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The Community

THE COMMUNITY
Woomera is not a military base, but is a civilian community that supports the Australian Rocket Range which is under the control of the Weapons Research Establishment (WRE). The Woomera area is controlled by the Area Administrator, similar to a city manager, who is responsible to the Director of the Weapons Research Establishment in Salisbury, South Australia.

A Committee of village residents, known as the "Woomera Board" , assists the Area Administrator in the administration of the village on any matters concerning the life, health, amenities, and welfare of the residents. There is no restriction regarding citizenship or nationality for membership on the Board and Americans have served on the Board as elected members.

The Woomera Board has several committees which administer certain aspects of its functions. The chairman of each of these committees is taken from
the membership of the Board. The Store Advisory Committee investigates and advises on complaints about service and management of the Community Store. The Library Committee looks after the affairs of the Woomera Public Library. W.E.R.I. manages many of the social functions of the village and is, in turn, supported by four sub-committees composed of representatives of the various clubs affiliated with W.E.R.I.

W.E.R.I.
The Woomera Entertainment and Recreation Institute (W.E.R.I.) is responsible for all sporting, recreational and entertainment facilities. The majority
of the clubs in Woomera are affiliated with W.E.R.I. and receive financial aid in the form of equipment, youth activities, visiting instructors and teams. Some of the clubs and activities that are affiliated with W.E.R.I. are:

       Girl Guides Association                      Pistol Club
       Scouts Association                             Rifle Club
       Natural History Society                      Small Bore Rifle Club
       Radio Club                                        Go-Kart Club
       Camera Club Sporting                       Car Club
       Chess Club Lawn                              Bowling Club
       Drama Club                                       Horse and Pony Club
       Returned Servicemans League            Woomera Bowmen
       Cricket Association                           Golf Club
       Football League                                 Motor Cycle Club
       Softball Association                           Squash Association
       Gliding Club                                      Swimming Club
       Soccer Association                            Table Tennis
       Village Sports Club                            Tennis Association
       Works Sports Club                            Judo Club
       Centrals Sports Club                          Marching Girls
       Kooly Sports Club                             Netball Association
       Basketball Association                       Badminton Association

 

 

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As you can see from the number of various clubs, associations, and activities, there is social activity occurring almost every night of the week. Contrary to what one would expect of a very small community, there is almost too much social life. Many of the sports clubs are also social clubs and offer many other activities for the whole family.

In addition to being the central administrative body for the clubs, associations, and activities listed above, W.E.R.I. is also responsible for operating the two Olympic size swimming pools and canteen which is open during the summer months, the squash courts, ovals (athletic field) , and the 694-seat movie theater.

The movie theater has showings three nights a week. Most of the movies are two or more years old, so you can plan to catch up on the flicks you missed. The movie theater is also used when W.E.R.I. sponsors live entertainment , such as concerts (orchestra, music groups, entertainers and singers, etc.), plays, the arts (ballet, opera, etc.) and talent shows.

W.E.R.I. sponsors bus tours for Woomera residents to many points of interest in Australia. There are tours that go to Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, Port Lincoln, the Flinders Ranges, and Sydney, to mention a few. This is an excellent opportunity to see more of Australia at a very reasonable cost. There are other clubs and organizations that are not affiliated with W.E.R.I. such as the Country Women's Association, the Flying Doctors' Association,
the Woomera Model Aeronautical Society and the JDSCS Wives Club.

The Joint Defense Space Communications Station (JDSCS) Wives Club is composed of the wives of the U.S. and Australian military and contractor personnel assigned to the joint operations. Although, no formal organization exists, the wives find an opportunity to meet once a month for coffees with  a luncheon held every third month.

Community Store
We do not have abase exchange or commissary in Woomera due to the U.S.- Australian Country-to-Country Agreement. All shopping facilities are under
the management of the Australian Services Canteen Organization (ASCO) and is known as the Community Store.

The large composite store, normally referred to as ASCO, consists of a var1ety of shops which include a butcher, greengrocer (vegetable and fruits), delicatessen, baker, men and boy's wear, gifts and toys, sports goods, hardware, ladies' wear, liquor and cigarettes, cosmetics and patent medicines, self-service grocery, news agency, milk bar, snack bar and coffee lounge where milk, bread and other small items may be purchased after hours. Prices are higher than in the U.S., however personnel are paid a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA). There is a bulk store where you may purchase items in
 large quantities such as case lots .

