Currently the RSL Art Union tops the list of notable names in the charitable organizations circles of Australia. They have not only tremendously changed many lives of people who have been lucky to win numerous coveted prizes, but also continue with their main mission of helping war veterans by raising funds through their Win a Home Australia lottery draws. The money raised from the sale of tickets in the lottery draws goes a long way in providing the much needed support for the Australian Defense Forces personnel. The help is extended to the present or former servicemen and women together with their entire families and dependants. One of the major initiatives through which this noble cause is achieved is the one dubbed Mates4Mates.
The Mates4Mates is non-profit initiative of the Queensland branch of RSL Art Union aimed at providing support to the injured, wounded or sick ex-serving and current Australian Defense Forces (ADF) personnel together with their families. Their head office is at the Albion Family Recovery Center in Brisbane. The people supported by the initiative are mostly those who suffered psychological and physical wounds in the line of duty either in the country or abroad.
The mates together with their families receive holistic psychological and physical rehabilitation programs. The funds raised through Win a Home Australia lotteries help the organization to offer psychological services, physical rehabilitation, career coaching and adventure challenges to the mates and their families.
The Mates4Mates program seeks to evoke the Australian spirit and belief that a true mate is always ready to offer friendship and unwavering loyalty even in the darkest hour. The organization makes sure that ex-serving and current ADF men and women are not devoid of the strength and humility of mateship in times of need. As an independent, non-religious and apolitical body, the organization seeks to enhance and complement ADF's capability to support their former and current servicemen and women together with their families. To realize this objective the organization has embarked on offering the following programs and services to the mates and their families:
The organization offers a variety of physical rehabilitation services to the injured, wounded and sick, current and former ADF servicemen and women, together with their families. Based on a holistic approach, the rehabilitation activities aim at assisting the mates to rebuild their lives by listening their needs and incorporating them into the programs.
The organization ensures that the physical rehabilitation of the mates are undertaken in a safe manner. The physical programs are not only challenging and rewarding, but they are also designed to "stretch" the participants. The services offered for physical rehabilitation include:
Individual strength and conditioning
The physical training and rehabilitation managers ensure that their programs are designed to meet individual rehabilitation needs of the mates together with their families. The programs have been so far very successful in helping the mates to rebuild their lives. This is made possible through consultation, observance and training which ensure that all the programs on offer are current and meet individual needs.
Group strength and conditioning
This encourages taking advantage of working out with like-minded people to take control of one's rehabilitation endeavors. The programs take care of all fitness levels regardless of the type of injuries sustained. There have been great and inspiring results achieved through superb motivation and teamwork in the sessions.
Massage therapy is one of the physical rehabilitation programs offered by Mate4Mates aimed at aiding quick recovery. The massage therapist uses various techniques which include rub, therapist press hence manipulating the muscles together with other body soft tissues. The therapists use their fingers and hands, kneading, using long strokes, deep circular movements, tapping and vibration. The therapy is also tailored to meet specific needs of the mates through offering deep tissue massage.
The organization also offers a fantastic YOGA program aimed at aiding the toning of the mates' bodies and enhancing breathing techniques with much more which prevents them from sustaining injuries ad bringing more body awareness into all their physical activity. Through yoga they work on the development of a strong core protecting the spine, improving posture and, when combined with breathing work, aids in digestive processes.
The Mates4Mates initiative runs holistic rehabilitation activities tailored to push the mates psychologically and physically within positive surroundings. The challenges are realistic even though difficult. They provide the mates with a defined goal that they can work towards other than giving them a reason to rise up in the morning. They enhance teamwork, motivation and trust which comes with a profound effect on all those participating.
It is through overcoming negative aspects like physical or psychological stress, or the fear of physical harm, especially in situations where individuals may not feel like they have a complete control over the situations. Individuals and their team-mates are able to draw on their positive attributes to conquer adversity. Some of the activities incorporated in the adventure challenges include:
Trekking challenges like the Kokoda Trek
The Kokoda Trek Adventure Challenge was conceived to aid in the ns that psychological and physical rehabilitation of mate together with their families. It is aimed at showing the veterans that the Australian public cares about their brave contribution and is willing to help them move on with their lives. The trek is designed to:
- Provide opportunities of healing via creating and putting emphasis on bonds in-between mates.
- Avail tangible and appealing goals that can motivate the mates during their rehabilitation.
- Psychologically and physically stretch the participants
- Raise public awareness of the psychological and physical battles that the mates and their families face
- Raise funds the Mates4Mates initiative which will help in funding the rehabilitation services for the veterans.
Challenges and adventure like this are very helpful. Whether they are struggling with injuries or the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Adventure challenges like this provide the mates a meaningful purpose. They provide them with a good reason to wake up every morning and move out of their comfort cocoons. The adventure stretches them mentally and physically hence presenting them with a goal to work towards.
Anybody can agree that indeed the Mates4Mates Initiative is a great idea by RSL Art Union and all well meaning citizens should support it fully by buying tickets and participating in the Win a home Australia lottery draws.