Operation FARMER ASSIST
In 2017 the concept for Operation FARMER ASSIST was born. We begun taking volunteers to help farmers in western Queensland and it's helping both them and us. The program helps remove barriers connecting Ex ADF and current serving members with their community.
It is about providing Ex ADF and current serving members a platform to use the skills, knowledge and experience they gained during their service. It's about empowering them to give back and continue to serve their community. Giving them a sense of purpose, belonging and achievement.
The program enhances healthy lifestyles, through physical activities by volunteering for general labouring, repairs, concreting, fencing and refurbishment and any other task you can think of. It's about being part of a team and having a good time.
Our first venture was to 'Goolma Station' in Oct 2018 and it was quickly followed by another to Warnabool Downs Station in Nov 18. In Apr 2019 we travelled to Winton to help the community build a Moto Cross track. These activities were funded by Operation COMPASS.
Then we travelled out to Cotswold Hills Station in May 19 funded by Aurizon. The July trip (Expedition V) was an experiment as a family trip with a focus on relocating dinosaur tracks and a bullring of other activities.
The expeditions to western Queensland are about veterans and their friends (including those who are considering transitioning out). What we are wanting to achieve is first give some desperately needed help to our friends on the land, and second to help us build community identity outside the ADF. The team work, hard work and reward for labour are hallmarks of what is achieved.
If you want to bring a close mate we'll accommodate them too. It's all about connection and integration with community.
We take about 12 people and it's over before you want it to be, in about a week.
FARMER ASSIST III (23-30 April)
This one involved a community project in the Winton Shire to help lift the spirits of local families.
FARMER ASSIST IV (19-26 May)
Dismantling and rebuilding a family room and laying lino in two rooms.
FARMER ASSIST V (2 - 10 July)
A focus on relocating dinosaur tracks and a bullring of other community tasks / activities.
FARMER ASSIST VI (2 - 9 September)
Likely to be some touch-ups to past projects, and a new project. Details to be updated when planning is completed with the Winton farming community.