Unbreakable Bonds 

Soldering iron and Acrylic on Board 

65 X 123cm 

2024 marks 25 years since the Australian led Interfet Peace Enforcement entered the chaos that was East Timor at the time. My husband was based in Baucau with 382 Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron to garrison the airfield to enable larger aircraft, such as the Antinov AN-124 and the Lockheed Tristar aircraft, to land and deliver much needed supplies. During the same time frame my husband’s best mate was on call for the 2RAR and SAS who were based in Delhi, for when there was a border incursion by the militia. Dave was deployed to be flown in by Black Hawk helicopter and winched into the jungle with his specially trained tracking dog and a minimum of 5 days of rations and water, plus ancillary equipment to track the Militia. 

My husband and his mate Dave met in Malaysia where they were both posted as Police dog handlers. The bond between the tracking dog and handler, however, is even more tightly wound. There needs to be an almost telepathic understanding of the dog, Dave needed to be able to read every gesture his dog made to ensure a successful operation.  

Mateship and loyalty is far from being solely a human experience.