Our People in VICDamien Tudehope - Frankston
A few years ago Frankston’s Damien Tudehope battled things out on the cricket and AFL ovals at Monterey High School. Now he’s based in one of the most war-torn pieces of land on earth.
Damien is in the Sinai peninsula, a member of the Australian contingent of the multi-national force and observers (MFO). Their job is to monitor the Egypt-Israeli Peace Treaty that was signed in 1979. Australians have been part of the MFO from the beginning.
Now a Sergeant, Damien has now specialised in administration but it wasn’t always that way. After graduating in 1989, he took on an upholstery apprenticeship and then worked for a while as a motor vehicle parts salesman before joining the Army at age 27.
“The Army seemed like a good challenge and long-term employment,” said Damien. “I liked being in infantry for the camaraderie and physical challenges of the job.
“After eight years I changed to Ordnance Corps to give my body a bit of a rest! I wanted a different challenge and I enjoy the more face-to-face aspects of the new job.”
It’s not Damien’s first overseas deployment. He was in East Timor in 2000,
“The first thing I did when I found out I was going to the Sinai was to do some reading on the area and its history.”
Now Damien is two months into his deployment and he has been working with different nations in the MFO. He’s also exploring different parts of the Middle East.
“Being part of the 93rd anniversary at Beersheba was a moving experience – attending such an event with delegates from all over the world was great.”
“Sharm-el-Sheik has been a great place to visit, as well as places like Jerusalem and the Dead Sea,” said Damien.
“But you can’t beat heading home to see the family.”