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FY 2015/16 saw treks run for men and women in SA and a male trek was run for the second time in QLD. The independent analysis of outcomes was consistently excellent with more than 80% of the trekkers improving in more than 80% of the areas measured using standard psycho-social instruments.

This year a concerted effort was made to train suitable past trekkers at a train the trainer week-end held in Adelaide in March. The object was to identify suitable individuals to take on the roles of the current staff while in the bush. This is seen as a necessary step in ensuring the program has a depth of competency which will assist in succession planning. Because the competency and credibility of those who deliver the program is vital to its ongoing success, it is critical that those selected can carry the message. The course was a follow on from the Trojan’s Trek board workshop recommendations held in June 2015.

This year Emeritus Professor Ross Kaluchi departed the board to live in Sydney. He was replaced by Tim Smith retaining the seventh male board member position. Tim brings a wealth of experience from his civilian and military background.

Board Membership
The board is comprised of seven male and one female member. Two of the members live out of the Adelaide area. This creates difficulty in their personal attendance and input at board meetings. The use of Skype, has to a degree assisted in solving this issue although personal attendance is preferred. One board member is located in QLD which is appropriate, and the other in Wirrabara. Although not ideal the situation is manageable and the board operates satisfactorily. The board held a foundation workshop in June 2015 facilitated by John Schumann at which a number of core matters were reviewed resulting in a number of working groups being formed to consider specific aspects of the operation. A new board will be elected today from the nominations received.

Train the Trainer
A Train the Trainer course based at Keswick Barracks was run over a weekend in Adelaide in March 2016. The course was attended by 10 potential male and female members drawn from past trekkers. The course was gauged a success with all of those attending moving on to the next stage of recognition and accreditation. This phase occurred during the SA trek in September 2016 identifying four suitable individuals.

Support to the Foundation is derived from a number of avenues in both QLD and SA. Because of the sensitivities of state centric attitudes, funds which are raised in respective states are generally devoted to activities held within that state. However, the Board remains responsible for all activities which incur expenditure. In QLD the foundation receives excellent financial and other support from RSL Care and the QLD RSL. In SA the support base is much more diverse, with funds coming from a large number of sources. RSL Care, service clubs and individual donations are added to our own fund raising efforts to maintain the program. I would like to thank Reuben, one of the board members, for his input and direction in conducting the Veterans’ Support Walk. This year $14,000 was raised. I continue to apply for grants from government and private foundations some of which are successful. This year the Foundation was fortunate to receive funding for one trek from the Thyne Reid Foundation with the support of the RAR Association SA.

Where possible and within the budget, investments are made by way of term deposits with various financial institutions. Unfortunately the returns on these investments are of the order of 3% at best. This does not amount to significant dollar gains. The treasurer and I continue to shop around seeking the best most secure deals. The foundation is in a secure financial position with approximately $150K invested although with significant annual outgoings this requires continual financial injection.

Future Treks
The future will see a continuation of an annual male trek run in QLD and if the demand exists, a female trek will be run concurrently. SA will continue to host a male and female trek, again providing the demand exists.

There is no doubt that the trek clientele exist but the stigma remains, preventing many from self- nomination. Although the benefits to those attending have been established by independent analysis, there remains a reluctance by most of the clinical community to embrace this philosophy as an adjunct to other forms of treatment. Some realisation of the benefits to be gained has been accepted by Ward 17 in Victoria and SA with trekkers attending directly from clinical care. VVCS SA has also supported the program.

Inspite of the evidence, the Department of Veterans Affairs refuse to provide support on the basis that the Foundation is a ”clinical, medical research facility”. This is patently a wrong perception which the board has been unable to correct to date. It does appear that In an overall sense there is a growing awareness that the problem of stress illness needs to be approached from a number of directions, not just clinical. The establishment of the Veterans’ Support Hub as part of the new Ward 17 is an example of the advances made toward a holistic view. However, in spite of that there remains an attitude among some, that the clinical solution is the gold standard.

