Air Force personnel trek for charity

Headquarters Air Combat Group personnel raised more than $7700 for the charity Soldier On by walking or running 96km throughout March.

CAPTION: Air Force personnel from Headquarters Air Combat Group who participated in the March On challenge with representatives from Soldier On. Story by Flying Officer Bronwyn Marchant.

More than 20 personnel from RAAF Bases Amberley and Williamtown took part in the event, covering the length of the Kokoda Track in honour of one of the most important World War II battles for Australians.

Soldier On is a national charity delivering services to current and ex-service personnel and their families to support mental health and help prevent veteran suicide.

Commanding Officer of Headquarters Air Combat Group Wing Commander Melissa Neilson commended the participants for pushing themselves out of their comfort zones.

“I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to everyone who supported the team in the Soldier On March On challenge,” Wing Commander Neilson said.

“All of the participants challenged themselves to walk or run a greater distance than they normally complete in a month, so it was great to see donations in recognition of their tremendous efforts.

“The team raised more than $7700, which is an outstanding achievement and surpassed my initial expectations.”

The March On challenge concluded with a barbecue fundraiser at RAAF Base Williamtown on March 31, where personnel had one last opportunity to raise funds and raise awareness of Soldier On. National fundraising director of Soldier On Barry Kenyon attended the barbecue.

Wing Commander Neilson said she was blown away by the generosity displayed throughout the fundraiser.

“It was a pleasure to have Mr Kenyon in attendance as we drew the challenge to a close,” Wing Commander Neilson said.

“This year, the challenge has tripled Soldier On’s expected fundraising, with more than $1.8million raised so far.

“Of note, the majority of these funds have come from the civilian community, highlighting the respect that the community has for the ADF and ex-serving personnel.”

Every dollar raised for Soldier On goes towards supporting lifesaving mental health services so returned ADF members and their families can march on and thrive in their communities.





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