Despite nearly continuous domestic deployments, disruptions to training, and dirty conditions, the smiles on the faces of 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR), soldiers are unwavering as they remove flood-damaged waste from a suburban street.
CAPTION: Australian Army soldiers from 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, collect flood-damaged household items for loading onto a truck as they clear a street in Chinderah, New South Wales. Story by Captain Annie Richardson. Photo by Warrant Officer Class Two Max Bree.
First tasked in Brisbane, Bravo Company from 6 RAR re-deployed to the New South Wales border town of Chinderah on Saturday, March 12 to conduct a kerbside clean as part of Operation Flood Assist.
Using Army trucks, and sheer strength in numbers, troop commander Lieutenant Patrick Clyne described this as a team effort they’re happy to take on.
“The lads understand that even though we’re away from home again, even us just being here has made a difference to the locals,” Lieutenant Clyne said.
“The most rewarding aspect of this activity for us has been engaging with the community, they’ve been extremely appreciative of what we’ve been doing.
“They’ve gone through a lot of emotional experiences and just to get a helping hand from our team has clearly affected them on a personal level.”
Physically demanding, with hot conditions and very few breaks, Bravo Company aren’t bothered by the heavy lifting.
“All of us are pitching in to take the roadside waste and loading it onto our trucks so we can have the streets as clean as possible,” Lieutenant Clyne said.
“It’s really great to see the lads getting onto a job without guidance or complaint.”
Bravo Company will continue their flood clean-up tasks in Chinderah this week, while other Brisbane-based 7th Brigade personnel will be helping out other regional and isolated towns in northern New South Wales.