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...a leader in the transition of veterans.
1. Assist members and veterans in transition to the civilian workforce.
2. Raise employer awareness of the benefits in recruiting veterans.
3. Engage with ex-service and like-minded organisations to deliver services in
support of veterans.
4. Advocate on behalf of veterans for the employment of veterans.
what we do
We provide servicemen and servicewomen with an organisation that networks you
and supports your transition to the civilian workforce. This will enable you to
continue your working life in a way which consolidates and helps manage the full
range of personal, family, social, medical, financial and work based needs.
We aim to complement and support existing programs across other ex-service
organisations. We recognise the support this gives, to enable the best available
support for the men and women who have served Australia across very diverse
“We are a membership based organisation
for veterans operating in the not-for-profit
space. We work with all ex servicemen and
servicewomen to help transition to
meaningful private and public sector
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February 23, 2017
the bang, and then it was
pretty much dust everywhere,
all blacked out. I checked
myself for injury and then I
checked on the boys in the back.”
Tpr David Nicolson, of
Australia’s Federation Guard (AFG),
can still recall the first time his
bushmaster was hit by an IED in
He deployed in 2011 attached to
2RAR and, in the first three months,
four IEDs struck his bushmaster.
Tpr Nicolson says he didn’t real-
ise at the time how much the experi-
ence affected him.
“I was given the option of going
home, but said I was fine,” he says.
“I just wanted to get back out
with the lads.”
He continued to serve the
remaining six months of the deploy-
ment, not knowing if or when he
would encounter another attack.
When he arrived safely in
Australia, Tpr Nicolson was eager to
adjust to a normal routine, but was
occasionally reminded of the threat
“I remember not long after I got
back I noticed someone had two
jerry cans on the side of the road in a
quiet suburban street,” he says.
“Overseas, they use yellow palm
oil containers similar to jerry cans
to hold the explosive compound for
IEDs. And you know how you get
really scared and go cold? I started
to feel like that.”
Four years after returning home,
Tpr Nicolson sought help for his
condition, but by then enough dam-
age had been done.
“The day after I went to the doc-
tor for help, my wife left me,” he
says. “That was probably the tipping
After a few rough months, Tpr
Nicolson’s life took a new direction.
A colleague from AFG, AB Zach
Ward, introduced him to natural
“He said a lot of people used it as
a way to get their minds off things,
so I looked into it,” Tpr Nicholson
says. “Before that, I used to go to
the gym and just fumble around with
Tpr Nicolson dedicated more
time to his gym routine, spending 24
hours each week training in weights
“I’d do four sets of five different
exercises, training one body group a
day,” he says.
“And then I’d do tabata training
A few months later, Tpr Nicolson
began incorporating another element
to his bodybuilding.
“I got a nutritionist and that’s
when things really started to
change,” he says.
“I started to learn how food is a
really big part of the sport and how
much it can change you.”
Tpr Nicolson spent four hours
each weekend, and another hour
each night, preparing his food for
It wasn’t long after starting the
sport that he began competing.
By the end of 2016, Tpr Nicolson
had competed in 23 divisions across
seven events and placed in the top
five in every division.
“I placed first nine times dur-
ing the year and second and third a
bunch more times,” he says.
Over the space of a year,
Tpr Nicolson progressed from hav-
ing never competed to winning his
International Natural Bodybuilding
Australia (INBA) Pro Card, becom-
ing Canberra’s first INBA men’s
fitness model professional.
“It means I can’t compete in
local or amateur shows,” he says.
“I’ll be going up against the best
Tpr Nicolson has worked hard to
achieve the title.
“It was a big shock – you
couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.”
Tpr Nicolson attributes his mind-
set and wellbeing to bodybuilding.
“It just took my mind off other
problems and gave me something
else to focus on,” he says.
“Physical fitness does help
produce a healthy mind, I think.”
Surviving four IED blasts in three months took its toll on
one soldier who turned to natural bodybuilding to help his
recovery, Pte Julia Whitwell writes.
Tpr David Nicolson, of Australia’s
Federation Guard, competes in a
natural bodybuilding competition.
Cpl Mark Doran
DEFENCE personnel are encour-
aged to enter or support entrants in
the 2017 Massive Murray Paddle
from Yarrawonga to Swan Hill from
The challenging 404km fundraising
event is open for beginners to advanced
individual or team paddlers who can
either set distance goals or go the full
distance over the five days to raise
money for their chosen cause.
Competitors can use watercraft such
as canoes, kayaks, paddle boards or out-
riggers on the course and can paddle for
one, two or five days.
Last year, Army Logistic Training
Centre (ALTC) personnel formed two
relay teams to tackle the river over the
full distance and raised $2000 for Legacy
Paddlers and support crew also per-
formed community service for Albury
Maj Karen Turner, of ALTC, has been
kayaking for close to 27 years and said
the Massive Murray Paddle was a fantas-
tic opportunity to experience the camara-
derie and teamwork on the Murray River.
“Although it can be competitive, it’s
more just friendly rivalry as people chase
their distance goals and raise money to
support charities or community projects,”
“This year, ALTC plans to enter two
teams of eight in the Double Touring
Kayaks (TK2) relay, but the event wel-
comes Army, Navy, Air Force and APS
personnel, as well as volunteer support
“Our goal for 2017 is to raise at least
$5000 for Legacy.”
The ALTC teams are sponsored by
the Army Amenities Fund and the Albury
Wodonga Military Area Relief Trust
Maj Turner said training was impor-
tant in the lead up to the hard, gruelling
“The experience level of our team
members last year ranged from 18-year-
old ALTC trainees who had never pad-
dled before, to personnel with many
years of experience on the water,” she
“It’s a big adventure, but the focus of
the event is working together as a team.”
Registration is now open for the Massive Murray
Paddle. For more information, visit www.massive
murraypaddle.org.au or contact Maj Karen Turner
One river, five
days and 404km
Capt Wayne Gregory and WO1 Richard Hardy compete in last year’s
Massive Murray Paddle.
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