Hotel.

Critically, anything in the form of intelligence, evidence, information about technical capabilities, was openly shared and this provided a great foundation for the developing relationship. This was the commencement of a truly “Joint Investigation”.

The arrest of Imam Samudra on 21 November 2002 cemented the collaboration. It was the first time the analytical and technical capabilities, brought by the AFP, were utilised in the field with the INP. The quick capture of one of the most wanted men in Indonesia at that time demonstrated that the methods and equipment being deployed would work.

Amrozi’s brother, Mukhlas, was arrested in Solo, Central Java on 4 December 2002.

During the Christmas break in December 2002 intelligence suggested that JI had the Park Hotel on a list of potential targets. The joint field team office was moved to the Intercontinental Hotel within 2 hours. The Marriot was inspected as an option for the new office location but was considered too opulent for what was required.

Following the Christmas break efforts were focussed on locating and arresting another of Amrozi’s

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brothers, Ali Imron. Examination of telephone traffic identified two phones of interest, both connected in Kalimantan.

The subscriber of one of these services was located in Kalimantan and subsequently directed the team to a remote location where Ali Imron was in hiding (Jan 2003). This was critical in that Ali Imron then agreed to take the INP to the “bomb factory” in Denpasar.

General Gories invited AFP to deploy a Forensics Team from Australia to join the INP forensics members, in making the first examination of the “bomb factory”premises, which had remained undisturbed since being vacated by the offenders.

In April 2003 an intelligence operation targeting a phone of significance, connected in South Jakarta led to the arrest of Nasir Abbas, head of JI Mantiqi 3 and someone who INP

subsequently made a champion for deradicalization.

It is now better understood that the embryo in planning for the Bali 1 bombing was undertaken through a combination of Indonesian Nationals travelling to Afghanistan. There they become skilled and hardened in the campaign in support of the Mujahideen where bombing skills, technical expertise, and finances, were channelled by Al-Qaeda through Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Hambali through to Jemaah Islamiyah.

The Mukhlas arrest was also a pivotal moment in the early stages of the Bali Bombing and the Taskforce commenced the process of joining the complex jigsaw puzzle, that was to emerge, on the role and structure of JI.

The arrest and interrogation of Mukhlas, his brother Amrozi and Imam Samudra established that

Mukhlas was indeed a senior echelon member of JI. He was a critical conduit in that he had received $35,000 from Al-Qaeda to support the Bali Bombing. The funds had been received at the direction of Hambali and were passed to Mukhlas by senior Malaysian JI member Wan Min Wan Mat.

The dominoes were starting to fall, but the senior bombmakers were still to be apprehended and remained a considerable threat whilst still at large. The intelligence gained from these early arrests was significant, however it also provided an insight into the complexities of the terrorist organisation JI.

The Taskforce was buoyed by these early successes and set the scene for what was to become a long and arduous investigation. The team was also up against a somewhat sceptical community with some in positions of influence

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Investigator Andy Thorpe renews acquaintances with General Gories Mere, also Colonels Bekto Suprapto and Surya Dharma, with AFP’s Steve Jackson (dec’d).

contending JI did not actually exist as a terrorist organisation. Fortunately, through the dedication of the Taskforce, operational awareness was essential and pivotal as personal dangers to taskforce members were not insignificant. It had become necessary for task force members to discretely embed themselves at various locations in the Indonesian Archipelago, principally in Central Java around Solo.

The location of the radical pesantraen Al-Mukmin and a boarding school at Ngruki in Central Java, a boarding school established by JI founder Abdullar Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba’syir, the spiritual leader of JI, presented additional difficulties to penetrate.

The investigation gained momentum with each arrest and the bigger picture of JI emerged, more importantly the leadership of the JI splinter group under the direction of master bomb maker

Dr Azhari Husin and Mohammad Noordin Top, both Malaysian citizens, were still at large. It is also verified that Dr Azhari studied at a UK and Australian University in electronics, a valuable skill in bombmaking.

Hambali was arrested in Thailand on 11 August 2003. He was considered the ‘Osama Bin Laden’ of Southeast Asia. His potential value to the intelligence community was such that he was taken by US authorities to Camp Guantanamo where he is still awaiting trial.

Both Hambali and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (arrested in Rawalpindi Pakistan) were high echelon operatives of AlQaeda, and both remain in the US Detention Facility known as Camp Guantanamo. They are, reportedly, in 2023 to finally face trial for their terrorist actions and participation in support of 9/11 and the Bali Bombing (2002)

5 August 2003 - JW Marriott Bombing - Jakarta

The JW Marriott bombing took place almost a year following on from the Bali Bombing which showed that JI was alive, alert, hostile and undiminished. Twelve (12) people were killed, and many were injured in the bombing. Investigations undertaken through interrogations established that the early planning for this bombing was that JI had considered the US International School in Jakarta and the Australian International School in Jakarta as targets. They settled on the JW Marriott Hotel as an identifiable western target.

The driver of the Toyota Kijang vehicle, loaded with explosives, was barely able to drive the vehicle and if he had been more adept, would have taken the vehicle to the front door where considerably more casualties would have occurred.

Investigations also established that Hambali had sourced the funds for this bombing. It was further learnt that master bombmaker Dr Azhari was in the vicinity of this bombing to see that his craftwork had detonated. He made his getaway on motorbike.

I first met the INP taskforce in December 2003 when, they were invited to Australia on a goodwill visit to Sydney and Canberra to meet with senior officials. I travelled back with them to lead the AFP contingent and set about ensuring our relationship remained strong and the AFP team continued to contribute all it could to the ongoing joint investigation.

The relationship was based on goodwill, trust, confidentiality and through providing a niche and ‘one stop shop’ to maintain databases of records, intelligence packages, and evidence. Our AFP team was comprised of intelligence analysts, translators,

telecommunications liaison officers and financial investigators.

The Taskforce had an office in Mabes Polri a large Police Station in Jakarta. Often the Taskforce deployed to field operations around Java where they would set up in discreet locations. They didn’t use police stations for fear of corrupt police disclosing their whereabouts. High operational security was required. The Taskforce reported directly to the Chief of Police.

Other senior members of the SATGAS Bom team included Colonel (now General) Petrus Golose, Colonel Bekto Suprapto, Colonel Surhya Dharma and other trusted INP field operatives.

