Oxfam Celebrates 10th Anniversary of TRAILWALKER

Events, Media Releases, Oxfam Trailwalker article written on the 25 Aug 2008

This Friday 2000 Sydneysiders will set off on the 10th Oxfam TRAILWALKER, a 100km endurance challenge that has raised over $20 million in Australia to help people living in poverty around the world.
The 10th anniversary Oxfam TRAILWALKER will see 500 teams of four walking through 100km of Australian bush in under 48 hours, from Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury to Mosman, overlooking Sydney Harbour.
Oxfam Australia TRAILWALKER spokesperson Leigh Stewart said the gruelling event had had a proud 10 year history in Australia.
“In 10 years, we have had over 17 000 Australians take part and they have together walked over a million kilometres,” Ms Stewart said.
“Each step of the way, they have contributed to raising $20 million to help Oxfam help people overcome poverty and injustice.”
“Dads and Daughters” are one of the 500 teams taking part and are the veterans of the event, as the only team to have taken part in all ten Oxfam TRAILWALKER Sydney events.
Christine King, who will walk with her father Ken Newton, along with Geoffrey Williams and his daughter Nicole, says it’s the immense challenge that keeps them coming back year after year.
“After the first year we did say never, never again but we keep coming back because the sense of helping other people is such a terrific feeling, even if your feet feel like they are about to fall off.
“We love working together as a team, being in each other’s company, and achieving a goal together. But if someone is being a bit snotty we do make them walk at the back,” Ms King said.
Oxfam TRAILWALKER Sydney 2008 aims to raise $3.2 million to support Oxfam’s work in 28 countries, including Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Australia.
Oxfam TRAILWALKER began in 1981 as a military exercise in Hong Kong, and today takes place annually in Sydney and Melbourne, New Zealand, UK, Hong Kong and Japan, and will be launched in Belgium this weekend.
Organising Oxfam TRAILWALKER is an immense logistical challenge, and relies on the support of its principal sponsor global financial organisation State Street as well as nearly 700 volunteers who work in 40 different roles such as trail marshals, drivers and physiotherapists.
Leigh Stewart said Oxfam worked hard to keep the event environmentally sustainable.
“We work with NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service and Environmental Resources Management to protect the trail and minimise the walkers’ environmental impact,” she said.
However the biggest challenge remains for teams to walk 100 kilometres and cross the finish line together as a team of four – a moment that will be most satisfying for Geoffrey Williams and Ken Newton who have worked toward the goal of walking ten TRAILWALKERS.
However, it is a different story for their daughters.
“It may be the last year for the dads, but we’ve got an unlimited number of TRAILWALKERS in us,” Ms King said.
Images are available of the Dads and Daughters training in Martin Place. For these images, to attend the event, interview Leigh Stewart or Oxfam TRAILWALKER teams, contact Sunita Bose on 0407 555 960 or sunitab@oxfam.org.au 
Walkers will set off at Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury at 7am, 8:30am and 10am on Friday August 29.

Oxfam TRAILWALKER Quick Facts:
• In 10 years, Oxfam TRAILWALKER participants have walked a total of 43 laps around the world
• In 10 years, Oxfam TRAILWALKER events have raised more than $20 million for Oxfam’s work. That amount could provide more than 700,000 children in the poorest regions of the world with new books, pens and coloured pencils
• In 10 years, more than 7000 volunteers have donated approximately 145 working years to make the events possible.
• State Street has been the principal sponsor of Oxfam TRAILWALKER in Australia since 2003
About State Street:
Global financial organisation, State Street, is the principal sponsor of Oxfam TRAILWALKER in Australia, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and Japan. As Australia’s largest institutional investor and a leading bank and custodian, State Street provides investment servicing, investment management, research and trading services for the world’s largest investors. For more information visit www.statestreet.com.