A 57km challenge during October will unite the veteran community and raise vital funds for ADF veterans who have been injured during service.
Bravery Trek encourages the broader community to celebrate the service of Australian veterans and show support for those facing an uphill battle as a result of injury or illness sustained during service.
Bravery Trek is a virtual event – meaning anyone can join anywhere. Run, swim, cycle, paddle, wheelchair or push a pram – all participants help engage veterans who may need support and those who can refer a friend.
Bravery Trust CEO Belinda Wilson said this year’s Trek is themed around the Royal Australian Navy – with a virtual route around Sydney Harbour incorporating key Naval bases and sites of historical significance. The 57km challenge is the distance from North Head to South Head and coincides with the sum of 57 ships, boats, submarines, and bases in the Navy. A podcast will be shared with participants covering the history of iconic locations along the route.
Ms Wilson called on the veteran community to join the fun of Bravery Trek as way of connecting veterans and initiating conversations about the challenges faced during transition from the ADF, especially in cases of medical discharge.
“The Royal Commission has identified those who transition for medical reasons are at greater risk of poor mental health and suicide and notes key factors include financial circumstances and living alone.
“Bravery Trek is an event that engages veterans and creates awareness about support available for those with financial concerns,” she said.
Bravery Trek raises funds to support the work of Bravery Trust, a military charity which provides funding to veterans who have been injured during service to support them with immediate needs such as housing, medical expenses, car costs and food.
There is no cost to register for Bravery Trek, and anyone who wants to complete the trek without sponsorship is encouraged to join the fun.
“For those in a position to seek sponsorship from family and friends, Bravery Trek provides an opportunity to make an immediate difference to the lives of current and ex-serving member of the Defence Force who are facing financial hardship and are impacted by injury or illness sustained during service,” Ms Wilson said.
Bravery Trek is a 57km challenge from October 10 to November 10 – there’s also a double up option for those who can make it 114km in 31 days. Register at www.braverytrek.com.au
Serving and ex-serving members of the ADF who are injured, or sustained illness during service, and require financial support can call Bravery Trust 1800 BRAVERY (1800 272 837).
Funds raised by Bravery Trek will help Aussie veterans like Pete Arbuckle:
Pete served 8 years in the Australian Army before medical discharge in 1997 after a motorbike accident.
“It was sudden and unexpected. It was a tough time. My partner was pregnant, and she had to give up her job, I couldn’t work, it was an incredibly stressful time and we had to move in with family as we had no income until things were sorted,” he said.
“I wish there was something like Bravery Trust around at the time, but there was nothing and it was tough, there was no one to help.”
In 2015, Pete required a lower leg amputation, and it was at that point Bravery Trust was able to provide vital assistance.
“There’s so much to deal with during recovery, it’s a tough journey… on top of rehabilitation and medical appointments, there’s internal struggles, a search for purpose, what job will I get?
“Having Bravery Trust there to help out when things got too much – it was a life changer. They helped out with some urgent expenses so that I could focus on my recovery.
“Bravery Trust really does change lives and I highly recommend anyone who’s facing hardship to reach out – things might be tough right now, but you will find a way out, don’t be afraid to reach out and seek help.”
During recovery, Pete found wheelchair basketball, and then wheelchair rugby league. He has represented Australia at two Invictus Games, winning gold in Sydney, and will represent Australia this month at the Rugby league World Cup in England. We at Bravery Trust, find great enjoyment watching veterans like Pete achieve at the highest level.
“It gave me focus at a time when there was not a lot to focus on – I wasn’t working and sport was a big focus. Making the Queensland team and then the Australian team it really gave me a sense of purpose … It gives you something to focus on rather than sitting at home all day and wallowing in the sorrows – it gets you out of that dark place. I’ve made friends through wheelchair sports that I’ve now got for life.”