Home' Army News : February 9th 2017 Contents February 9, 2017
THREE athletes have swapped the
camo for footy guernseys as they
make history in the inaugural season
of the AFL Women’s national
Round one of the competition took
place on the weekend, with the first
Army showdown of the season taking
place in Adelaide on February 4.
Pte Heather Anderson lined up
for the Adelaide Crows up against
Sydney-based Lt Clare Lawton, who
donned the orange for the Greater
Western Sydney Giants.
Pte Anderson started on the inter-
change to offer the Crows fresh legs,
while Lt Lawton was thrown in the
deep end early, being placed straight in
It was Pte Kate Lutkins’ turn to
make history on February 5 when
she took her place in the backline for
the Brisbane Lions in their inaugural
match against Melbourne.
Army medic Pte Anderson said
she had placed a lot of emphasis on
her physical and mental preparation
and was conscious of being 100 per
She performed gallantly for the
Crows during the pre-season trial
match against Fremantle despite heavy
shoulder strapping following surgery.
LS Jayson Tufrey
SEVENTEEN soldiers were among
the 77 wounded injured and ill ath-
letes from RSL and the ADF who
converged on the Australian Institute
of Sport to vie for a spot in the
Australian Invictus Games team.
A 53-member training squad was
named after a week-long camp. This
squad will be reduced to a final team of
43 over the next series of camps.
Invictus Games 2017 will be held in
Toronto from September 23-30.
Sgt Graeme Marshall from 51
FNQR Cairns said he originally started
powerlifting as part of his rehabilitation.
“I had been doing it since last
May, and was looking forward to the
Australian championships this October
when I decided to try out for the
Invictus team,” he said.
“In a way this has thrown a spanner
in the works for that, but the opportu-
nity to represent my country in Canada
was too good to pass up and the power-
lifting nationals will be there next year,
and every year after.”
Sgt Marshall said it was a great
experience to be trying out for the team.
“Everyone is here for each other,
Leut Kirsti Welling-
CAPT Anne Dickeson had the
highlight of her career while on
tour with the ADFRU women’s
team in the US.
The signals officer from
3 CSSB was with the team for
every match, but she didn’t play a
single game – she officiated them.
Joining the Army in 2007, Capt
Dickeson said the job had been eve-
rything she had hoped it would be.
“I joined because I loved to lead,
I loved to mentor, I loved being out-
doors and wanted to be part of an
organisation where I could do these
things,” she said.
Capt Dickeson also loved to play
rugby and did so at every opportuni-
ty, until four knee surgeries sidelined
“It was a hard pill to swallow and
I knew I still wanted to be a part of
the game, so I looked into refereeing.
Leut Geoffrey Stewart
SLED hockey made its ADF debut
during Defence’s triservice carnival
in Melbourne in November.
A variation of ice hockey played
from a seated position, sled hockey
players propel themselves using the
butt-end of a small hockey stick held
in each hand.
The sled provides mobility on the
ice for players, regardless of whether
they have a physical disability or not.
On November 17, players from the
ADF ice hockey teams, including the
Army Knights, got together to play the
ADF’s first sled hockey game.
One of those players was Pte Julian
“Sled hockey is great fun, I really
enjoyed it – it is a lot harder than it
looks,” he said.
The ADFIHA will feature sled
hockey games in all future triserv-
ice carnivals, including October in
There are also efforts to get sled
hockey into the Invictus Games, which
may include a demonstration game in
Toronto this year.
Participation in sled hockey is open
to all members of the ADF, regardless
Anyone interested in playing sled hockey, con-
tact Maj David Johnson (david.johnson17@
defence.gov.au). For any other adaptive sports
enquiries, contact Scott Mengel, ADF Adaptive
Sports Program Manager (scott.mengel@
Leut Kirsti Welling-
WHEN Pte Danielle Close joined
the ADF she did so because the
Army offered a job where she could
maintain an active lifestyle and
develop skills not offered in the
Little did she know the lifestyle
was also going to open the door for a
promising new sporting career.
