The OTU Association exists to provide a vehicle for the ongoing connection, and networking and support for all those associated with OTU. The Association is dedicated to the commemoration and remembrance of the Scheyville experience and the contribution made to Australia by all those involved. The association seeks to provide fellowship for its members. The association encourages and supports the development of leadership in young Australians.
"let's keep the blokes together"
ANZAC Day March, Sydney 2013
From The Chairman- 2013 The Year That Was
For the National Association 2013 has been a most memorable year. The undoubted highlight was April’s Sydney reunion. It is worthwhile recalling this in some detail.
Who can forget the pride we felt as four hundred and ten Scheyvillians marched in the ANZAC Day Parade under the OTU banner. The wonderful remembrance and camaraderie enjoyed at each of three luncheons that followed that day truly topped off the occasion.
Next was the brilliant dinner held on the Saturday night at Doltone House, Pyrmont. Our special guests were former Chief Instructor Col Stan Maizie MID (Retd), Jonathan Sanders, Area Manager, Scheyville National Park and keynote speaker, Maj Gen Jim Molan AO DSC (Retd). MC for the night was Ray Andrews (1/70) who was in fine form. It was a fitting celebration of OTU and all that has meant to us in our lives over the decades.
The following day we marched to a Church Parade at St Matthew’s, Windsor. Another moment of great pride. We were led by the New South Wales Police VIP Motor Cycle Escort, followed by the New South Wales Mounted Police Detachment then the New South Wales Police Band. It made us all feel very special and brought back memories of church parades long gone. The service itself was most befitting of the solemnity and celebration of the occasion.
From there we went to Scheyville itself. There were pangs of nostalgia as we marched, by class, onto the Parade Ground. Following that was an advance in review order with Col Stan Maizey MID (Retd) taking the salute. This was done to the accompaniment of a fall brass band provided generously by two local schools. Whilst the quality with which the drill was executed may not quite have been up to the standards seen over forty years ago, the enthusiasm certainly was!
After that followed a superb lunch put on by the Oakville Scouts and the Rural Fire Service.
That the entire four days saw brilliant sunny weather that further added to the overall reunion’s outstanding success. Fond memories were also rekindled in a large number of class functions that were held over the same time.
I would like once more to record the Association’s sincerest appreciation to Dick Adams (3/72), John Bushell (4/69), Geoff Bennett (2/68) for all they did and to Greg Todd (2/71) and to the New South Wales Chapter. It was a splendid effort.
The evidence is clear that the Sydney reunion re established a strong interest in the “Scheyville
experience” among all those who attended OTU so many years ago.
Overall the Association enjoyed another fine year. Many state and territory dinners and luncheons were held as were some golf and other sporting days.
We continued to support the development of leadership in the youth of Australia through a number of projects. Once more we sponsored some twenty five young girls and boys to the annual Lord and Lady Somers Camps.
Neil Leckie put out three editions of our magazine “The Scheyvillian”. This in so many ways acts as a cement that keeps us together. We are grateful indeed to Neil and his tenacious dedication.
As Major General Jim Molan AO DSC (Retd) noted that the reunion dinner, there seems to be a special bond that unites those who, so many years ago, attended OTU Scheyville. We know this clearly transcends class, rank or intake and applies specifically to “the Scheyville experience”. It is in pursuit of keeping our bond alive that the Association was formed so many years ago. The overriding aim as expressed by Ray Elder (2/67) is “let’s keep the blokes together”. I think we are still doing that.
May I thank all on the National Executive and in the different State and Territory Chapters for all they have done over 2013 and wish you all a Happy Christmas, and a healthy, prosperous 2014.
Chairman, OTU Association.
Gary McKay 2/68 is always available to design battlefield tours and trips to Viet Nam for anyone intending to make the pilgrimage. He sub-contracts to a company in Manly NSW who specialises in battlefield tours (McLachlan Battlefield Tours) and is the Viet Nam guide. Attached a sample itinerary/flyer for anyone who might be interested. Gary can also arrange for clients to visit particular sites to pay homage/respects to anyone they knew or want to remember.
As you can see from the attachment he combines our military experience in Viet Nam with a nice blend of Vietnamese history and culture.
Most of us remember our "Scheyville Experience" with great affection. In a positive way it changed our lives and our attitudes forever.
The OTU Association was established in the 1980's to ensure the continuation of the memories and to allow Scheyvillians to celebrate their unique experience together. As well, it sought to put something back into the community. The fostering of youth leadership was, and still is, regarded as the most appropriate avenue for the latter purpose.
Over recent years we have consolidated our membership base and significantly upgraded our website. Our work in Youth Leadership has expanded with support given to a good number of State initiatives in this field. We have provided assistance for State activities and Class reunions.
Our high quality journal “The Scheyvillian” has been published and circulated quarterly.
On the administrative side, the OTU Association is now incorporated in the State of Victoria – thereby affording our office holders a degree of legal protection. In addition, the constitution has been revised to accommodate the requirements of this incorporation and, to cover the inevitable changes as the organisitation ages.
The Association is affiliated with the National Servicemen’s Association of Australia. We contributed to the National Service Memorial which was dedicated in September 2010 and is located at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT.
Full National Council meetings (including the State Chapters) are held annually thus giving the Association a firm direction for the future.
Input from members on any aspects of our operation would be greatly appreciated.
All members are encouraged to use this web site to keep abreast of what is happening in the Association and to update your personal details should they change.
To access the 'members only' section of the web site, you need to log on. To do that you go to the Member Log In box and entering your Regimental Number and Surname.
If you are planning a Class reunion, or Chapter activity, please send the details through to Webmaster, Roger Nation at this email address. He will post it on the website.
The website is only as good as the information it contains. Please use it often, update it as necessary, and spread the word of its existence to fellow Scheyvillians.
Nil bastardum carborundum
Frank Miller (4/67)
Reunion parade Scheyville 2013
The Scheyville Experience
The Officer Training Unit at Scheyville NSW existed for only a brief eight years, yet the impact on those who experienced it has lingered for more than four decades.
Raised on 1 April 1965, near the town of Windsor, outside Sydney NSW, the unit’s purpose was to train young officers to serve in the Australian Army during their two years compulsory national service.
During the National Service Scheme of 1965-73 some 800,000 young Australians were registered for call up, with 64,000 (8%) selected by ballot based on their 20th birthday date and called up for two years service. Of these 64,000 national servicemen 2700 (4%) were selected for a 21 week make or break course at OTU Scheyville and only 1880 finally graduated as Second Lieutenants around their 21st birthday. Statistically they are a unique group of men.
The experience at Scheyville had in most cases a major impact on their lives. For many it was one of the most intense experiences they would encounter. For others it changed their lives forever. Some served on in with distinction in the regular Australian Army, with many reaching the rank of Brigadier and many earned gallantry awards in Vietnam and Malaysia. Others went on to make a substantial contribution to Australian society through careers in politics, business, law, public service, education, sport, the arts and sciences and on the land.
This unique group of men won the hard earned respect of the army and OTU Scheyville has gone down in the annals of military history as one of the Army’s great successes.
For those that went through the OTU Scheyville, be they staff or cadets , that shared experience has created a bond that has lasted for decades. Throughout the world Scheyvillians keep in contact with each other through the OTU Association, regular reunions and get togethers and they maintain friendships and a camaraderie born of the Scheyville Experience.
As the decades roll on life appears not to weary them and news is always filtering through of the strong spirit of adventure and confidence that is the hallmark of those that passed through OTU Scheyville.
This website is principally for the purpose of communicating with those who experienced OTU Scheyville, but it is also available to those who are simply interested in a unique chapter of Australian military history.