Each had expertise, for example Petrus Golose was also in charge of Cyber Crime for the INP, Colonel Surya Dharma was a devout Muslim who would debrief suspects after gaining their confidence. The methods adopted by Colonel Surya Dharma were so effective that it became an informal and local blueprint for deradicalizing serious terrorist offenders.

Another significant win for the taskforce team was the apprehension of Nasir Abbas, a Malaysian Citizen, who was captured in Indonesia without a visa. Abbas had spent several years in Afghanistan with Hambali and was later to become the leader of JI Mantiqi 3, which was based in the Philippines. He had a wealth of information and the INP chose to use Abbas to assist with the deradicalization process with INP General Surya Dharma.

The Taskforce also had to counter negative criticism that they were a rogue and mostly Christian team (ie anti Muslim) and Colonel Surya Dharma and others, particularly ‘friendly’ Indonesian media operators supported the Taskforce utilising people such as Abbas and others including prominent academics.

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AFP Capacity BuildingEnhanced Law Enforcement Cooperation - JCLEC/MNOST/ DNA Lab/TNCC/Telephone Interception Facility/ Bomb Data Centre/Forensic Laboratory/Bomb Data Centre/ High Tech Crime- Cyber Centre

In addition to the Taskforce investigative activity, a suite of capacity building assistance was being provided by the AFP. This included the establishment of a dedicated police training centre in Semarang called the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Centre (JCLEC). The Centre was set up under the command of Superintendent Lester Cross and was a state-of-the-art facility that coordinated a range of training programs for the Indonesian and other Southeast Asian Police.

So successful was this centre that other countries (US, UK, The Netherlands) supported the Centre through funding and delivering training programs on all aspects of

modern investigative techniques, all designed to support the INP in raising their capabilities and competencies.

As an adjunct to the JCLEC facility the AFP set up a cooperative ‘back room’ investigative team called a Multi-National Operational Support Team (MNOST). This team comprised officers from the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Australia and was led by a senior AFP member. Its role was to coordinate the wider investigative issues across these nations and to look for targeting opportunities and to share intelligence across the region to assist in dismantling JI.

Furthermore, a dedicated DNA facility was established for the INP by the AFP, which gave the INP forensics division a significant boost in their capabilities and was widely lauded as a muchrequired new capability. The INP Bomb Data Centre was created and linked up with other Centres in SE Asia to share information

on bombings in Indonesia and around the region.

Another major law enforcement initiative was the installation of a dedicated telephone intercept capability for the INP. This was another innovation that gave the INP the full suite of tools to be able to counter the ongoing terrorist threats, a situation then that still had many chapters to play out.

The Jakarta Transnational Crime Coordination Centre was set up by Senior Investigator Phil Hutson and was another initiative to modernise and demonstrate the benefits of true coordination across crime types. The INP embraced the support and implementation of modern investigative technologies and techniques.

JCLEC Threat and the Australian Embassy Bombing – 9 Sept 2004

A year after the JW Marriott bombing in Jakarta in 2003, AFP

31 True Blue August 2023
Australian Embassy Jakarta - Bombing 2005

analysts continued to closely follow the intelligence being derived from captured suspects and getting valuable data from Indonesian telcos, all of which was being charted for targeting by the INP. The so called ‘foot soldiers’ for Dr Azhari and Noordin Top were, when arrested valuable sources of information.

Unbeknown to the Taskforce and some 6 weeks prior to the Australian Embassy Bombing in 2004, JI had identified JCLEC, the Australian specialist law enforcement training facility in Semarang, Central Java, as a potential target.

Just prior to the official opening of JCLEC in July 2004, increasing suspicious activity was being observed in and around Central Java in the vicinity of Semarang. The centre was being opened by Indonesian President Sukarno Megawati Putri and attended by highly ranked Australian Officials including AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty.

We intensified our intelligence analyses for JI suspects and drew up several targeting packages and suspects in the area. Given the attendance of the Indonesian President and senior Australian Officials this operation was given high priority.

A late-night meeting between the author and an AFP Analyst with General Gories Mere included an intelligence chart being handed over with recommended urgent targeting of key telephones active in the Semarang area. Time was of the essence. The result was that six (6) suspects were arrested which caused a significant disruption to JI had occurred. Much intelligence was gleaned from these arrests, but the main JI leaders were still at large. The Taskforce was close, but they remained elusive.

Despite this operational success the splinter group of Mohammed Noordin Top, Dr Azhari and Rois

and others continued planning further terror attacks. Within six (6) weeks of the Semarang arrests they had re-grouped significantly to plan and deliver a large truck bomb to explode outside the Australian Embassy gates killing and injuring local citizens including an Australian visitor. Such was the devastation of the Embassy building, the Australian flag in tatters, a metal fence spike went flying through the window of the Ambassador’s office. The white boxed van had been driven up to the Embassy gate where the driver detonated the bomb it contained. At this time, I was briefing a Senior Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) member on the state of JI Investigations in Indonesia when clearly a bomb had been detonated down the road from our office. We deployed to the scene of utter devastation of the Australian Embassy. Staff appeared shell-shocked, human body parts were hanging from fences, it was carnage and mayhem.

A large crowd quickly gathered, and the crime scene became contaminated. Whilst we had some control within the Embassy grounds the public roads and maintenance of the crime scene was a matter for the INP.

It was quickly negotiated with Colonel Beckto to place a cordon around the scene of about 100 metres for forensics to be deployed. Interestingly Colonel Beckto showed me some of the thousands of plastic fragments that were scattered around the crime scene. Clearly this was the same modus operandi of the earlier bombings and that it was almost certainly the handiwork of Dr Azhari and his JI splinter group. Our intelligence from the earlier JCLEC arrests and other intelligence we had reported on, indicated that the Indonesian national named Rois was part of the group of JI responsible with Dr Azhari. Later that

evening we were required to brief Foreign Minister Downer and AFP Commissioner Keelty on the likely suspects and within a few days this was borne out to be accurate, which highlighted the capability we had and the value of good intelligence. Once again it had been established that Dr Azhari had ‘front run’ the vehicle bomb on a motorbike and quickly disappeared into the Jakarta traffic.

