Members of Joint Task Group 629.3, supporting the Queensland Police efforts in western Queensland to help deal with the impacts of COVID-19, got the chance to engage with some of the local children in Cunnamulla at the end of October.
Defence personnel visited the Cunnamulla Breakfast Club, a program which provides local children the opportunity to participate in morning sporting activities and to have some breakfast before attending school.
As guests of honour, the soldiers and local Queensland Police officers happily joined the eager youngsters in a short-course game of touch football with combined teams of children and visitors for a healthy kick-start to the day.
Lieutenant Liam Hunter, from the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, acknowledged the traditional owners (Kunja Community) before sharing his story of growing up and what led him to join the Army.
Private Robert Bayley also talked to the pupils about his reasons for enlisting in the Army and shared some of his vast experiences while serving.
“I enjoyed sharing my story. I hope it will give the children some perspective on what Army life is like and pave the way for dedicated soldiers that come after us,” Private Bayley said.
Cunnamulla Local Council Community Services team leader Christalin Thangpawl said it was a joy to host the visiting Defence members, who had quickly become part of the town.
“It was wonderful to see the Army take such an interest in the community; the kids really enjoyed the morning,” Christalin said.
Lieutenant Hunter said the time spent in Cunnamulla and the surrounding region had been very special.
“These communities have been so welcoming and grateful; it is heartening for our troops to be invited to take part in meaningful community events, and our soldiers are relishing this experience,” Lieutenant Hunter said.