Audit Requirement
In the past, the yearly audit of the books has been completed pro-bono by CMS chartered accountants. This was achieved largely through a relationship with the Project Manager and one of the senior partners. With the retirement of that person through ill health the pro-bono status has been removed leaving the foundation with an expense. This year it will cost about $1200. The search is on for a replacement at pro-bono rates.

Annual Return to ACNC
The annual return to the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC) for 2016 retains our status as a small charity. This may be upgraded to medium in 2017 due to the successful funding arrangements in QLD. This will place some additional audit requirements on the foundation as part of our annual return. For example, the ACNC now require a review of the financial status but on upgrading this will move to full audit status. This makes the identification of a suitable auditor high on the priority list.

Succession Planning
Succession planning for the staff is proceeding well as reported earlier. Identifying a person to affect succession for my own position has met with less success. This exercise continues.

Corporate Membership
The foundation has signed an MOU with RSL SA, RSL QLD and RSL Care QLD. To date the SA relationship has been largely inactive compared to a very viable and productive arrangement with the QLD partners who have agreed to underwrite the program financially. The foundation is working hard to make the SA partnership more positive to the benefit of both partners. This is a work in progress.

The foundation is in a sound financial position with approximately $150K invested with Def Bank and the ANZ Bank.

2016 Treks
The 2016 treks in SA and QLD proceeded without any problems. A total of 35 participants and 9 understudy mentors attended the treks. The outcomes for the participants in both states were again excellent. The independent evaluation has confirmed the value of the philosophy promoting condition self-management. The part which the staff play in these outcomes cannot be over-emphasised. Both male and female teams quantitative evaluations show improvement in over 85% of the trekkers in 80% of the topics while the anecdotal outcomes from the journals shows outstanding improvement in attitude and resilience. These results are above and beyond expectations and reflect most favourably on the diligence and credibility of the staff.

All in all, this year has been very successful based on the benefits derived by our clients. Although we are but one Australian charity among many thousands serving those needing help, what sets Trojan’s Trek apart is the personal commitment and brilliant outcomes achieved with such a short exposure. I am continually staggered by the unreserved acclamation which trekkers express following the experience. To the staff, just brilliant.

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OAM Project Director
28 October 2016


This year we had 27 sponsors and 189 walkers register, a great result and thanks to you all for your support. However the weather was not being friendly. In short it looked grim with an on-going poor prediction.

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Participants gather for Veterans’ Support Walk

Thanks to AEP the day was organised down to the last tee. Many thanks go to AEP staff and Reuben for his work again this year.

The start time this year was later than in previous years, managing to catch out a few regulars who arrived very early. By the time Peter Goers had completed his humorous off- beat comments about life in general the black clouds had gathered menacingly. Not to be deterred off they went at 1030 on a slightly amended route which resulted from part of the Torrens Lake track being affected by the recent rains.

The winners in all categories were awarded their prizes as the threat of rain became a reality but not before the raffle prizes were drawn and the BBQ was served.

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Thanks to our sponsors

All up a good day which raised in excess of $15,000 all of which is directly aimed at reducing the impact of stress illness among our veterans and first responders.

Meet our female Trek Team

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AMY. Amy Vickers grew up in Hobart, with a love for the sea and a passion for people. Amy lives with her husband and family on the NSW south coast. She spends her free time on the water, by the beach or camping with three beautiful children; life is rarely dull.

Amy has served for 21 years in the RAN, experiencing three operational deployments and is currently serving at HMAS Creswell as a Chief Petty Officer. During her service Amy was adversely affected by a number of aircraft crashes and a series of unique life events. Whilst life has been challenging at times, Amy has shifted her focus to become a practitioner of Neuro Linguistics Programming; helping people to them help themselves.

Amy works as an executive coach for the Navy Leadership Coaching Program and is a facilitator/educator for the Sexual Misconduct Prevention Program. Amy was a participant on the Trojan’s Trek SA women’s pilot program in 2014, returning in 2015 and 16 as a mentor. She is a strong believer in the Trojan’s Trek philosophy of condition self-management which she finds helpful in her daily life and is grateful for the support that the Trojan’s Trek community has given her in life’s tough times.

