Our People in SARoelof Kloosterman - Woodside, Mt Barker
Woodside’s Roelof Kloosterman will soon be home after four months in Army Reserve uniform in the Solomon Islands.
The Sergeant is part of the Australian contingent to the 15-nation Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
RAMSI has been in the Solomon Islands since 2003 at the invitation of the Solomon Islands Government to assist with bringing stability to the country.
Roelof is the Chief Clerk for the 180-strong Australian contingent and is responsible for the administration of all the soldiers there.
At almost 50, he is also the second oldest member of the contingent, having joined the Army in 1978 and served as both a regular soldier and a reservist.
“My father was a holocaust survivor and that influenced my decision to join the Army,” said Roelof.
“I decided that at least one of my parents’ children should give something back to their adopted country.
“My sister and her husband later joined the Army Reserve in Sydney as well.”
The deployment was anything but routine for Roelof.
“One highlight of the Solomons was working with soldiers from other countries,” said Roelof. “That and the fact that I still learn something new everyday!”
Soon Roelof will be enjoying some quality time with his partner Kate Rosewell, daughter Jordie, son Ty and a few walks with his golden retriever Cocoa.“I’m also looking forward to a few quiet ports down at the Bedford Hotel,” he said.