It was about this time, that is the third JI bombing, that there was a notable change in sentiment by the Indonesian public. It was stated that the population had been in denial that Indonesia was being attacked by a terrorist outfit named Jemaah Islamiyah. The reason apparently was that the Bali bombing had predominately killed foreigners and that Jemaah Islamiyah translated literally means ’Islamic Family ’. This also was the reason that the Indonesian authorities would not consider legislatively proscribing JI as a terrorist organisation, for fear of alienating mainstream Indonesian Muslims.

Again, after the Australian Embassy Bombing a range of avenues of inquiry were developed. In much the same manner as the first Bali investigation, the numberplate of the explosive truck was retrieved and investigations quickly backtracked through several owners to identify further JI suspects, who had purchased the bomb truck.

Dr Azhari and Mohammad Noordin Top again narrowly avoided arrest in Jakarta. When the Taskforce raided the house, they had rented, they located residue consistent with the fragments and chemicals found at the crime scene.

Bali 2 Bombing –1 October 2005

The hunt for the JI splinter group of Dr Azhari and Noordin Top continued unabated, mainly in Central Java which was where

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they could seemingly evaporate and avoid detection.

Despite the continuing arrests following the Embassy bombing some fifteen (15) months earlier, their capabilities were still intact. Consequently, it was almost inevitable that a further attack would take place.

On 1 October 2005, three (3) further bombings were executed using three (3) suicide bombers who detonated themselves at Raja’s restaurant and on diners on the beach at Jimbaran Bay. Again, the bombers were directed to where foreigners congregated and identified Western targets, these bombings killed twenty (20) people including four (4) Australians.

The Taskforce rapidly deployed from Jakarta to Bali. AFP Team Leader Scott Girling and his team immediately deployed in a chartered plane with the INP. On arrival in Bali, they jointly toured the crime scene including Raja’s Restaurant, Jimbaran Bay and then the hospital and morgue.

Scott described the situation as he toured the sites and morgue, “I encountered scenes I will never forget, bodies that looked like waxed dummies that had been hit by a flamethrower ”.

Dr Azhari - JI bombing mastermind killed on 11 November 2005

The ongoing overt activities of JI members presented fresh opportunities for intelligence gathering and targeting opportunities.

As was by now standard procedure, the INP field teams and AFP continued to analyse telephone traffic of handsets thought to be in possession of suspects to identify targets of interest in just a matter of a few weeks, new and compelling leads were developed. The AFP database holdings in Jakarta were now climbing into several million

and was the most important investigative tools at the disposal of the Task force.

The following account from AFP Taskforce Analyst Ed Windle (after Bali 2 bombings) typified the results of excellent intelligence analyses from records we maintained which led the INP to direct operational activity to in and around Semarang and Malang in Central Java.

My recollection of finding the number was to complete a review of all our telco holdings which led to finding an active (telephone) one in the Semarang/Batu Malang area. The number was only active for short periods, but on and off periodically.

We then deployed with INP to Semarang and set up a Forward Command Post. Surveillance on a couple of then unknowns who led us to the premises where Dr Azhari was staying.

I also recall a senior INP field operative (name withheld) was shot at when they tried to arrest Abdul Hadi during surveillance at a bus station in Semarang. The suspect had a suicide vest in his backpack at the time.

Hadi was quickly interrogated and provided the address in Batu Malang where the INP set up around the house where a shootout took place and Dr Azhari was killed. One of the occupants also detonated live explosives in the house which rendered the house to rubble and all JI suspects and occupants killed.

The police had sprayed the house with gunfire, but Dr Azhari had readymade bombs and blew themselves up to ensure they would not be taken alive. This was to be a massive hit to the capabilities of this JI splinter group however, the dangerous Noordin Top was still at large and therefore the risk of further bombings whilst significantly diminished, was not yet eliminated.

On 19 June 2007, the Taskforce arrested terrorist Abu Dujana who had been a long-term target of the INP. It was strongly suspected he was a close collaborator with Noordin Top after Azhari was killed in 2005. Abu Dujana was a member of JI’s Central Command and was an Afghani Alumni, fluent in Arabic, English and Bahasa Indonesia.


March 2007 –Garuda Air Crash

In January 2007 I was appointed as Senior Liaison Officer to Indonesia and resumed the diplomatic posting at the Australian Embassy. Also posted at that time was Commander Brice Steele as the Manager of AFP Business in Indonesia. Brice set about managing the significant interests and investments the AFP had made in Indonesia including JCLEC, MNOST, TNCC, etc.

There were also a range of bilateral meetings to attend to including Regional Terrorism Cooperation. In March 2007 a Regional Ministerial CT meeting was held and attending from Australia was Foreign Minister Downer, Attorney General Phillip Ruddock and the AFP’s Deputy Commissioner John Lawler. After a successful meeting the Ministerial party was to fly from Jakarta to Yogyakarta for a field inspection and update on CT matters by the AFP Investigation team, which was then deployed with the INP team at Yogyakarta. To front run the arrival of the Minister in a RAAF aircraft, Commander Steele and Coordinator Mark Scott the then regional CT team leader flew out on the first Garuda flight from Jakarta to Yogyakarta.

Tragically the pilot failed in his final approach to the runway, allegedly travelling too fast for landing and consequently the plane overshot the runway and caught fire. Five (5) Australians were killed, and several others injured.

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Brice had only taken up his appointment to Jakarta several months earlier and his wife Kellie was also a member of the AFP working in the Jakarta Office. Brice was a thorough professional and worked extremely well with the INP and created valued partnerships within the senior agencies of the Australian High Commission.

The night before the tragedy Brice and the AFP team had dinner with Deputy Commissioner Lawler and during my discussions with him, he indicated he was unwell but would push on with the Yogyakarta trip early the next morning. He also advised me that it was his wife Kellie’s birthday the next day and had purchased a watch for her. Words cannot adequately describe the loss of Brice to his family, the AFP, and the International Policing Community.

Scott and I retreated for a few after beers. His family had accompanied him on his Jakarta posting but were away back in Australia at the time of the crash and his death. We talked about his career, his family, and his previous posting to Myanmar as the AFP Senior Liaison Officer. Tragically his family lost a loving husband and father and was an unbelievable shock to the large AFP presence in Indonesia and to the AFP across Australia and the globe.

I reflected on the tragedy and the loss of other members of the AFP in aircraft crashes. Superintendent Bob Shepherd AFP’s Senior Liaison Office in Bogota, Columbia died in an aircraft that crashed into Mountains in South America about 1984. A few years later Sergeant Steve Hill along with other law enforcement colleagues in Albany whilst patrolling the coastline in an aircraft. All were friends and colleagues of mine.

