A picture of the Corona Virus

Covid-19 in 2021

As 2021 dawned with the hope of a post-COVID world thanks to the vaccine, a new variant strain of the virus was detected in Australia.

When it comes to tackling the virus, Queenslanders have shown that a no-nonsense approach, including locking down the borders and complying with stay-at-home orders have proven effective in limiting the reach of the virus.

We recently had a positive detection in our wastewater system, proving that the virus is still around and has been in our community recently.

Continuing with our best hygiene practices and maintaining social distancing (staying 1.5m apart) is still important in preventing the spread with the detection of COVID-19.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have visited any of the current hot spots it is Important to have a COVID-19 test at our local testing facilities.

The 2 facilities in Warwick are:

Warwick Hospital: Please call ahead on 4660 3900. Entrance via Locke Street from William Street to avoid traffic incidents on the New England Highway. Testing is available from 8am to 5pm.

Condamine Medical Centre Respiratory Clinic: Please call ahead to book on 4666 9666. Location is 67 Guy Street, Monday to Friday 9am to 5:30pm.

Community Focus- Rotary club of Warwick Sunrise



Christmas is always a busy time of the year for our group and this year we are currently packing up 50 Christmas hampers for local farmers who continue to be drought affected.  At the same time we are running our big Christmas raffle selling tickets outside WFS in Palmerin Street as well as at IGA and the Cherry Tree Café. All funds raised go towards local projects such as supporting three Warwick teenagers to attend a leadership camp at Camp Bornhffen in the Numinbah valley.

Recently we supported the mental health workshop “Are you bogged mate” at Freestone Hall and donated $5000 worth of vouchers to be distributed to rural participants.

Together with the Warwick Men’s Shed we have built six little street libraries and the first two are now installed at Leslie Park and Mile End Park with four more to come in the new year. These are free to use and locals are encouraged to borrow books and drop off books for adults and children alike. Larger donations of books are accepted all year round for our Annual Big Book Sale and can be dropped off at B and K Motors in Albion Street.

The Rotary Club of Warwick Sunrise are celebrating 20 years of activities in the region and are proud to be “People of Action” and welcome visitors to our regular Thursday morning meetings held at Warwick Gardens Galore at 6.45 am . 

We wish all the residents of Warwick and district a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Leslie Park little street library.

Community Focus- Warwick RSL Sub-branch

We are the welfare arm of the Returned & Services League, what we do is what the RSL was established to do in the first place, when injured soldiers and sailors were returning from WWI in 1915 & ’16 only to find the government of the time had enough money to send them to war but didn’t have any idea of how to look after them when they came home.

Wounded and injured soldiers were just turned out on the streets as soon as they could walk, virtually no compensation and a pension so small they were barely able to survive and were left dependant on handouts to feed their families.

It was left up to local groups like Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the churches and other small groups made up of both war veterans and community members who had no government funding, most in fact were penniless and depended on donations from the community to do what they could to help these men (and some women).

The soldiers who returned saw their mates in serious need of assistance, they saw widows whose husbands had been killed, ejected from their rented houses because they had no income, they saw their mates unable to get jobs which had been taken over by those who didn’t enlist and they knew something had to be done.

Eventually, these returned men and most of the groups realised they needed to press the Federal Government for assistance and they needed a larger voice than just the individual small committees.

(The RSL is now the largest lobby group in Australia for ex-servicemen and women and the one which has the ear of government).

Their combined efforts led to the formation of the RSSILA (Returned Soldiers and Sailors Imperial League of Australia) which was founded in 1916.

When speaking with one voice, the Federal Government realised they had to do something for those men (and women) which led to the formation of what is now the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA).

If you think the formation of the DVA sorted all the problems, you are a long way from the truth.

Veterans’ are still fighting for fair pensions and compensation to this day and while things have changed for the better in the past few years, there are still major problems within the system and some of the stories I can tell you would give you nightmares.

In Warwick, the RSSILA was formed on August 4, 1917, and we are now Queensland’s oldest continuing Sub-Branch of the state branch of the RSL.

I think it was at the beginning of WWII the name was changed again to Returned Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Imperial League of Australia (RSS&AILA) – what a mouthful!!

Reason reigned at some stage after WWII when it became the Returned Servicemen’s League (RSL) – sorry ladies, you weren’t considered but they did allow female members who had been involved in warlike activities.

Unfortunately, no matter what you did in the military during the war years or afterwards, unless you had active service in a war zone, you were not allowed to join.

In 1991, the leaders again saw reason and re-named the organisation the Returned and Services League which allowed all members of the service community, with or without active service, to join the organisation.

