Great Endeavour Rally teams battle dust on iconic outback adventure

02 September 2015

Seventy-two teams on the Great Endeavour Rally are clocking up the kilometres and battling through lots of dust as they trek their way through the state’s drought-ravaged west and up to North Queensland.

On Saturday morning, many of the teams dressed in colourful costumes and in flamboyant rally cars were flagged off on the 3,000 kilometre trek, making their way through Yarraman, Bell and Augathella. The teams are making their way to tropical Airlie Beach tomorrow afternoon and back via Stanage Bay to the finish line in Rockhampton on July 25th.

Endeavour Foundation supported employee from Redcliffe, Ben Ketley, had been anticipating going on the outback adventure for the past few years, and his parents turned out to support him as he set off on the event.

“It’s so exciting, I couldn’t sleep the night before the flag off,” Ben said. “Mum and Dad are also really excited and my Aunt and Uncle rang me from Armidale to wish me good luck,” Ben said.

It has been a gruelling few days for the crew, driving through low visibility due to dust in some parts, car breakdowns and running over potholes.

“One car went down the edge of a ravine near Mount Mee and officials had to winch it back onto the road. Another car blew out its axle near Roma and the team had to jump into other cars to continue on their journey,” Rally Coordinator Paul Purcell said.

“The Army and Brisbane Motor Auctions mobile workshop have worked tirelessly to help rally teams out of tough spots and get them back on the road safely,” Paul said.

All teams are provided with prior advice on driving in various conditions and make safety modifications to their vehicles including installing roll bars.

An additional five army vehicles as well as a crew including a qualified paramedic, a technical director, a spares truck and mechanical support are on hand throughout the event to deal with any medical incidents.

Each team has packed extra warm clothes, while they camp out at remote areas in chilling temperatures.

“We’re having a great time so far, plenty of dust and this morning it was not so cold thankfully, and it has been a little bit more better than being minus 2 degrees the other morning,” Great Endeavour Rally driver Gavan Johnson said.

The event is aiming to raise enough money for fundraising goals for the rally, which include an edible community garden and wheelchair accessible vehicle at Airlie Beach Learning and Lifestyle hub and for supply communication and education tools such as iPads, software and accessories for people that Endeavour Foundation supports in Ipswich, the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

So far, the rally has raised more than $403, 600, and if it reaches its fundraising target, more than 300 people with a disability will directly benefit through greater choice, control, independence and inclusion.

You can donate to a team, individual crew member or to the rally, through this website


Note to media, interviews, photographs and vision are available.

Media Contact: 
Kirrily Boulton, National Media and Communications Manager.
Phone 0429 077 886, Email

Stephanie Fitzpatrick, Media and Communications Officer.
Phone 0418 741 503, Email

Endeavour Foundation is an independent not-for-profit organisation providing support to more than 3,300 people with a disability throughout Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Our services include accommodation, employment, education, training, vocational and lifestyle opportunities.

Rally Fast Facts:

  • In the 2015 Qld Great Endeavour Rally there will be 168 participants in 72 cars.
  • Total fundraising total, to date, is $403,614.55.
    • Rally teams will have to replace an average of one tyre per car during the rally, with shock absorbers being the other major casualty.
    • The support crew is made up of more than 20 vehicles carrying officials (checkpoints, timings, safety), a qualified Paramedic, technical director, a spares truck, mechanical support, and our own photographer and WIN TV crew.

An additional five army vehicles (and staff) from the 7th Combat Support Battalion will provide mechanical support and vehicle recovery/transport support, for the second year running.

Contact us to find out how we can support you


Other blogs and information you maybe interested in

Disability Royal Commission Interim Report – Letter to the Editor

I welcome the Disability Royal Commission’s interim report on its first 15 months of operations.

There are many lessons to be learnt from the evidence shared with the Royal Commission by people whose lives have been impacted by violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Australia’s all abilities battle of the bands goes online

 For the first time ever on International Day of People with Disability (3 Dec), Endeavour Foundation’s all abilities Battle of the Bands is going live to the world – online. 
Battle of the Bands has been a live music event for nearly a decade, with performers taking to the stage at locations including The J in Noosa and Brisbane’s iconic Eatons Hill Hotel.

Endeavour Foundation’s $35m to build brighter futures

Queenslanders with disability will gain access to more independent living options, thanks to Endeavour Foundation’s $35million investment in accessible housing.

Results of the 2020 Elected Director Elections

One nomination was received for the single position open for election this year, so the nominee was elected unopposed. The re-elected Director will serve for a term of 3 years commencing from the close of the Annual General Meeting being held on Monday 23 November.

Willow and Ann Marie

For the second time in two months, hearts are breaking around Australia at the news that a person with disability has died, allegedly after a prolonged period of neglect and abuse in their own home.

Talking about taboos is the first step to change

None of us like to hear difficult things.

But for people with intellectual disability, one of the greatest barriers to inclusion comes from the negative attitudes and stigmatising beliefs that persist in society.