RAR Overwatch was created by Kyle Tyrrell, Kevin Lanaghan, Dean Bliss and Paul Sexton in early 2013 as a boots on the ground first response organisation for former members of Royal Australian Regiment, Special Air Service Regiment and 2 Commando Regiment, brought about by a spate of suicides within the veteran community.
In the first quarter of 2015 the original focus of RAR Overwatch changed to Tri Service and the name was changed to Overwatch Australia to reflect that. This expansion, although increasing our target population has not changed the core mission of Overwatch Australia.
Robert Harris served in with the Australian Army for approximately 15 years, with 5 years in 3 RAR.After leaving the Army Robert was a Prison Officer in Tasmania working in Operational areas and with high risk inmates, both male and female. His current role is as a Partners in Recovery Support Facilitator at 360 Health and Community and he works closely with people with severe and persistent, complex needs.Robert is the President of Overwatch Support Association Australia Inc. and is responsible for liaison with State and Federal Departmental bodies.
Ivan Elgersma served with 3 RAR in the early 90s. Over the past 14 years he has been heavily involved in the veteran community on RSL committees, as RSL sub branch president and on TPI committees. Ivan was a Director for the TPI federation and the Assistant Secretary, and on the Young Veterans Committee.
As well as being the Vice President of the Overwatch Executive Committee Ivan has a close working relationship with DVA in WA and is our liaison with them for veteran claims matters.
Our civilian input to the Overwatch Australia Board, Karen Court is the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran and a defence wife of both Army & Navy. With a background in Nursing and more recent professional endeavours working with discharging and discharged defence personnel with career and CV Coaching her networks across the civilian and defence communities offer a different skill set to our Executive Committee. Karen is our Company Secretary/Treasurer and the National Business Systems Coordinator.
Steven Mateljan joined the Army in 1995 and left Army life to pursue his civilian career in 1999. He served as a Trooper - Crewman/Driver/Sig in both M113A1 & ASLAV 25 Variants, and also as a Reconnaissance Scout in C Squadron, 1 Troop of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Reconnaissance).Since leaving the Army, Steve has pursued many paths including working as an emergency service officer and medic on several mine sites. He has worked in and run Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) and currently is the lead trainer in an RTO that provides emergency response training for mine site emergency teams.Steve is an active volunteer in the State Emergency Service and helps to coordinate the Royal Australian Armoured Corps (RAAC) Overwatch group, along with assisting other groups or members if required.
Paul Sexton joined the Army Reserves in 1991 as an Artillery Command Post Field Operator, and corps transferred to RAInf when he enrolled at the University of New England. After 5 years at Sydney University Regiment, he was transferred to A6RAR in 1998. After discharging in 2000, Paul worked his way through many industries including being a Casino Dealer and Business Development in the Transport and Banking industry, both as employee and self employed businessman.Paul has been committed to grass roots community based organisations since 2008 when he started as a Manager to a grand final winning junior rugby league team and assisted the development and growth of cultural rugby league tournaments in Qld.Having been through depression and financial hardship himself during his life, Paul is committed to using his life experiences and professional development to assist all military family, past and present, as a form of Advance Party for those returning from deployment or struggling to find the networks in their community to best support them in the next phase of their lives.
Marcus Kirwan spent nine years in the 2nd/4th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment during the Big Peace. Although he never deployed overseas on operations he is deeply committed to the Overwatch mission. Marcus has been National Coordinator of Overwatch Australia since its creation at the beginning of 2015, before that he was an active member of the founding group RAR Overwatch.