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Young Veterans’ Charity Walk, Sunday 27th October, 2019

Online entry form here

Download the entry form to mail here

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SUPACAT STAFF ASSIST

Treks always involve a lot of organisation and preparation.  As one can understand, to take a group of sometimes brittle, 35 to 40 individuals away to the North Flinders Ranges from Saturday to Friday and cater for every conceivable issue is a big ask.  This is in addition to delivering a very structured daily program.  And when the nearest reasonably stocked shop, butcher, chemist, etc is more than one and a half hours away, it is important to arrive carrying everything to face the myriad of issues which may and do arise. 

Simple subjects like dietary restrictions, allergies, physical handicaps, equipment and so on, must be known and be 100% correct.  To do this a number of the staff commence ticking off lists 5 to 6 weeks before the start date. Much of the tasking falls to the chefs and the medic along with other specialists in the team.  This early checking process also has the advantage of benefitting from ‘advertised specials’ which in some cases can save up to 50% on single items. 

The staff of Supacat Melbourne are aware of the mammoth responsibilities of this process and decided to help by collecting a long list of 104 non-perishables which they will send over to the trek with two of their own staff who will work on the trek as general hands. 

They also became aware that the camp chairs which are used during the treks were getting old and some were in poor condition.  To assist they collected money and forwarded $350 in Bunning’s Gift Cards to purchase 6 new strong camp chairs. So there is a very practical example of hands-on support from an unexpected quarter which will save costs and effort. 

Our thanks go to them for their help.      

Moose Dunlop OAM Operations Director

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HILTON RSL DONATES

On the evening of 3 August, Moose, the Operations Director, was invited to present the Trojan’s Trek story to the Hilton RSL membership.  This RSL has a very long history, with the Sub Branch’s 90th birthday approaching in 2020.  Their record of giving to worthy causes is also impressive.

A good number of members were present for the talk, among them a representation of young members.  The presentation was preceded by the Ode delivered by Swampy Gardiner after which Moose’s address and a DVD was shown.

Following, Moose was presented with a cheque for $600 which was added to by passing round the hat to achieve a total of $700.

In short a good evening in warm surrounds and good company.

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ANOTHER RSL CHIPS IN

RSL Sub Branches play a very important part in establishing and maintaining contact with veterans of all services.  This is very apparent in the case of the Nairne RSL situated in the Adelaide Hills.  The club is trying very hard to remain relevant in a space which has seen the RSL Brand suffer impact to its fine reputation as the premier ESO in the state. This has been detrimental to engaging with veterans at sub branch level.  To that end the club invited Moose Dunlop OAM along to address the club members and other club representatives on the benefits gained from attending a Trojan’s Trek.  A gathering of more than 20 including the local member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie MP attended. Moose reported he was fortunate in having a past trekker, Paul Wilton on hand to give his very personal comments on what trek attendance meant to him and his family.

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4 RAR ASSOCIATION SA CONTRIBUTE

Moose and Chris Pepper the SA President at the hand-over.

This is not the first time the members of the SA Association have contributed financially to the Trojan’s Trek program. Of interest, most of those who seek help by attending the programs are ex-Royal Australian Regiment members.  So it is appropriate and well-targeted as this money goes directly to those members and families in need.  A number of the other battalion associations have also contributed over time, and although the amounts may not seem significant to some, the gestures of support for those who replace us is most welcome.

NOTE:  Since the above report was written the SA 4 RAR Association committee met as part of their normal schedule.  Among the agenda items discussed was donations to veteran organisations. In the words of president Chris, “the committee decided that it would provide on-going support to the Trojan’s Trek Foundation because of its low profile and very good outcomes.”

Thanks very much to the committee. The benefits are manifold and benefit veterans and families.

Moose Dunlop OAM

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A DONATION WITH MESSAGE

L/Cpl Brian Budden, ex 5 RAR and veteran, has donated to the Foundation on three previous occasions.  On each, he has dedicated the bequest to one of the men killed while he was on operations with the battalion in Vietnam.  The latest donation is to remember Major Don Bourne, the story below.   

Donald Mackenzie Bourne, of Watson, ACT completed two tours in Korea with the 1st and 3rd Battalions, between 1954 and 1955 and later served in Malaya during the Emergency. As a Major, he initially served in Vietnam with Headquarters, 1st Australian Task Force before being posted to the 5th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment (5RAR) in 1967.  In early 1967 he was appointed commander of C Company, 5RAR in SVN.

On the morning of 14 February 1967, during preparations for a cordon-and-search operation of the village of An Nhut, Major Bourne was killed by a concealed Viet Cong mine. Another Australian officer, 29635 Captain Robert Bruce Milligan, and a New Zealand Army Officer, Captain Peter Williams, were also killed along with five other men who were wounded He was 36.

The Board extends our sincere thanks for the donation.

We will remember them.

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Supporters of Trojan’s Trek recognised with prestigious philanthropy award

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland was today awarded the inaugural Queensland Community Foundation’s Board of Governors’ Award for Outstanding Achievement at the Philanthropy of the Year Awards for 2019.