The RSL is one of those organisations where you cannot buy membership. Unless you served in one of the military arms you cannot become a member.

The reason?

Well, I can only surmise it was because only people with service in the military truly understand how a veteran feels, how to speak to them and how best to help.

We provide assistance with gaining welfare benefits, we fill out forms for veterans who have trouble doing it themselves – imagine when DVA sends you a 20-page questionnaire and you already have health problems – some people just give up and miss out on their benefits.

We also provide an advocacy service for a veteran experiencing problems with DVA (or other government departments) such as a claim refused or a benefit reduced, where a trained and experienced person can take their case on – and our win to loss ratio is very much in our favour.

We also provide welfare services such as hospital visits, arranging for a veteran’s lawn to be mowed, high windows washed, perhaps shopping done or provide a vehicle to take them down town.

We are able to provide accommodation for homeless veterans, we have programs where we can assist ex-servicemen and women find work after exiting the services, we also have programs to help ex-service people adjust to life after their discharge.

The work we do within the service and ex-service community may also extend to assisting with the challenges faced by the families of veterans.

We offer bursaries for higher education for veterans’ and their children; we offer education programs through primary and high schools, right through to university and post graduate studies.

As part of our program to educate students, we visit all 17 schools in our region for pre-ANZAC Day services where we conduct memorial services or speak about various subjects related to war service and welfare.

One of our major responsibilities is to conduct memorial services for special occasions such as ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day, Vietnam Veterans’ Day and on other special occasions such as war-related anniversaries.

We also keep memorabilia related to service activities either for display or for safe keeping.

At the funerals of ex-service people we conduct what is sometimes called ‘the poppy service’ or the ex-serviceman or women’s rites. That is, we obtain a copy of their service history, research the service, for example, find out where their units were when the deceased was serving, what their role was and more, then present this as part of the funeral service along with the bugle tunes, the Last Post and the Rouse.

My job as president of a board (made up of eight or 10 members with these various roles included), averages over 40 hours a week and we are all volunteers – how would our communities run without volunteers?

John Skinner


Contact Number: 0427 612 087

Warwick RSL Sub-Branch

Carers Week 2020

A Little Something For A Big Thank You

Warwick Friendly Society Carer’s and Carer’s of our Members deserve a little thank-you this Carer’s Week.

A way we thought we could give back is to provide a $5 voucher to the carers of Warwick.

The Warwick Friendly Society Members Carer’s Week promotion is open to current Warwick Friendly Society members who self-identify as carers or are carers for members

While we are committed to helping the carer’s of Warwick, there are resources available online along with a support network that is always available.

Find more support here: https://carersweek.com.au/

Terms & Conditions

  • Promotion runs from 9th October until the 31st October.
  • Vouchers available until 31st or all distributed.
  • Members must be a current financial member.
  • Members must provide their member number or a valid email address.
  • Members Carers must supply a valid email or contact information.
  • Vouchers will be presented in the name of the carer.


Any personal information will be used in a manner that is compliant with the Australian Privacy Principles. You can review our privacy policy here.

Community Focus- QCWA Warwick

An organisation over 100 years old, the Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA) works to improve lives through advocacy and by providing opportunities for women around education, health and community throughout every phase of a woman’s life.

Here in Warwick they run the very popular QCWA Condamine Valley Tea Rooms – right next door to the coach terminal on Grafton Street.

WFS General Manager, Ahmad, popped round to pick up a tasty toasty and welcome back the QCWA Volunteers to the Tea Rooms. He also spoke to QCWA Condamine Valley Branch Member, Joyce Seaby.

Joyce said the QCWA Volunteers are all very pleased to be back. Currently they are unable to provide a dine-in option as they do not have a commercial dishwasher. The team have submitted a grant and currently awaiting approval.

They hope to be able to offer a dine in service again, soon.

In the meantime, they would love it if people could call them to place orders for lunches over the phone, to save waiting time in the tea rooms.

“The volunteers do miss all the lovely people that used to come in with their carers and enjoy a morning tea”, Joyce said.

She also recommended picking up a copy of Judy Bilbrough’s wonderful Recipe book when you pop in.

The QCWA Tea Rooms are now opening four days a week, Tuesday to Friday. They would like to be able to open on Mondays but do not have enough volunteers. If you are able to help out please get in touch.

The QCWA Tea Rooms can be contacted on 4661 2966.

