20 October 2023

Region boss walking the talk for Menslink's 2023 challenge

| Genevieve Jacobs
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group of walkers at Parliament House

Menslink Great Walk participants (and dogs) reach the end of their trek at Parliament House in a previous year. Photo: Todd Wright.

Region Co-CEO Tim White is no stranger to a brisk walk: he’s regularly up at dawn for a walk that starts the day well and gets the brain cells into gear.

But taking on 140 km over five days is a whole new dimension of challenge, as he’s about to find out on the 2023 Menslink Great Walk.

Now in its third year, the walk was the brainchild of former CEO Martin Fisk, who reasoned that a cohort of high fliers might enjoy the mental break and physical challenge of leaving work behind for a week to raise a substantial chunk of funds for the organisation’s work with vulnerable boys and young men.

The first walk was a roaring success and the 2023 walk will capitalise on the success of the two previous events, attempting to raise around $350,0000 for the charity’s programs.

Each day the group covers 20 to 30 km of the Centenary trail around Canberra, completing the full route in five days and providing funds to support Menslink’s youth mentoring, counselling and school and workplace-based talks and programs.

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And it’s important work: Menslink CEO Ben Gathercole says demand has never been higher at the same time as the cost of providing services has skyrocketed.

The 142 km walk (longer than the Kokoda Track and further than the distance to Everest base camp, although considerably flatter than both) gives participants time to reflect on what drives them and how they can give back to the community.

Tim is in training for next month’s walk. Photo: Tim White.

For Tim, a father-of-three himself, it’s a chance to take stock and help at the same time.

Region is all about building community and it matters to us that we literally walk the talk as an organisation,” he says.

“Menslink is a cause we’ve supported since the beginning along with many of our business partners and friends, so we’re pretty strongly motivated to make sure this walk is as successful as possible. I’m in training now and looking forward to the challenge.”

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Co-CEO Michael McGoogan walked the route last year and group editor Genevieve Jacobs completed the first two walks in 2021 and 2022, along with around 30 other walkers from across the Canberra community.

Fundraising is beginning in earnest now and you can contribute to individual walkers on the Raisely campaign page.

DDCS lawyer Julie Dobinson, a walk veteran, is currently leading the fundraising challenge, just pipping Bjarne Kragh from Southside Physio and Catherine Coles from Parker Coles Curtis Family Lawyers.

The walk starts at Parliament House on the morning of 7 November, walking up to 30 km per day along the Canberra Centenary Trail. On the final day the walk will loop around Lake Burley Griffin to the finish line near Nara Gardens.

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