As part of its work in assisting veterans and their families, Yass Valley not-for-profit organisation, Remount, has joined forces with Lockheed Martin to support the Kookaburra Kids Foundation.
A group of 40 children from the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation, which has a stream dedicated to children from serving and ex-serving Defence families whose parents are affected by mental illness as a result of their service, visited the Remount property outside Canberra for a day of farm experiences including horse rides, sulky rides, bush games and hay rides.
Remount’s horsemanship program is designed to assist returned servicemen and women, and their families, to manage the impacts of loss, work-related stress, combat stress or PTSD, to re-establish their lives and develop new career paths post-service
The Kookaburra Kids day was held on the eve of Remount’s latest program where participants learn to ride a horse and muster up to 300-head of cattle by day, while in the evening they can sit around a campfire and share stories of their military experiences.
Lockheed Martin Australia’s renewed sponsorship of Remount will support eight programs in 2018, providing the opportunity for an additional 30 returned servicemen and women, and their families, to reconnect through horsemanship.
Chief executive of Lockheed Martin Australia New Zealand, Vince Di Pietro AM, CSC, said Remount provides an important service to former and serving defence force personnel and their families and children.
"The Remount program and its team is terrific. It makes a real difference to the health and wellbeing of its participants," Di Pietro said.
"We are thrilled to be a part of Remount and delighted to help it grow and deliver more programs that have such a positive impact on our returned servicemen and women and their families through vocational, counselling and horsemanship training."
Remount founders, Ben and Marina Maguire, the board of directors and volunteers, all welcomed the renewed funding support from Lockheed Martin Australia, which will provide extra equipment and resources to sustain the horsemanship program with a difference.
"After a successful 2017, we’ve had incredible demand this year and this support from Lockheed Martin Australia has enabled us to purchase additional horses and kit to be able to meet that demand," said Ben Maguire.
"Our aim is to give our Kookaburra Kids and the Legacy Youth a fun day out, lovely memories and great experiences."
Remount is delivered at no cost to current or former serving members of the Australian Defence Force. The two-, three-, and four-day Remount programs include onsite accommodation, catering, tuition and work shirts.