Having significantly increased its philanthropic footprint in recent years, the award recognises an individual or organisation for their exceptional and sustained Queensland philanthropy.

 

L-R: Hear and Say CEO Chris McCarthy, YellowBridge QLD CEO Penny Hamilton, Hand Heart Pocket Director Dr Jason Bingham and Chairman Tom Wiltshire, Trojan’s Trek’s Peter Keith, Help Enterprises CEO Kerry Browne and Hand Heart Pocket CEO Gary Mark at the QCF Philanthropist of the Year Awards.

 

Hand Heart Pocket Chairman Tom Wiltshire said he was honoured to accept this award on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland.

“I wish to acknowledge our members throughout the state – our work is built on the legacy of Freemasonry, dating back more than 110 years,” Tom said.

Following the sale of their aged care and retirement living business in 2016, the organisation returned to its philanthropic roots. Guided by their long-term strategy, Hand Heart Pocket has identified six key areas of support. These include men’s mental and physical health, employment for youth with mental health issues, women’s financial and physical security, the ageing population, education initiatives for those with a disability or in necessitous circumstance, and funding and financial assistance for families and individuals in need.

“Today, we are making a bigger difference for more Queenslanders than ever before. Over the past three years, we have provided $8.3 million in grants and in-kind support to other non-profit organisations.”

In addition to working with their members at a grassroots level, the Freemason charity provides Significant and Flagship Grants to other charities, where there is an unmet need, helping them to fill gaps in funding or ensure that essential services can continue. Its holistic approach has incorporated a sponsored staff volunteer day and the organisation has also provided in-kind support and expertise to some of their charity partners to maximise the impact of their grant.

“Everything we do is about providing a hand up, to help alleviate suffering and empower people to lead better lives, so it’s wonderful to be recognised in this way,” he said.

“Thank you also to our charity partners Help Enterprises, Hear and Say, YellowBridge QLD and Trojan’s Trek who nominated us for this wonderful award.”

Find out more about our partners and the important work of Hand Heart Pocket.

For the full list of award winners visit the QFC website.

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SUPPORT FROM A DIFFERENT QUARTER


Sometimes one is simply overwhelmed by the goodness and generosity of the human race.  This happened to me recently and from an unexpected source. I received a phone call from a lady named Penny Ferguson, out of the blue. I had never met her but was impressed with her philanthropic views and motivation.

In essence, Penny has custody of never seen letters and the diaries of LT Ben Champion 1st AIF, her grandfather. (Some excerpts from the diaries have been published by the AWM).  She decided to publish them in a book to ensure their historical and personal impacts are not lost. Penny has presented Ben’s letters, diaries and photographs to create a comprehensive and moving account of a young man thrust into war. The book includes over 250 photographs and records of over 200 officers and soldiers in Ben’s story.  It is a fitting legacy to that terrible chapter in our history.

During the course of our phone conversation Penny mentioned that following her enquiries to identify a worthy recipient of any profit, one of her acquaintances directed her to Trojan’s Trek. She took that option as she had established that all donations to Trojan’s Trek go towards the rehabilitation of servicemen and women damaged by their service.  A donation of $2,250.00 was duly deposited into the account.

Thank you most sincerely Penny Ferguson.

 

Moose Dunlop OAM

The 900-page book is available from Echo Print at $50.

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MURRAY BRIDGE RSL PROVIDES SUPPORT

Many would not be aware of the existence of the Murray Bridge RSL Club. As one of the locals informed me, it’s “a little known gem.” And to put the club management into perspective; RSL Club winner 2015, 16 and 18, did you know 3,000 attend the Anzac Day dawn service, and that the peace march by 200 of year 9 students on Remembrance Day was a show stopper. So progressive would be a good description since the club moved from in-town to the riverside. 

Then to top it off, the club has just donated $500 to the Foundation to support recently returned men and women.  This rounds out the relevance which RSL Clubs can and do have in the veteran community. 

The board extends our sincere thanks to the president, Dave Laing, and hard working committee.

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VISIT TO SUPACAT HQ PORT MELBOURNE

As previously reported, Supacat, an international player in the defence industry, has selected the Trojan’s Trek Foundation as the organisation which will be supported by them during 2019. 

As a follow-on from Moose’s visit to Sydney to attend and speak to their annual dinner in 2018, Mick Halloran, the Managing Director requested that his Melbourne based staff were also acquainted with the philosophy and operations of the foundation. As a result, Moose visited the company’s base in Victoria on 8 Feb to carry out that task. 

Mick when opening the session outlined the reasons why he had selected the Foundation above many other worthy calls. To summarise his words, he was informed of our existence during a function in Canberra by a person who was aware and felt strongly about the excellent outcomes which were being achieved. Mick also spoke at length about the significance of the independent evaluation protocols which the foundation rigorously follows. 

Approximately 30 staff attended the briefing, a good number of whom were ex-military prompting some very good questions and observations. Moose reported that the range of work which he observed ranged from hi-tech
R & D to the development of, and improvements to a range of transport methods used by the military. 

From the photograph, it is also apparent that the role of youth in the engineering processes is present.