A Sallyman currently serving on operations with the Australian Defence Force is the first Australian philanthropic support representative to deploy to the Middle East region since World War II.
Chief Commissioner Lyndley Fabre, of the Salvation Army Red Shield Defence Services (RSDS), is providing welfare services at Camp Baird.
The deployment of a non-Defence Christian support officer at Australia’s main command and support base will be on a four-month rotational basis, alternating with the Everyman’s Welfare Service.
Chief Commissioner Fabre said the main role of the ADF philanthropic organisations is to provide commanders with another option for welfare services to improve the troops’ morale and well-being.
“The Sallyman and Everyman have always provided a listening ear,” he said.
“We work closely with the ADF chaplains, but we are also outside of the military system, which is unique and can be a drawcard for some people.
“The challenge for me is that RSDS have mainly worked with the Army, so the Air Force and Navy personnel don’t really know us or what we can provide.
“Part of my role will be to break new ground with the airmen, sailors and Defence civilians and hopefully the soldiers here will back me up based on their experiences with the Sallyman.”
The Salvation Army has been providing services and offering support and spiritual guidance to ADF personnel since 1889 during the Boer War.
First established in Australia in 1914, Red Shield representatives served alongside Australian troops overseas during the First World War.
The Everyman’s Welfare Service has been serving the ADF for nearly 80 years following their establishment in 1936.
Red Shield and Everyman’s representatives have supported Australian troops on deployment in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
In more recent years RSDS and Everyman’s representatives have worked on ADF peacekeeping and stabilisation deployments in Cambodia, Somalia, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands.
CComm Fabre, who has been a member of the Salvation Army for 20 years, said he has been an ordained minister and with RSDS for 15 years.
“I spent five years as a RSDS representative with the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, in Brisbane then another five years at the Royal Military College in Canberra,” he said.
“I then returned to Queensland to work for two years with the 1st Signals Regiment before I became the Chief Commissioner in 2013.
“It is fantastic to be where the troops are, provide support and demonstrate RSDS is a deployable department.”