IN MEMORY: Members of the 7th Battalion of The Royal Australian Regiment (back) Lt Col Shane Gabriel, Corp. Leon Gray, Corp. Giancarlos Taraborrelli, Corp. Brett Kukura, Lance Corp. David Cox, (front) Random Acts of Kindness host Scott Cam, Lt Tom Larter, Lt Ash Judd and WO1 Dave Allen.
BY SARAH LEE Last week the Channel Nine program Random Acts of Kindness surprised Victoria Hopkins, whisking her away for a week of pampering, rest and some much needed family time. In her absence, soldiers from7th Battalion of The Royal Australian Army joined the team from the television program to make over the backyard of her Mullaboy Close home.
On March 16, 2009, Mrs Hopkins’ husband Corporal Mathew Hopkins, a member of the 7RAR, was killed in action in Afghanistan while serving with the 1st Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force. He was 21-years-old. On February 7, 2009, when home in Newcastle on leave, Mat and Victoria were married in the morning. Later that afternoon, their first child, Alexander, was born.
Sunday, February 7, 2010, was always going to be a difficult day for Mrs Hopkins. With that in mind, Cpl. Hopkins’ mum, Bronwyn Carter, nominated her for the program and the timing of the make-over could not have been better. Wanting to give her daughter-in-law and grandson Alex something from Mat for the couple’s first wedding anniversary and Alex’s first birthday, Mrs Carter sought the help of the team on the program.