Systematiq’s back yard blitz offers a much needed helping hand

By Sascha Sinclair, Systematiq.







Eileen Jones and the garden team, along with an unexpected discovery in the garden.

On Friday the 31st March members of the Systematiq QLD team joined soldiers from the 6th Royal Australian Regiment and volunteers from Legacy to participate in the Legacy Brisbane – Back Yard Assist Program.

As part of Systematiq’s support of the veteran community and their families, we saw an opportunity to contribute to a great cause by taking a day out of the office and coming together with other volunteers to lend a hand on some much-needed garden work. And by all accounts, the volunteers got just as much out of the experience as they put in.

The activity was coordinated by Paul Gibbs, QLD Regional Manager in conjunction with the Legacy Foundation and saw a total of 12 volunteers attend the house of Eileen Jones, the widow of an ADF veteran in Thornlands.

Paul Gibbs, Michael Patman, Matt Farrell, Kyle Forster, and Ben Burrows all arrived at the property on a sunny Friday morning and began work before the day’s heat kicked in.

Matt Farrell, commented on the size of the task: “From the moment we arrived at the property, it was clear that the property needed a lot of work to bring it back to life. Luckily for us, we came prepared. With a handful of Systematiq, ADF members from 6RAR personnel, along with some local MP’s, light work was made out of a huge task.”

Systematiq donated funding and staff to enable four 4x6m bins to be delivered to the property and filled with green waste from Eileen’s garden. The team used hedge trimmers, whipper snippers, lawn mowers and good old fashioned elbow grease to cut down and rip out an overgrown and dense back yard, restoring it to its former glory.

“It’s deeply satisfying to be able to support the community, particularly the Veteran community that has served the nation in its time of need, and now needs a little help in return,” said Paul Gibbs.

The back yard was considered a jungle to say the least, and even came with a surprise python that was found under a fern! Luckily it was already deceased and posed no threat, although it certainly made a few people jump.

Along with the 7 soldiers from 6RAR, the team managed to move an extraordinary amount of green waste and easily filled the four bins.









Lunch was provided and quickly devoured by the team. In total, approximately 60 human hours of effort were expended in cleaning up the garden and the results were fantastic. Eileen came outside for a cameo appearance in the final photos and was extremely grateful. All in all, the entire activity was highly rewarding and was a great day to get out of the office and give back to the community.

“The whole team pulled together and worked hard, and the result was transformative on a long-neglected yard,” Paul commented.

Matt added his thoughts: “Being a part of such a worthy cause and being afforded the opportunity to help a member of the extended Defence family was an honour and an absolute privilege. To see the joy on Eileen’s face at the end of the day, made all of the blood, sweat, insect bites and pain seem so minor. The resilience of the whole team, in particular, the 6RAR members was truly amazing to see and be a part of.”

The Legacy Back Yard Assist Program now runs on the last Friday of every month, and focuses on providing a safe, accessible, and easily maintained yard environment for Legacy families, especially elderly and isolated dependents who do not have regular access to support. It is intended to give independence to the families of those who have served our country and restore pride and enjoyment to their homes.

Matt commented on the importance of this program, but more broadly the power of giving back: “This task may be looked at as a tidy up of a property for some, however to me, it highlights the need for humanity to slow down and check on the person next door. To offer a helping hand where needed or to just sit and listen. I truly believe giving some time can make such a profound impact and can completely change one’s perspective on what is important in life. Defence has and will always be a huge part of my life and I will continue to invest in to helping the community in any way I can.”

Well done, Paul, Matt and the Systematiq team on a long hard day of work, and for contributing to such a worthy activity.