Alison Sudradj (DFAT/AUSAID) Morgan Mellish (Financial Review Journalist)

Elizabeth O’Neill (DFAT/Media Liaison)

Also on the aircraft was another Australian Journalist Cynthia Banham who survived the crash only to step out onto the molten wings and into a rice paddy. Following repatriation to Australia Cynthia lost both her legs.

The Garuda crash, whilst not a direct result of terrorism, it nevertheless resulted in the loss of five (5) Australian lives, with the AFP members leaders in the efforts in ensuring terrorism was to be supported and eliminated in Indonesia. Their ultimate sacrifice will not be forgotten.

the identification process via the DNA lab that had been provided by Australia. Following formal identifications, the repatriation of the Australians was undertaken solemnly on the tarmac ramp at Yogyakarta Airport.

The INP team as a mark of respect travelled with other AFP members to Australia, first to Brisbane and then to Canberra to attend the funerals of both Brice Steele and Mark Scott, a fine gesture of solidarity and respect.

Indonesian authorities pursued a criminal case against the pilot of the Garuda Plane and was convicted in a criminal court for his negligence and sentenced to two (2) years jail. This was however later overturned on appeal and the conviction was quashed.

Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott Bombing 17 JULY 2009

Through the next two (2) years no significant bombings took place in Indonesia, seemingly the JI resolve had been broken, however, with the remaining Bali suspects and JI groups such as, Noordin Top, Dulmatin, Zulkarnaen and Umar Patek at large there was still capacity and residual expertise to undertake further attacks.

In early 2007, I returned to Jakarta as the AFP’s Senior Liaison Officer. My wife and I were domiciled at the Sailendra apartments which was a wing of the JW Marriott Hotel. The recently built Ritz Carlton was virtually across the road. Shortly after leaving my apartment for work at the Embassy news broke of bombings at the Marriott and Ritz Hotels.

After the dinner with Deputy Commissioner Lawler, Mark

The Taskforce team was in Yogyakarta at the time of the crash and performed brilliantly again and were fully engaged in

We scrambled to account for all Australians including their families. My wife Ann made contact and described the utter devastation

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Brice Steele (AFP) Commander Indonesia Mark Scott (AFP Coordinator AFP/INP Taskforce)

around the hotel, it resembled a war zone. Ann was undertaking part time work as a Community Liaison Officer at the Embassy and joined others to travel around the hospitals to locate them and establish their condition.

It was soon identified that Craig Senger, an Austrade diplomat, was missing, and my wife and Craig’s wife Kate toured Jakarta’s hospitals in the hope of locating Craig. Sadly, and tragically, we learnt that he had been attending an Austrade breakfast business meeting in the lounge area of the JW Marriott and took the brunt of the blast from a suicide bomber. Another suicide bomber had entered the Ritz Carlton in a coordinated attack where further fatalities occurred.

The investigation established that bombs had been smuggled into the hotel rooms via a loading dock amongst flowers the preceding day and assembled in the rooms, thereby bypassing strict security protocols on entry.

Craig was a respected professional within the embassy community and is sadly missed. His sister coincidentally worked in the AFP finance section in Canberra and his wife Kate was due to commence work in the AFP Office in Jakarta the following week.

The Taskforce pieced together the details of the bombing, the suicide bombers, and associates. Four (4) months later the 17 September 2009 Noordin Mohammed Top and associates were located holed up in a house in Central Java and the ensuing firefight saw him killed. This was confirmed through DNA.

No further bombings attributed to JI occurred after the Marriott/ Ritz Carlton Bombings in July 2009. The Taskforce remained for several more years to account for the residual capability of JI

and to locate the key suspects known to have been involved in the first Bali Bombings namely Dulmatin, Zulkarnaen and Umar Patek.

In March 2010 Dulmatin, a veteran of the Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and the Abu Sayyaf Camps in the Philippines was arrested in Sumatra, as he was establishing a new terrorist splinter group. He was highly proficient in the electronics of bomb making and suicide vests and learnt his craft under Dr Azhari. He was killed in a police shoot-out at an internet café.

On 25 January 2011, Umar Patek was arrested in Abbottabad Pakistan, the Military Cantonment town where Osama bin Laden was later located and killed on 2 May 2011. There is no evidence, more coincidence, that Patek had travelled to Pakistan to see Osama Bin Laden. Patek was deported/extradited from Pakistan and was prosecuted for his role in the Bali Bombing of 2002. Reportedly he has reformed and denounced terrorism and is imminently due for release.

There has been

considerable discussion on the so -called early release of Patek after four years jail. It should be remembered however that since he was first detailed in 2011, he has spent more than ten (10) years in Pakistani and Indonesian jails.

One of the last remaining Bali suspects Zulkarnaen’s trail had gone cold from 2004 however in December 2020 he was arrested and in early 2022, some twenty (20) years after the Bali Bombing was sentenced to 15 years jail.

Zulkarnaen was reportedly one of the first Indonesians to have travelled to Afghanistan to join the

Mujahideen and therefore was a high value target for the INP. Due to his suspected involvement in the first Bali Bombing and the 2003 Marriott Bombing for which he provided material support and shelter. He admitted to being a member of the JI’s Special Military Unit Lashkar Khost.

The resultant successes over a ten (10) year joint investigation systematically unravelled and ultimately destroyed the terrorist organisation Jemaah Islamiyah. Further, the AFP/ INP collaboration, delivered significant unexpected benefits in positively, re-setting the bilateral Australia-Indonesian relationship. The achievements of the Taskforce were particularly meritorious.

It must also be mentioned that the Indonesian system of justice is such that they do not have the benefit of the Internal Security Act that Malaysia and Singapore have used in rounding up suspects and placing them in detention. All the Indonesian criminal prosecutions were undertaken under the Rule of Law, and contributed, I submit, in a transparent manner which had the effect of the general public understanding that terrorists were undermining Indonesian Society.

Finally, this article is dedicated to the policing brotherhood that performed admirably, whether on the front line, in support back in Canberra or Jakarta and to the international friendships that continue to this day. There were many long days, amusing incidents, and fun down times, the INP certainly knew and embraced hospitality. We were grateful beneficiaries of their invitation to support them in their hour of need and thankfully it was a true partnership.

