Home' Navy News : November 21st 2013 Contents 4 NEWS
www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS November 21, 2013
LEUT Andrew Ragless
PERSONNEL engaged in a bloody
battle at Joint Task Force HQ
NORCOM in Darwin to see who
could achieve the largest donation in
the Defence Blood Challenge.
In mid-October, five members
representing each service 'took up
arms' and went head-to-head in fill-
ing the first 470ml bag of life-saving
LSCIS Michelle Lakin was the
first to complete the donation and
said the process was easy.
"I first donated blood a few years
ago," she said.
"In total I have donated about six
times. The first donation is always
a bit daunting, but to know that
you will be saving three lives -- it's
She encourages anyone who
is able to donate to roll up their
"It's important to donate as there
is always a need for blood dona-
tions," LS Lakin said.
"It's healthy for you to donate
blood and it's good for your body to
reproduce blood cells. However, it is
not always easy as a lot of Defence
personnel have been in zones which
won't let you donate, for example
Bali and Peru."
AIRCDRE Ken Watson also donat-
ed and said dedication, commitment
and compassion were displayed dur-
ing the challenge. "And courage,"
"I don't think any of us enjoy
getting a needle in the arm and
bleeding out, but the need is great,
and we can all be certain that when
we give blood we are really making
a difference to somebody else's life,
perhaps even saving one."
Darwin's Red Cross Blood
Service spokesperson, Ernie
Rondot, said it was encouraging
to witness the enthusiasm and
generosity by Top End Defence
"One in three Australians will
need blood in their lifetime and yet
only one in 30 Australians donate
blood," Mr Rondot said.
"With that in mind, people can
donate every 12 weeks, or for plas-
ma as often as every two weeks.
"That's all we ask for -- just four
hours a year.
"I think most of us would make
that time for a cocktail on a Friday
or a round of golf on the weekend.
So why not put that time into saving
The Defence Blood Challenge runs until
November 30. To make your donation
count, visit www.donateblood.com.au/
defence and call 13 14 95 to make an
Rising to the challenge
LIFE SAVERS: (L-R) LCPL Kylie Pezdirc, WOFF Andrew McCabe,
LSCIS Michelle Lakin, Sam of the Red Cross Blood Service, and
AIRCDRE Ken Watson participate in the Defence Blood Challenge.
A NEW Australian play called The
Long Way Home will explore what
it's like to serve in the ADF and how
the lives of servicemen and women
change forever as a result of being
wounded, injured or becoming ill in
The ADF is presenting The Long
Way Home in partnership with Sydney
Theatre Company, providing an oppor-
tunity for Australians to consider the
past decade of ADF operations and
pay tribute to the sacrifices made by so
many in service to our country.
During August and September,
15 servicemen and women, together
with ADF support staff, spent five
weeks working with Sydney Theatre
As part of a unique rehabilita-
tion and recovery program, the ADF
personnel shared their experiences
on operations and the events that
changed their lives
Award-winning playwright Daniel
Keene has translated their stories into
a compelling Australian production.
The participants in the program are
a mixture of ranks and have served in
Afghanistan, Iraq and East Timor.
Their military service ranges from
two to 30 years and they each carry
some scars from their experiences,
including various physical and psycho-
CDF GEN David Hurley said The
Long Way Home presented an exciting
opportunity to tell the story of ADF
members' experiences on deployment
and on returning home.
"Their stories will resonate with all
service personnel and provide families
and the Australian community with
a unique insight into our war experi-
ences," GEN Hurley said.
"The production will also support
the rehabilitation and recovery of ADF
members who have been wounded,
injured or become ill in service.
"I strongly encourage all ADF
members to support their comrades
Theatre project hits home
who are bravely sharing their personal
According to Director General
ADF Theatre Project BRIG Alison
Creagh, all servicemen and women
and their families will be able relate in
some way to the experiences and chal-
lenges depicted in the play.
"Everyone returns from operations
as a different version of themselves --
some are faced with significant chang-
es and challenges as a result of being
wounded or injured," BRIG Creagh
said.As the ADF draws down troops in
Afghanistan, the casualties of this war
may not be as obvious as they were in
"Many of our wounded, injured
and ill ADF personnel have invisible
injuries, both physical and psychologi-
cal," BRIG Creagh said.
"A passer-by on the street may
notice someone with a scar or a limp,
but they're unlikely to think that
person may have been wounded in
Afghanistan -- even less likely when
the injury is invisible."
BRIG Creagh hopes the play will
raise awareness within Defence about
the importance of ADF personnel talk-
ing about their injuries and illnesses and
seeking medical attention.
"I hope their bravery and honesty
will encourage others who are injured
or ill to seek medical assistance," she
said. "I urge all ADF members to buy
a ticket to the play and pay tribute to
the sacrifice made by so many."
Project patron and Victoria Cross
recipient CPL Ben Roberts-Smith said
by sharing their powerful and moving
accounts of war "these courageous ser-
vicemen and women will help create
and perform a compelling theatre pro-
duction telling the story of more than a
decade of Defence operations".
STORY TO TELL: CDF GEN David Hurley talks with ADF Theatre Project participants PTE
Patrick Hayes and CPL Tim Loch at the Sydney Theatre Company while they are getting ready
for a workshop.
Photo: ABIS Richard Cordell
THE first performance of The Long Way Home will
be in Sydney on February 7, with opening night on
The Sydney season will be followed by a national
tour to Darwin, Brisbane, Wollongong, Townsville,
Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
For more information, visit www.sydneytheatre.com.au/
Links Archive November 7th 2013 December 5th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page