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September 1, 2011
FLGOFF Cath Friend
MORE THAN 360 people, 115
vehicles and 6000km of driving
made up the Variety the Chil-
dren's Charity NSW Baulkham
Hills to Buccaneer Rock Bash
2011 from August 6-17.
And this year -- like the past
21 years -- Air Force played their
part in the charity adventure.
Through western New South
Wales, to the dust and isolation
of outback Queensland and the
Northern Territory, and finally to
the finish line, it took an excep-
tional support team to keep the
Air Force was up to the chal-
lenge -- joining other support
members of the Variety NSW
Bash to ensure entrants and their
cars survived the gruelling odys-
sey from Sydney to Broome and
arrived safely at their destination.
Air Force provided five
members in two crews. The
most experienced member,
WOFF Kevin Leahy, of 381
Expeditionary Combat Support
Squadron (381ECSS), is a vet-
eran of more than 36 Variety
Bashes nationally. He is due to
receive a certificate later this
year for 20 years' service to the
NSW Bash, specialising in logis-
tical and management support.
Medic LACW Mylie White,
of 3 Expeditionary Health
Squadron at RAAF Base
Richmond, supported the Bash
doctor and two paramedics, pro-
viding vital medical assistance
to the Bashers should an incident
While both Air Force sup-
port teams were put through their
paces, it was the second crew
that was under the pump.
CPL Aaron Bray and LAC
Phillip Webb, of 381ECSS, pro-
vided a mobile mechanical work-
shop, assisting all the Variety
NSW Bash teams.
"The biggest challenge the
mechanics faced was the vari-
ety of vehicles they had to work
on. Some of these cars are older
than the mechanics themselves,"
WOFF Leahy said.
Recruiting staff also followed
the convoy from Sydney to
Beagle Bay promoting Air Force
and demonstrating its commit-
ment to the Australian commu-
nity.Air Force first took part in
the Variety Bash in 1990, enter-
ing a Holden HR station wagon
and providing two Toyota
LandCruiser mobile workshops.
That year, a small Air Force
team volunteered to go door
knocking, raising $15,000. This
money went directly to Variety,
and over the next three years the
team raised another $30,000.
In the years since, Air Force
has supported the annual event
with medical, logistical organi-
sational and medical assistance.
Over that time Air Force
increased its public profile, as
well as that of the ADF, while
assisting Variety NSW to drasti-
cally reduce the cost of organis-
ing and running a safe motoring
The Variety Bash aims to raise
over $2 million by the end of the
event. All money raised goes to
providing equipment and support
to Australian children in need.
At the time of going to
print, some of the teams would
have just returned home to
RAAF Bases Richmond and
Williamtown, having covered
more than 12,000 km on the
See next edition for a full wrap-up
of the Variety Bash.
AN ANNUAL charity golf day that began in 2006 to
help out the family of a 37SQN member who died
after a cardiac arrest is going from strength to strength.
On August 12, a cheque for $3077 was handed to
Richmond Legacy House.
It was raised by nearly 100 37SQN members who
participated in this year's Tim Kelly Memorial Golf
Day at Grose River Golf Course on July 15.
It takes the money raised since the tournament's
inception to $31,500.
CPL Kelly was a general hand who died in August
2006, leaving behind a pregnant partner and three
"A few of us who were close to Tim organised
various raffles and fundraisers to help his family get
through the tough times ahead," one of the event's
organisers, SGT Garreth McKnight, said.
"A golf day was organised as part of the fundrais-
ing and we raised money through an entrance fee, food
and drinks sold via the social club, as well as various
raffles throughout the day and a fine system."
About $13,500 was raised in the first 12 months
and it was decided to make it an annual event.
"When Tim's family had got back on their feet, we
turned our attention towards charities that helped when
"This year the focus has been changed again to
help organisations that assist all Defence members
in times of need and hardship. Legacy couldn't be a Variety Bash
dash for cash
memory to raise
funds for Legacy
$60K coming for
our flood victims
Managing Director of Frontline
Stewart McGrow, left, and Chairman
of Frontline Ted Moore, right, present
a cheque for $60,200.85 to Deputy
CAF AVM Neil Hart and Deputy CA
MAJGEN Paul Symon on August 23
in Canberra. The funds were raised
during the 'Have a Coffee -- Help a
Mate' appeal for Defence victims of
the Queensland floods. During the
appeal -- held at Frontline canteens
across Australia from May 30 to June
4 -- Frontline pledged 10 per cent of all
sales towards the worthy cause.
Photo: Steve Dent
THANKS: Legacy's Dianne
Finch receives a cheque for
$3077 from 37SQN's SGT
Photo: LACW Casey Gaul
more fitting charity
"We will be
making this an
day for all members
from 37SQN that
have passed away.
As the years go by
there are fewer and
fewer people who
attend the golf day
that actually knew
Tim, however this
doesn't deter the
numbers willing to
participate as we
move forward with
this great cause,"
GOING THE DISTANCE: Air Force members who participated in the Variety the Children's Charity Baulkham Hills to Buccaneer
Rock Bash 2011. From left, LAC Phillip Webb, FLGOFF Cath Friend, WOFF Kev Leahy, LACW Mylie White and CPL Aaron Bray.
Photo: LACW Casey Gaul
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