A state-age representative in ath-
letics, volleyball and touch football,
Pte Close was comfortable with run-
ning with ball in hand, so it wasn’t a
big decision for her to trial for the 7
Bde rugby union team for the inter-
“I had never tried rugby union,
but figured my experience with touch
would put me in good stead for the
game,” she said. “I was wrong, and it
was a huge learning curve. Both the
Army and ADFRU team, have taught
me so much. So has the odd YouTube
Pte Close persevered and showed
a natural aptitude for the game and
soon found herself in an unexpected
situation in her maiden year of
rugby. She had to make a choice
between two fantastic and unexpected
“I was successful in getting select-
ed in the ADFRU women’s team to
tour the US, and the Qld Reds asked
me to trial for their 7s squad,” she
said. “Unfortunately, the trials ran
into the timeframe of the tour, so I
had to make a choice.”
Pte Close chose to join the
ADFRU tour, which was the team’s
most successful in history – both on
and off the field.
“The choice I made was the cor-
rect one. My development as a mem-
ber of the ADF, a person and a player
from those few weeks in the US was
irreplaceable,” she said.
As it happened, on her return
from the US, she was asked to train
with the Qld 7s squad despite not
being selected in the team due to her
absence. Impressive at training she
then competed in the ARU Nationals
“It has been an incredible time
since joining the ADF. The opportuni-
ties I have been provided are second
to none, and I look forward to find-
ing out what else this career choice
brings me,” Pte Close said.
History in the making
Tour paves way for career highlight
After all it was in my family as I had
spent so much time watching my Dad
and brother ref,” she said.
“Thanks to the support of men-
tors inside and outside the ADF, I am
now a Level 1 Referee and Level 2
The tour hit an ever higher note
for Capt Dickeson after she was
asked to officiate a match on the
American military rugby calendar.
“I was asked to referee the US
Military Academy and the US Naval
Academy annual grudge match,” she
“The women played with so much
passion, emotion and enthusiasm,
which really made the game special.
“The tour was an opportunity of a
“I was able to hone my craft and
provide mentorship to the young-
er players on the ADFRU and US
Capt Anne Dickeson, in white, refereeing in the United States.
Training squad vies
for Invictus team
Sled hockey picks up speed
there is no judgment,” he said. “We’re
just all here as athletes and we’re equal.
At the Olympics there is a pecking
order and while we do have gold, silver
and bronze medals, that doesn’t define
us – it doesn’t matter where you come.”
Photo by LS
“Once I was out there I had the
time of my life,” she said.“The stand-
ard of ADF footy is something I’ve
always found unique.
“The sense of professionalism
as well as the fitness level required,
fearlessness and tenacity of the ADF
women gave the Crows and Fremantle
a high standard of play they were
AFL Commissioner and the ADF
Australian Rules Women’s patron,
Maj-Gen Simone Wilkie, said the
selection of the ADF women was an
“The ADF could not be prouder
of having four women compete in
the first round of the AFL Women’s
national competition,” she said. “It is a
historic moment not just for the play-
ers to compete at the elite level but
also for Navy and Army.
“Our players are inspirational role
models for women and girls across the
ADF Australian Rules Chairman
Maj-Gen Matthew Hall said the selection
of four ADF women, including Navy’s
LS Rhiannon Metcalfe, highlighted the
calibre of elite sport in Defence.
“The standard of competition for
AFL in Defence is very high and our
women’s achievements at the national
level point to exciting opportunities
for pursuing both a professional career
and sport in the ADF,” he said.
“The AFL has taken a positive step
forward in promoting women in sport
and the start of the national women’s
competition is much anticipated.
“I am also proud to be part of an
organisation that promotes women and
diversity in our national sport. The
inclusive nature of ADF Australian
rules reflects our values and spirit.”
Lt Clare Lawton, left, Pte
Kate Lutkins, centre and Pte
Heather Anderson all debuts
in the inaugural AFL women’s
competition. Photos: Cpl Nunu Campos
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