about Stephen M. Gage.
I am basically a farm boy who moved on after experiencing the Vietnam War. After being extremely unsettled in my life I moved to Queensland as I knew the climate was pretty good. I was a bread vendor during the 1974 floods and wondered what in the hell I was doing in that industry, this lead me to joining the Queensland Prison Service. I was surprised again to see even a further backward system than the Australian Army of the sixties. Never the less, I persisted with the old style of management over talent and watched the changing of the guard as the years went on.
Besides completing 2 years National Service, I also served for 33 years in the Active Army Reserve, giving me a total of 35 years. I learnt a lot and I gave a lot, this is what I think the younger generation are missing out on, discipline.
A backward state it certainly was, and not much more has changed. It was, and has remained a police state, even after the Fitzgerald Inquiry, they just can't get it together. There is about as much live policing in Queensland as there are penguins. Computerisation may have helped the police system, but police officers now spend three times as long in stations rather than on the beat. The Police Service, now they wan't to return to a Police Force, it won't change anything until they restart serious policing for the community and not for political correctness.
The political storm that I ran into when I arrived in Brisbane was pathetic, Joh in power and the laughing stock of the country. Then later on, some idiot put him up to run for PM, what a joke, and unfortunately it has stuck with us and can still be seen in the current political climate.
I followed a trail of milk, from farm boy to dairy factory was my path and I eventually qualified as a Butter Maker and remained in the industry for about 8 years, the calling was there and I moved on. My father, brother, brother-in-law, mates and many good friends remained in the industry at Archies Creek until its final closure. A coicidence would occur many years later when I was ordering a particular type of targetry for corrective services, it was being produced in the same butter factory that I had been employed.
Thirty two years in the prison service can create a culture of mistrust in the human race, and for good reason. I have been in one uniform or another from a twenty year old to a sixty year old. It was time to move into civvies permanently and address all the issues that I had let pass over me and to catch up on everything that I have missed.
I have worked shift work for over forty years, and it takes its toll on everone, families especially suffer from a parent not being there on weekends, school holidays or special events.
This photo was taken of me on return from the Battle of Binh Ba Village, South Vietnam on the 8th of June 1969, one of the SAS Squadron buildings on Nui Dat Hill, (the Task Force Base) can be seen in the back ground.