Defence HQ is now seeing stars

ONCE upon a time on a Canberra hill called Russell many, many ambitious staff officers beavered away in their monkish work cells achieving, who knows what?

Apart from the poignant cry from senior officers to their juniors, “Anyone got a fag?” another regular ritual played out.

Tea ladies like Gloria Sweets patrolled corridors behind wheeled trolleys with one erratic, squeaky wheel signalling delights to come.

“Cuppa tea and a biscuit dear?” she would ask each of her loyal clientele, unfazed by rank or role.

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Defence HQ is now seeing stars | Australian Defence History, Policy and Veterans Issues (

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