On Sunday 21 September 2014, a gathering of 16 women and two facilitators met up in Adelaide to take part in a complete unknown. They were a collective of women who had been finding it tough to live a normal life due to ill health, physical injury or issues related to military service. Most of the women hadnt met before and they were about to participate in a pilot program for Trojans Trek sisters. This was to be a national, if not world first program, in recognition of various traumas suffered by women who have volunteered to serve their country in the Australian Defence Force.

The Trek is a 6 day outdoor experience in the North Flinders Ranges on Moolooloo Station. The women were based at the Blinman Hut, a small remote stone hut, yet adequately serviced with running hot and cold water and toilet facilities. To say that the women were anxious, would be a massive understatement as fear of the unknown and loss of control in a challenging situation are the enemies of most women, let alone women suffering.

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A set of sisterly virtues was adopted which in turn set the scene for the duration of the trek. That basic connection was made with each individual and holistically as a group. Every woman was individually supported and allowed to be themselves in a safe and secure environment with the knowledge that they could choose to discuss their personal story if they so desired. All had equal opportunity to spill their guts of burden” and be no longer judged for a past that wasnt their fault. All took that opportunity in some way shape or form with support, validation and recognition that their story was worth telling. As a result, all felt no longer the need to carry the load that they had personally been holding within for a very long time.

To place a dollar value on the return of self-worth and empowerment is just not possible. To allow a woman to choose a release from a past in which she has been trapped is priceless! To show them that care and compassion can exist in such a raw and rugged environment is an experience that will resonate with them for life! I know for a fact that there are now 16 women carrying a lighter load due to our week in the bush. Sixteen sisters with spirit and new hope for change facing the future. It is a cause and awareness of the needs of service women which is long overdue. It has shown the way and given the participants the choice of living versus existing”.

This program needs to continue and be funded accordingly for all of the reasons that I have stated above, no ifs or buts. There is no price on saving a human life and empowering a person again with unity, purpose and cause! This is a very real issue and after all we are someones sister, mother, aunt and friend!

Anna Ventry-Sutcliffe

3 replies
  1. Tiffany Ahuja
    Tiffany Ahuja says:

    The best decision I ever made was attending this Trek, to finally know that I am not the only woman who felt the way I did and suffered similar of not the same issues as others and to finally make friends and support each each other through the good and bad, it’s been life changing, thank God for Trojans Trek.

  2. Deborah oswald
    Deborah oswald says:

    The trek … challenge and compassion – a focus to train and live well … Walk … Communicate … Bond …. Heal … Be heard and empathise … Feel empowered to aim for, experience and then finish the trek – what an experience – I can see it would be life changing and really esteem building and empowering…. Congratulations to all involved Deb


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