About the Association
The NSW Division of the Air Force Association is a not-for-profit charitable organisation established in NSW.
We support the welfare of Past and Present Air Force members through Advocacy, Lobbying, Camaraderie and Commemorations.
We have a robust working relationship with the Department of Veterans Affairs and together with other ESOs provide essential supplementary engagement with those government services to promote veteran support and concerns.
Serving RAAF members are encouraged to participate and adopt the Air Force Association as their equivalent to a workplace union.
MEMBERSHIP OF AFA NSW provides personal and material benefits derived through:
- Welfare, face to face counselling and Advocacy support, particularly concerning Veterans Affairs matters.
- Make representation to Government bodies on matters affecting ex-Service personnel.
- Assisting families during times of hardship.
- Provide assistance to navigate government processes to access DVA support.
- Promotion of social activities.
- Promotion of commemorative events.
- Promote the preservation of military aviation heritage.
- Provide support for media coverage.
- Support Australia's air power.
- Honour the memory of fallen friends.
Initially, membership in the Association was restricted to men who had served in any Branch of His Majesty's Air Forces in war. Then, in 1947, members of the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force were accorded full membership. Now peace-time airmen and airwomen including those in the Reserve Air Force are entitled to full rights of membership. The Association seeks to attract serving and recently discharged ex-RAAF personnel to enjoy the camaraderie that comes from having been in the RAAF, and contribute to the support we provide for our colleagues.
In addition to our historical membership base, eligible membership has now been broadened to include members and former members of any air force or an air element of a defence force as well as spouses, widows, offspring and siblings of members of the Association. Also welcome are members of the Australian Air Force Cadets, the Australian Air League and similar organisations having an interest in military aviation.
NSW Division has an Executive Council of 7 members who are elected annually. Approximately 30 Branches of the Association are spread across the State, all of which are self-funding and self-administering. The entire structure is driven by a common vision, to help support veterans and families and to honour and commemorate the fallen.
COUNCIL SUPPORT and SERVICE ADVOCATES
Membership OfficerPeter Gustafson
Honorary ChaplainRev. Geoffrey R Usher
Service AdvocateMike Stuart-Watt
Service AdvocateIvan Petrovic
Service and Indigenous Advisor AdvocateSteve Weaver
AAFC AdvocateMerridy Thompson OAM
PEOPLE ARE MOTIVATED TO BECOME NSW COUNCILLORS TO:
- foster the spirit of comradeship developed during Service,
- promote the welfare of the Association and its members,
- preserve history & heritage,
- pass on our heritage, and
- ensure growth and relevance of RAAFA.
NSW Division of the Association is an incorporated not-for-profit charitable organization which is led by volunteers. Its revenue is obtained from modest investments, membership subscriptions and donations by supportive ex-Service people.
The National Council consists of the National Executive and the President of each Division. It sets policy common to all State Divisions and represents the Association on national issues. The Deputy Chief of Air Force may, at the invitation of the National Executive, be an ex-officio member of the Council.
Since its inception, the Association has enjoyed the privilege of having the Governor-General as its Patron.
RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER EX-SERVICE ORGANISATIONS
The Air Force Association is one of several ex-service organisation (ESO) members forming the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO).
ADSO was formally constituted in July of 2010. It was formed as result of the constituent organisations desire to work in a more cooperative and coordinated manner.
The Alliance represents a significant number of members of Australia's Defence Family on national advocacy and representative matters to the Australian Federal Parliament and political parties.
The Alliance objective is to provide a stronger voice on issues impacting the conditions and wellbeing of currently serving and former members of the Australian Defence Force and their families to the Australian Government, Parliament and all Australians.
Information sourced from the Alliance website. For details about member ESOs and current campaign objectives visit the ADSO website at www.adso.org.au
The Air Force Association is a member of the World Veterans Federation and was the first Australian National Veteran's Organisation to join the Federation in 1954.
The event officially accepted by the RAAF Association is marking its commencement was a gathering in Melbourne outside St. Paul's Cathedral. Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith and their crew had just completed the epoch-making first flight from England to Australia on 10th December 1919. Mr H.V. Leckie, a former member of the Australian Flying Corps, then living in Melbourne, believed that he and his fellow airmen should fittingly welcome the Smith brothers to recognise their achievements and to establish a lasting organisation to keep the ex-AFC members together. Australian Flying Corps Associations were established over the following months across the States.
Among the early members of the AFC were many whose names were significant in the aviation history of Australia. The most well known was Lieutenant Colonel Williams. He became the first Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) of the Royal Australian Air Force, formed on 31st March 1921, some months after the AFC Association was formed.
Throughout the subsequent inter-war years, the AFC Associations were linked with the common aim of keeping the former members of the AFC together through reunions and similar functions. In addition, the Associations assisted by raising funds to look after those of their members who needed assistance.
As the AFC itself had been a relatively small organisation, the numbers in the AFC Associations were small. However, with the coming of World War II and the existence of a very much larger air force than had existed in World War I, the AFC Associations in each State had to consider their future. Making the right decision, they opened the doors of the AFC Association to the thousands of young Australians who were now, literally, pouring into the Royal Australian Air Force. The title of the Association was changed to Air Force Association in 1943.
With the vastly increased numbers who now belonged to the Association, its status grew substantially and it became quickly recognised as one of the major ex-Servicemen's bodies in Australia. It took a close and detailed interest in all the matters affecting the welfare of airmen and the Air Force. Records indicate constant detailed attention to pension matters, war service homes, housing and the interests of air defence. The Air Force Association differed from most other ex-Service bodies in that it retained its links with one of the armed services and has always regarded one of its prime aims as supporting flying and the Air Force.
The Association was incorporated in New South Wales on 6th November 1995 and has the official title Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Incorporated.