In my run around Australia, the biggest challenge will be to reach the fundraising target of $60,000. This equates to a sum of $1 per kilometre for each of the four charities I’ve decided to support. Although most of the charities I’ve selected are household names in Australia, I thought it would be worthwhile to go though each one, and explain the great work they do and why I’ve chosen to support them with this run.
Beyond Blue ‘provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.’
There is a personal connection here. I have family members who in one way or another suffer from depression, anxiety, and unfortunately even suicidal moments. It’s a hard reality to face when you hear they can only think ‘ending it all’. Luckily, that hasn’t happened.
Beyond Blue, like many other agencies working to improve mental health and wellbeing, do great work, but it is sadly overlooked by many – until it effects them – or if there’s a vote in it.
On average, there are eight suicides every day – six of those are males. Males think it’s weak to whinge and admit they have problems. Many of those ‘macho’ fellows are high on the list of suicides. There is no weakness in realising your humanity. The best and first step is to talk about it.
In Australia, there are twice as many suicides in a year than road deaths, but it seems the opening a new road or bridge is far nicer on film than opening a clinic.
If only the government spent half the amount on mental health than they do on roads … wouldn’t that be amazing?
The Smith Family – ‘is a children’s charity helping disadvantaged Australian children to get the most out of their education, so they can create better futures for themselves.’
Yet another personal connection. My childhood was not so rosy – separated parents and all that. Growing up in the ‘60’s and 70’s were tough for a single immigrant mother raising two children with no government/welfare funding. The Smith Family were there on many occasions, helping us and other families in need.
Today, their great work focuses on disadvantaged children, and doing what they can to assist in getting a decent education.
This is my small way to pay back the assistance they showed us when in need.
‘Although Australia is a land of abundant wealth, many Indigenous Australians face a lack of opportunity and access. The GO Foundation provides scholarships to Indigenous students from kindergarten through to university, in public and independent schools, to students who live with family, in community and on country. Through a GO scholarship, our students access the tools and resources they need to ensure their journey through school is as rich and rewarding as possible.
With their scholarship funds, our students can cover their educational needs, including lap tops, Wi-Fi access at home, sporting equipment, musical instruments, excursions and school trips, and food at the canteen. The GO scholarship is an entry point to the GO Ecosystem, a model of collaborative impact where our partners work with us to provide GO students with a broad range of opportunities.’ – GO Foundation
‘To provide excellence in aeromedical and primary health care across Australia.’ – Royal Flying Doctors Service
As many would know, Australia is a vast country. The roads are generally very long and dusty – and the distances are far too expansive for medical professionals to arrive where needed in time. Even by plane the trip can be several hours one-way, but much preferable to the only other option. (until we get the teleporter working).
They do amazing work covering these massive distances to remote localities, and running a fleet of aircraft fitted out with medical equipment costs a great deal to maintain. The funds I raise will be put to great use, to keep them in the air.
(Oh … and you never know, I might need them when I’m doing my run, so best to keep them as friends …)