University Regiment graduates in spotlight in 70th year

23 April 2018

If you attended the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, you may have noticed some figures clad in camouflage surveying the venue.

Figures like Private David Franz, a UQ student and member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reserves, who joined forces with the Queensland Police Service to assist with security during the Games.

Franz was one of about 160 Army Reservists tasked with screening and searching every vehicle coming in and out of the venue. He said that although searching vehicles was different to his usual role as a rifleman, after completing search training, he was well prepared for the task.

Franz joined the Army Reserve to supplement his income while studying at UQ. He was posted to the 9th Battalion, the Royal Queensland Regiment, after completing his initial training with the Queensland University Regiment (QUR).

Senior Constable Tanya Cash, Private David Franz, Acting Sergeant Daniel Nunn and Private Andrew Scott-MacKenzie work together to provide security for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Image: Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence

The 27-year-old is completing a degree in linguistics and criminology at UQ and said the QUR and the Army Reserve supported his studies.

“The Army Reserve is very flexible and accommodating; it works around my studies well.” he said.

“If I need time off for an exam, my unit is more than happy for me to do that. Likewise, the University is understanding of my Army commitments.”

This year marks the 70th anniversary of QUR, which was formed in May 1948. Initially an independent company (‘A’ Company), QUR was established as a full infantry battalion in 1950 due to an increase of recruits.

QUR began training members to receive commissions as officers in 1951, with Second Lieutenant Pat Shanahan becoming the first graduate. In July 1959, QUR was presented with the Queens and Regimental Colours by His Excellency, The Governor of Queensland, Colonel Sir Henry Abel Smith.

After 1962, QUR began officer training for other Citizen Military Forces units in South-East Queensland. This dual mode remained in place for 30 years, when the Regiment began to focus solely on officer training from 1992.

Today, QUR’s primary role is training officers and soldiers of the Army Reserve, as well as providing all-corps promotion courses for Reserve Officers up to the rank of Major. The last Officer Cadet cohort graduated in February this year, with a new cohort commencing due to commission in July.

UQ alumnus Major Emma Rhule (Bachelor of Human Movement Studies ’04) is a proud QUR graduate whose career has been shaped by her experiences in the Regiment.

“I wanted a part-time job during my studies and I was attracted to the physical lifestyle, adventure and excitement that the ADF offered,” Rhule said.

“I trained with QUR from 2002 to 2005 and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with like-minded, enthusiastic people.”

Rhule is now Officer Commanding of QUR Jacka Company and is responsible for the leadership, training and preparation of all officer cadets in their pursuit to graduate as Lieutenants.

Rhule will be attending the Sherwood-Indooroopilly RSL dawn service this Anzac Day, with QUR providing the Catafalque party.

“As an ADF member, April 25 is of particular significance to me,” Rhule said.

“Anzac Day is an important day of remembrance when we recognise all Australians who served and died in war and on operational service.

“The spirit of the Anzac resonates just as strongly with today’s generation, and this is a day when the qualities of courage, mateship and sacrifice are at the forefront of people’s minds.

“These values continue to have meaning to our national identity, so I believe all Australians feel proud and thankful for the service of Australian Defence Force men and women.”

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