Community & Environment |
Gurkhas Australia



16th April, 2017

Scores of Sydney high school students will come together next month in a unique show of support for some of Australia’s most courageous and loyal allies, the Gurkhas, at St Joseph’s College in Hunters Hill.

The Year 12 students from schools, including Joeys and Scots College, will work with elite troops from the Royal Gurkha Rifles and the Australian Army on a series of challenges designed to develop their leadership and team skills.

The events of Sunday 21st of May are part of a broader effort by the charity, Gurkhas Australia, to raise funds to help rebuild 24 Gurkha veterans’ homes that were destroyed in the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal.

The Charity’s Director, Chris Hartley, says Gurkhas have stood beside Australian soldiers in almost every conflict since Gallipoli.

“They have a reputation for courage, warmth and loyalty that is almost unrivalled and now it is our turn to help them and their families in their time of need,” he said.

The Gurkha Challenge is being developed and facilitated by Unilever’s Leadership and Organisational Development team, with support from the Australian Army and several other organisations, including Landrover Australia.

The students will be split into separate mixed teams, each with a member of the Australian Army and the Royal Gurkha Rifles. One challenge will involve teams building a temporary house under time pressure.

It’s hoped that the Schools’ Gurkha Challenge and a similar Corporate Challenge the following day will raise significant funds for the Gurkha Welfare Trust, which is managing the rebuilding work.

Dr Hartley said he’s been deeply touched by the level of support from across business and government.

"Gurkhas are remarkable men and it is our privilege to help these ‘brothers in arms’, their families and communities in their time of need,” said St Joseph’s College Headmaster, Ross Tarlinton.

The devastation caused by the earthquakes resulted in the deaths of many Gurkha veterans and widows, water projects were impacted, hundreds of schools were devastated and 1700 veterans’ homes were damaged or destroyed.

“This is indeed our time to step up and I invite any high school who’d like to take up the challenge to get in touch,” said Dr Hartley.

Further information:
Dr Chris Hartley 0490 774 244

John A Thompson 0407 041 041