Home' Army News : March 29th 2012 Contents Army March 29, 2012
Cpl Nick Wiseman
REHABILITATION and recov-
ery for wounded, injured and ill
soldiers in Darwin entered a new
era with the launch of the Lone
Pine Soldier Recovery Centre on
The centre provides a dedicated
facility for soldiers who have com-
plex needs and are unable to return
to normal duties, ensuring their
recovery is expertly managed.
Officially opening the centre,
Defence Science and Personnel
Minister Warren Snowdon said pro-
viding better support to soldiers was
"This is about saying to our men
and women in uniform that regard-
less of your circumstances we're
here to support you," he said.
"We have the responsibility to
work with you, help you recover and
in some cases help build a different
Facing a knee reconstruction,
Pte Kieron Macaudo, of 5RAR, was
forced to put his normal duties as a
rifleman on hold.
He said the centre offered him
the best way to get back to full
"The sole purpose of the centre is
to target and look after the individu-
als and their injuries," he said.
"I think it's fantastic. It should
have been introduced a long time
Soldiers attending a program of
recovery remain posted to their par-
ent units but welfare and administra-
tion during that time are managed by
Taking the soldiers away from
the hectic life at their parent units
will allow them to focus on their
recovery without being distracted by
the day-to-day business of the unit.
The centre builds on the success-
ful pilot in Townsville and has been
tailored to Darwin's needs.
Centre OC Maj Andrew Hudson
said his main focus was the manage-
ment of soldiers undertaking recov-
Getting back to work
New Darwin Soldier Recovery Centre offers wounded injured and ill a world-class rehabilitation facility
ery while under his command at the
"We're placing soldiers into a
familiar, positive and military envi-
ronment optimising and synchronis-
ing their recovery," he said.
"My staff will strive to see as
many soldiers recover to their previ-
The pilot centre opened in
Townsville in early 2011 and a
third centre has been planned for
Brisbane, which could be available
to soldiers later this year.
THREE soldiers from separate units unlikely to
normally socialise have found their rivalries a boon
on their road to recovery.
Gnr Yancy Wagemans, of 8/12 Mdm Regt,
Pte Kieron Macaudo, of 5RAR, and Tpr Michael
Fisher-Smith, of 1 Armd Regt, might normally fight
it out on the football field, but at Darwin's Soldier
Recovery Centre they are finding the rivalry keeps
them on their toes.
Tpr Fisher-Smith, who is suffering from bulging
discs, said meeting new people from other units
was a huge component in his recovery.
"We're being put into a position where we are
making friends and supporting each other with
people we might not ordinarily socialise with," he
"The little rivalries that exist push us a little
more to perform and focus on recovering sooner
within our limitations."
Former distance runner Gnr Wagemans suffers
from bilateral hips, where some of the bone is too
thick and rubs on the cartilage, causing pain.
Realising he may not get back to the gun line,
he is using his time at the centre to his advantage
and will soon start studying.
"Being here gives us more time to be able
to further our education using schemes such as
DASS," he said.
"I'm about to start a business management cer-
tificate working up to law qualifications later."
Although he may not go back to the gun line, he
has reassessed his Army career and, on comple-
tion of his rehabilitation, is looking to transfer into
the administrative stream, which will be more suit-
ed to him both physically and for job satisfaction.
Pte Macaudo is completely focused on his
recovery to get back to his full-time duties as a
rifleman and said he found the recovery program
"I'm really enjoying my time at the centre," he
"The staff are dedicated to their job and are
CENTRE'S HIGHLY EXPERIENCED OC
SOLDIER Recovery Centre OC
Maj Andrew Hudson brings to the
centre 25 years of experience
from the British Army, having
risen through the ranks as a PTI,
qualifying as a physiotherapist and
commissioning as an officer.
As a PTI, Maj Hudson special-
ised in rehabilitation and worked
in the high-tempo environment of
Special Forces rehabilitation, as
well as with recruits.
After reaching the rank of
WO1 he qualified as a physi-
otherapist, commissioning into the
Royal Army Medical Corps and
finished up his time in the British
Army commanding one of the big-
gest rehab centres in south-east
England with a dependency of up
to 15,000 soldiers.
Focused on the recovery and
rehabilitation of the soldiers under
his command, Maj Hudson said he
was determined to bring the best
practices he had experienced to
the military environment.
"I speak to the soldiers most
mornings and am open to all feed-
back on the program," he said.
"Soldiers will be soldiers, they
are not afraid to tell me what they
think and make recommendations.
"I view it as a privilege to man-
age wounded, injured or ill soldiers
through their difficult recovery
"My team and I get immense
satisfaction in ensuring that these
members get the best treatment
and support that's available."
Centre OC Maj
in PTI and
roles in the
before coming to
Snowdon at the
Photo by LS Helen Frank
On the mend: Pte Kieron Macaudo, of 5RAR, undertakes rehabilitation at the new Soldier
Recovery Centre in Darwin.
Photo by Cpl Nick Wiseman
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