As the lead facilitator for the pilot 2017 QLD women’s trek, Amy is looking forward to meeting other female trekkers and to help grow the trek family.

Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 11.12.36 amANNA. Anna Sutcliffe is Victorian; a spirited child with an eye for the bush, mountains and animals. From the age of 6, Anna with her family was horse riding and droving cattle on the Hay Pains and beyond.

During her 18 year army career Anna reached the rank of sergeant. She experienced multiple postings within the Townsville area and was also posted to Kapooka and Hobart as a Defence Force Recruiter. In addition Anna spent two years in the Army Reserve as a sergeant. Anna has operationally deployed twice to East Timor on INTERFET and UNMISET.

Post service, Anna’s priority has been the support of women veterans suffering with mental health issues similar to her own which resulted from military service. She was involved in the design of the first Trojan’s Trek women’s pilot program held in the Flinders Ranges in 2014 and has retained a hands-on role since.

The women’s program is designed to give women a voice in the modern veteran community and help validate their experiences and recognise the sacrifices made by servicewomen. Anna knows that life isn’t without its challenges but it’s the path chosen which makes the difference. To her and to past participants that difference has been amazing and is a result of the Trojan’s Trek program and the sister network.

Report on the 2016 SA and QLD Treks

From: Lieutenant Colonel Moose Dunlop OAM (Retd) 0408 088 886

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 11.04.21 amREPORT QLD AND SA 2016

1. This report covers the QLD and SA treks. Trojan’s Trek QLD was conducted from 8 to 13 May on, and around the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA) Range Facility at Captain’s Mountain on the Darling Downs. This facility provides a very suitable location at which to base the trek. It is also a generally free mobile phone free environment. It offers a slice of early Queensland history and a remoteness which has an impact on the messages delivered. The QLD trek was the second run in that state resulting from a satisfactory pilot program run in 2015. The date for the QLD trek was brought forward to give a more even calendar spread for the treks.

2. In SA, the male and female treks ran from 17 to 23 September. This year because of the number of individuals under instruction in both states, the staff deployed one day earlier than the usual practice. This worked well and will be adopted foar the future for both states. A number of staff from SA and QLD travelled to respective states to assist with each trek. The longer term intention is to train and employ staff from QLD and SA in those locations to make each chapter self-sufficient in staff.

3. Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 11.04.55 amFor the third year, the SA treks included a female version which was conducted concurrently but separately to the male. This year reinforced earlier experience with the female team, confirming that females are not as flexible or resilient in terms of overnight stays or change. This aspect of female behaviour will be closely examined from a number of points of view to ensure that the trek provides the outcomes which are sought. There is no doubt that the qualitative outcomes which show huge personal gain by the men are not reflected in the female experience. It is the opinion of the author having seen three female trek results that the female members are so obsessed with their personal circumstances that some of the important messages, quickly understood and journalised by the men, are lost on most of the female trekkers. This topic is discussed later in this report.

The bush in SA was looking good having had substantial rains over the previous months and for the second year in a row. Both treks experienced rain which fell in both locations. This had no effect on the QLD trek but had a significant impact on travel during the SA trek.

4. The aim of Trojan’s Trek is to provide a setting and conditions under which participants experience a lasting positive shift in personal values and interpersonal relationships. This aim has stood the test of time and remains current and appropriate.

5. The trek is a designed as a circuit breaker. The objectives of the trek are to assist the participants, through group and individual challenge achieve the following:

· an understanding of how thoughts and feelings influence behaviour,
· exposure to various strategies which will bring about positive change,
· individual responses which are effective in achieving goals
· re-connect with others,
· improving interpersonal relationships, and
· enhance self-esteem.

