Present and former servicemembers discover neighborhood, help and understanding via Army Brotherhood Motorbike Membership


Nathan ‘Brick’ Darvill joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2000 and had a adorned 20-year profession.

However he, like many others, felt misplaced after leaving the navy.

“The navy turns into one thing you do day-after-day, you are in routine, you’ve got bought the identical folks round you, not so much modifications from day-to-day,” Mr Darvill stated.

“Once you go away the navy, you’ve got bought an empty area.”

However being part of the Army Brotherhood Motorbike Membership modified the sensation of loneliness into considered one of acceptance and help.

The brotherhood is comprised of serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Pressure (ADF) and Commonwealth Forces members, together with their households and associates.

It was shaped in 2009 with only one sub-branch in Australia.

Right now, there are over 20 sub-branches throughout the nation, with not less than one in each state and territory. Canberra’s group has simply over 20 members and counting.

Members of the Army Brotherhood say the membership provides them help from like-minded people.(ABC Information: Emma Thompson)

Grahame ‘Thommo’ Thompson retired from the Royal Australian Air Pressure earlier this 12 months, after working as a flight engineer and a reservist.

He stated being part of the Army Brotherhood meant he was nonetheless with “like-minded” folks, who’ve “bought the identical tales”.

“Loads of them have been via the identical good instances and the identical dangerous instances,” Mr Thompson stated.

“They’ll simply come alongside and speak about it, and never fear about what they are saying or who’s going to sentence them for something they’ve carried out.”

The group in Canberra meets as soon as a month and takes rides via town and its surrounds.

However just lately the group travelled additional afield to Tasmania, the place they met up with different sub-branches from Tasmania and Melbourne.

six people in motorcycle gear sit around a table talking.
Throughout their rides, they take a break to take a seat down and chat.(ABC Information: Emma Thompson)

“It warms your coronary heart understanding there’s loads of different people who find themselves battling the identical issues that you simply’re battling,” Mr Darvill stated.

“It is about that brotherhood.”

Throughout each journey, there’s at all times time to cease, share a drink or a meal, and catch up. For lots of the members, it is the principle purpose they joined the group.

“We’ve got some members who’ve been dealt a powerful blow with their psychological well being,” Mr Darvill stated.

“As a substitute of them happening a darkish path, they’ve had the help of different members, which has enabled them to develop and to study from the issues that set off them.”

A man in motorcycle gear and a helmet sits on a motorbike giving two thumbs up.
Thai Charlie says help from the group has helped his psychological well being.(Provided)

Thai Charlie joined the Royal Australian Air Pressure in 2001, and labored as a chef and a translator all through his profession.

He stated he battled a “main despair assault” after leaving the navy, however was capable of really feel like he slot in after becoming a member of the motorbike group.

Mr Charlie stated it was essential to get “all of the issues that I’ve in my chest” out.

After speaking to a different member who shared the identical downside, Mr Charlie stated they had been capable of “assist one another struggle despair, and bodily ache as nicely”.

Mr Thompson stated the group had additionally labored to help one another to search out the fitting data or level somebody within the course to get extra assist.

“When you’re out of the navy, it is extraordinarily onerous to get that pathway again into the data you require, until anyone else has been via it,” he stated.

Two men in motorcycle gear smiles with an arm around one another.
Grahame Thompson (proper) says the group helps one another to search out assist after they want it. (Provided)

However the help the group gives extends past simply the month-to-month rides.

“It may be as little as if somebody’s transferring home, simply getting all collectively and serving to them transfer home. Takes the stress away,” Mr Darvill stated.

Mr Thompson stated a stand-out reminiscence for him was being invited to behave as a guard of honour for an ex-military member who died.

“We turned up for the funeral and his household was so grateful that there have been folks from the navy there to see him off,” he stated.

“It is nice to supply help to anybody I can.”



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