17 July 2014
Wandering Warriors next mega-challenge: Brisbane to Canberra
In 2013 they walked 1,600kms in 33 days from Brisbane to Birdsville, braving sub-zero mornings in Gatton, Oakey and Dalby and 40-plus degree days beyond Windorah, raising over $120,000.
Walkers will depart Anzac Square in Brisbane’s CBD on Sunday 28 September and complete the event at the Australian War Memorial on Thursday 16 October to coincide with the dedication of an SAS Regiment plaque in the Memorial grounds.
Wandering Warriors CEO Audie Moldre said, “while the 2014 walk will not take us as far as Birdsville, the New England Highway has a lot more ups and downs for the old and bold to tackle.”
“Six of last year’s walkers will walk to Canberra in 2014, including the oldest walker last year, who is 75. Nine of our walkers are SAS veterans of Australia’s military conflicts from Vietnam to Afghanistan. Two are ex-British SAS. The wives of two of the veterans will be walking again this year.
“This year we will have a high profile finish on the steps of the Australian War Memorial and then a plaque dedication in the AWM grounds for the SAS Regiment. We will also be in Bathurst for the V8 Supercars event.
“The walkers will be supported by soldiers from the Enoggera-based 7th Brigade as well as Special Operations Command and subordinate units.
Mr Moldre said the Wandering Warriors represented veterans of Australia’s military commitments of the past 50 years.
“We are concerned about the welfare of Australia’s newest and youngest veterans and their families; those who have served in Rwanda, Somalia, East Timor, Iraq and particularly Afghanistan.
“Wandering Warriors is not focused exclusively on the SAS, Commandos and other Special Forces units. We work to raise funds for all wounded, injured and ill Australian Defence Force veterans, and their families, who have suffered as a result of their service.
“We don’t support veterans directly, rather we ‘care for the carers’, providing a strategic fundraising umbrella for charities that are often too pre-occupied with the carer role to do their own fundraising.
“With the support of corporate Australia and the Australian community, the Wandering Warriors aim to raise badly needed funds for Wounded Heroes, Project Excalibur, the Commando Welfare Trust, Soldier On and the White Cloud Foundation,” he said.
Media inquiries: Mick Donaldson, 0408 292 717. Quentin Masson 0448 115 144
Jose Abad 0403 930 380 [email protected]
About Wandering Warriors:
Wandering Warriors is a charity initiative of the Australian SAS Association Queensland Inc. Its members are veterans of Australia’s military conflicts over the past 50 years. We volunteer our time, energy and resources to conduct events which raise funds for veteran and family focussed charities. Wandering Warriors has no paid positions.
Their mission is to secure ongoing funding for the care and support of our veterans and their families, as well as for other charitable causes.
Background: The Department of Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs share the lead in caring for wounded and injured Australian Defence Force personnel, but a gap remains in that care as there is a limit to entitlements, grants, programs and funding. Australia has a number of other stakeholder organisations which attend to the needs of physically wounded and psychologically impacted veterans and their families. These stakeholders add an extra dimension to the care of our wounded and their families; however, they require continued access to funding to do their work. Wandering Warriors Inc is a charity which raises funds to help meet that need.
The Cause: Increasingly, Australia’s military engagements are being fought by the few, with many ADF personnel putting themselves in harm’s way on multiple operational deployments. Australians may have differing views about our military involvement in Afghanistan, but they stand behind the young Australians undertaking that fight. Our community has a particular concern about our wounded from the Afghanistan conflict and about their families, as well as the families of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. The Wandering Warriors share that community concern.
Afghanistan – Battle Casualties: Since Operation SLIPPER commenced, there have been 40 operational deaths in Afghanistan. As at 31 March 2013, there have been 251 ADF members wounded in action in Afghanistan.
The types of injuries sustained can be broadly categorised as:
• Gun-shot wounds
• Hearing loss
• Concussion/traumatic brain injury
• Penetrating fragments
• Multiple severe injuries
There are no solid statistics on those young veterans who are returning to Australia suffering psychological trauma. However, it is widely reported that there will be an increase in Defence force members that will face a range of physical and psychological issues after the last few years which have seen a high operational tempo for the ADF.
Media Release Terms & References
ADF: Australian Defence Force
Operation SLIPPER : The Australian Defence Force (ADF) contribution to the war in Afghanistan. The operation commenced in late 2001 and is ongoing.
Operational tempo: The pace of an operation or operations. The operational tempo includes all of the activities the unit is conducting.
SAS: Special Air Service Regiment, commonly known as the SAS is an elite special operations force of the Australian Army. While it is modelled on the British SAS (operating under the same motto, “Who Dares Wins”) the regiment is a direct command unit of the Australian Special Operations Command.
WW: Wandering Warriors Inc is a charity organisation of the Australian SAS Association Queensland Inc.