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Army February 17, 2011
By LCpl Mark Doran
MANOEUVRING a Unimog along
the railway-line near Lake Boga in
Victoria was an extraordinary way for
Pte Chantelle Mooney to contribute to
the Victorian flood relief effort.
Pte Mooney, a driver from 7 Tpt Sqn,
was one of the many reservists who wore
a uniform, or changed their uniform, to
help their fellow Victorians in January.
She took time from her holidays in
her civilian job as a teacher at Watsonia
Heights Primary School to help out.
Tpr Randall Green, 4/19PWLH,
was another member of the team that
sealed culverts from the advancing flood
Lake Boga was a long way from
his home in East Gippsland, where he
worked as a radio producer for Life FM
Bethanga's Pte Andrena Berran,
4/19PWLH, is generally a hard-working
mum looking after her 12-year-old
Pte Berran said when the call came it
was then her partner's turn to look after
the youngest member of the household.
"It was something special to be able
to help out other Aussies in their time of
need," Pte Berran said.
"I was proud to be out there and
proud to wear my uniform."
After a quick change from a Victoria
Police uniform to DPCU, 4/19PWLH's
Tpr Anthony Goranitis worked in the
north-west flood plain, 600km from his
home in Bairnsdale.
Reservists come from
far and wide to help
COMMANDER 4 Bde Brig Robert Marsh
has applauded the efforts of ADF personnel
involved in the Victorian floods.
About 120 ADF personnel have been
involved in providing help and emergency
support to the Victorian flood-relief effort.
Brig Marsh said soldiers from 4 Bde and
9FSB had an "incredibly positive" influence
on flood-affected people.
Emergency Management Australia
requested ADF assistance.
On January 19, 100 soldiers from 4 Bde's
Reserve Response Force deployed to assess
areas affected by the flood alongside transport
teams already assisting evacuations and deliv-
Brig Marsh said 4 Bde personnel had
assisted in more than 3200 rapid-impact
assessments and created within the communi-
ty "a degree of confidence that was palpable".
"For many people in small communities in
western Victoria [the soldiers] were the first
people they had seen and were their first con-
tact with authorities," Brig Marsh said.
The 4 Bde troops also deployed to Swan
Hill where they supported the Victorian SES,
including transporting about 300 volunteers
from Swan Hill to Lake Boga.
Joining volunteers and SES workers, the
ADF helped to build a new sandbag levee
bank along the edge of the lake, protecting up
to 300 properties in low-lying areas.
ADF soldiers began their redeployment to
home bases when the Victorian SES advised it
could meet future requirements.
Brig Marsh said ADF personnel were still
on alert to help if needed.
"The worst of Mother Nature brings out
the best of human nature, as we have seen
during the 4 Bde and ADF assistance to
Victorian flood-affected communities."
THE policy on the replacement of ADF
medals will be relaxed to make excep-
tion for the Queensland and Victorian
floods, Cyclone Yasi and the WA bush-
Defence Parliamentary Secretary
David Feeney said standard policy
stated medals could only be reissued
to the person who earned them, not to
family members. However, next of kin
of ADF members who have died can
apply to replace medals destroyed in
the recent natural disasters.
Applicants should complete the
forms on the Honours and Awards
website at www.defence.gov.au/medals.
Medals can be replaced
Plugging gaps: Pte Andrena Berran, Tpr Randell Green and
Tpr Anthony Goranitis, 4/19PWLH, build levees during the
Victorian flood assisstance operaiton. Photos by LCpl Mark Doran
On track: Pte Chantelle Mooney, 7 Tpt Sqn, delivers sandbags to soldiers
along the railway track near Lake Boga.
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