39th Australian Infantry Battalion (1941-43) Association



To be held at East Malvern RSL on
Sunday 15th May 2022 at 11.30 AM, (Luncheon at 12.30 PM)


  1. Welcome
  2. Time of Remembrance
  3. Attendance and apologies (to secretary by Friday 6th May ‘22)
  4. Minutes of previous AGM
  5. President’s Report
  6. Treasurer’s Report
  7. Elections:
    1. President,
    2. Vice President
    3. Secretary
    4. Treasurer
    5. Committee members (7 members)
  8. Other business:
  9. Date of next AGM
  10. Close of meeting

Voting for the above positions may be by a show of hands at the AGM or by proxy. Proxy votes must be lodged with the secretary by Friday 6th May.

RSVP to secretary@39Battalion.com by Friday 6th May ‘22 if you would like to attend the meeting and/or luncheon.

Malcolm Owen, Hon Secretary



Held at East Malvern RSL
On Sunday 2nd May 2021 at 11.00AM

Attendees: Merren & Norman Stockdale, Alan Jameson, Dylan Howard, Ross Darrigan (+ 3 siblings), Mary Holloway, Lorraine & Peter Cochrane, Kerry Sumbler, Mal & Karen Owen, Tim Fitzgerald, David & Cloudah Howell (+ 2 siblings), Lachlan Gaylard, Jo Howard, Trevor &; Dawn Ingram, Bob Neal, Rupert Dalley, L & Graeme Schmidt, Martin Stuart, Robert (Bob) Neal.

Apologies: Ro Moore, Matt & Jennifer Hoogland (Parks Victoria), Keith & Helen Hallett, George Friend, David Bellairs, Craig & Kay Iskov, Reg Templeton, Mary Neal, Michael Holloway, John Holloway, Christopher Holloway and Judith Robertson plus David, William and Erin Sumbler.

  1. Welcome: The President welcomed those present.
  1. Time of Remembrance: A silent reflection was held to also remember those lost during the past twelve months; made more poignant by the recent passing of Alan Moore. Lest we forget.
  1. Minutes of previous AGM:  

MOTION: The Minutes of the AGM of 13 September 2020 be accepted. 

Moved: Mal Owen / Seconded: Dylan Howard                                      Decision: PASSED

  1. President’s Report

The President spoke to her report: Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, the 39th Committee has kept busy to keep the memory of the veterans alive. MS made the following points:

  • Sadly, today we have 7 veterans compared to 15 recorded in 2019.
  • Committee members continue to visit the veterans and families while also attending funerals.
  • There have been 9 applications for membership over the past 12 months. Thank you to Norman for managing the membership application and communication process.
  • Dylan Howard has ably reported the financials and it is pleasing to see the 39th funds are healthy.
  • Mary Holloway has continued to produce the Good Guts full of news and photographs. We know from feedback received how important the newsletter is to veterans and families. Thank-you Mary.
  • David Howell is also part of the communications team, specialising in the web site which continues to be improved. The total views of the web site sitting at 60,820 which is wonderful.
  • Tim Fitzgerald has continued with his documentation of the 1st 39th AIF Nominal Role. This is a significant piece of historical work and we thank Tim for this documentation.
  • Kerry Sumbler extends our communications through the social media – Instagram and access through this channel is growing.
  • George Friend has continued the strong Queensland connection. George is ably supported by David Bellairs here in Victoria so that we have regular reports and updates. This ensures our close Southport School connection is maintained.
  • David Bellairs has worked hard over the last 12 months to strengthen our connection to Camberwell Grammar. This is where the 39th Banner is on display and we look forward to further activity with the Cadets at the school and strengthening of the education program.
  • Kerry Sumbler has ably organised social events. The BBQ at OTH was a success and Kerry is now assisting with organising a proposed visit to 39th OSB in Sydney later in 2021.
  • Keith Hallet has led the Education Committee in development of an educational package to promote and support school teaching programs about the Kokoda campaign. The program is now being promoting through the secondary schools and we look forward to further successes in this space.
  • David Howell is ably responding to questions about history as these come in.
  • Rupert Dalley looks after memorabilia and has facilitated a regular stream of book sales, e.g., ‘Mud over Blood Revisited’
  • Ross Darrigan has been a regular visitor to numbers of veterans who always enjoy his company and chatting.
  • Mal Owen has ably filled the Secretary role and Karen Owen has recorded our meeting through minuting our discussions. Karen is stepping down from the Committee at the end of this meeting, so we thank her for all that she has done.

I thank all these members of the Committee for their continuing commitment to support the memories of our 39th veterans.

