PRESIDENT'S WELCOME

Mark Dillon

Mark Dillon

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen - Welcome to the website.

I have recently been re-elected as President of our Association.
It is a role I take on with both pride and humility as I am following in the footsteps of some great men. 

In particular I would like to thank all of last year's committee, which is a blend of former and still serving members all of whom have offered many years of dedicated service to the Association for their hard work, and thank them for nominating again for another year.

My own association with the Unit began in May 1983. I did my recruit course at Jezzine Barracks Townsville in August 1983 and exactly 30 years later I was elected to this role in my 51st year.

I served in A Company through the period of transition from being a poorly equipped Independent Rifle Company to becoming a Regional Force Surveillance Unit with an active role in the nations defence. 

Serving with the Unit has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The lessons I have learnt as a part time soldier have assisted me throughout my professional life. I have made lifelong friends and I married the A Company Clerk, Michelle Dillon nee Johnson , 24 years ago and together we have two sons and a daughter.

In 1991, due to work commitments, I discharged with the rank of Sergeant. I have continued to keep in touch with the soldiers I served with and in recent years many of us joined the Association so as to provide a presence on ANZAC days and other ceremonial occasions. 

Vision

  • Increase the Association’s presence at memorial ceremonies so that the proud history of the Unit is presented to the community
  • Recruit former members to the Association so as to promote the ideals of the Association and provide future office bearers
  • Plan and conduct social activities to reunite former members with old comrades
  • Enhance the website and encourage members to contribute stories which give snapshots into the history of the battalion
  • Provide support to the battalion via the subsidisation of awards and the installation and upkeep of memorials and the safekeeping of memorabilia
  • Support cadet units throughout the region and award prizes or trophies to outstanding young cadets 
  • Encourage young Australians to consider part-time service in the Army Reserve or a full-time career in the Defence Force
  • Raise the profile of the part-time citizen soldier and promote the work they do in the Battalion’s area of operations


Aim

The aim of the Association is to increase the knowledge and understanding of the 51st Battalion, provide fellowship for members, support and maintain a close relationship to the Battalion.


Fellowship

The Association has been offered a base at the Gordonvale RSL and many of the local members meet each Friday. It is roughly in the centre of the Cairns Hinterland. 

All members are welcome to 51 FNQR Happy Hours at Porton Barracks, Edmonton.


Functions

Update to the 2016-17 Calendar to be available shortly


Current Projects

Listed below are projects that are currently underway;

  • Develop the membership;
  • Promote Fellowship via formal functions, including meeting at the Gordonvale RSL;
  • Develop Association memorabilia – (badges, shirts, name plates, etc.) and act as a conduit to 51 FNQR item (ties, lapel pins, mugs, glasses, etc.);
  • Enhance the website by fostering members’ articles on their or a relative’s service with the Battalion, including photos of historical interest and sites of interest; and
  • Support the Battalion’s activities and members – through subsidisation of annual awards/prizes and the memorial walk.

Future Projects

  • Plan, develop and support the coming centenary of the raising of the Battalion as the 51st Battalion Australian Imperial Force on 1st March 2016.
  • Plan, develop and support the centenary of the battle of Villers Bretoneux - the 51st Battalion is the only remaining Unit on the Australian Army Order of Battle whose ancestor participated in the battle.

I am excited about working with the committee and membership to further develop the Association and to assist the Battalion . 

Please take the time to view the website and if you wish to enquire or join the Association please follow up with your local representative (see Office Bearers Page) or use the 'contact' form on the Contact Us page.