6. These objectives have been reviewed and remain valid. The philosophy backing the trek is one which enables successful condition self-management resulting from changes in participant perception. This in turn changes behaviour and personal interaction in a positive way, and although these objectives appear simple in concept, the successful delivery depends heavily on the credibility of the advice given. Therefore the part played by the staff in the process cannot be over-emphasised. As mentioned previously, the female benefits from this trek were not as obvious as those reported in the personal journals of the males.

7. In order to justify the program’s claims to successful outcomes, four standard psychosocial instruments were again used to measure outcomes.

They are:
· Life Satisfaction Scale (Hilda) for comparison with Australian normative data,
· Positive and Negative Interactions,
· General Perceived Self Efficacy Scale, and
· DASS 21.

8. These are completed on three occasions:
· prior to the commencement of the trek,
· Immediately following the completion of the trek, and
· two to three months later.

9. A total of thirty five participants attended the treks. The breakdown was as follows:

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10. Two serving members from 7 RAR and two serving VIC police officers attended the SA treks. This was the fourth male police officer and first female who has attended a trek.

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11. Apart from one RAN member, none of the female members had qualified for operational service. One woman was a Victorian police officer and one a registered nurse. This is disappointing as the foundation is set up to cater for veterans although assistance is provided to others if space permits. In spite of the lack of operational service, all had some form of mental health illness. Four were diagnosed with PTSD, one with depression and two with complex medical conditions. All carried clearances from their doctors to attend but for most, a period in the bush was beyond their capability. This may relate to a lack of understanding of the conditions to be expected or a lack of resilience of the individuals. Either way, the impact of the experience is significantly lessened by individual complaints about everything from the use of swags to long drop toilets. The female team staff were continuously involved in settling minor complaints or reassuring the trekkers that things will get better. This is in stark contrast to the men who are much more resilient in more basic conditions and are clearly prepared to make the most of the trek. This issue will be explored separately. For the third year, CPO Vickers from the RAN attended as a staff member. Her contribution was valuable and appreciated. It is hoped she can continue to contribute.

12. The intent to train and employ competent staff in both states thus avoiding inter-state travel remains current. Two male and four female potential staff members were involved.

13. QLD. Providing sufficient competent staff to deliver material for the Qld trek proved to be challenging again this year. To resolve this Dogs Kearney and Moose Dunlop flew from SA to take part in the trek. A chef and a kitchen staff member carrying stores also travelled by road from SA to Milmerran. A number of local staff “in-training” were employed on the QLD trek to provide experience for them and also to permit the QLD Director to gauge their potential to replace the older hands. This exercise was successful in identifying a new chef and some male presenters.

14. SA. Normally the SA trek is more difficult to conduct because of the requirement to provide expert male staff presenters to both male and female teams which are sometimes up to 10 km apart. To ease that problem this year the female team was relocated to a new camp site which was more accessible to the presenters and the base. It differs from the site used previously in that there is no stone building which in the past was the base for the team. However the new site has a shower shed, long drop and running tank water. Sleeping accommodation is in swags, the same as previous, and a tent was supplied as a base to hold excess equipment. It offers advantages over the previous site mainly because it removes the need to travel significant distances to deliver the program, meals and the like. Communications are more reliable and the track to the old site is often badly eroded by weather. As previously indicated, the new location, although considered adequate for purpose, was not embraced by the women trekkers.

15. QLD. The QLD trek experienced some precipitation which did not inconvenience the program. The trek area was subjected to below zero temperatures on two mornings.

Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 11.01.09 am16. SA. An extreme weather event affected the SA treks. Very heavy rain fell on Tuesday which resulted in local flood warnings necessitating the withdrawal of the teams from their locations back to the vicinity of the shearers’ quarters. The female team was housed in the shearing shed and the men in the shearers’ quarters where they remained for the duration of the trek. No vehicle movement was possible for 24 hours because all the creeks were impassable. The program continued in to be delivered in sequence but at a different venue. After about 36 hours, limited vehicle movement was possible, exercising care crossing creeks.

