Aboriginal IssuesHealthNews

First all-Aboriginal team for Coastrek

On February 28 the first all-Aboriginal team will walk 50km as part of Coastrek 2014, a fundraiser for The Fred Hollows Foundation. The Foundation has an extensive Indigenous program which goes beyond primary eye health and works to address the underlying issues that contribute to poor health in general.

Jody Broun and Brooke Boney (Photo: Supplied)

The all-Aboriginal team’s captain is Jody Broun, a Yindjibarndi woman from the Pilbara in Western Australia. Jody is an award-winning artist and the former inaugural co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. Her team includes National Indigenous Television reporter, Brooke Boney, and AFL footballer and ambassador for the Fred Hollows Foundation, Aaron Davey. “I’m really looking forward to the experience,” Davey says. “It’s all for a great cause.”

This will be Jody’s second Coastrek. In 2013 she completed the 50km night walk and her 2014 team will be walking overnight as well. The night teams start at Balmoral Beach, travel along the beautiful coastline of Sydney Harbour, cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and then trek up through the eastern suburbs to Watsons Bay and down the sea coast to the finish at Coogee Beach.

The team is hoping to inspire other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to look at their own health and fitness. “I think it is really important to get involved and show it can be done,” Broun says. “I really enjoyed it the first time. I enjoyed the challenge of being able to walk 50km.”

This is Coastrek’s fifth year. Participants can walk 50km from Palm Beach to Balmoral in the day, or 50km from Balmoral to Coogee by night, or the full 100km. In 2013 Coastrek walkers raised $1.8 million and the goal for 2014 is $2.5 million, which means 100,000 blind people will have their sight restored.

Tax-deductible donations to Jody Broun’s all-Aboriginal team can be made by entering Jody’s name on the Coastrek website .

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