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
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!
Mackenzie Brown | Mechanical Engineer
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