17. The funds for the 2016 treks were raised in both SA and QLD and devoted to activities in the respective states. Funding security remains one of the matters which demands continuous attention particularly the SA Chapter which is the poor cousin in the funding stakes.

a. QLD. The QLD trek was funded by RSL Care and RSL Qld who have maintained their financial support since the commencement of the QLD trek.

b. SA. The SA treks were funded from a number of sources. Each year in October, the foundation conducts a major fund raiser with the Veterans’ Support Walk. These funds are complimented by a number of other organisations and corporations as well as individuals. This year a $10K grant was secured from RSL Care SA and a significant grant from the Reid Thyme Foundation was received. The foundation is most appreciative of this support.

18. Transport requirements to and during the treks were as follows:

a. QLD. One 13 seat bus to carry the team and one staff supervisor to Captain’s Mountain, the start point. Six vehicles (3 x 4 WD vehicles and 3 x AWD Vehicles) were hired for the duration of the trek. These were supplemented by a Hilux 4WD owned by one of the mentors. The vehicle with the enclosed trailer was driven from South Australia. At the conclusion of the trek, staff and participants returned to Brisbane in the 4 WD vehicles.

b. SA. Two 22 seat buses to carry the two teams and one staff supervisor per bus to Moolooloo HS. One bus with driver came from a bus company and the other was hire/self-drive. Twelve 4 WD vehicles; (10 hired and 2 borrowed,) 2 towing a covered and an enclosed trailer. These vehicles were also used to transport the staff to Moolooloo HS on Saturday prior to the start. At the conclusion of the trek, staff and participants returned to Adelaide in these 4WD vehicles.

19. The insurance excess which applies to hire vehicles in the case of accident remains a matter of concern. In spite of a payment of $33 per day per vehicle to reduce the insurance excess to the minimum in the case of accident, the excess remains at $2,500 (single vehicle accident) and $550 (multiple vehicles). No claims were necessary.

Base Locations

Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 11.01.55 am20. QLD. The trek location is approximately 300 km west of Brisbane. The base was established at the SSAA Range complex which is 20 km west of Millmerran on the Gore Highway. The facility is well presented, has a full time curator, an industrial kitchen, dams and a capability to cater for about 200 people. The property occupies approximately 400 acres which varies in type and relief from north to south. The property adjoins a national park and state owned forest covering a further 30,000 hectares to which the trek had unfettered access. The hiring arrangements with SSAA are most agreeable.

Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 11.02.44 am21. SA. The trek established a base at Moolooloo HS Shearers’ Quarters which is 32 km NE of Parachilna on the Glass Gorge Road. The station occupies approximately 540 square miles of country which varies in type and relief from east to west. The distance to the area of the trek is approximately 520 km from Adelaide. Travelling these distances is time consuming and expensive in fuel, but the advantages in having no mobile telephone, television or radio reception more than offset the disadvantages of travel. A trip of this duration also permits the participants to get to know each other en-route. The feedback from the participants on the location is positive.

22. A period is set aside daily to complete individual journals. This has proved to be an important element for participants. The journals are used to record personal responses to the various lessons of the day and to make general comment on the trek. This has proved to be satisfactory from the point of view of progressive comment and also provides an opportunity to collectively review and anchor the day’s lessons. Although these comments are qualitative they do represent the perceptions of the participants at the time. These comments are used to complete qualitative assessment.

23. The messages which are conveyed during the trek are related to relationships and behavior management. These are simple subjects; but the style and method of delivery combined with the surroundings make the messages much more powerful. The journals reflect accurately the participant responses to the various lessons and the positive responses appear to be related to simple messages. This year the female responses were generally critical of the staff, weather, program, swags, accommodation etc. to the extent that in some respect the messages may have been overlooked. The female view aside, there is no doubt having read the journals, that the live-in nature of the trek when shared with other veterans is a significant factor in the success of the program. The simple benefit gained from reconnecting with other veterans cannot be over-stated.

