Originally posted: http://www.reportageonline.com/2011/05/captain-australia/
At night he patrols the streets of Sydney and Brisbane, helping those in need and preventing crime. Cassandra Sharp reports.
Part of a growing movement, Captain Australia is a Real Life Superhero, a civilian taking on a masked identity to patrol the streets and make the world a safer place.
“I don’t fight crime, I fight Evil (sic). Sometimes evil and crime are the same thing,” he says.
Captain Australia began developing his superhero persona after leaving the military in 2003; creating his current costume and launching his online journal two years ago.
Unlike Batman, Captain Australia is armed with simpler gadgets. He carries a torch, phone with GPS, first aid kit, camera, emergency cash supply, utility belt and canteen while on patrol. He’s also trained in martial arts.
The self-described ‘vigilante crime fighter’ began patrolling two years ago; walking the streets and helping anyone he came across in need. He said his patrolling is usually based around a goal, such as tracking down a teenager whose mother was concerned he was buying drugs from a squatter house.
While on patrol, he has stopped a rape and broken up brawling men. Captain Australia has also stopped many assaults.
On his site, he writes the world needs superheroes to act as champions for society
“. . . The world is slowly darkening like a rotting piece of fruit.”
“I want people to turn away from apathy and take ownership of the problems we see around us, both big-picture and day-to-day.” He wants to promote decency and kindness to change the world.
Captain Australia said his son is an inspiration . On his site he writes “for him, and all the future generations of the world, I must stand defiantly against darkness.”
Captain Australia wears a mask to protect his identity, and those of his friends and family. He said the mask also protects him from being defined by only his superhero identity and helps him avoid prosecution.
The Real Life Superhero movement is growing across the world, but the US in particular has become a hotspot for Real Life Super Heroes also known as RLSH. Many are turning to the internet to connect with others and form alliances like the Black Monday Society in Salt Lake City, Utah or the Union of Justice.
Sites such as World Superhero Registry list RLSHs in costume, their territory and their motivations for fighting for justice. On Real Life Superheroes.org, you can view tutorials on everything from copyrighting your superhero persona , the pros and cons of wearing a mask and how to create Kevlar reinforced costumes. Both sites have forums allowing superheroes to contact one another.
Captain Australia wrote that the overseas, online RLSH movement seemed to be made of good people. However, he said “. . . When they articulate their goals and purpose, it’s generally not convincing – but I still applaud that they are attracted to and pursue role playing that is about being good, noble, making a difference.’
His advice for people wanting to become real life superheroes is to avoid lycra and to be sincere about what you are doing.
“People will want to punch you in public.”
Captain Australia isn’t alone. A second man claiming to be Captain Australia from Penrith emerged earlier this year following a story on ‘A Current Affair’ about the former’s search for a sidekick. He claimed he was the true Captain Australia. The original superhero has responded by email and a comment on the article saying his name is trademarked and his identity as Captain Australia precedes the Penrith identity.
“The only Captain Australia has no plans to retire. “I will probably be Captain Australia for the rest of my life, in some way or another.” He is in talks with people about finding a sidekick and forming a superhero alliance in the future.
You can read about Captain Australia’s adventures in more detail or ask for his help at www.captainaustralia.net