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Supacat speaks

For the past two years, the Foundation has been receiving support from an International Company named Supacat, who is the world’s leading specialist in high mobility defence vehicles. As part of this support, the Managing Director offered two of his staff to assist with the running of the 2019 trek in SA. The offer was accepted by Moose and duly came to pass in September. Following the Trek, both members wrote a short brief about their experience.

I am pleased to report that the experience was most beneficial for both the Foundation and the members. Their commentary is below and speaks for itself. In short, the staff and I would be happy to have them back at any time.

Moose Dunlop OAM
Operations Director

Hi Sarina,
Going into the Trek I didn’t really know what to expect. Antony and I were driving 10 hours out of Melbourne to the middle of nowhere, to spend a week with people we had never met and participate in a program we knew very little about. But from the minute we arrived, we were welcomed with open arms and immediately made to feel like part of the family. The trek philosophy is really quite simple, it’s veterans helping other veterans, they do this by providing the participants new approaches to life, telling personal stories, asking questions and genuinely caring about what these people are going through. There is no psychologist, there are no professionals, there is no one analyzing each individual, they are just blokes helping out blokes. After spending a week helping in the kitchen, providing an extra set of hands and taking part where possible I couldn’t agree with Antony more that this is probably the most worthwhile organization for helping veterans and first responders and I feel proud to have been part of it.
The staff themselves where some seriously good people, with big hearts who have all been through their own life struggles and through the support of Trojan’s Trek have been able to move forward with life and are now giving back and helping others in similar situations to themselves. Additionally, a select few of the staff were absolutely hilarious, in their own special way.
This program is absolutely sensational!
Cheers,
Mackenzie Brown | Mechanical Engineer

Sarina,
Volunteering on the Trojans Trek at the Flinders Ranges was quite simply an amazing experience. I had no idea what to expect and of course, there was a bit of nervousness there.
Once we were there Mack and I volunteered to help out with everything, from kitchen hands – early starts and late finishes, repairing leaks from broken water pipes on the farm, participating in group discussions, providing advice to participants on a one on one capacity, driving the vehicles to what seemed like being a participant at times. I think we did it all.
The conversations with the participants and facilitators over the week were both funny and serious. At times I felt like I had never laughed so much or on the verge of crying from hearing some of the participants’ stories. The facilitators do an amazing job, using their past experiences to deliver messages and advice to the participants giving those ideas and tools to use in their own lives.
Being able to witness the change in the participants from arrival to departure needs to be seen. Some of these guys have never slept more than 4 hours a night and hearing that they have slept 10 hours whilst on the trek was amazing to witness. Even though I was there as a volunteer I know I personally benefited from the learnings and advice that was given. Having been touched by mental health issues in my circle I truly feel this is one of the best programs around and Supacat is definitely supporting the right charity.
If the opportunity arises again to be able to support Trojans Trek I’m in without a question and I encourage others to do the same.
Antony Buysen – Technical Advisor

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TANKS FOR THAT

I have written before about the generosity the Foundation receives from the community. 

It was 9 years ago after I had been interviewed by Peter Goers on radio 891 ABC Adelaide that I received a call from Tim Harper. Tim is the owner of Pioneer Tanks SA and during our chat he asked me if we hired vehicles to take the veterans to Moolooloo station for the treks.  I replied that I did after which he offered me the use of two of his company 4 WD to save the Foundation hiring charges, a significant cost.  Since that day, on every SA trek we have gratefully borrowed vehicles from his company.  Total savings in the vicinity of $15K.

And yesterday, Saturday 10 August, I spoke to the Bentley Car Owners club on a couple of subjects requested by Tim. Naturally one of the subjects was Trojan’s Trek after which the Foundation received a donation through the web site. The group, which have an interest in all things mechanical, arranged for a partly restored Series 2A Landrover, once the source of many cups of tea for the diggers compliments of the Everyman (Salvation Army) in the late 60s. The vehicle was loaned by the Military Vehicle Museum, 10 Sturton Road, Edinburgh.  A very basic piece of British engineering on display.

Thanks to a great group of fellows for your interest and conversation.    

Moose Dunlop OAM

Operations Director

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

This year’s walk has taken place. Please join us next year!

Online entry form here

Download the entry form to mail here

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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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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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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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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.

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SOUTH COAST VETERANS (SCV) SUPPORT

As previously reported the SCV, a group of primarily ex-military individuals and their partners have this year indicated that their fundraising efforts will be directed to support the Trojan’s Trek Foundation. 

The group conducts a whole range of activities designed to raise money for organisations which support veterans. Functions such as quiz nights, dinner dances and even a stall at the local show are in the broad mix of fundraisers. 

Companion dogs provided through the Royal Society for the Blind have been a recent beneficiary of their efforts and a couple of these animals were present on 19 Jan when Moose was presented with a cheque for the Foundation by Reg Bichel the President.

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TROJAN’S TREK ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP

TROJAN’S Trek Foundation is proud to announce that the Adelaide and Country Primary Health Networks (PHN) have signed a contract with the Foundation which will greatly assist in the delivery of the SA trek in September this year.

By way of background PHN is not a service provider but is focused on commissioning services which are guided by community, clinical and stakeholder input.  The organisation is funded by the Commonwealth Government and has a clear goal of improving health outcomes for the community.

This objective fits nicely with the foundation objectives which concentrate on mental health as it applies to veterans and first responders.

The Chairman Moose Dunlop OAM, said it was appropriate and he was very pleased to be associated with an organisation resourced by the Commonwealth with responsibilities for community mental health.

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TROJANS TREK RECEPTION AT GOVERNMENT HOUSE ADELAIDE

In response to an offer from the Governor of SA, His Excellency The Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, 62 supporters of the Foundation attended a reception at Government House on the evening of 13 Nov.

The ballroom provided a fitting backdrop to the gathering, many of whom had not met face to face with the Board or each other.  The support which had been provided over 10 years of operation was acknowledged by His Excellency in a stirring speech.