Meet two former North Queensland soldiers who are assisting ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
“I have never envied a person who lives an easy life”, Theodore Roosevelt. This statement has resonated with me for most of my adult life. An easy life does not test you, nor does it challenge you and a person’s true character is only revealed when they are uncomfortable, scared or situations are not going to plan, which profiles the reason many people avoid these situations. But these situations can be what define you. If you challenge yourself, challenge your routine and believe you can achieve, you may just find that you can!
I spent just over seven years in the Australian regular army as a reconnaissance soldier. I had spent time training with other military units in Hawaii, Thailand and Singapore before deploying numerous times to East Timor and eventually Iraq. These experiences exposed me to a level of human suffering unseen in my previous life. When I discharged from the defence force my interest in health care soon found me working as a paramedic in Queensland where I met Mick, another former soldier turned paramedic. We soon realised that the unique combination of our skills could positively impact others.
“If you challenge yourself, challenge your routine and believe you can achieve, you may just find that you can!”
Our Impact 2015-2016
- Over 50 medical and non-medical volunteers deployed
- Clinics providing over 1700 medical assessments
- Training over 35 community first responders
- Funding construction of two community shelters
- 25 water filters distributed to villages
- English lessons for 9 local mountain guides.
- Over 100 dental interventions
- 45 prescription glasses provided
In 2015 following the Nepali earthquakes, we founded The Wild Medic Project Inc, a not for profit project that deploys volunteer medics into remote communities in the Himalayas. After leading small teams into the remote communities that year, the project gained momentum and although we successfully deployed seven medical teams, it also exposed a flaw – we were terrible at fundraising.
The experience presented an idea that we deliberated and it resulted in the founding of our second initiative, a grass roots expedition company called Earth Trails Expeditions. The initial idea focused on providing expedition opportunities for ordinary people to experience an extra ordinary life changing adventure whilst the profit supported the wild medic clinics. The success allowed expansion into non-medical projects and five specific causes were identified for support by expedition teams.
1. Community Health: Mobile clinics, health screening, health promotions, first aid trainingw
2. Housing and Infrastructure: Health post construction, community toilet construction, community shelters, school classrooms
3. Education: English lessons, school stationary and supplies
4. Wild Life Protection: Animal welfare, endangered species protection, habitat protection
5. Ecosystem Restoration: Jungle replantation, rubbish removal, reef protection, sustainable farming
In the beginning, we never would have believed that two former NQLD soldiers turned paramedics could be responsible for funding and staffing remote health clinics, leading expedition teams into remote areas or engaging infrastructure and ecosystem restoration projects, yet that’s where we find ourselves. The initiatives have been responsible for a wide range of projects that have positively impacted remote communities and it has only been possible by people taking a leap of faith and getting involved. Without the people on the ground we would just be a logo.
The next two years will see an expansion into Mongolia, Timor, Nepal, Kenya, Norway and Kyrgyzstan and we challenge anyone reading this to sign up. We believe it is incredibly important to occasionally ‘circuit break’ routines and engage in a real adventure, particularly if your adventure promotes positive change in the community that you are visiting.
Our next adventure is a crossing of Timor. The team will conduct Streptococcus screening in remote schools along the way to prevent the spread of Rheumatic Heart Disease, a major cause of child death in Timor, and you don’t need to be medically qualified to participate either! It is just people doing good things for people.
We guarantee that there is nothing predictable about our expeditions; they are dynamically ever-changing and not easy, but they are also life changing.