24. A doctor was not available in either state on this occasion but this was not considered a problem. Adequate coverage was provided as follows:

a. QLD. The nearest fully equipped hospital is at Millmerran, approximately half an hour away by road from the base. First line medical support was provided by an ex-defence force medical member. A number of other staff are also qualified as senior first aiders. The longest exposure to the most serious risk was assessed as traffic accidents during the trip to and from Captain’s Mountain. No medical or psychiatric issues arose.

b. SA. The nearest fully equipped hospital is at Hawker, approximately 1.5 hours away. First line medical support was provided by a Victorian Ambulance para-medic and a female registered nurse. The para-medic reported with his own vehicle and equipment. A number of other staff are also qualified as senior first aiders. The longest exposure to the most serious risk was assessed as traffic accidents during the trip to and from Moolooloo. No medical or psychiatric issues arose.

Program Delivery
25. Program content in both states is the responsibility of the Project Director, Moose Dunlop. The delivery of the male program and most aspects of the female program is the joint responsibility of the Chief Instructor Dogs Kearney and civilian consultants Peter Keith and Andrew Badenoch. This year additional content was included in both programs and delivered by Tim Smith and Andrew Badenoch. The value or otherwise of these additions will be evident when the journals are analyzed. Additionally, a number of female centric topics were presented to the female team by the two female facilitators, Anna Sutcliffe and CPO Amy Vickers. These treks again utilized the opportunity to provide further training for other past trekkers who are part of the succession plan. In all a total of two male and four female facilitators were exposed to the requirements of facilitation. This training was an extension of the Train the Trainer weekend held in SA in March 2016

26. In the opinion of the participants, the lessons and program outcomes appear to be more effective when simple and delivered by a veteran as opposed to clinician in consulting rooms. This is in accord with the philosophy on which the trek is based; that is veterans helping veterans with messages which are credible and based on first-hand experience.

27. The inclusion of two civilian experts provides a balance to the ex-military presence. They deliver sessions linked to their expertise and are skilled in providing advice and encouragement in a form which is perceived differently to that provided by the veterans. The balance is fine but necessary to gain the confidence of the attendees. The gains from their inclusion are manifold.
28. Telephone. Mobile telephones do not operate north of Hawker in SA and are patchy in the Captain’s Mountain area in QLD. However, telephone communications are available via a landline at the Shearer’s Quarters and at the SSAA Complex at Captain’s Mountain. A satellite telephone was available in the bush during both treks if an emergency arose. It was not used.

29. Radio. While in the bush, UHF CB hand held and vehicle mounted radios were used for communications on simplex. Duplex on Channel 3 is also available at Moolooloo for contact at greater distances by UHF.

30. There is no doubt that the isolation and the live-in nature of the treks are powerful catalysts in conveying opinions and promoting disarming honest comment from all concerned. Sustained by the opinion of strong anecdotal evidence, the male treks were an outstanding success. The female version achieved limited gains compared to the male treks. This is the third female trek run in SA and confirms my opinion that the female trek in this form may limit the potential gains to be made in behavior management. The reason for the difference in perceived value for the two treks based on gender is puzzling. Even a change of the leadership of the female trek appears to have made little difference to outcomes.

31. In the first instance, it is very difficult to attract female attenders and in this case only one navy female had experienced operational service. That three were diagnosed with PTSD, one with depression and two with complex medical issues related to employment does not show the military up in a good light. Nonetheless, in the opinions of the female participants, they appear to have universally achieved a number of goals and leave better equipped to face the challenge. By their own admission, not only have the participants faced and discussed their problems frankly among the other attendees and staff, many have formed relationships which are based on personal and common problems.

32. For most this is the commencement of a long journey; understanding and further help will assist in their arriving at a better place. The real test will be to carry the determination into each individual’s domain and anchor that in their lives. It is desirable that participants form a mental strong point to which they can retreat before consolidation and continuation. It is this aspect of the total picture which requires much greater external support and follow-up from existing supporting networks.

33. One of the discoveries which more than half of the group became aware of was that they and their families have lived through personal problems thinking they were alone in their pain and frustration. All of the participants exchanged email addresses and intend to maintain contact and provide advice and assistance to each other via social media and email. This internal bonding is proving most valuable in their respective journeys.

