Supporting the front line

Carol Thompson at the Cockatoo RSL. 190357 Picture: ROB CAREW

Cockatoo RSL is doing its bit for Whiskey’s Wish.

It’s one of the stops on the third annual Shepherds Australia PTSD Baton Ride, which will start in Phillip Island on 16 February and finish in Grantville on 23 February.

The motorcycle riders taking part will be carrying the Shepherds Australia PTSD baton to symbolise the burden post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sufferers carry every day.

The baton is kept at the National Vietnam Veterans Museum and will be returned there at the end of the ride.

Whiskey’s Wish provides training and puppies for service dog training to veterans, first responders and correctional officers who suffer from PTSD and service-related injuries.

Cockatoo RSL treasurer and bar manager Carol Thompson said she first heard about the initiative last year from a member with a service dog who lived in Emerald.

She liked the Shepherds Australia Supporters Facebook page and reached out about having a fund-raising tin.

“A guy rode out from Werribee and dropped one off,” Ms Thompson said.

Organisers added the RSL to its day-seven itinerary, which has ride participants leaving Woodend and travelling to the Kyneton, Templestowe and Cockatoo RSLs and to Phillip Island.

Ms Thompson said they aimed to roll into Cockatoo about 3pm on Friday 22 February.

“They will chat to people and tell them more about PTSD and Whiskey’s Wish,” she said.

“We want as many people as possible to come and support them.”

She has specially invited the region’s own first responders, in SES and CFA volunteers.

Visit and search for Shepherds Australia to donate.