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Army March 14, 2013
THEY call themselves the Watson
Waterloo Wenches but to the Fred
Hollows Foundation they are angels
with hearts of gold.
The four officers marked the
Army Birthday on March 1 by com-
pleting the 50km Night Coastrek
in Sydney to raise $3537 for the
Lt-Col Amanda Johnston, from
Army HQ, and Maj Nikki Orr, Maj
Shelby Sheather and Maj Sondra
Kremerskothen, all from Forcomd,
completed the trek in less than seven
and a half hours.
The 352 star-light trekkers com-
menced the hike at Balmoral at 6pm
and the team of Army officers crossed
the finish line at Coogee at 1.21am on
"It was tough going but we were
the first all-female group across the
finish-line in the 50km night trek,"
Maj Kremerskothen said.
The money raised by the women
will help to change lives by restoring
the sight of blind people in remote
Australian indigenous communities
and third-world countries.
"There are an estimated 39 mil-
lion people around the world who are
blind, most of who live in developing
countries where malnutrition, inad-
equate health services and poor sani-
tation lead to a high incidence of eye
disease," Maj Kremerskothen said.
She said the toughest part of the
trek was traversing hilly terrain in
darkness, while the highlight was
Officers' gift of sight
Members tackle Sydney's coastal slopes for a night under the stars to reduce blindness
crossing the iconic Sydney Harbour
Bridge at night.
"The weather conditions also
made the going tough, because it was
very damp under foot and windy," she
The group raised money through
donations, cup-cake sales and a cake
raffle held at the Victoria Barracks
Andy Nilsen, of the Fred Hollows
Foundation, said by raising funds
through Coastrek the team helped to
restore someone's dignity and inde-
pendence by giving them the gift of
sight, provided new opportunities for
the families and loved ones that care
for them, and empowered commu-
nities by returning active and able
members back to society.
"The money raised by the Watson
Waterloo Wenches and other run-
ners will enable the Fred Hollows
Foundation to train local doctors and
health workers, build and upgrade
medical facilities, and provide equip-
ment in order to achieve long-term
sustainable eye health care," he said.
For more information go to
Fundraising: Maj Shelby Sheather, Maj Nikki Orr, Maj Sondra Kremerskothen and Lt-Col Amanda Johnston
race over the finish line after a 50km night trek to raise money for the Fred Hollows Foundation.
A NEW centre offering young vet-
erans and their families a place to
relax and access support services has
opened in Victoria.
The Frankston Young Veterans
and Families Wellbeing Centre was
set up by the local RSL to reach out
to the new generation of veterans.
Frankston RSL president Brent
Clyne said at the opening on February
22 that the centre would be "alcohol
and judgment free".
"It is a place for all young veter-
ans, including those who've served in
Iraq, Afghanistan and peacekeeping
operations, and their families, to call
their own," he said.
"Young veterans have special
needs and in the past veterans hadn't
always accessed the care they needed.
"The Young Veterans and Families
Wellbeing Centre will provide a place
of trust, a safe place where young
vets can have a chat and reach out for
assistance if they need it."
Veterans' Affairs Minister Warren
Snowdon said the centre was a first
in Australia and "ensures that the
young veterans in Frankston have a
welcoming place to socialise with
mates and access support services for
themselves and their families".
Part of the centre's funding
included $73,000 from the Veteran
and Community Grants program.
For more on the centre see www.facebook.
For grant information go to www.dva.gov.
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