A team of 13 people trekked and cycled across Cambodia for 11 days, already raising close to $90,000 for the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.
The group, including Founding Patron Walter Mikac, Ambassador Robert “Dipper” DiPierdomenico and former AFL footballer Jake Edwards, travelled 250km from Siem Reap and Phnom Penh between November 6 and 17.
The Foundation was launched by Mr Mikac in April 1997 – 12 months after his daughters and wife Nanette were killed, along with 32 others, at Port Arthur by a man carrying semi-automatic weapons.
During the past 19 years, the Foundation has helped protect almost 1.6 million Australian children through its care, prevention and advocacy programs.
Sue Vittori – who was an employee at the Port Arthur Historical Site at the time of the tragedy – developed and also participated in this year’s trip, entitled the Keep Children Safe Cambodia Challenge.
Ms Vittori said she was thrilled with the result, knowing the money would be used in such a positive way. She said the timing was especially fitting given the Foundation was in the middle of marking the 12-month period between the 20th anniversaries of Port Arthur and its own launch.
“We've all had such an inspirational 11 days,” Ms Vittori said. “It was so fulfilling for my husband Dario and I to be able to take part in an amazing experience with an incredible group of people who were so supportive of each other and the work of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
“This great bunch of people will always share an important connection and friendship after what we've collectively achieved in supporting such a wonderful charity.”
Mr Mikac described the trip as enjoyable, challenging and poignant. He added that he was always amazed at how so many people still made such fantastic contributions – both financially and physically – to the Foundation, named in honour of his daughters.
“It was tough work physically but the experience was so fulfilling,” Mr Mikac said. “The Cambodian people were so warm and welcoming and helped us create such beautiful memories.”
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said the efforts of all 13 trekkers were an inspiration and would go a long way to change the lives of children right across Australia.
Money raised from the Keep Children Safe Cambodia Challenge will help fund various Foundation programs dedicated to keeping children safe from bullying and violence.
For more information or to donate to the effort please go to amf.org.au or inspiredadventures.com.au/events/amf-cambodia-2016
Media inquiries contact Adrian Bernecich: 03 9697 0683, 0416 045 701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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