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The 25th Great Endeavour Rally ended in style on Thursday July 19 as 220 intrepid adventurers rolled into Yeppoon after motoring through scenic, sparse and challenging sections of north-west Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Teams from all over Queensland and as far afield as Sydney have battled rough and rugged terrain in one of Australia’s longest-standing and most successful charity motoring events. Their aim was to raise dust and dollars for Endeavour Foundation – and with more than $560,000 now donated to support 3,350 people with a disability across Queensland and in Sydney, it’s definitely a case of mission accomplished.
However it was more a case of raising mud than dust this year as inclement weather turned bush tracks into rivers of mud. Despite the hiccups the Great Endeavour Rally spirit prevailed and all 220 participants - rally virgins and veterans alike - arrived in Yeppoon with satisfied smiles and memories that will last a lifetime.
“Usually we say we’re raising dust and dollars for people with a disability, but this year we raised mud and moolah,” laughed Endeavour Foundation Events Coordinator Joel Stephens, who has spent the past two weeks roughing it in the Australian bush. “But it’s all done so that people with a disability can have the choices of an ordinary life.”
The 25th Great Endeavour Rally kicked off in Toowoomba on July 10 with 100 participants, including 10 Endeavour Foundation clients who were revved up for the outback trip of a lifetime. They travelled almost 4,500km via the Gulf of Carpentaria and stopped for an unforgettable couple of days taking in stunning Karumba - where the outback meets the sea. Along the way they experienced bush camping, dirt-road driving and rough weather conditions.
From impromptu charity auctions to fancy dress parties and lengthy diversions, these teams have seen it all – especially the 120 tough nuts who took their 2WD cars where no 2WD has ever gone before on the Super Endeavour Rally. This ultimate outback motoring challenge, run every four years, is longer and tougher than the Great Endeavour Rally, with teams departing Charleville on July 2 and making their way to Yeppoon on a 9,000km trip that took in the Northern Territory and East Arnhem Land.
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the Super this year was the opportunity to explore Arnhem Land, meeting with Traditional Owners and being welcomed to country by local Aboriginal Elders. Bush camps on Aboriginal land, mud crabs over the campfire, singsongs, breakdowns and lots and lots of river crossings were also on the menu before the Super Endeavour Rally met up with the Great Endeavour Rally in Karumba on July 13. Both rallies then travelled south together towards Yeppoon.
“It was a real privilege to travel through traditional Aboriginal lands and we were really made welcome,” said Mr Stephens. “We’ve really enjoyed the support of Indigenous Australians as we’ve spread the word for people with a disability.”
This year the funds raised by big-hearted Great and Super Endeavour Rally participants will help Endeavour Foundation build a new food handling facility with state-of-the-art equipment at Wacol, providing meaningful employment opportunities for people with a disability.
Andree Heslin, Media & Communications Officer
Ph (07) 3908 7257, Mob 0429 065 440, email firstname.lastname@example.org