Surfing the shores near Drummond Cove will not be likely for Geraldton’s Rhys Maddren any time soon, because he is a long way away from his hometown with work on exercise Pacific Partnership (PP14) in Dili, Timor-Leste.
The former Geraldton Grammar school student said he is revelling in his role at his construction site in Dili, Timor-Leste and also the chance to be with tradesmen from different nationalities.
LCPL Rhys Maddren joined the Australian Army as a carpenter in 2004 after he completed his apprenticeship as a carpenter in Ringwood.
LCPL Maddren is a carpenter with 21 Construction Squadron of the Australian Army’s 6 Engineering Support Regiment in Brisbane.
LCPL Maddren said that his dad is a plumber that he helped his dad from an early age.
"I always liked to work with my hands and being in the Australian army as an electrician gives me the opportunity to do both things I like," he said.
LCPL Maddren is part of a team of engineers that are building am emergency room at the Comoro Health Centre, in Dili, East Timor on PP14.
PP14 is an annual US-sponsored humanitarian and civic assistance exercise aimed at strengthening international relationships with partner and host nations in the Asia-Pacific.
As part of PP14 Australian Defence Force construction engineers, medical practitioners have deployed to Timor-Leste.
LCPL Maddren said that he has really enjoyed my work here and that it is good to help build something that will have a lasting effect for the local community.
"I really enjoy the work atmosphere and how well we get along to see this project finished," he said.
"I’m an electrician. We’ve been pretty much block laying the whole time, blocking up the walls gutting the gable. So I have not had much of a chance to do some electrical work but it has been fun."
LCPL Maddren other passion is going to the beach or surfing back at home.
"Being out on the water has always been my passion, especially going sailing with my dad," he said.
LCPL Maddren is very proud that his dad is about to go on an adventure of his lifetime to sail around the world. His team mates and everyone wish him all the best.