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RSL Art Union VIP Heroes Draw 15 hero Darlene Blake

Meet Darlene

Meet our VIP Heroes Draw 15 hero, Darlene Blake, who served in the Royal Australian Navy for ten years.

Darlene enjoyed the team environment of the Navy. So once out of the Defence Force, she struggled with isolation and the loss of connection.

Thanks to your continued support of RSL Art Union, Darlene has connected with other veterans and found a new purpose. And she’s now on the track to wellness.

RSL Art Union VIP Heroes Draw 15 Video
RSL Art Union Australia Home Lottery Prize Homes VIP Member VIP14 Heroes 2.8 million Winners Hero Image

Meet Craig

Meet our VIP14 hero, Craig Dimmock – former Sergeant and 18-year veteran of the Royal Australian Air Force. 

Like his father, Craig had a long and rewarding military career. But Craig’s transition to civilian life had its challenges for both him and his family.

Thanks to your continued support of RSL Art Union, Craig and his family could find the help and healing they needed.

RSL Art Union Australia Home Lottery Prize Homes VIP Member VIP14 Heroes 2.8 million Winners Video Image

Meet Adam

We’re highlighting ex-RAAF dog handler Adam Mitchell in our VIP13 Heroes Draw. After 12 years serving as a dog handler, Adam transitioned to civilian life, rediscovering his purpose with the support of RSL Queensland and Man’s Best Friend, his retired military dog Fod. Sadly, she passed away at the end of 2020 and it’s through the assistance of his RSL Sub Branch community that Adam has been able to find a way to remember his loyal companion.

Joe Cazey

Meet Joe

The VIP 12 Heroes Draw is dedicated to Joe Cazey, who served in the Royal Australian Engineers as a Field Engineer for 25 years, where he was deployed in Vietnam early in his career, and then went onto other locations, including Papua New Guinea, Singapore and the Middle East. Joe's story is a familiar one. Enlisting in the army straight out of school, he trained as a Field Engineer, and was deployed to Vietnam when he was only 20 years old. This posting would go on to have a lasting impact on his life – one that he wouldn't fully understand until decades later.

Joe Cazey Video

Meet Trudi

Trudi Lines, a veteran of the Australian Air Force, who was discharged in 2017 after almost 14 years of service. Suffering physical injuries, as well as PTSD, as a result of her deployments, Trudi faced a challenging time as she transitioned back to civilian life. Thanks to the support from RSL Queensland and Mates4Mates, she has been able to take part in equine therapy, the East Coast of Australia trek and represented Australia at the Invictus Games where she won gold! Trudi has been able to rebuild her life and feel strong again.


Meet Josh

Josh Pratt is a father of five who enlisted in the Australian Army at 17 years old. He was later deployed to Timor-Leste on a peace keeping mission. In 2006, he was medically discharged after suffering from numerous injuries. He was diagnosed with a degenerative lower lumbar that results in debilitating chronic back pain making everyday life difficult to manage. With the support of RSL Queensland and the Townsville Mates4Mates Family Recovery Centre, Josh and his family were able to receive physical, financial and mental support to help with recovery. 

Curtis Web

Meet Curtis

Curtis McGrath is a Paralympian, who served in the Australian Army as a Combat Engineer. In 2012, he was critically injured by an improvised explosive device while deployed in Afghanistan and lost both of his legs in a horrific blast. With the support of the Defence Force, RSL Queensland and his friends and family, Curtis was able to overcome this tragedy by keeping his focus on the positive things. That guided him to kayaking. He is now competing in sprint-kayaking and training for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics!

VIP Hero Curtis McGrath
RSL Art Union VIP Club Veteran

Meet Joe

Joe Devereux served as an Aircraft Technician in the Royal Australian Air Force for 16 years. Unfortunately, Joe became seriously ill whilst on a posting in Perth, WA, and was medically discharged. Sadly, since his discharge, Joe has struggled with the transition to civilian life, experiencing physical illness and mental health issues, and had difficulty finding employment. Through the support of the RSL Queensland employment program, Joe has secured a role as Site Engineer with St Hilliers in Townsville, North Queensland, and is on the road to recovery.

RSL Art Union Veteran VIP Club
Ashlea Henley RSL Art Union Veteran

Meet Ashlea

Ashlea Henley, an ex-aircraft technician in the Royal Australian Navy, enlisted at 18 years old and served for seven and a half years. Sadly, Ashlea was medically discharged in 2017 with a shoulder injury and diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Trojan's Trek, an RSL Queensland supported initiative, has helped her to connect with other veterans and played a pivotal part in her continued rehabilitation.
Ashlea Henley Military Service Video
Luke Mates for Mates RSL Art Union

Meet Luke

Luke Halabi, an ex-Bushmaster Driver in the Australian Army, enlisted at 18 years old and served for just under nine years.

Sadly, Luke was medically discharged and diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For years Luke has suffered from anxiety, anger, insomnia and feeling on edge.

Mates4Mates, an RSL Queensland funded initiative, has played a major part in helping Luke on his journey to recovery. Watch to find out more.

Luke Halabi RSL Art Union
Pennie Looker RSL Art Union

Meet Pennie

Pennie Looker, an ex-Psychological Examiner in the Army was medically discharged after serving for 19 years and was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Pennie faces challenges every day as she struggles with the effects of PTSD. This is the story of how Pennie was medically discharged after 19 years in the Australian Army, and the major stepping stones she has taken on her journey towards recovery.



Pennie Looker RSL Art Union
Ben RSL Art Union Veteran

Meet Ben & Cam

Ben and Cameron enlisted at a young age and served for over 10 years. Sadly, both men were medically discharged and diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

When asked how he would describe himself, Ben shares, “I used to be a warrior, then I turned into a worrier and now I’m on the road to becoming a peaceful warrior.”

Watch to find out more about Ben and Cameron's story. Thank you for your support.

Raemus Rover RSL Art Union Veterans