Private Scott Thompson’s deployment to help the recovery efforts in Western Australia following Tropical Cyclone Seroja has taken the Perth soldier to an area where he has a strong family connection.

The reservist from 3 Squadron, The Pilbara Regiment, is one of more than 65 ADF members deployed to Geraldton, and he was sent to Northampton to help in the clean-up.

“My great-great-grandfather Charles Deacon was one of the original pioneers from this area,” Private Thompson said.

“After serving his time as a convict in the 1860s, he settled in the Geraldton-Northampton area and worked for the Northampton railway.”

Charles Deacon went on to become a notable member of the local community.

“He was well known in the area back then,” Private Thompson said.

“We even have a newspaper article about him after his death at the age of 80.”

Private Thompson said he had always had deep connections to the area and was proud to be assisting the community in its time of need.

“I’m a very sentimental person and I love my family history. For me, helping out here is a big deal,” he said.

“Mum has already told my aunties and family and they’re all proud and happy.”

Outside his Army service, Private Thompson works for the Department of Justice.

“Work has been fantastic about my deployment,” he said.

“When I had the call to help, they told me to go straight away and they would sort everything out when I got back.”

Private Thompson reflected on how it felt to be part of the recovery efforts.

“It’s very humbling to see what the cyclone has done, so to be able to come up and help is a privilege,” he said.