“You may know me as the blonde fella at Derrimut’s
24/7 Thomastown gym wearing the green camouflage hat that never sits still.
I do 6-10 reps and then I walk around the perimeter of the gym before settling down for my next set. Always on the move I am, whether it be at the gym or in my own time which I spend voluntarily working with young war Veterans with my colleague running the “Angel Squad”. The Angel Squad is a peer support program for younger Veterans who have suffered post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD as it is referred to by seeing and doing things no one should have to do whilst serving in the Defence Forces for our country overseas. I first served in East Timor in 1999 and returned home the following year with chronic PTSD and to cope hit the drugs and alcohol. This became a cycle for the next 12 years until I met my Angel Squad colleague who helped me get clean and sober and after a stint clean we decided that what we had done for me we could surely do for others and thus began the “Angel Squad”! Exercise has always been a large part of my life, from playing hockey for Tasmania where I grew up to joining the army and then especially during my recovery by swapping synthetic endorphins for natural endorphins! Training 6-7 days a week at Derrimut’s 24/7 Thomastown gym has become and will remain a huge part of my life and to anyone who has suffered any type of mental illness getting down to there local Derrimut 24/7 Gym and doing any type of physical exercise is some of the best therapy available!
So along with training most days and bettering the lives of younger Veterans I am about informing the general public about the misconceptions that they have about the way us younger Veterans get treated once they leave the armed forces. Along with Derrimut 24/7 gyms goals of 300 gyms locally and internationally the “Angel Squad” has similar goals as we are the first of its kind nationally and internationally and with support from the community we hope to also achieve similar goals!”