Facing Off On Footy Field


On a cold Saturday afternoon at Portsea Oval, RMC-Duntroon, veteran Rugby players from the ACT region played against the Air Force Rugby Union (AFRU) Mirages for the Bravery Trust Trophy.

Every year, the AFRU Mirages face off against the ACT Veterans Rugby Club (ACT Vets) in an effort to raise money for a nominated charity.

This year, the nominated charity was the Bravery Trust, a national military charity that provides current and ex-serving members of the ADF with financial aid, financial education and financial counselling.

The AFRU Mirages, made up of a combination of full-time serving members, reservists and Australian Public Service members, have raised a significant amount of money for a number of charities over the years.

Squadron Leader Matt King, operations manager for the over-35s AFRU Mirages, emphasised the strong, charitable impact that these games have had.

“This is the 17th year we’ve held these games and we’ve collectively raised almost $60,000 for various charities, including Legacy Canberra and Forge Through in the past,” Squadron Leader King said.

The ACT Vets, consisting of veterans from all walks of life, come together to keep active and play a number of charity games throughout the year.

Since 1994, the ACT Vets have raised more than $750,000 for their charities of choice, including Legacy, the George Gregan Foundation Menslink, Clare Holland House and the Pediatrics Unit, Canberra Hospital.

Matt Barnett, secretary of ACT Vets Rugby Club, highlighted the importance of these charity games and the camaraderie they bring to the players.

“For me, I just got out of the Air Force last year after 34 years. Both the ACT Vets and AFRU are fantastic organisations and it’s great to see my old mates in the Air Force when they come out and put the boots on,” Mr Barnett said.

Supporters and family members watched on from the sidelines as the game progressed.

Attendees included Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Robert Chipman, Warrant Officer of the Air Force Ralph Clifton and Bravery Trust Chief Executive Officer Garth Callender.

The game concluded with the traditional score of nine-all, symbolising the light-hearted, friendly nature of the annual charitable game.

/Public Release. View in full here.