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Note by Ed. November 2015.

Unfortunately this expedition could not go ahead in Australia due to issues related to fund-raising across the different states and territories in Australia – they all have separate regulations and we needed licenses in every one of them to raise much needed funds to complete such a huge task. But we will do it one day for our veterans. Quis Separabit.

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VIA is a registered UK charity who help those suffering the effects of war or who find the transition to civilian life difficult.

Veterans In Action are in the process of planning an expedition which will be a 23,000 kilometer drive around Australia’s coastline using 4WD vehicles.

The expedition we are planning for 2015 is in a sense an ‘ANZAC Expeditionary Force.’ It will be an extraordinary event that will help veterans from the UK, Australia and New Zealand to come together to commemorate those who suffered and fell in the wars where these Nations fought together side-by-side, and will raise funds for VIA, the RSL and RSA.

VIA Oz logoIn the true spirit of the ANZAC’s we aim to commemorate their unique tradition of ‘mateship’ and to help veterans who still suffer as a result of recent conflicts around the world.

There will be a permanent team taking part on the expedition which will be made up as follows:

  • Two vehicles from each country with two crew members in each vehicle making a total of 12 Team Members.
  • Two support vehicles with two Team Members in each vehicle making a total of 4 Team Members.

This makes a total of 16 Permanent Team Members which will have to show a commitment to take part on a minimum of a five month expedition and will be made up of the 3 different nationalities.

The expedition will be broken up into four main stages which are yet to be confirmed but will start in Canberra (Australia’s Capital city) in mid January 2015 and end in Canberra in mid April 2015. The planned route is:

  • Canberra to Perth (via Melbourne and Adelaide)
  • Perth to Cairns (via Darwin and Cape York)
  • Cairns to Brisbane
  • Brisbane to Canberra (via Sydney)

OZ Proposed route VIA 2015 Updated 020213The intention is for team members to march as a separate contingent in the ANZAC Centenary Day Parade in Canberra on 25th April 2015.

The team will drive off-road as much as possible throughout the expedition with each person involved taking turns of the driving element instructed by the VIA Team Members.

Team members will also be bush camping at every opportunity and  the VIA Team Leaders will be teaching different skills throughout.

The aim of the expedition is to help those who take part learn from the environment and help rebuild their confidence, self-esteem and self-belief.

The expedition is open to Veterans from the UK, Australia and New Zealand and those wanting to take part can apply to be a part of this ”Journey of Discovery’.

It is our aim to put the team together a year before the expedition so that those taking part can go through a training program which will involve off-road driving, bush mechanics, bush-craft, first aid, bush cooking, navigation and many more skills.

VIA are seeking corporate sponsors in Australia for the expedition and also companies or individuals who can lend or donate equipment such as 4WD vehicles, tents, camping gear, bush clothing, first aid supplies and GPS navigators.

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“Australia 360° ‘A Journey of Discovery’ is a huge undertaking and something I back fully as it is the true spirit of nations working together to highlight veterans’ needs. The Centenary of ANZAC Day is such a special day in the history of all ANZAC’s who have served their nations and this expedition will go a long way to making sure their service is never forgotten.” ~ Sir Ranulph Fiennes

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“An ambitious project that will help change lives. The teams tenacity is an example and inspiration to many” ~ Bear Grylls

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Click here to read more about the planned expedition, or click here to join the Group on Facebook.

Please contact us if you are interested in joining the expedition or can help in any way.

Contact Billy MacLeod in the UK by email at:  billymacleod@veteransinaction.org.uk

or Tim Mansfield in Sydney by email at:  tim@mapmates.com

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