Four wheel drive equipment needed – less than 5 weeks till GO!

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Now that our FANTASTIC partner Nissan Australia Foundation have confirmed that they are going to supply us with a new diesel Nissan Patrol (Y61, ST), we need to change our focus to setting up the vehicle properly to ensure we have what will be needed to be totally self sufficient whilst in some of Australia’s most remote locations.

As we will be picking up the vehicle in Melbourne, we are happy to stay a few days to have the extra equipment fitted to our vehicle.

The equipment that we need is;

  • Steel Bull Bar & Winch
  • Sidebars/Steps
  • Heavy Duty Tow Bar with normal trailer light wiring and an Anderson plug to charge the camper’s batteries
  • Extra Heavy Duty Roof Racks (Minimum of 3 rails) to mount our roof top tent onto
  • 2nd Spare Wheel/Tyre Carrier
  • 6x Off-Road Steel Wheels and Tyres
  • Snorkel
  • Window Tint
  • Dual battery system including Batteries
  • ShuRoo

We ready have the following from our BRILLIANT sponsors, but now also need these following fitted to our vehicle;

  • Anderson Plug at the Front of the Vehicle for REDARC solar panels
  • REDARC Supplied Dual Battery Charging System
  • REDARC Supplied Elite Pro Electric Trailer Brake System
  • REDARC Supplied 2000w Inverter
  • Barrett Communications HF radio and other uhf radio’s and equipment
  • Lightforce Supplied Genesis Driving Lights

If you or your organisation can help us out with sponsorship or discounted prices for the above equipment and labour times, please get in contact with us as soon as possible on 0427 388 168 or DrivingOzBlackDog@gmail.com

 

Off Road Camper Trailer Needed

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Now that we have Nissan Australia Foundation supplying us with a Nissan Patrol for our event, we need to focus on getting an Off Road Camper Trailer. We still require a capable Off Road Camper Trailer which we will be happy to return to the supplier at the end of our event.  We are happy to consider any other opportunities, including purchasing a discounted trailer if one cannot be “loaned” to us for the duration.

Preferred Inclusions/Requirements

  • Heavy Duty  Off-Road Camper Trailer
  • Independent Coil Spring Suspension
  • Kitchen (sink and cooker)
  • Hard Floor (preferred but not essential)
  • Sleeping space for 3 adults (minimum double bed and a single bed)
  • Large Fridge suitable for a family of 6 (2 adults and 4 kids)
  • Annex (with mesh to keep out the bugs)
  • Electric Brakes (preferably AL-KO ESC)
  • Ensuite/Privacy Room (Optional)
  • 240V Inlet System and 240v Power Points in main area
  • 12v Power Points
  • 2x 100AMP Deep Cycle Batteries
  • Hot Water/Shower System
  • Sitting Dining Area/Table
  • 2x Fuel Jerry Can Holders
  • 2x 4.5kg Gas Bottle Holders (minimum size)
  • Solar Panel
  • Heavy Duty Off-road trailer coupling (preferably ALKO Off-road hitch)
  • Portable Toilet
  • Anderson Plug to Charge the Batteries
  • 1500W Inverter (minimum)
  • 2nd Spare Wheel/Tyre and Holder (Wheels to fit a Nissan Patrol Y61 ST)
  • Mud tires
  • Top/Boat Rack
  • External and internal Lighting
  • PVC Pole holders

Camping Items Needed

  • 6x Winter rated (-10 Degrees) sleeping bags
  • 6x Camp Chairs
  • 2x Stretcher Beds
  • 2x Camping tables

Nissan Australia Foundation is helping us to move

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We are super excited to have our first Platinum Sponsor – Nissan Australia Foundation!

Nissan Australia Foundation will be supplying us with a Nissan Patrol for our event.  Supplying a vehicle is not enough for them, they are also going to approach other organisations to try to get us even more support so stay tuned for more exciting news.

They will also be helping us spread the news of our event through their media team/contacts, so any organisations that are out there still thinking about sponsoring us, now is the time to get on board.

Once we receive the vehicle will still need all of our sponsor supplied equipment fitted such as;

  • Lightforce Driving Lights
  • REDARC Electronics
  • Anderson Plugs front (for our solar panels) and rear (charge the camper batteries) of the vehicle
  • Barrett Communications HF Radio and other UHF Radio’s

As we won’t receive the vehicle until late March, and since we are starting the trip on 2nd April, it would be fantastic if we could have organisations prearranged to assist us with fitting this sundry equipment.

