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“Hey Mel Reeling Veterans is looking for current and ex-defence females to enter a team in the Girls
Gone Fishing Tournament”

And just like that I applied, not knowing much about Reeling Veterans and only hearing great things
about the GGF competition.

I was selected and what followed was one of the most fun, social and memorable weekends I have had in a very long time.

Michael and the Reeling Veterans Darwin team were super accommodating and ensured that everything was organised, we were so well catered for there was nothing for us girls to do except fish and relax – they even did our washing!

I arrived out to the camp on the Wednesday prior to the start of the competition and met the girls in my team whom I had never met before, which can always be a little unnerving……However I knew instantly these girls were my people all being current and ex-defence there is just an instant familiarity and understanding, I can’t explain it – there just always is.

The fishing was magnificent, we got plenty of fish on the boat, but we worked hard for them – thirsty work it was too!

The fishing competition itself was so well organised, we met some amazing ladies from other teams and were social butterflies most of the coming days – there was plenty of laughs, good tunes and conversations that are NOT for this article.

Above all though, I learnt what Reeling Veterans is about – to me it is about support in an unobtrusive and unassuming environment. It is about talking and sharing with like-minded people whilst out on the water.

Somehow fishing and talking with some good tunes creates a comfort zone that is both social but also conducive to having a hard conversation if you needed.

I cannot tell you how much I believe this service should be supported well into the future, in my
experience not all of us are able to talk about the tough stuff or good at seeking out formalised
support within a clinical setting - but at Reeling Veterans there is no need to.

Reeling Veterans combines support, socialisation, fishing, getting back to basics, good honest fun and loads of belly laughs all together and somehow it just works!

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