It has been very disappointing this year that we were not permitted to march on Anzac Day behind our banner. Despite several efforts to find a compromise with the Organisers, we were however, not permitted.

Our thanks to David Howell who has facilitated the opportunity for us to hold an Anzac Day service here at the East Malvern RSL. We had a ‘mini-march’ and wreath laying service here.

My period as President comes to an end at this meeting. It has been a pleasure and wonderful experience for me to be your President; just as my father was President before me. I thank you all for your support.

Mary Holloway approached Merren and presented her with a bouquet of flowers and Ross Darrigan led three cheers of support for the retiring president.

MOTION: The President’s Report be accepted.

Moved: Ross Darrigan / Seconded Mary Holloway                              Decision: PASSED

  1. Treasurer’s Report

Dylan Howard spoke to the 2020 Finance Report. He said the Association was doing well financially. Total funds at the end of December 2020 were $xxxxxxx up from $xxxxxx reported at the previous AGM.

MOTION: The Treasurers Report be accepted.

Moved: Dylan Howard / Seconded: Norm Stockdale                           Decision: PASSED

  1. Elections: The retiring President stood down.

As there was one only eligible nomination for each Committee position by the designated date/time the following eligible members were declared elected, and the co-opted members appointed:

  • President: Ross Darrigan
  • Vice President: David Bellairs
  • Secretary: Malcolm Owen
  • Treasurer: Dylan Howard
  • Committee members (7):
    • Norman Stockdale
    • Mary Holloway
    • Tim Fitzgerald
    • David Howell
    • Kerry Sumbler
    • Rupert Dalley
    • Keith Hallett – Education Committee

Co-opted members Ro Moore – Education Committee, George Friend – Queensland representative

  • MOTION: The nominees for Committee and co-option be accepted.

 Moved: Merren Stockdale / Seconded: Karen Owen                           Decision: PASSED

 Note: Merren Stockdale continues on the Committee as Immediate Past President.

  1. Other Matters
    • Life Membership: the meeting was asked to affirm George Turner (Queensland veteran) be awarded ‘Life Membership’ of the 39thBattalion Association. George has continued to come to events and is always willing to talk with all ages about the 39th Battalion. He, with his family, have been great advocates for the 39th Infantry Battalion Association. They are active Sherwood RSL members and very willing to be involved and engage with people over many years.

MOTION: George Turner’s Life Membership of the 39th Infantry Battalion Association be affirmed. Moved: Ross Darrigan / Seconded Merren Stockdale           Decision: PASSED        

  • Honorary Membership: It is proposed that Matt Hoogland – Chief Ranger, Parks Victoria at Upper Ferntree Gully – One Tree Hill (OTH) – be made an Honorary Member of the 39thBattalion Association. Matt Hoogland has, over 15+ years, continued to be an active and passionate supporter of the 39th and played a significant role bringing to fruition the memorials at OTH. He continues to push hard, along with the 39th, the 2/14th and the 2/16th Bn Associations, to ensure the memorials will be completed.

Moved: Merren Stockdale / Seconded: Mary Holloway        Decision: PASSED

The Honorary Member was unable to attend today. He will be presented with a Certificate as representation of the 39th appreciation for his ongoing support. 

  • Other Matters: In response to an invitation from the President the following comments were made:
  • Alan Jameson advised that due to COVID-19 the three most recent winners of the Bould-Young Challenge Award have been unable to accept their prize walk on the Kokoda Track. One of these students has accepted an alternative prize to take an all-expenses paid WW2 Darwin experience in 2021. The other winners will wait to do the Kokoda Track in June 2022, COVID-19 permitting. Cardinia Shire has commenced promoting the 2021 Bould-Young Challenge Award.

In response to a question, Alan advised the Bould-Young Challenge Award is made to honour the veteran, Harold Bould, who did not return from the Track. Willma Young was an army nurse with Sister Bullwinkle’s nurses. She was based in Singapore and among the first to be evacuated from there. She spent 4 years as a POW. She returned to Australia and has actively raised money to support families of army nurses who lost their lives. She was also the first female president of the Pakenham RSL.

  • Peter Cochran expressed his thanks to Merren Stockdale for her service and support to the 39th Bn Association and its veterans over many years. He congratulated her on her leadership and marked achievements in the role.
  • Mal Owen thanked everybody for their support throughout 2019-20
  • Trevor Ingram spoke for the 2/16th Bn Assoc in commenting upon the very good relationship with the 39th and attribute a large part of this to Merren Stockdale. He felt assured that the new President will continue to strengthen this close bond. He thanked Merren for her wonderful presidency.
  1. Date of next AGM

The date for the AGM in 2022 will be advised.

  1. Close of meeting

              The meeting closed at 11.47am