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Ex-Service Organisations (ESO) Forum

Sydney 30 May 2023

On Tuesday 30 May, I attended the 2nd meeting of the Ex-Service Organisations (ESO) Forum in the meeting room beneath the Hyde Park Cenotaph.

This was the 2nd meeting of the Forum which originally met in Canberra in November 2022.

A representative of the UNOPAA did not attend the first Forum as we were unaware of its existence. The purpose of this 2nd forum meeting was to continue discussions which came out of the original meeting. In a ‘nut shell’ – what is all this about?

The RSL is hosting these forums to gauge the response from ESO’s as to whether they should be represented by a ‘Peak Body’ rather than individual organisations lobbying respective

governments for the same (or similar) purposes e.g. ‘One Voice’. So - I hear you ask, ‘ hasn’t this been done before? ’ The answer quite simply is YES.

The UNOPAA (as UNPAA) was a member (some 20 years ago) of the ‘Kindred Organisations Group’ – this group met regularly with RSL National to discuss issues which the RSL could progress on our behalf. I, personally, attended a number of these meetings. The RSL disbanded this group for reasons I am unaware of. Since then, there have been several attempts to re-establish a similar

cohort to represent ESO groups. The last attempt was in 2016. All these attempts have failed. This time round, it is one of the recommendations that has come out of the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. The Royal Commissioners are extremely interested in the outcomes of this current round of ESO Forums and all 3 Commissioners have attended both Forums.

My view: Naturally, the majority of ESOs in attendance were military service focused. Only two organisations present at this

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forum (from a group of 80 persons representing 40 organisations) represented Police, those being ourselves (UNOPAA) and the Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans Association (APPVA) represented by their Chairman, Ian Lindgren. It was very difficult to place any sort of Police slant on any of the discussions as, in the main, they weren’t overly interested. I did, however, have an opportunity to have a quick discussion with Royal Commissioner Nick Kaldos and advised him that Police had been omitted from the new draft legislation of the updated Military, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (MRCA) – another recommendation of the Royal Commission Interim Report. Commissioner Kaldos was unaware of this and was quite surprised. He advised he will be watching the formulation of the Act as it progresses.

Below is a precis of the outcomes of the Forums thus far. Taken directly from the Outcomes document of the 2nd Forum:

The Ex-Service Organisations (ESOs) that provide support and services to veterans and their families make-up a diverse sector that has grown organically to meet their different needs. Many ESOs have been founded by veterans themselves, and they understand that there is a need to work closer together to simplify understanding and access for veteran and their families and to better leverage the collective strengths of the sector.

The first National Forum for ExService Organisations (ESOs) held in Canberra in November 2022 brought together ESOs from across Australia. The Royal Commissioners into Defence and Veteran Suicide addressed the forum and updated participants on their inquiry.

Participants discussed and ranked in order of importance the top five priority issues that they wanted to work on together as a sector that supports veterans and their families, and to ready the sector to respond to the recommendations of the Royal Commission:

1. Establish a peak body for the ESO sector to represent and advocate for the needs of ESOs, Australian veterans and their families

2. Map and categorise the services that ESOs deliver, and provide measurements of service quality to assist

veterans navigating service needs and providers

3. Explore standardised reporting and measurement frameworks for ESOs that use quantitative and qualitative data to measure the success of services and programs

4. Prioritise the establishment of ESO-led-in-service transition coaching, support, and resources from ESOs and veterans

5. Advocate for enhanced defence family engagement by calling on government to expand DVA’s transition

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Commissioner Nick Kaldos (Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide) addresses the Forum

seminars to next of kin to ensure family members are aware of support services available to veterans

The second National ESO Forum held in Sydney on 30 May 2023 addressed the first two priority issues. It brought together over 80 representatives from 40 ESOs from across the country to consider a Peak Body for the sector. Facilitated by the Returned and Services League of Australia and its’ State Branches, the Forum provided a framework to enable discussion and develop thinking around a Peak Body. Key outcomes of the forum included broad acceptance for the introduction of an ESO Classification system and the priority functions of a higher authority, or Peak Body, for the ESO sector.

Dialogue and discussions across the day identified strong support for the forum process and further work to reach agreement on ESO classification and a preferred option for an ESO Peak Body. Conversations also highlighted the ongoing challenge of considering engagement in this process from smaller, regionally located ESOs. Additional conversations and comments identified a difference in thinking and sentiment of younger and older veterans regarding their engagement in traditional ESOs, such as RSL. This was noted as a separate issue to the discussions about classification and peak body. Moving forward, participants agreed to the following actions facilitated by RSL:

• Provide a report of Forum 2 to participants

• Facilitate a third National Forum in September/October 2023

• Ahead of Forum 3 to develop pre-forum information papers in consultation with participants to inform discussion at that next forum. Pre-papers to include:

• Updated ESO Classification system shaped by participant feedback from Forum 2

• Different options for an ESO Peak Body frameworks able to deliver the top three priority functions identified at Forum 2 as the initial remit of the Peak Body

• Forum participants to share Forum 2 reports and Forum 3 pre-papers with their members, fellow ESOs and other stakeholders to ensure there is deep engagement across the

ESO sector, including with smaller ESOs, to inform this process.

Finally, a collective intent was also discussed, that the outcome of the third Forum will be an agreed ESO classification system and a preferred option for an ESO Peak Body. And that the ESO Sector will collectively work to agree how to operationalise the Peak Body and introduce the classification system.

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80 representatives from 40 ESOs attended the 2nd ESO Forum in Sydney

Unveiling of the Tasmania Police Overseas Service Honour Board

On 19 April 2023, the Tasmania Police Commissioner, Donna Adams PSM APM, unveiled an honour board at the Tasmania Police Academy at Rokeby (near Hobart) dedicated to the Tasmania Police who have served overseas on United Nations and Australian Government mandated peacekeeping and capacity building missions since 1964.

Over that time, Tasmanian Police officers have been deployed to Cyprus, East Timor/Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. The erection of the honour board was made possible through a “Saluting Their Service” commemorative grant funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Pictured are Commissioner Adams and Bevan Howell. Bevan was one of the first two Tasmania Police to serve overseas, when he deployed to Cyprus in 1964. He unveiled the honour board with the Commissioner.

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Letter to Minister


House of Representatives

Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Minister, Veterans’ Legislation Reform Pathway,

I am writing on behalf of the United Nations & Overseas Police Association of Australia (UNOPAA) concerning your announcement on 16 February 2023 and the release of a proposed Veterans’ Reform Pathway.