 

 

 

 

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Other full time businesses operating in Woomera are the Post Office (Australian) , three weeks (Commonwealth Trading and Savings Bank, Bank of New South Wales, and National Bank), chemist (drug store), two auto service stations, shoe repairs, men's barber shop, electrical repairs,
.ladies hairdresser, and a laundry and dry cleaners. There are many part time businesses offering a wide range of services and goods ranging from the sale of opals and aboriginal curios to dressmaking to television and stereo repairs.

Facilities
Woomera supports an arboretum (zoo/park) called Breen Park, where you may see and photograph many of the animals and birds native to Australia
such as kangaroos, wallabys, emus, cockatoos, etc. (sorry, no koala bears). The arboretum is maintained by gardeners employed by the Department of
Supply. Plants and shrubs can be obtained periodically for home beautification projects.

There are Four athletic fields, called ovals, that are used for various sports such as Australian Rules Football, soccer, cricket, softball, etc.
Also available are hard surface tennis courts and basketball courts that are lighted for evening use. There are numerous childrens playgrounds with various types of equipment, i.e., swings, slides, bars, etc. located throughout the village.

A youth center catering to the teenagers has a very active youth program. They have produced plays and musicals, as well as sponsoring dances and art shows.

There is a thrift shop in Woomera where you may purchase odds and ends such as clothes, books, used furniture, etc. The proceeds of the thrift shop are donated to the aboriginal missions.

Milk Deliveries
Milk is delivered to your home each evening except Saturday on a pay-as-you-go basis. Check with your neighbor or sponsor regarding the normal
time of delivery at your particular location and the price of milk. Milk is available in either one or two pint cartons.

Newspapers
Arrangements can be made with the Newsagency for delivery of a daily newspaper to your home. Available from Adelaide are "The Advertiser"
(delivered Monday through Saturday mornings) , "The Australian" and "The News" (both delivered Monday through Friday evenings) , and "The Sunday Mail" (delivered Sunday mornings).

 

 

 

 

 

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Woomera publishes a weekly newspaper called the "Gibber Gabber" .It is available to all Woomera residents free of charge. The news is limited
to local events involving marriages, community projects, local sports, club news, and other items of interest.

The Australian newspapers do not print very much U.S. news and nearly all the sporting news is limited to Australian sports. If you want to keep abreast of the u.s. News or sports, recommend you subscribe to a weekly news or sports magazine or newspaper. Although many U.S. magazines are available in Australia, prices run considerably higher. It is best to subscribe to any magazines you desire from the U.S. for delivery through the APO.

TRIP BY MAC
We would like to pass on a few tips and suggestions to make your trip to Woomera a bit more pleasant. It is advisable to make advance reservations for motel or base accommodations (where possible) ahead of your departure. Carry enough money to cover accommodations and meals for about five days in case of plane delays. Suggest larger denominations of traveler's checks. Hand carry ALL important papers at ALL times (COPY OF ORDERS, PASSPORTS, SHOT RECORDS, medical records, birth certificates, wills, school records, etc.

Insure that your orders specify TRAVEL IN CIVILIAN CLOTHES. The MAC C-l4l flight is very different from commercial flights primarily because of the noise level and the lack of the "luxuries". It is very noisy and the most comfortable place is close to the tail (near luggage and cargo). We suggest a car bed, collapsible stroller, baby food, and lots of disposable diapers if you have a small baby. There is bus service from San Francisco International Airport to the MAC Terminal at Travis AFB, California. If possible, try to stay with the other members of your flight at all times because you can get more done if you run into problems. There are family quarters at Travis AFB and Hickam AFB, however reservations in advance are usually required. The following checklists are provided to aid you in your trip:

Luggage
Each traveler is allowed 66lbs of luggage. Large bags must be "checked", but each passenger may "carry-on" a bag which will fit under his seat.
At all stops except Pago Pago, you may take your "checked" luggage from the terminal, but Hickam AFB requires that you claim all or none of your checked bags. Therefore, we suggest you pack your carry-on bags with the minimum essentials for three days travel, and claim your checked bags only if
delays occur.

 

 

 

 

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