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Moose Dunlop OAM
Lieutenant Colonel (Retd)
Program Director
12 October 2016

Distribution: TT Board Members (7) CEO RSL SA
Secretary RARC Ted Chitham MC CEO RSL Care SA
President RAR Assoc SA CEO RSL QLD
TT staff (e copies) Minister for Veterans’ SA


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The excellent relationship between the Foundation and RSL care was further enhanced recently with a very generous donation to the cause.  This is not the first time RSL Care SA has assisted Trojan’s Trek and confirms the intent of the RSL Care Board to embrace their philosophy which is to provide “care and support for the benefit of the ex-service and wider community”. The funds will be used on the upcoming SA treks for men and women.Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 8.27.03 am

Original Tiger Chips In

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 2.53.59 pmBrian Budden ex 9 Section, 9 Platoon, C Coy, 5 RAR SVN 1966 – 67 attended a 50th reunion with his mates in Perth in July 2016, a watershed moment for Trojan’s Trek. Little did I know but Brian had been “following the work of the Trojan’s Trek Foundation for some considerable time” and was impressed with what was being achieved. As a gesture of his support Brian donated a large amount of money to assist “the future success of the Foundation”.

I therefore publicly extend the thanks of the Foundation to Brian and wish him well with his commercial endeavours with Rebel Graphics.

Moose Dunlop OAM, Project Director, Trojan’s Trek.

Join us for Trojan’s Trek Veterans’ Support Walk.

On Sunday October 30th, join us for the Trojan’s Trek Veterans’ Support Walk.

Walk, run or roll around the River Torrens, raise money for veterans and be in the running to win some great prizes!

Free parking, partners and pets welcome, coffee, sausage sizzle & BIG Raffle draw

• $100 Cash prize for first male and first female across the line
• $200 Cash prize for first team of 3 across the line, and
• $50 Cash x 2 spot prizes

Entry $30 per person includes a T-Shirt

To register
Snail mail – download and fill out the form here (pay by cheque)
Online – fill out the online form here (pay by credit card or PayPal)

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2016 QLD Trojan’s Trek – Men Outcome Data Report

There were eleven participates in the 2016 QLD Men’s Trojan’s Trek. For the purpose of this report, their questionnaire responses on four measures (Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale -DASS21, General Self- Efficacy Scale, Life Satisfaction Scale and the Positive and Negative Interactions Scale, See Table 1) were scored and analysed to measure quantitative change in mental health and wellbeing indicators from Day 1 and Day 6.

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All of the participants (100%) showed a positive change between Day 1 and Day 6 on their total DASS21 scores (reduction in scores for depression, anxiety and stress). All but one participant showed an increase in self-efficacy.

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Overall life satisfaction improved for all participants, and all showed an increase in satisfaction with mental health and sleep. Nine of the eleven participants (82%) showed an increase in satisfaction with feeling part of the community; the other three participants’ results remained stable. Ten of the eleven participants showed an increase in perception of positive interactions with friends and family, and increase in positive perception of spouse relationships was seen for all participants in a relationship. Satisfaction with relationships with children improved for seven of the eleven participants, while two remained stable. Results for each measure are outlined below in greater detail.

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Of note, five participants showed clinically significant reduction in all areas measured: stress, anxiety and depression severity. A sixth person showed significant reduction in stress severity, and another showed reduction in depression to clinical levels and another two participants showed significant reductions in both depression and stress, as highlighted in Table 2.

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On average, participant scores changed from severe anxiety, stress and depression on Day 1, to normal level anxiety, stress and depression scores by Day 6. At Day 1 scores were well above the average for the general population and by Day 6 became well below the average, see Table 3.

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As outlined in Figure 2, ten participants showed an increase in their self-efficacy scores and one participants’ scores remained stable. The average self-efficacy score was similar to that of the general population at Day 1, and above the general population at Day 6, see Table 4.

