After serving in the Police Force in NSW and New Zealand, Mel decided to join the Australian Navy at 41. While in the navy, she was subjected to extreme abuse, was medically discharged with PTSD, depression and anxiety, and became homeless.
Through her work with the Thoroughbred and Veteran Welfare Alliance from 2015, she has regained her confidence and sense of purpose, and in 2019 published her book Painting Beauty with the Ashes and the prequel story of Scott’s work in Conflict to Hope.
Unfortunately, the stress and trauma that mounted over the years caused Mel’s physical health to deteriorate and she could no longer continue with the horses. Instead, she has given many hours to help behind the scenes with Scott and also helped Nick Barkla as his Associate Producer. Mel has gone on to produce her own award-winning short film about her younger life story.
Debbie and Daniel Dixon
Owners of Dixieland accommodation in Berrima and Heartland Horse farm in Sutton Forest. Debbie and Daniel have enthusiastically supported Horse Aid since we were introduced in 2023. Their generosity with their time, resources, connections and energy knows no bounds. They have together created a multitude of successful award-winning businesses that meet the demand of the community they serve. Daniel and Debbie’s love for people is evident in the way they operate their businesses and engage with people. They surround themselves with like-minded, passionate, enthusiastic and accountable people who share the same dreams, goals and drive.
Operations Manager and Assistant Horse Trainer for Heartland Horse Farm, Sutton Forest NSW. Caitlin has been working with Scott Brodie for two years. She started riding at the age of nine and won money on the radio to buy her first horse. From there she has built a passion for dressage and starting young horses. Caitlin is also a qualified social worker–a field of care she was drawn to after spending five months in Africa as a volunteer when she was 18.
A NSW Policeman for twenty years including eleven of those years in the Mounted Police with Scott Brodie. Bill and Scott have subsequently worked together training security horses at the Australian Jockey Club and establishing the Racing NSW Thoroughbred Retraining Trust. Along the way Bill has mentored many volunteers and has worked with Scott to help our heroes through teaching horsemanship skills. Bill has competed internationally in Olympic wrestling and trained his own children to successfully compete internationally in Olympic wrestling and weight lifting.
He was drawn to horses as a child as his father had polo cross ponies.
Isaac joined the Australian Army at age 18. He served for five and a half years in Surveillance and Target Acquisition – Royal Australian Artillery. Voluntarily discharged from the army, he worked at various jobs including construction planning, truck driving, plant operating, and as a stockman.
He bought his first horse ‘Koda’ in 2016, and the following year met Scott Brodie and began volunteering with Scott. With his increasing interest in horsemanship based therapy, Isaac teamed with Scott to form the therapy program Healing with Horsemanship. This is to offer horsemanship training to anyone interested in equine facilitated learning. Isaac now competes in dressage with his off the track Thoroughbred ‘Ace,’ and is looking forward to eventing.
"It is our absolute pleasure and privilege to partner with Horse Aid. The work and results that they achieve with our Veterans and service personnel is invaluable and seeing the results and great work return full circle to the horses is inspiring. We look forward to seeing this programme continue long into the future."
— The Steadfast Foundation.