We provided a previous submission in response to Government Call for Feedback on Veterans’ Legislative Reform, announced by you on 17 October 2022, but received no response to the matters we raised.

It is therefore disappointing to see that the pathway you released does not appear to take into account the needs of our members, in particular by proposing that only “existing claims under the VEA or DRCA before the specified commencement date” (of the move to a single ongoing Act) “would remain under grandparented provisions of those Acts”.

The Productivity Commission, which proposed the move to a single Act (scheme 2) in its report, “A Better Way to Support Veterans”, made one exception in its recommendations. At page 831 of their report, the Commission stated: “Veterans without a current or accepted claim at the implementation date should be covered under scheme 2 going forward. This would speed up the transition towards scheme 2. There would be one exception to this.

As noted by the United Nations and Overseas Policing Association of Australia, police peacekeepers have access under the VEA but not under the MRCA or the DRCA. That means police peacekeepers who have not yet made a claim would retain their eligibility to make a claim under the VEA if they were previously eligible to do so.”

Will this exception apply under the proposed pathway and be included in the grandparenting provisions of the VEA?

Overseas peacekeeping missions involving Australian Police are rightfully included in Schedule 3 of the VEA, or have been included by Ministerial determination. These missions extend from 1964 to 2017, and include deployments to Cyprus, Cambodia, Mozambique, Haiti, East Timor/Timor Leste, the Solomon Islands and Sudan. Australian police deployed to East Timor/Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands, for example, are still relatively young and many are still serving in their home jurisdictions or the AFP.

It would be quite unreasonable to suggest that all of the conditions likely to result in a claim by these police peacekeepers under the VEA will be manifest at the time the “single ongoing Act” comes into force. Many conditions take years to emerge, as the Royal Commission has found, and claims can often be delayed.

To only honour “existing claims” at the time of implementation would, in our view, be a severe abrogation of responsibility by government.

We have assumed, in making this comment, that police peacekeepers will not be included in the single ongoing Act. They are not currently covered by the SRCA or the MRCA.

Your urgent attention to this issue would be appreciated, as it causing considerable concern. We do not have an issue with the government’s desire to simplify veterans’ legislation. However, we do not wish to be overlooked or excluded.

Yours sincerely,

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Response on behalf of Minister

From: Minister <>

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2023 at 11:35

Subject: Veterans’ Legislation Reform Consultation Pathway [SEC=OFFICIAL]


Dear Mr McDonald,

Thank you for your correspondence of 22 February 2023 regarding the Veterans’ Legislation Reform Consultation Pathway and entitlements for Australian police officers who participated in overseas peacekeeping missions.

The Australian Government is committed to simplifying veterans’ legislation and ensuring veterans receive the support they need and deserve. The consultation process announced on 16 February 2023 is an opportunity for the Australian Government to continue to engage with the veteran community and key stakeholders. Feedback received about the proposed pathway will inform the way forward.

As you note in your correspondence, police officers who participated in declared peacekeeping missions currently have coverage under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA). The proposed pathway anticipates that from a specified date in the future, all new claims will be dealt with under an improved Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (MRCA).

You have raised a concern that police officers who have not yet made a claim under the VEA may be excluded from claiming once the proposed reform is implemented, as the MRCA does not currently cover them. This is an issue that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and I are aware of and are working to resolve during this important consultation phase.

Under the proposed pathway, it is intended that police officers with existing VEA coverage will retain eligibility and be able to submit claims under the MRCA. It is proposed that police officers will have access to the range of benefits available under an improved MRCA.

There are a number of differences between the VEA and the MRCA that will need to be addressed before a final decision is made. Feedback on these issues will help shape the eventual legislative reform, so I thank you for your contribution.

I acknowledge that this issue is causing concern to you and your members. The Australian Government is committed to taking the time to get this consultation right, and ensuring we listen to and consider concerns that are raised. I encourage you and your members to continue to raise these important issues and provide feedback regarding the proposed pathway.

Thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to the Minister’s attention. I trust this information is of assistance.

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Major General Cheryl Pearce AM CSC

For outstanding achievement as the Force Commander, United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus from 2019 to 2021

She graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea and was commissioned into the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police in 1985. She has commanded the Defence Police Training Centre (2003), 1st Military Police Battalion (2006–08), Task Group Afghanistan (2016) and Australian Defence Force Academy (2017–18), and has served on operations in East Timor and Afghanistan. She was Force Commander, United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus from January 2019 to January 2021 and, following her retirement from the Australian Army, was appointed Deputy Commissioner Ports and Enforcement in the Australian Border Force in August 2021.

Major General Pearce graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea and was commissioned into the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police in December 1985. Her early career featured a range of regimental and staff appointments, including postings to Headquarters 1st Brigade, to the G3 (operations) branch at Land Headquarters, and as staff officer to the commandant of the Australian Defence Force Academy. She graduated from the Australian Command and Staff College in 2001 and, in 2002, deployed as a military observer with the United Nations Mission of Support to East Timor, for which she was awarded a Chief of the Defence Force Commendation.

Following her return to Australia, Pearce was appointed to command the Defence Police Training Centre in 2003. She was next posted as Provost Marshal – Army, prior to assuming command of the 1st Military Police Battalion from 2004 to 2006. In recognition of her “exceptional service” in these three positions, Pearce was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2007 Australia Day Honours. Pearce was subsequently posted to the directing staff of the Australian Command and Staff College, served as Director Network Centric Warfare in the Capability Development Group, and served as Director Special Operations Support from 2010 to 2012. She attended the Higher Command and Staff Course in the United Kingdom in 2013 and, on her return to Australia, was appointed chief of staff at Headquarters Australian Army from 2013 to 2016.

In 2016, Pearce deployed to the Middle East as commander of Task

Group Afghanistan. The task group, as part of Australia’s contribution to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, provided training and advice to the Afghan National Security Forces. Pearce’s “distinguished performance” during the nine-month deployment was recognised with the award of the Commendation for Distinguished Service in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours. Pearce was subsequently appointed Commandant of the Australian Defence Force Academy from 2017 to 2018.

