Seeking first responders for a Trojan's Trek wilderness experience

Pictured at the recent Penneshaw meeting are Jane Abdilla, SAFECOM health and well-being consultant, clinical psychologist Jill Scott , Trojan's Trek Foundation operations director Moose Dunlop OAM and peer support officer Merey Colquhoun.
Pictured at the recent Penneshaw meeting are Jane Abdilla, SAFECOM health and well-being consultant, clinical psychologist Jill Scott , Trojan's Trek Foundation operations director Moose Dunlop OAM and peer support officer Merey Colquhoun.

Part-time Penneshaw resident and volunteer firefighter Moose Dunlop OAM is looking for other first responders around SA who would benefit from a trek into the wilderness.

He is operations director for the planned SA Trojan's Trek at Moolooloo in the north Flinders Ranges from September 13 to 18.

The Trek is open to firefighters, police, paramedics and any other emergency service worker or volunteer, including those who served during the recent bushfires.

"I am hoping that some of the KI fire-fighters who have been psychologically impacted by the fires will nominate to attend the Trek experience in September in the north Flinders Ranges," he said. "I have three in my own brigade at Upper Sturt, who fall into that category."

Trojans Trek is a peer support wilderness based intervention, which reconstructs the psychological health and well being of service and ex service personnel.

Theprogram was first run in the north Flinders Ranges of SA in the late 1990s to assist troubled Vietnam veterans return to a normal life.

Mr Dunlop said it was in March that the first attempt to attract first responders to attend a SA Trek was launched.

The occasion was at a gathering of first responders at the Parndana Hotel hosted South Australia's Governor Hieu Van Le, AC and KI mayor Michael Pengilly.

"As the Foundation Patron, the governor spoke highly of the work of the foundation, advertising the benefits offered by attendance," Mr Dunlop said.

"Sadly COVID-19 put pay to that initiative but with the situation in SA on the improve, it has been decided that a Trek can be conducted with attendance limited to those states with no infection spikes."

Mr Dunlop hosted a re-launch of the 2020 Trek at Pennshaw recently.

In attendance were Jane Abdilla, Health and Wellbeing representative from SAFECOM, Dr Jeremy Wells, the KI Medical Clinic director together with representatives from CFS, the Penneshaw Progress Association, KI RSL sub branch, Lions Club, CWA and local brigade members.

"The gathering heard presentations from several speakers, each related to early addressing of mental health and stress illness," he said.

A good level of interest in Trek attendance was shown and anyone interested in finding out more or participating can visit www.trojanstrek.com

Also backing the Trek is Federal Member Rebekha Sharkie who supported an funding application for the Trojan's Trek Foundation by writing to the Minister of Veterans' Affairs that resulted in a $23,000 grant to enhance some aspects of the current program.

Enquiries to Moose on 0408 088 886 or Paul on 0435 780 237.

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