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AIR FORCE September 17, 2009
By FLTLT Jaimie Abbott
TWO officers from RAAF Base
Amberley will put pedal power to the
test by riding from the base to Syd-
ney -- all in the name of charity.
But not the same charity, and not
on the same day.
FLTLT Aaron Doherty, an air traf-
fic control officer from 44WG, hopes
to reach Sydney in eight days in his
quest to raise funds for mental health
Next month, along with a former
colleague, he will leave from the tower
at 44WG Detachment at Amberley and
head south for the 1000km journey.
FLTLT Doherty has begun to seek
support from local businesses to raise
money for Australian Rotary Health.
Since 1985, the organisation has donat-
ed 20 million dollars for research into
health issues, including mental illness
and cot death.
"My brother suffers from depres-
sion, and I know of a few Air Force
members whose lives have been
touched by mental illness. It's not
something which is often spoken
about," FLTLT Doherty said.
"The amount of support I've
received from 44WG members as well
as my wife has been overwhelming
and I just hope my quest helps to raise
awareness about depression."
The day before FLTLT Doherty
leaves, 33SQN pilot FLTLT Cameron
Lyne will be setting off on the same
1000km ride for another cause --
His daughter Sophie is autistic and
it affects every part of her develop-
and compensation arrange-
ments are being reviewed to
ensure they meet the current
and future needs of today's
The review is an opportunity
for ADF personnel to voice any
concerns they may have about
rehabilitation and compensation
Results will lead to
improvements to the Military
Rehabilitation and Compensation
Act 2004 which covers person-
nel who have served after July
Meetings are being planned
at selected locations in the com-
Current and ex-serving mem-
bers and their families will be
able to contribute their views.
The first meeting will be
held at Holsworthy Barracks
on September 24, followed by
a meeting at the Sunnybrook
Hotel and Conference Centre,
The remainder of the consul-
tation schedule will be posted on
the review website as details are
For more information on the
review, visit www.dva.gov.au.
Those interested in attend-
ing meetings can register to
obtain updates at milcomp.
say in military
Cycle double act
ment. The three-year-old is unable to
speak because of the brain disorder
and there is no known cause or cure.
"I'm doing this ride to raise aware-
ness and money to help establish a
school for children with autism,"
FLTLT Lyne said.
"Currently, there are only two spe-
cialist primary and high school pro-
grams in Australia for autistic children
-- with long waiting lists."
The new school will be called
Keystone, and it will provide children
with mild and severe autism an appro-
priate setting where their individual
needs can be met, and a place where
they can redefine their potential to live
happy, fulfilling and rich lives. There
are plans to open the school's doors in
Autism is a complex neurobiologi-
cal disorder that affects around one in
160 Australian children.
For now, both members are spend-
ing their lunch hours training, in prep-
aration for the upcoming journeys.
The first charity bike ride will start
on October 22. For more details on
the ride to help Sophie, visit www.
LONG WAY DOWN: FLTLT Aaron Doherty will follow FLTLT Lyne's
path by riding from Amberley to Sydney to raise funds for mental health
Photo: LAC Benjamin Evans
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