In November 2018, the SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations, António Guterres, announced that Pearce had been selected to succeed Major General Mohammad Humayun Kabir as Force Commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). Pearce, who assumed command of UNFICYP in January 2019, is the second woman to be appointed force commander of a United Nations mission. As force commander, she was responsible for more than 800 personnel from 15 nations working to maintain peace and stability in Cyprus, in spite of the additional challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Pearce relinquished command of UNFICYP on 4 January 2021 and, for her “outstanding achievement” in the role, she was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2022 Australia Day Honours.

42 True Blue August 2023
Major General Cheryl Ann Pearce, AM, CSC is a deputy commissioner in the Australian Border Force and a retired senior officer of the Australian Army.

The Are They Triple OK? Podcast


R U OK? has launched a new podcast series to encourage life changing conversations, early intervention and supportive behaviour amongst the peers, family and friends of those who work and volunteer in the police and emergency services.

The ‘Are They Triple OK? podcast’ features personal stories and practical tools to increase social support for emergency services personnel and build a mentally healthy workplace. It also includes tips on how to ask, ‘are you OK?’ and navigate a conversation if someone is not OK.

Episode one features James Maskey, a retired front-

line Queensland Police Officer. In 2013, James was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“As first responders historically, we talk about everything except for mental health and, importantly, suicidal thoughts,” said Mr Maskey. “Either because we didn't have the confidence to have that conversation, or we were worried

about the impacts of having that chat. And when I say we, I'm talking about me. Certainly, that was my experience.”

Mr Maskey says frontline first responders, in the fire truck, in the ambulance, in the patrol car, have a unique opportunity to get to know their colleagues.

“You know what they like to eat, their coffee order and what their

43 True Blue August 2023

family and their children are up to,” he said. “You know the intimate details of their lives because you've got a long time in the car sitting side by side to share so many experiences.”

Mr Maskey is now the National Sector Specialist at Fortem Australia, and is passionate about enhancing the mental, physical and social well-being of the first responder community.

“My advice to the emergency services community is to learn how to have an R U OK? Conversation and start having them,” he said. “If someone is struggling, reaching out for help can feel like a heavy thing to do, it can be a hard task and it can feel overwhelming.

“But when you take the time to ask someone how they’re travelling, you can take some of the weight off and some of the burden away. People are often relieved to have a conversation and feel that level of camaraderie.”

The ‘Are They Triple OK?

podcast’ is hosted by Matt Newlands, R U OK? Community Ambassador and former police officer is one of a suite of free resources available from R U OK? for those who work in the police and emergency services, their families and friends. The podcast and resources including a conversation guide and personal stories that demonstrate the life changing impact of an R U OK? conversation can be found at ruok The ‘Are They Triple OK? podcast’ will also be available for download on a range of streaming services, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and Audible.

‘Are They Triple OK?’ was developed in response to the Beyond Blue nationwide ‘Answering the call’ survey which found more than half of all police and emergency services employees indicated they had

experienced a traumatic event that had deeply affected them during the course of their work. Positively, personnel with higher levels of social support and resilience reported lower levels of suicidal thoughts and behaviours.

“The results from ‘Answering the Call’ showed us that the support of peers, family and friends does make a difference for those who work in frontline services. It’s OK to not be OK. It’s OK to lean on each other, and it’s OK to retire that unhelpful stereotype of being that six-foot bulletproof superhero,” said Maskey. “I would urge leaders to explore vulnerability to share their own story if they have one, or to support others to share their own story as well. We know that this helps in demystifying mental health."

If you’re worried about someone and feel they need professional support, encourage them to contact their Employee Assistance Program (EAP), appropriate agency support service or connect with a trusted health professional, like their local doctor.

Pinnacle Charitable Foundation is a Funding Partner of R U OK? and is proud to fund the ‘Are they Triple OK?’ campaign.

Specialised wellbeing and mental fitness support for first responders and their families can be accessed through Fortem Australia at

For 24/7 for crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Text support is also available: 0477 13 11 14.

About ‘Are They Triple OK?’

• ‘Are They Triple OK?’ is an R U OK? initiative that encourages higher levels of peer and social support for police and emergency services workers and volunteers nationwide.

• The initiative responds to key recommendations in the

Beyond Blue ‘Answering the call’ survey into the mental health and wellbeing of Australia’s police and emergency services workers.

• The initiative focuses on the support networks around our police and emergency services workers and volunteers, both at home and in the workplace e.g., supervisors, volunteers, friends and family.

• ‘Are They Triple OK?’ provides free digital and printable resources.

• Resources include storytelling from police, fire, ambulance, and SES employees and volunteers to ensure the voices of lived experience are heard and to model the life-changing impact of an R U OK? conversation.

• Pinnacle Charitable Foundation is a Funding Partner of R U OK? and is proud to fund the ‘Are they Triple OK?’ campaign.

• ‘Are They Triple OK?’ can be found on the R U OK? website at and is distributed through the existing communication channels of each service.

About R U OK?

• R U OK? is a public health promotion charity that aims to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with friends, family and colleagues who might be struggling with life.

• A renowned suicide prevention theory is that of Dr Thomas Joiner . Joiner’s theory describes three forces at play in someone at risk of suicide, one of which is a decreased sense of belonging. This lack of belonging and sense of connection is what R U OK? are working to prevent.

• R U OK?Day is an annual National Day of Action; held on the second Thursday of September (14 September 2023)

44 True Blue August 2023

and a reminder that every day is a day to start a conversation that could change a life.

• Throughout the year R U OK? delivers free resources that increase the willingness and confidence of all Australians to recognise the signs someone is struggling, start a genuine conversation and lend appropriate support. R U OK? also tailors these resources to meet the needs of targeted population groups and settings.

• R U OK? draws on the valuable lived experience of Australians in the development all campaigns.

• R U OK?Day was founded in 2009 by adman Gavin Larkin who tragically lost his father to suicide in 1995. Larkin (who died of nonHodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011) wanted to spare other families the grief his family endured.

• A spark of an idea has since become a nationwide community movement that encourages everyone to genuinely ask the question and have a meaningful conversation with those in their world who might be struggling.

• Conversation tips and crisis support contacts can be found at

About Fortem Australia

• Fortem Australia is a not-forprofit organisation that supports the mental fitness and wellbeing of first responder families - the people who protect and care for Australian communities.

• As a result of their occupation, first responders in national security and emergency service roles experience high psychological distress, experience suicidal thoughts, and have suicide plans at rates significantly higher than the average Australian adult.

