Walter Mikac and Dipper primed and ready to take on Cambodia trek

in Press Releases

Media Release - Wednesday 19 October, 2016

In just under a month, a group of 15 people will trek and cycle across the Cambodian countryside to raise money for the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.

Founding Patron Walter Mikac and former football star Robert “Dipper” DiPierdomenico will take part in the Keep Children Safe Cambodia Challenge, which involves participants traveling 250km between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh between November 6 and 17.

Former AFL footballer Jake Edwards has also joined the group for the initiative, which will aim to raise more than $100,000 for the Foundation’s care, prevention and advocacy programs. The trip is part of the Foundation’s Commemoration to Celebration events, marking the 12 month-period between the 20th anniversaries of the Port Arthur tragedy (April 1996) and the launch of the Foundation (April 1997).

The Foundation has helped protect almost 1.6 million children through its care, prevention and advocacy programs. But with 60,000 children in emergency accommodation every year, the Foundation still needs help to ensure more support can be provided.

The inspiration for the trip came from Sue Vittori who was an employee at the Port Arthur Historical Site in Tasmania on Sunday 28 April, 1996, when a man carrying semi-automatic weapons killed 35 people, including Alannah, 6, and Madeline Mikac, 3, and their mother Nanette. Ms Vittori, who has worked with the Foundation and Inspired Adventures to organise the trip, will also take part in the 250km jaunt.

Mr Mikac said he had been busy training for the trek to ensure he would be physically ready for the rigors of the Cambodian countryside. He said he had been touched that the Foundation, named in honour of his daughters, was still inspiring so many people to get involved and help protect children from violence and bullying.

“I think everyone involved in this trip can’t wait to get there and get started,” Mr Mikac said. “I’ve definitely been putting in the hard yards to makes sure I’m ready to go.”

Foundation Ambassador DiPierdomenico said he was working hard to be in the best shape for the trip, training most days, including a number of high intensity boxing sessions.

“I really am proud to be part of this trip doing whatever I can to support the Foundation,” DiPierdomenico said. “And while I’m not at Brownlow Medal-type fitness, I’m ready to go.”

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta praised the amazing dedication shown by the 15 participants in their preparation for the trip.

“This is truly a wonderful effort by every member of the group,” Ms Podesta “The money they will raise will go a long way to help protect children from violence and bullying right across the country.”

After the trek, several participants will fly back to attend the 19th Starry Starry Night on Saturday 19 November at the Crown Palladium. The event is the Foundation’s annual charity gala and the biggest in Melbourne.

For more information or to donate to the effort please go to or

Media inquiries contact Adrian Bernecich: 0416 045 701 or

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