OVERWATCH AUSTRALIA (OA) Inc. is a not for profit national organisation tasked to reach out and assist current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families.
Its primary mission is to take a “boots on the ground” approach to assist personnel who are in danger of self harm, or are in trouble with the law, or are in financial difficulties or are in hospital or just need someone to visit. It also guides people in the right direction for services which Overwatch does not provide.
The Overwatch concept and organisation was initiated by Kyle Tyrrell, Kevin Lanaghan, Dean Bliss and Paul Sexton who in early 2013 reacted to a spate of suicides within the veterans’ community. They initially created an RAR Overwatch as a 24/7 response and support organisation for former members of Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) and 2 Commando Regiment. Its success soon expanded to today’s OVERWATCH AUSTRALIA with cover to all military services (Army, Navy and Air Force).
OA is one of very few crisis organisations that pro-actively identifies and communicate direct with those in need of crisis assistance rather than waiting for their request.
It has two volunteer member classes: gatherers of information and first responders. Most volunteers are former or current serving members of the ADF.
Overwatch members are constantly looking on social media for “cries for help” and when discovered the Command Team will, on verification, task the nearest First Responders to act speedily.
Each state and territory is an Area of Operations that is run by a State Co-ordinator. A list is kept of persons who are willing to respond to an incident, SOP’s are drafted and strictly adhered to, triple 0 is automatically notified with details gathered by the team if any suicidal action is suspected of being committed.
Due to the nature of the work every OA volunteer is carefully vetted before acceptance. First Responders are trained in the DVA Operation Life suicide prevention course.
Once engaged, OA will act as a bridge to alert public support services (ambulance, police, health, welfare, community, etc.), VVCS and relevant Ex Services Organisations who are able to assist with ongoing support.
Today, OVERWATCH AUSTRALIA has an expanding national support network of over 5000 volunteers (3700 Observers and 1,528 First Responders).
ADSO endorses OA and encourages all members and their families to support OA by becoming an active member
To join as a volunteer follow these instructions:
1. go to your own facebook and in the search window type in RAR Overwatch, a drop down box will appear with selections, click on the RAR Overwatch closed group.
2. That will take you to the RAR Overwatch Facebook page where you will see in the picture a window box that’s called Join, click on it.
3. You will receive a personal message (pm) on your facebook asking for verification. Reply to it
4. A further pm will be sent to you explaining the OA operation – welcome
To join as a financial member go here
Become a boot on the ground.