• Tragically, first responder families are also impacted through

‘spillover stress’, with many experiencing secondary trauma and stresses that cascade from first responder employment.

• Fortem Australia provides free evidence-based mental fitness and wellbeing support to the first responder community. We run wellbeing activities designed to connect families and build communities, provide psychology support to first responders and their families, as well as supporting those looking for new life and career opportunities following service.

• Fortem Australia’s wellbeing activities are making a difference in the lives of first responders across the country, increasing social connectedness among the first responder community. Nearly all (97 per cent) of participants felt that the Fortem activity benefited their health and wellbeing.

• Fortem’s clinical support team are highly experienced in the challenges and traumas that first responders and their families go through. One in four psychology sessions are provided directly to family members of first responders.

• Fortem Australia’s Transition and Employment Program provides specialised career management support to transitioning first responders, delivered by an expert team with lived experience in various first responder agencies.

• As we approach four years of operation, Fortem Australia has received over 23,500 wellbeing activity registrations and provided more than 3,600 psychology sessions to first responders and their families across the country.

More information can be found at

45 True Blue August 2023


On behalf of the UNOPAA National Executive, our National Committee, State Branches and all members of UNOPAA, we would like to acknowledge the service of the following, particularly to overseas peacekeeping, and to express our sympathy to family, contingent colleagues and friends. It is with regret that we advise of the passing of:


Steven passed away on 24 April 2023, aged 66 years. Steven deployed to Cyprus – 1994 (42nd Contingent), East Timor – 2004 (13th Contingent), Sudan (UNMIS) – 2007 (3rd Contingent) and Solomon Islands – 2014 His funeral was held on Tuesday 2nd May 2023 at the Duntroon Chapel – RMC Duntroon


Adrian passed away on 11 April 2023 aged 69 years. Adrian deployed to Cambodia – 2nd Contingent 1993, Haiti – 1994/95, Cyprus – 51st contingent 1997 and East Timor – 2nd contingent (phase 3) 1999/2000. A private funeral service has been held for Adrian.


The widow of Robert (Doc) Gillespie, a member of the 1st Contingent to Cyprus (1964-65).

Doreen passed away on 13 July 2023. She was aged 87 years.

Doreen was a very active supporter of the UNOPAA This information was provided by their daughter Grael. Funeral details are not known.



Membership Renewal or Application

Your annual UNOPAA membership subscription is $20.00. Please complete this form and return with your subscription to address at the bottom of this form.

Please send this Application Form and remittance to:


c/- Peter McDonald, National Secretary

28A Dinah Parade, East Keilor, VIC, 3033 Mobile: 0418 131 352


Surname or Family Name Given Name/s Private Address (No. & Street) (Suburb or Town) (State) (Postcode) Preferred Name Spouse/Partner’s Name Membership Fees Signature Email Address Service Status Do you require a receipt? All payments MUST be made in Australian Dollars. Make cheques payable to UNOPAA. Do NOT send cash. Payment Type Current or former Police Organisation (please tick) Phone (Home or Mobile) (Business) AFP Currently serving Cheque Former or retired Money Order Direct debit (form attached) Associate EFTPOS – Account Name: UNOPAA BSB: 815-000 Account No: 229831 VIC SA TAS Other (specify below) NSW Yes QLD No WA NT United Nations or Overseas Policing Service UN Mission/Country of Policing Service (eg: UNFICYP-Cyprus, UNMIT/TLPDP-Timor Leste, RAMSI, Afghanistan, etc) Year/s Contingent Number/s Military Service (eg: RAAF, Corps, Regiment, Wing, Ship etc) Year/s $20.00 for Serving Members, Former or Retired,
or Associate
Official Use Only Membership updated on: By:



ABN: 83 146 901 797

UNOPAA Tie – Blue with Light Blue Logo

UNOPAA Cuff Links

UNOPAA Lapel Pins Round

UNOPAA Flag/ANF Lapel Pins

UNOPAA/ANF Challenge Coin

Please note – GST, postage and handling included



Send cheque or money order in mail, payable to “UNOPAA”, and this form completed with your order to PO Box 7099, KARABAR NSW 2620


Account: UNOPAA Merchandise S2

BSB: 815000

Account: 100343942

Reference: <your last name> and ‘MRCHDS’ in the reference field

Then e-mail details of the transaction including your reference number and a copy of this completed form to

The United Nations & Overseas Police Association of Australia (UNOPAA) will accept returned products/ merchandise where:

• The product is faulty, or not fit for purpose, or the product does not match the sample or description. Proof of purchase (UNOPAA merchandise receipt) must be provided in order to:

• Obtain a refund (by cheque) will be provided or re-issue alike article.


The UNOPAA will take the utmost care in packaging; however, we will not accept any responsibility for goods damaged in transit. The UNOPAA will not accept returns where the product or merchandise is ordered specifically for an individual (eg Montage, clothing, etc)

All queries for return of merchandise must be received within 30 days from date of purchase and directed to the UNOPAA Merchandise officer at heldale.cooper@ Item returns will be at the discretion of the APPVA Merchandise Officer provided the above criterion is met in the first instance. Please choose carefully as UNOPAA cannot accept returns due to a change of mind.

Title (Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr, Rank) No/Street First Name City/Suburb Last Name State Post/Zip Code Email Country Mobile Phone
ANF Challenge Coin Flag/ANF Lapel Pins Lapel Pins Round Cuff Links Tie

Here are ThinkUKnow’s top tips for safer online interactions:

• Question suspicious accounts, and trust your instincts if something doesn’t seem right - not everyone is who they say they are.

• Avoid meeting someone in person that you have only ever spoken to online. However, if you do meet, choose a public place and take someone with you.

• If something goes wrong, know how to block or un-match and report.

• Your safety should always come first!

Sometimes things don’t go to plan but there is always help available.

For more information, visit

ThinkUKnow is a national online child safety program led by the Australian Federal Police, delivered in schools through educational presentations and resources for young people and their parents and carers.
Being online has made meeting and interacting with others easier than ever before, but it’s important to know how to stay safe.

UXO. Curiosity Can Kill You.

You need to understand the real danger of unexploded ordnance (UXO). If you touch UXOlike an old bomb, bullet or hand grenade - it could seriously injure or even kill you. You must know - Don’t Touch It!

Report it to the Police on OOO

Don’t touch it,

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