April 15 - 28, 2018: Issue 356
Tamara Sloper Harding OAM: Veteran
And that's why we'd ask you to, please, next time you see a woman wearing her medals on the left, please thank her for her service.
That’s the message members of the Women Veterans Network Australia (WVNA) seek to promote through their By the Left campaign in the lead-up to Anzac Day this year (the title is a play on words as ‘by the left’ is also a phrase of command used when marching).
The campaign encourages women veterans to march together en masse in major centres all over the country on Anzac Day to raise awareness of their contribution to the Australian Defence Force.
There will be an especial element to the Avalon Beach RSL Anzac Day March in 2018. As a one time initiative, all current and ex-serving women are invited to march as one. All ex-service organisations including WRANS, WRAAC, WRAAF, AWAS, Ex Service Womens, WVNA, APPVA, RAANC are invited to participate and proudly parade their banners in one rank at the front of the combined female veteran group.
'By the Left' needs us all to be part of this positive change. That's why we've asked Tamara Sloper Harding and her good mate Jan-Maree Ball to help us spread the message this year.
You can read In Advance Of ANZAC Day... My Two Cents Worth.... by Jan-Maree Ball OAM in this week's Issue.
While Tamara Sloper Harding OAM runs as our Profile of the Week with a focus on her own Service record rather than the focus on her passion, The Pittwater Friends of Soibada, Pittwater Online ran during the early days of this news service - and which probably means yet one more 20 hour day has been done by her this week.
Thank you Tamara - thank you for your Service.
Tamara at Bilgola Plateau Public school this week
As the daughter of a Royal Australian Naval Officer and being one herself, Tamara has lived at many different places and travelled extensively. She was born at Liss in England but also lived overseas in Hawaii and again in the United Kingdom during postings for her father. She commenced her education at St Kevin’s, Dee Why, continued at Haslemere in England before returning to St. Kevin’s and then Mater Maria, Warriewood. Tamara completed secondary schooling at St. Clare’s in Canberra before commencing a BA at Canberra University and then joining the RAN in January 1987 at the Australian Defence Force Academy, completing her training at HMAS CRESWELL, Jervis Bay in 1988.
Tamara has an extensive personal and family association with the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Her grandparents owned property in Trappers Way, Avalon before moving to Collaroy for over 40 years. Her parents did the reverse, owning at Collaroy before retiring to Avalon. Her mother was a very active supporter of the Long Reef Surf Club before her marriage. Of her two younger siblings, both born at Mona Vale hospital, her sister is a special needs teacher at Barker College while her brother, a lawyer, and his family live at Freshwater.
Her initial postings in the Navy were as an Administration Officer, generally in personnel management and community support areas, including Public Relations and media. This included time at sea onboard HMAS STALWART and HMAS TOBRUK. After qualifying as an Intelligence Officer, Tamara had operational postings in Maritime Headquarters, Headquarters Australia Theatre, at sea in USS CORONADO, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, and finally as a member of the Interfet peacekeeping force under General Cosgrove in September 1999 in Timor Leste (East Timor). Her exposure to the sufferings of the civilian population following the atrocities during the Timorese struggle for independence, led to her passionate involvement and desire to provide assistance. She became involved with orphanages and schools, organising food and aid packages to be sent to her for distribution while there and has continued this since then.
Her marriage to Adrian Harding, an Army officer, took place in September 1999, again keeping the Northern Beaches association, at St. Patrick’s, Manly. (She received the phone call about the deployment to Timor Leste during the wedding reception.) They have four children and, on settling in Avalon, Tamara transferred to the RAN Reserve (Inactive) as a Lieutenant Commander after almost 19 years in the RAN. Adrian working in a civilian defence support capacity, remains an active Army Reservist Lieutenant Colonel.
At Avalon Tamara became very committed to community engagement. She foundered and chairs the charity, Pittwater Friends of Soibada Inc. She is a member of the Upper Northern Beaches Rotary Club and on the College Board at Mater Maria Catholic College. She is a member of the Outreach and Social Justice Team at Maria Regina School and a regular guest speaker on social justice at many other local schools and community groups. Tamara has recently become the Avalon RSL Sub Branch Schools Liaison officer. She is a member of the Northern Beaches Social Justice Network – Meeting of the Minds and is Director of the Social Justice Ministry for the Catholic Parish of Pittwater. Tamara is an active participant in the Alola Foundation, involved in fundraising since 2005. She has supported the Cancer Council with Daffodil Day for many years and has held a “Girls’ Night In” for women’s cancers at her house for 5 years with up to 200 attendees as well as being involved in the Blood Bank since 1990, coordinating buses, publicity and volunteers.
In March, 2011 she was honoured with the award of Pittwater Woman of the Year. Tamara has also received The Rotary International Service Award in recognition of outstanding human endeavour contributing to international peace and goodwill. On Australia Day in 2016 an Order of Australia Medal for her work for the communities of Timor Leste and Pittwater was awarded.
A little more, a small overview really, in her own words:
Avalon Beach RSL Anzac Day 2018 March
Hosted by By the Left: Wednesday, April 25 at 10:45 AM - 12 PM. Muster at: Avalon Public School, Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon
Please contact Tamara Sloper Harding, Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch for details or to discuss: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background; If wearing your own medals, they should be placed on the left-hand side of your chest over your heart. If wearing someone else’s medals they should be positioned on the right-hand side.