The Australian Government has recently responded to a request from the Western Australian government for the provision of Defence support to bushfire fighting efforts in the South West of WA.
Soldiers from the Australian Army’s 13 Brigade were deployed to Manjimup to establish temporary accommodation for fire-fighters and possible evacuees from the surrounding area that were threatened by the fire danger.
Private Emmalisa Lloyd, from Greenwood, is a driver with the 10 Transport Company and was one of those soldiers deployed.
The 25-year-old former Perth Modern Senior High School has been in the Reserves for three years and has just commenced continuous full-time service.
“I'm sure the Firie fighters are extremely grateful for the community support they are receiving,” Emmalisa said.
“With the 'tent city' we've constructed for them, they have a bed that they can use straight away, just drop their gear and rest after the efforts they have done fighting the fires.”
“I’m so proud that I’ve had the opportunity to support them as they assist the communities that have been affected by the fires in the south west region.”
The Joondalup local said members of her family were major influencers in her joining the Army Reserve - she has an uncle and two cousins in the military, plus her partner is in the Navy.
“My family is really supportive,” she said.
“When my partner goes away to sea, I understand what he does and when I need to do my role in the Army, he's supportive as well.
“It's great having a partner who understands the role that I do, and the commitment and dedication it takes to do the work.”
Previously a property manager in a real estate agency and stuck in the office for most of the time, Emmalisa wanted to try something challenging and took the chance to work outside of the office environment.
“My former work colleagues think it's a great thing that I'm doing, they could always tell when I’d been on a weekend away with the Reserves,” she said.
“I would be grinning from ear to ear, they could see how much I enjoyed it and they have really supported my change to a full-time commitment with the Reserves.”
Approximately 40 Army soldiers from the Brigade’s Irwin Barracks at Karrakatta, travelled in 10 trucks to transport and construct the tent accommodation in the township of Manjimup.
The soldiers erected 20 tents and camp stretchers and provided tables, chairs and lighting to support up to 200 temporary occupants.