R U OK? Day 2020

Got a feeling that someone you know or care about it isn’t behaving as they normally would? Perhaps they seem out of sorts? More agitated or withdrawn? Or they’re just not themselves. Trust that gut instinct and act on it. Learn more about the signs and when it’s time to ask R U OK?

By starting a conversation and commenting on the changes you’ve noticed, you could help that family member, friend or workmate open up. If they say they are not ok, you can follow our conversation steps to show them they’re supported and help them find strategies to better manage the load. If they are ok, that person will know you’re someone who cares enough to ask.

Am I Ready?

Am I in a good headspace? Am I willing to genuinely listen? Can I give as much time as needed?

Am I Prepared?

Do I understand that if I ask how someone’s going, the answer could be: “No, I’m not”? Do I understand that you can’t ‘fix’ someone’s problems? Do I accept that they might not be ready to talk? Or they might not want to talk to me?

Picked My Moment?

Have I chosen somewhere relatively private and comfy? Have I figured out a time that will be good for them to chat? Have I made sure I have enough time to chat properly?

1. Ask R U OK?

  • Be relaxed, friendly and concerned in your approach. 
  • Help them open up by asking questions like “How are you going?” or “What’s been happening?”  
  • Mention specific things that have made you concerned for them, like “You seem less chatty than usual. How are you going?” 


  • If they don’t want to talk, don’t criticise them. 
  • Tell them you’re still concerned about changes in their behaviour and you care about them. 
  • Avoid a confrontation. 
  • You could say: “Please call me if you ever want to chat” or “Is there someone else you’d rather talk to?” 

2. Listen with an open mind

  • Take what they say seriously and don’t interrupt or rush the conversation.
  • Don’t judge their experiences or reactions but acknowledge that things seem tough for them.
  • If they need time to think, sit patiently with the silence.
  • Encourage them to explain: “How are you feeling about that?” or “How long have you felt that way?”
  • Show that you’ve listened by repeating back what you’ve heard (in your own words) and ask if you have understood them properly. 

3. Encourage action

  • Ask: “What have you done in the past to manage similar situations?”
  • Ask: “How would you like me to support you?”
  • Ask: “What’s something you can do for yourself right now? Something that’s enjoyable or relaxing?”
  • You could say: “When I was going through a difficult time, I tried this… You might find it useful too.”
  • If they’ve been feeling really down for more than 2 weeks, encourage them to see a health professional. You could say, “It might be useful to link in with someone who can support you. I’m happy to assist you to find the right person to talk to.”
  • Be positive about the role of professionals in getting through tough times. 

4. Check in

  • Pop a reminder in your diary to call them in a couple of weeks. If they’re really struggling, follow up with them sooner.
  • You could say: “I’ve been thinking of you and wanted to know how you’ve been going since we last chatted.”
  • Ask if they’ve found a better way to manage the situation. If they haven’t done anything, don’t judge them. They might just need someone to listen to them for the moment.
  • Stay in touch and be there for them. Genuine care and concern can make a real difference. 

Asking isn’t always easy, but it could change a life. To help people better prepare for a conversation the R U OK? website has a whole suite of resources available.

20 Years of the Warwick Friendly Society Health Centre

On Wednesday 19th August, the Warwick Friendly Society celebrated 20 years since the official opening of the Friendly Society Health Centre in Wood Street, Warwick.

Many Warwick-ites will remember the opening of the first centre which initially included the Condamine Medical Centre (CMC), Sullivan & Nicolaides Pathology, Southern Downs Dental and Warwick Physioworks.

The opening of this centre was the fulfilment of a vision by the 1990’s Board of Directors who endeavoured to bring Warwick’s medical services together in one easy to access location.

Initial meetings were held with six of Warwick’s general practitioners and several allied health professionals. After discussion it was agreed that this “umbrella” facility would be of great benefit to the Warwick community, so the Friendly Society purchased land on Wood Street and began the planning and building of the Warwick Friendly Society Health Centre.

The first tenant was the Condamine Medical Centre which was created from the amalgamation of three practices, Guy Street family Practice, Dr Ackermann’s practice and the Warwick Central Clinic.

The building was very well received and was awarded a Queensland Master Builders Award in 2001, the Condamine Medical Centre also won the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Queensland Practice of the Year Award in 2005.

The new location was very successful for the Condamine Medical Centre, and after a few years, the Friendly Society’s neighbouring property allowed Southern Downs Dental and Physioworks to move to larger premises and CMC to expand. X-ray was also added to the list of services now provided in this precinct. 

Initially the centre did not include a pharmacy, as PBS legislation did not allow it, but a new Friendly Society pharmacy opened after extensions were completed in February 2008.