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Life Satisfaction
Overall satisfaction with life increased from Day 1 to Day 6 for all participants, and satisfaction increased in all areas measured; see Table 5. Participants’ life satisfaction in all areas was below that of the general population at Day 1, and above that of the general population at Day 6. Selected results for life satisfaction are shown in Figure 3; ten participants experienced an increase in overall life satisfaction between Day 1 and Day 6, nine participants showed an increase in satisfaction with mental health, and ten showed an increase in feeling part of the community and increased satisfaction with sleep.

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On average, perception of positive interactions with friends, family and spouses increased between Day 1 and Day 6. This scale (the Positive and Negative Interactions Scale) measures participants’ perception of how well they feel their relationships are going. Taking results from the Life Satisfaction Questionnaires, all participants who had a spouse indicated improvement with their satisfaction with their relationship except for one participant whose scores remained high and stable. Seven participants showed improvement in satisfaction with their relationship with their children, with two participant’s scores remaining stable and two others showing a slight score reduction, see Figure 4.

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DASS21: Lovibond, S. & Lovibond, P. (2004). Manual for the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (2nd Ed). University of New South Wales: Sydney.
Positive and Negative Interactions Scale: Schuster T. L., Kessler, R.C., & Aseltine, R. H. Jr (1990). Supportive interactions, negative interactions and depressed mood. American Journal of Community Psychology, 18, 423-438.
Self-Efficacy Scale: Schwarzer, R., & Jerusalem, M. (1995). Generalized Self-Efficacy scale. In J. Weinman, S. Wright, & M. Johnston. Measures in health psychology: A user’s portfolio. Causal and control beliefs. 35- 37. Windsor, England: NFER-NELSON.
Life Satisfaction Scale information: Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health (2010, February). Evaluation of Trojan’s Trek: Final report. Retrieved from content/uploads/2011/04/Trojans-Trek-Final-Report-2010.pdf
Note: See Participant Snapshot for an overview of where areas of change were for each participant.

Data analysis and report completed by Kendall Bird for Trojan’s Trek

Moose and James speak at Brownhill Creek Rotary

Report from the Brownhill Creek Weekly, the newsletter of the Brownhill Creek branch of Rotary International,

This week our speakers, Moose Dunlop and James Paterson, shared with us the work being done by Trojan’s Treks in meeting the challenges faced by those suffering from a service-induced stress illness. This illness can ruin the life of the sufferer and the lives of his or her family. It is often managed by a regime of counselling and medication which is an expensive approach.

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The Trojans Trek Foundation is a 100% not-for- profit organisation run by veterans and wholly devoted to the support of Australian’s veterans and their families.

Treks are run in SA and Qld with different programs for men and women. The treks are six day 4WD wilderness based experiences that use a combination peer support and structured discussions to help participants understand how thoughts and feelings influence behaviour and develop strategies to bring about changes in their lives and listening to James the results are very positive for the participants.

From the website
The aim of Trojan’s Trek is to provide a setting and conditions under which participants experience a lasting positive shift in personal values and interpersonal relationships.

The objectives of the trek are to assist the participants, through group and individual challenge, achieve the following:

  1. an understanding of how thoughts and feelings influence behaviour,
  2. exposure to various strategies which will bring about positive change,
  3. individual responses which are effective in achieving goals,
  4. improving interpersonal relationships, and
  5. enhance self-esteem.


On the weekend 19/20 March, the first “train the trainer” course was held. The course aim was to identify and assess a number of ex trekkers to assume the role of facilitator and mentor.
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Two days was spent listening to a number of skilled speakers addressing a range of subjects which will assist in producing competent staff. The course was conducted at the HQ of 3 Health Support Battalion at Keswick Barracks in Adelaide, an excellent facility, ideal for our purpose.

Thirteen ex-trekkers were identified and took part in the information and skills upgrade. Peter Keith, Tim Smith and Dogs Kearney all contributed to a challenging and thought provoking two days, the first step in the process of accreditation.