The Air Force Association originated from the Australian Flying Corps Association, formed in 1920 before the Royal Australian Air Force formed in March 1921. RAAF members were invited to join the AFC Association during the Second World War from which the Association name changed to AFC & RAAF Association. In 2018 the name was changed to Air Force Association when the National Association became a Company Limited by Guarantee.
Ballina formed as a branch of the New South Wales Division in 1988. The branch meets monthly on the second Thursday at 11:00am, in the Cherry Street Sports and Recreation Club. Members lunch after the meeting in the Club's Restaurant. Other activities include social lunches on the last Thursday of each month, sometimes with a bus trip. Organised raffles supporting their charitable status; the branch supports the 326 (City of Lismore) Squadron Australian Air Force Cadets Scholarship Scheme, annual donations also give support to the Cadet Squadron, the Evans Head Historical Aviation Museum, Legacy, The Salvation Army, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and Kokoda Village residents at Ballina RSL Life Care.
In September each year the branch organises the local Battle for Australia and Battle of Britain commemoration service and commemoration lunch. This service is traditionally held on a Sunday between the proclaimed days of, first Wednesday in September for Battle for Australia, and 15th September for Battle of Britain, each year. The cadet scholarships are awarded and annual donations are made at the commemoration lunch.
For Association, Branch and Membership information click on this link Air Force Association (NSW Division) Inc.
In September 1986, a group of local WW11, ex-service women met to form an Association, which became known as the Ballina and District Ex-Service Women’s association. They came from the Navy, Army and Air Force women’s service groups, holding monthly meetings with an attendance of 80-100 members, where new and old friendships developed a social bond.
During WW11 a shortage of male recruits was the reason to form Female branches of the armed services. The Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) was the first to form in March1941 followed by the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) in Oct.1941 and the Women’s Royal Australian Navy (WRANS) in July 1942.
In 1944, almost 50,000 women were serving and thousand more joined the Civilian Australian Land Army. Many were trained to do skilled work in male occupations, to free men up for operational service. At the end of the war these branches were disbanded.
During the Korean War similar issues arose, whereby it became necessary to permanently establish the Women’s Services in 1951.
2019; currently we have 30 members, approximately 20 are active members. We meet on the 2nd Monday of February, April, June and August for a lunch, no meeting. An information sheet is given to the members at lunch with any relevant information. Our Annual General Meeting is held on the 2nd Monday in October.
Our Christmas lunch is held on the 2nd Monday in December at the RSL Club in Grant Street.
Ex-Service Women from Grafton, Pottsville and Byron Bay are invited for that lunch. All functions start at 11-45am.
Annually we join with the Ballina RSL sub-Branch, Navy, KSEAVVA, Army and Air Force Associations, to conduct a Charity Bowls day in March each year. One organisation from this group coordinates and selects the Charity to benefit from the day. It raises anything from $3,500 to $4,500 (Weather a factor). The Ex-service Women Association are up for March 2020.
We March on Anzac Day behind our own banner, which always gets a good cheer of “Go Girls.”
We encourage all ex-service women to join, currently our youngest in her 50’s to the eldest at 99.
We have working women, with some working our lunch around their own lunch break. June lunch is always held on the long week-end (Queens Birthday), makeing it a little easier for them.
President is Colleen Wills, Vice President Irena McDonough, Secretary Glenda Veacock, Treasurer Pam Weller and Welfare Heather Glennie, our youngest member.
Contact Colleen: m0429 19 8989 or 6686 8989. Email: [email protected]
“ Glenda: 6686 2406. Email: [email protected]
We are not a large group, but we are a friendly and sociable group. Give us a go.