The Warwick Friendly Society is a member owned, community not for profit organisation which operates two Guardian pharmacies, the Warwick Friendly Society Health Centre and other healthcare infrastructure to support the health of its members and the Warwick community. The organisation was formed in 1908.


Community Focus- Warwick U3A

U3A is the University of the Third Age, which is the age of active retirement, coming after the age of youth and work and home making. University is a loose term – there are no academic requirements for membership and no exams. U3A Warwick is a part of the worldwide self-help organisation promoting learning for personal enjoyment and well-being, keeping the brain active, doing interesting things and activities.

At U3A, members learn together in a culture of like-minded peers who share a common goal of learning for pleasure. Naturally, this forges friendships and networks which reach out to other contacts in our age group and which address many of the risks to general health we all face as we age. These can include loss of social contact, lack of intellectual stimulation, and a decreasing sense of self worth. In a society with a growing population over 55, a society with new retirees who can be highly educated, widely traveled and who have a longer life expectancy than ever before, we provide not only new and varied challenges, but strive to extend present ideas and make the most of the “third age” stage of our lives (Active Retirement). Our classes reflect the interests and enthusiasms of current members, and we continue to listen to their needs and aspirations so as to provide even greater enjoyment and satisfaction.


We have over 200 local members and offer more than 20 courses each term. Our courses are normally run at the complex on the corner of Tooth St. and Wood Streets (Cunningham Highway).

For more information on what courses are available or if you have further questions head on over to the Warwick U3A page.

Member Newsletter Lucky Draw

Terms and Conditions

Who Can Enter?

The Warwick Friendly Society Member Newsletter Lucky Draw promotion is open to Warwick Friendly Society members who have provided an email address and are subscribed to our newsletter.


There are two gift packs per store to be given away. Hampers are to the approximate value of $50 and include a $25 Store Gift Voucher.

Entry into the competition means you (the entrant) accepts these terms and conditions.

How Can You Enter?

· Members who receive our member newsletter or who sign up to receive the newsletter prior to 31 August 2020 are eligible.

· You can do this by providing an email address online, becoming a member or renewing your membership.

· The winner will be chosen by a random generated draw from current members with eligible email addresses.

What Are the Important Dates?

Our Member Newsletter Lucky Draw promotion:

· starts on Friday 17 July at 10am.

· First Draw entries close approx. 4th August (approx.) when the mailing list is drawn. Second Draw entries close approx. 4th Sept.

· First Draw winner will be announced on Friday 7 August 3pm. Second Draw winner will be announced on Friday 4 September 3pm.

Privacy Any personal information will be used in a manner that is compliant with the Australian Privacy Principles. You can review our privacy policy on our website.


Winners will be notified by phone or email if they are successful.

The name of the winner will be published in our member newsletter in August and Sept.

Prize Requirements

The prize will be held in store for pick-up by the winner or for home delivery by arrangement.

The prize is not redeemable for cash

Men’s Health Week

This Men’s Health Week, being held from 15-21 June this year, aims to provoke thought and discussion about what needs to be done to improve male health.

Suicide prevention is one focus of the week. The Australian Bureau of Statistics says that 1.5 million Australian men aged 18 and over had a self-reported mental or behavioural condition in 2014-15. The statistics are staggering, with 1 in 8 men experiencing depression, and 6 out of every 8 suicides being men.

Other men’s health facts include:

  •          Men are at significantly higher risk of dying from liver disease.
  •          Men are more likely to die of heart disease at an earlier age.
  •         80% of spinal cord injuries occur in young men.
  •          Men on average live 4.4 years less than women.
  •          Top 3 reasons for reduced lifespan in men are cardiovascular disease, suicide, and motor accidents.

So, what can we all do about this I hear you ask? SUPPORT each other.

Headspace Warwick is a wonderful confidential service helping young people in the community aged 12-25 with their mental health and wellbeing. They will focus your care around individual needs and work with their in-house team to offer you tailored support. Please feel free to call them on 07 4661 1999

Beyond Blue’s Support Service (1300 22 4636) which is a 24/7 service, can be a great starting point if you are worried about your mate and think he might need a bit of extra support. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected millions of people around the world, both physically and mentally. Beyond Blue is a great haven to seek support.

The Warwick Men’s Shed not only passes on real life skills, but it’s a way of talking over problems with a few mates while doing something constructive.

Be sure to speak to your local GP about your concerns – they are a vital support for both your mental health and physical well being.

From all of us at the Friendlies, please support each other and spread awareness during Men’s Health week.