Luna Passed her Public Access Test!!!


Two days before we start on our Driving Oz with the Black Dog journey, Luna had a meet and greet with one of mindDog’s assessors, Kay.

Paul didn’t know at the time that it was also an opportunity for the final assessment for Luna to be fully accredited as an Assistance Dog!  The great news came at the end of the session where Paul was informed that Luna had passed her Public Access Test (PAT)!  Kay told us that Luna will be a fantastic Ambassador not only for mindDogs, but for Assistance Dogs across Australia.

It was great to hear that the Assessors felt that we were pioneers going out into the Australian community to raise the awareness of Assistance Dogs in general!

Huge congratulations to both Luna & Paul on their massive achievement today xx

Cards, currency & celebrations


How amazing it was to arrive in Perth yesterday and have this bundle of happiness waiting for us from BP?! Quite frankly, we’re still stunned that this equates to $10,000 of fuel for our Nissan Patrol. The cards have been well and truly secured – they are our “Precious”!! We did use the first card this morning at BP Bull Creek and everything was seamless. Paul & Kirstine make a point of telling the BP staff that we have been sponsored by BP for our trip – some are surprised, some are apathetic, some are intrigued, but we are well and truly in love with BP and will sing their praises throughout our trip 🙂

Tents, teamwork and tenacity .. 

Back in Perth for last minute preparations and appointments before we set off. Team Roadley pulled off another afternoon of hard yakka to get our sponsored 3DOG camping roof top tent fitted. Yes we’ll be changing it to a different Nissan vehicle in Victoria (spoiler alert!!), but we’ll be camping in it initially as we cross the Nullarbor. VKS 737 Radio Network accessible on our Barrett Communications HF radio (call sign – Black Dog 0212).

Stay tuned for confirmation of our departure date. Bring it on!! #teamworkforthewin

Cub Campers joins the Driving Oz family!

Oh my, what an amazing week it has been, and now we are well and truly celebrating the latest addition to the Driving Oz with the Black Dog family. Yes, family! Our sponsors have given us so much, totally supporting our trip and cause, that we can’t help but feel that we are all in this together as one big family.

Today Cub Campers confirmed that they will be supplying us with a camper trailer to use for the event, which we can pick up in Melbourne. On top of this, once the trip is done, they are going to auction off the camper trailer and DONATE the proceeds to our MyCause page. 

Are you squealing with excitement, or is it just us? No really, you’re excited too aren’t you?!

Meetings, shopping and another conversation ..


Never people to do things by halves, today was nothing short of MASSIVE!

  1. Meet with Barrett Communications to organise installation of our sponsored HF radio.
  2. Meeting with the kids’ teachers at the School for Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE).
  3. Meeting with Aussie Offroad Megastore – purchasing bullbar, winch, awning and recovery equipment for a great price.
  4. Getting a serious helping hand price-wise from management at Supercheap Auto in Cannington – purchasing Prorack roof racks and installation kits as well as Tred Recovery tracks.
  5. After dropping off the family at our accommodation, picking up the bullbar and awning.

The day is not over yet. As Kirstine sits here typing, Paul is putting together the roof racks to install on the Patrol. This is after already removing the factory bumper and fitting the bullbar in two hours, during which time we wrangled the kids into bed, were rained on mid fitting, and just to top it off, pooped on by a possum that was spooked by us being outside in the dark and ran up a tree over our heads, only to drop unwanted gifts on our!

As dark set in, our neighbour in the cabin next to ours, brought over an LED lamp so that we could see what we were doing. He even offered to help us lift the bullbar into position when we were ready, so that we didn’t injure ourselves. This gentleman was intrigued by our story and cause, and asked for our website details so that he could follow our journey. He shared a little of his own experiences with the Black Dog, and how he came to realise what was actually happening. Speaking of a book, sometimes the right visual representation brings an understanding where words couldn’t accurately describe how depression impacts on your quality of life.

Tomorrow will be another day filled with appointments and meetings, but tonight we will (eventually) fall into bed content with the accessories we have been able to purchase from our meagre savings, and the knowledge that we have at least one new follower of our journey in our next door neighbour, who will no doubt also share our story with his network of friends. Mission accomplished? For today, yes.

BP is fuelling the Driving Oz journey!

BP image3(1)

As if the travel to Melbourne, meeting the Nissan Australia Foundation and picking up our Nissan Patrol wasn’t enough, Paul came home with another sponsor!

As part of the meeting with Kate and the Nissan Australia Foundation board, they surprised Paul with a phone call to BP, who told him they were thrilled to be partnered with us, and would be providing us with $10,000 of fuel to keep us travelling. Yes, you read that correctly, and we’re still trying to comprehend it, $10,000 worth of fuel!

On Friday, Paul, Cooper and Luna met with BP staff in Docklands in Melbourne, and Luna was certainly a star attraction! Surrounded by staff with smart phones taking photos, and even making sure a cup of water was available for her, she handled the attention with aplomb. People were asking Paul questions about Luna, and were genuinely interested in her role and how she helps him. Just her presence in the building started people talking about mental health assistance dogs .. can you see how we are already starting conversations? ..

Thanks BP, you’ve amazed us with your generosity, and we can’t wait to see you as we travel!