14 London Street, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 2PA
Expedition - Australia 360°
What is the expedition about?
The expedition will take a team of ANZAC and UK veterans and circumnavigate Australia using off-road vehicles travelling in a clockwise direction starting and finishing at the National War Memorial in Canberra on the 25th April 2015.
The vehicles will be manned by veterans from all three countries. It is an expedition where veterans from different nationalities can learn from each other and use their experiences from past service to their countries in the true spirit of the ANZAC and UK military.
What are Team Leaders expected to do?
Initially there will be Team Leaders based in the UK, Australia and New Zealand who will build the profile of the expedition and be involved in the planning. Once plans are complete it will be the leader’s responsibility to make the connections needed to make the expedition a success. VIA will do the main bulk of the planning before handing over to the Australian and New Zealand leaders for their input and refinement of the route.
After the first year of planning it will be time for team leaders to start looking to put a team together so that 18 months before the event there are interested parties. There will then be selection weekends with training being done on the basic skills needed for the expedition. Further training will be given throughout the expedition.
Once a final team is selected with reserves and those who wish to do a sponsored stage then the team can get on with fundraising events to bring in £5,000 or equivalent in $’s per person as personal sponsorship. This is much easier to do as a team as opposed to individuals but of course individual sponsorship is welcomed also.
What are Team Members expected to do?
All potential Team Members are expected to get fully involved within the team and on training weekends. There will be no passengers on the expedition as in turning up on the day to take part. Being a part of any expedition takes personal commitment to the project and to immerse into it long before the start day.
As said above, each individual has to raise a minimum of £5,000 to take part but this can be done within the team on fundraising days and events leading up to the expedition. These events will be organised by the Team Leader and Team Members and all ideas are welcomed.
A website for the event is being worked on at present where a fundraising page will be set up where individual sponsors can donate to the expedition (and beneficiary associations) but this will be separate to Team Members sponsorship. This has to be done within the team to build the camaraderie/mateship leading up to the expedition so that the team is already functioning by Day 1 Start Day.
All skills are welcome from all Team Members and can be passed on to other Team Members on training days and also throughout the expedition. The purpose of the training will be to make the expedition function as best it can and also to train individuals to run further events as per the Veterans In Action ALIVE Program to help veterans suffering the effects of war or who find the transition to civilian life difficult.
Expedition Aims and Objectives
- To return all members safe and well on completion of the expedition and to take part on the ANZAC 100 celebrations.
- To introduce Veterans In Action (VIA) from the UK to Australia and New Zealand, to be able to work together as a team from different nations, to understand different veteran’s needs, to give support to all members of the team, and to become leaders of the future.
- To learn how other nations work with veterans who suffer the effects of war and to pass on the ALIVE Program developed by VIA.
- To raise funds for all three organisations involved with the expedition which are VIA (Veterans In Action), RSL (Returned and Services League of Australia) and RSA (Returned Services Association of New Zealand).
- To raise awareness of veterans needs after leaving the services and to connect with other veterans organisations.
- To promote companies and organisations who sponsor the event.
- To visit as many RSL and DVA (Department of Veterans’ Affairs) establishments on the route of the expedition.
- To fundraise in every major city and town on route.
- To liaise with Aboriginal communities on route and to learn skills from them.
- To promote veterans needs past, present and future.
When is the expedition?
At this stage we cannot give a start date until detailed planning has been done and this is being worked on at the time of this being entered onto our website. The aim is to finish the expedition on the 25th of April 2015 and with prior permission the expedition team members will march under the VIA banner as a special contingent in Canberra to coincide with the ANZAC Centenary.
The expedition will take approximately 4 months to complete so is a huge commitment from all Team Members.
What would we be doing on the expedition?
The expedition is about raising the profile of veterans’ needs and to raise funds for all 3 organisations involved. The expedition will focus on and promote the ANZAC spirit throughout leading up to the celebrations on the ANZAC Centenary.
All Team Members will be attending fundraising events and functions throughout to promote the expedition.
In between towns and cities all Team Members will immerse themselves in the expedition and learn all the skills passed on by different Team Members.
During the expedition
Bush Camping is a huge element of the expedition and will be done throughout between all major towns and cities. Many skills can be passed on during the camping with Bushcraft Skills being passed on by different Team Members.
We are working to engage Australian bush craft experts along the route to train and assist the team, with particular emphasis on Aboriginal communities and traditional land owner’s whose territories the expedition will pass through.
Who can take part?
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 4 month expedition and will be made up of from the 3 different nationalities.
In addition to the permanent team members there will be two Motorbike Outriders who will recce routes and will also be the expedition photographers from the VIA photography project Veterans In Focus. These Outriders will do one of the four currently proposed stages each which are as follows:
- Canberra to Perth (via Melbourne and Adelaide)
- Perth to Cairns (via Darwin)
- Cairns to Brisbane
- Brisbane to Canberra (via Sydney)
The Outriders can come from any of the 3 countries and must be qualified to ride off-road and also in photography. By having different photographers throughout we will have different styles which show the expedition in many different ways.
All Outriders will also be expected to raise £5,000 to take part on the expedition and ideally we will have 8 different Outriders throughout the expedition. It is essential that they come from all the 3 different countries.
Each vehicle will have a spare seat that will be filled by a sponsored veteran who will do one stage each making an extra 6 veterans on each stage and again will have to get sponsored £5,000 to take part on a stage.
This will make a team of 16 Permanent Team plus 2 Outriders and 6 joining per stage depending on which vehicles are used.