Accommodation sponsors and speaking engagements!

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It’s been a busy weekend, and we’ve had some great email conversations with accommodation sponsors and community groups who are interested in booking us to speak at a meeting. We’re focussing on Victoria & Tasmania, as the first states we are touring.

The Ibis Caravan Park in Kerang is donating a night’s accommodation in a cabin, and the Pelican Waters Tourist Park at Lake Charm was going to give us a week in a powered site. We’re only taking them up on one night, but only because we have a few timelines to stick to enroute! Both venues have been very supportive of our cause, and we’re looking forward to meeting them in person.

We’ve also been contacted by three branches of the Country Women’s Association (CWA) in Victoria, and they have offered to help arrange community events as we pass through their locations. We love the CWA and the work they do for their communities, so this will be a great way to have discussions about mental health in country towns – areas so often left behind when states allocate resources.

It’s just the beginning, and sometimes just stopping in the main street of a town to have a coffee will be enough to start people talking to us. We are ready to say hello to everyone, even though it will challenge us. Discussions about mental health, suicide prevention, and avenues of assistance, need to be had, openly, and without judgement. This is why we are undertaking this trip!

 

A big thank you to our Sponsors! More Sponsors are welcome

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At Driving Oz with the Black Dog we want to say a massive thank you to all our wonderful sponsors!  Without organisations like you supporting us, running this event would be a lot harder.

Thank you to to following organisations (in not specific order);

Thank you to the organisations that are currently considering sponsoring us!

We are still looking for the following sponsors (so that we don’t have to tap into our savings any more than necessary before the event starts);

  • Vehicle (to be returned at the end of the event)
  • Off-Road Camper Trailer (to be returned at the end of the event)
  • Photographic and video equipment
  • 4 laptops for the kids schooling
  • Fuel Vouchers
  • Accommodation (Caravan Park or Motel)
  • UHF communications Supplied and installed into our vehicle
  • Satellite communications (including data usage)
  • Installation of our Barrett HF radio and other communication equipment to our vehicle
  • Installation of all our REDARC equipment and Anderson Plugs to the front and rear of our vehicle and camper trailer
  • A full set of four wheel drive recovery equipment
  • 12v/240v fridge for our camper trailer
  • 6 Camp Chairs
  • 2 Camp Stretchers and 6 sleeping bags
  • Awning for our vehicle

Reaching out to Communities

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When was the last time you reached out to members of your community to see if they are ok?  Is there someone you know that is having a tough time?  It may be due to them feeling isolated/alone or it could be due to relationship/money/health issues.  Maybe it’s due to the recent weather that Australia has been experiencing (fire, flood, snow etc.).

Here is something to think about… You walk past someone (known or unknown) and politely ask “how’s things?” and most of the time you receive a short one or two word answer. Then they ask you and you respond with the same couple of words.  Sounds familiar?  The response generated is generally not a true indication of how things really are.  Why? because people do not want to seem weak or don’t want to burden someone with their problems.

Something else to consider… What if the situation was the same but this time they responded by saying that they are really struggling at the moment or they are considering giving up and are thinking of suicide?  What would you do or say now?  Would you stop and talk to them to give them support or would you just keep walking?  Would your response be different if they were a stranger who you had never met before?

Paul has seen many situations where people have committed suicide.  In some of the cases, there was a potential opportunity for a stranger to talk to the person prior to them making their final decision, but unfortunately the people nearby walked away from them as they didn’t want to get involved.  Could the situations have had a different outcome if someone had spoken to them?  Maybe, but unfortunately we will never know.

Now insert one of your family members into this same scenario, would you want someone to speak them or just leave them alone?  Personally I would want someone to talk to them.  A simple thing like talking to them could be all that is needed for them to finally decide to seek help.

Please remember that someone who is struggling with a mental health issue will generally look ok on the outside even though they are really going through hell on the inside. Sometimes all it takes to save a life is one question… How are you?

 

For more information about how to help someone you know is struggling or if you are struggling, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or go to their website at www.lifeline.org.au.  If a life is in danger call 000 immediately.

