In the late seventies a group of former and currently serving Army aviation personnel met at Oakey with the aim of exploring the possibility of forming a group that would offer both camaraderie and a vehicle to assist those in need. It was agreed that the Australian Army Aviation Association would be formed and a committee was elected.
In 1995, to improve communications with the membership and the serving community, an Association journal was mooted. Ron Smith volunteered to be the editor and Rob Rich the production manager, but what to call the new publication. Ron was talking it over with Major George McDougall, then serving with the Directorate of Aviation and between the two of them they came up with ‘Fourays’. In the first edition Ron explained the rationale for the title:
The search was … for a unique, representative, yet easily understandable abbreviation, such as, for example, the US Army’s “Quad A”. The prospect was somewhat daunting. By repeating the phrase ‘four A’s’ a number of times there is an identifiable phonetic link with the foray, whose archaic meaning was ‘to ravage in search of spoils’, with the modern definition being ‘a raid or incursion’. Since the purpose of the journal is to conquer the tyranny of distance (both in time and in kilometres), it seemed appropriate that the term ‘Fourays’ would meet the abbreviation criteria, and be suitable for the title of the Association’s journal.
From that time journal went on to bigger and better things and Fourays became to not only identify the magazine, but the Association as a whole. From 2003 to 2012 two colour editions of Fourays were published every year and sent to members free of charge. Unfortunately, the effects of the Global Financial Crisis meant that the advertising revenue on which the magazine depended dried up and Fourays ceased publication in 2012.
Attempts to resurrect Fourays on line resulted in only one edition, however in 2019 the Association commenced publishing AIR MAIL, a digital newsletter covering current and historical stories of interest to the Army Aviation Community. Four editions were published in 2019 and it is expected that three editions a year will follow.
In the late nineties its was decided to put the Association on a firmer footing and the process of incorporation was undertaken. As part of this process a new constitution was adopted and this included defining the Objects of the Association.
- To work together to assist financially, culturally and socially the handicapped and/or disadvantaged and/or infirm of the serving and ex-Service Army Aviation personnel, including their immediate family members;
- To make such representations and/or recommendations as may be appropriates to the Army, other associations and welfare agencies on behalf of any Member in difficulty or suffering hardship;
- To make contributions from the funds of the Association, by way of gratuities, testimonials, or otherwise to any person, body, institution or organisation where, in the opinion of the Management Committee of the Association, such should be made for the promotion of these objects;
- To promote the recording and display of Australian Army Aviation history;
- To provide a forum for open discussion of al matters of interest to serving and ex-Service Army Aviation personnel;
- To provide a means by which those who are serving or have served in Army Aviation units, and others who are associated with or interested in Army Aviation may keep in touch with each other and with Army Aviation affairs;
- To foster understanding in the public arena of issues affecting serving and ex-Service Army Aviation personnel and their immediate families;
- To pay out of funds of the Association all expenses of and incidental to the formation thereof, its management and carrying out of its objects, including the payment of salaries to persons employed by it; and
- To foster the interests of Army Aviation.