This makes a team of 24 on each stage.
If veterans would like to join us with their own vehicles for some of the expedition then they can and depending on distance and time with the team will depend on how much they will have to fundraise in sponsorship.
How much will the expedition cost?
Final costs for the expedition have not been worked out at present but the intention is to fund the whole expedition through donations from individuals, Corporate Funding, Grants and Corporate Sponsorship.
The Team will raise funds as follows:
- 16 Permanent Team Members will raise a minimum of £5,000 each making up a total of £80,000.
- A potential 8 Outriders will raise £5,000 to do a stage which would raise a total of £40,000.
- Potentially 6 veterans using the spare seats will also be expected to raise £5,000 raising a total of £30,000 per stage and for 4 stages this could raise £120,000.
- If all these totals were raised and all seats taken for the whole expedition, then potentially this could raise £240,000.
The funds raised within the teams could potentially fund the whole expedition. This would be worst case scenario without any Corporate Funding or sponsorship. We do not envisage this happening in any way as there is already huge interest in the event.
We are delighted to have received recent personal endorsements for the expedition from two world-famous adventurers:
How will funds be raised?
Once Team selection has been done with reserves in place the teams will have to get out and raise the funds to cover £5,000 per person taking part. This will involve ALL Team members including those doing a stage.
This can be done in many ways and is something that VIA Team Members are already good at as it is part of the ALIVE Program.
- Permits to fundraise in major towns and cities with whole team attending depending on geography of team.
- Challenges and individual sponsorship.
- Expedition Balls or social events.
- Stands at events with challenges being done at them.
These are just some ideas but fundraising takes maximum effort and participation by all Team members. Set realistic targets when on an event and do as many as possible.
In the UK for VIA Team Members we will set aside events that will be done specifically for the expedition. These will be done as we do now at sporting events and street collections and the whole team will support each person so that no-one is under pressure to raise funds alone.
Once we reach the £5,000 per person we will continue to raise funds for the expedition which will go into the final amount that will be raised for all 3 organisations. The £5,000 per person is a target and once reached we DO NOT stop.
The aim is to raise the maximum amount that we can for VIA, RSL and the RSA.
How are the funds divided between the 3 organisations?
VIA will be doing a lot of work leading up to the expedition as the expedition planners and will incur costs as will all organisations involved.
The intention is that each organisation will not be out of pocket in any way to put the expedition on and all incurred costs will be paid out to each organisation before the funds raised are split on a pre-agreed basis between all 3 organisations.
The intention is to raise £1million for each organisation which is a huge task and will take a lot of work by everyone involved and of course the Corporate Funding is essential to this.
Please note: the expedition will be self-funding as far as possible. We are not asking for money from Governments or from our main beneficiaries the RSL in Australia or the RSA in New Zealand.
We are asking for their endorsement and practical support around the Nation and in major towns and cities along the planned route.
What vehicles will be used?
Ideally due to the history with military forces Land Rover would be the first choice for vehicles to be used on the expedition. In New Zealand and Australia Land Rover has franchises which would be easier to get on board than in the UK.
In the UK it is incredibly hard to get Land Rover to back small charities because of the amount of organisations asking them for help. It may better to get the vehicles in Australia if we can get franchises to lend us the vehicles as a sponsor of the expedition with the premise that we will promote Land Rover throughout the expedition and afterwards.
The support vehicles can be from different manufacturers including Bushmaster PMV’s (which we hope to get on loan from the ADF) which would be fantastic in the role and would also promote the ADF and the Thales brand around the world. We don’t need new vehicles from them; in fact we would prefer older ones that have been used in theatres of war and still bear some scars. In this way we can promote individual vehicles as having operated in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
If we cannot get vehicles in Australia for the UK Team then we have to look at what can be done and how we get vehicles for the UK Team. There a few different options for this:
- Sponsored by Land Rover who supply the vehicles
- Hiring expedition vehicles in Australia
- Building vehicles in the UK to our own spec and shipping them over (not preferable)
If we cannot get Land Rover to back the expedition then we will have to look at different vehicles. It would be very easy to contact one of the usual off-road companies but as it is an Australian expedition it would be preferable to have Australian vehicles and we would have to take advice if there are any such vehicles.
In principle, anybody can apply for the expedition, irrespective of medical conditions and disabilities. However, there are certain things that we have to qualify this with, especially if you have any known issues:
- Your doctor must be able to give you full clearance to attend this expedition.
- All medical issues that could impact you must be reported through us to the insurance company, and the insurance company must give approval for cover.
- Personal Medical Insurance must be taken out by each individual and must cover repatriation.
- Individuals will be responsible for taking any medication prescribed by their GP.
- Any vaccinations will have to be up to date prior to leaving for the expedition and is the responsibility of each individual.
- The leadership team will then have the final decision, taking into account knowledge of the conditions that we will be under, personal medical issues and the safety of individuals, and the whole team.
We will need 100% full disclosure of medical information, including being updated with any changes during the training or expedition. This may lead to individuals having to withdraw if the above cannot still be met.
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.
We aim to commemorate the unique ANZAC tradition of mate-ship and to help veterans who still suffer as a result of more recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan, and are trying to recover from both physical and psychological disabilities.
Billy MacLeod – VIA Team Leader & CEO Veterans In Action
Tim Mansfield - VIA Team Leader & Liaison Officer
Tel: +61 40 5830715
Neil Scott - VIA Team Leader & Liaison Officer
Tel: +64 022 0176465