To find out more about Paul & Kirstine Roadley or about Driving Oz with the Black Dog, go to www.DrivingOzBlackDog.com

Please Like and Share this post with all your friends and family members through your different social media outlets so that more people can learn that it doesn’t take much to save a life.  Let’s see if we can make this post go viral! Who knows, by sharing this article you may save a life of a friend, family member or a complete stranger.

Old School Kids Play

 

With all the rain around where we are staying in Western Australia, the kids decided to ask if they could go and play in the puddles.

There is nothing like some old school entertainment.  Even Luna and her friend Sharm had fun in the rain!

Some complain about being stuck in town with roads closed, we look for the up side in everything 🙂

Lightforce Australia Delivers

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We were excited yesterday when we received a parcel from Lightforce Australia containing a LED strip light, 2 Genesis 50W HID Professional Series driving lights and a wiring harness for the lights.

We tested the LED strip light out last night and was surprised how bright the LEDs are. Another fantastic addition to the strip light is the dimmer switch that was so easy, the kids had worked it out in under a minute.  The dimmer function will be ideal for when we are relaxing around the camp fire and don’t want a bright white light destroying the atmosphere of the campsite.

The wiring harness for the driving lights will make it very easy to install in our vehicle (when we get it).  With the 2 lights up front on the bull bar, we can rest assured that we will definitely be able to see a long way down the road.  The Genesis 50W HID lights have a tested and proven range in excess of 1500 metres down the road!

Thanks again Lightforce Australia for supporting us and Driving Oz with the Black Dog.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Suicide Rates

atsi-flagsDid you know that the suicide rate within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is more than double the national rate. In 2015, suicide accounted for 5.2% of all Indigenous deaths compared to 1.8% for non-Indigenous people.

Here at Driving Oz with the Black Dog we are working with Indigenous groups to arrange for us to visit remote communities.  Our plan if for us to talk to them about the suicide rates and to provide them with contact details and information that will hopefully reduce the number of suicides within their communities.

If you are part of a community that would like us to visit, please get in contact with us via email DrivingOzBlackDog@gmail.com or by calling us 0427 388 168.

Dogs are amazing animals!

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Did you know that there is a wide range of Assistance Dogs for various medical conditions?

  • Hearing impaired (Hearing or Signal Dogs),
  • Epilepsy (Seizure Alert/Response Dogs),
  • Anaphylaxis (Medical Response Dogs),
  • Allergen alert (allergen alert dogs that alert to the presence of allergens before contact)
  • Mobility/balance impaired (Mobility or Walker Dogs),
  • Psychiatric disability (Mental Health Assistance Dogs (MHAD) or Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSD),
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),
  • Autism (Autism Service Dogs),
  • Blood sugar alert (Diabetic Alert Dogs),
  • Vision impairment (Guide Dog),
  • Other medical alert dogs (such as asthma alert dogs) and other disabilities.

AND they’re not just Labradors or Golden Retrievers! Even a Chihuahua can be an Assistance Dog.

Although ‘assistance dogs’ clearly includes guide dogs, the category is much broader, and does not include Emotional Support/Therapy animals. Assistance dogs provide their owners with independence, a sense of self-confidence, safety, mobility and self-esteem. Studies have shown that the use of assistance dogs promotes health, mobility, social interaction and facilitates employment. An assistance dog is legally regarded as a ‘disability aid’ because it provides assistance to a person with a disability and/or alleviates the effect of the handler’s disability.

Amendments to the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA), which came into force in 2003, make it unlawful for a person to discriminate against another person because they are accompanied by an assistance dog. The DDA prevents an establishment in the public realm from refusing entry to its premises because the person has an assistance dog, and complaints can be made to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

It is discriminatory for a person at an establishment providing a public service to:

  • Request that the dog be kept elsewhere
  • Request that the person pay extra because of the dog
  • Refuse entry or services because of the dog
  • Request that a person produce evidence of, or reveal what their disability is.
  • Make a disabled person feel uncomfortable about using their assistance dog for any situation they deem necessary (such as the situations the dog is trained to respond to).

Not sure? If you are unsure that the assistance dog is genuine, you are more than welcome to discreetly request to see the identification card that is issued by the training organisation which certified the dog. The handler will always have this available. The dog must also be wearing a jacket/vest indicating that it is a working assistance dog, though the appearance of these will vary based on the organisation that the dog and handler are aligned to.

Isn’t it fantastic what these animals can do?  We know you’ll be on the look out for them now, the same as we are.