Kayaks depart Yeppoon on 300km paddle challenge
From The Capricorn Coast Mirror
"BRAVE Mates" have set off from Yeppoon on a 300km kayak challenge up the Central Queensland coast to help raise money for the RSL's not-for-profit national veterans' support service Mates4Mates.
Mates4Mates' chief operating officer Michael Quinn said the organisation received no government support.
Instead, it relied heavily on the generosity and support of individuals, communities and businesses.
The Central Queensland coast kayak challenge follows the inaugural Mates4Mates sea kayak challenge from Sydney to Brisbane last year.
This year, two teams are taking part in the two-part challenge and each will have about two weeks to finish their event.
The first team left Yeppoon on Monday, August 4, paddling out to the Keppel Islands and heading north past Byfield National Park and around Shoalwater Bay before finishing at Notch Point, south of Mackay, around August 17.
The second team will leave Hay Point, south of Mackay, on September 1, travelling northwards through the Whitsunday Islands and onwards to Bowen by September 12.
Mr Quinn said adventure challenges such as this were extremely important in the rehabilitation of injured, ill and wounded personnel, whether former or current.
"Whether they're battling physical injuries or dealing with what's known as 'the war within' - post-traumatic stress disorder - adventure challenges like this give our Brave Mates a purpose," he said.
"They're designed to get them out of bed and out of their comfort zone, stretch them physically and mentally and give them a goal to strive for."
Mr Quinn said Mates4Mates was set up by the RSL (Queensland branch) to provide services and welfare and treatment programs to help rehabilitate wounded, injured and ill current and former ADF personnel and their families.
"The group harnesses the strength of an iconic Australian trait - mateship - to help them rebuild their life skills and emotional resilience," Mr Quinn said.
Mates4Mates is a not-for-profit charity initiated by RSL (Queensland branch) which provides support to wounded, injured or will current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and their families.
Mates4Mates is designed to complement and enhance the capability of the ADF to support its current and ex-serving personnel and their families.
Mates4Mates is an independent, apolitical and non-religious organisation offering services such as physical rehabilitation, psychological services, counselling, career coaching and adventure challenges.