Trek for Childhood 2019

The Larapinta Trail

The Australian Childhood Foundation Trek for Childhood 2019 was a 7-day journey into the heart of Australia, across the vast and ancient landscape of the red centre.

The Larapinta Trail is regarded as one of Australia’s premier walking tracks. From the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station to the peak of Mount Sonder, the trail stretches 223 kilometres along the backbone of the West MacDonnell Ranges.

As part of this incredible adventure, the trek participants stood on ancient escarpments and gazed out upon the ochre-coloured landscapes of Central Australia, all whilst following Aboriginal Dreaming tracks and trekking along one of the world’s oldest river systems.

By day, they were challenged as they trekked across the Red Centre, experiencing the diversity of desert habitats and learned the unique history of Australia’s Indigenous peoples. At night, it was time to rest as they slept to the sounds of nature.

The Adventure’s Impact 

This year the Trek for Childhood raised over $44,000 – and we are so grateful to the participants who challenged themselves and raised these vital funds to support our Foundation’s work.

Thank you to all the participants: Amy Smart, Lauren Fairless, Kellie Kerin, Alison MacKenzie, Erin Castellas, James Emery, Sharon Johnson, Carissa Blizard & Anastasia Papadopoulos, and our Ambassador Clint Newton.

The funds raised through the trek were directed towards therapeutic work through our trauma recovery programs and will support the establishment of a family violence counselling program for children and mothers in the Northern Territory. The program supports the strengthening of the relationship between mum and infants after they have experienced family violence.

From the participants:

Alison Mac Kenzie – works for Playgroup QLD

Raised $6,435.

Alison has been an early childhood professional for many years working in a range of settings across Australia and overseas. Currently, she works for Playgroup Queensland coordinating two programs that support children and families. One of these groups implements the Australian Childhood Foundation’s Bringing Up Great Kids program.

Alison understands the impact of trauma of children’s and families’ lives, and her participation in the trek is her contribution to support the efforts of the Australian Childhood Foundation’s work.

Sharon Johnson – works for our corporate partner The GPT Group

Raised over $4,500

“To me this is a once in a lifetime experience that ticks many boxes, not least of all the opportunity to give something back in a meaningful way. To be able to raise funds and awareness about the very real issue of childhood abuse and neglect is probably my biggest motivation. During my time working in shopping centres and through my involvement in football clubs, I have seen first-hand the impact that neglectful and abusive homes can have on children and the way that this then impacts their behaviour and relationships in the broader community.”

“The chance to have an amazing new experience, meet new people, push myself way out of my comfort zone (probably both physically & mentally) and appreciate the beauty and vastness of the Australian outback in a way that I would never normally get to experience.”

Ms. Kellie Kerin

Raised over $5,150

What was your motivation for signing up?

My motivation for signing up encompasses many reasons both personally and professionally. As a central Arrernte woman and a health professional, the future of our kids is paramount in keeping our culture strong. In addition to this, ALL children deserve love, protection, safety, guidance and support. Plus, I have my own story from complex traumas that has gifted me an incredible path of healing, insight, emotional intelligence, self-love and wisdom. So, if I can make a difference to our children then this trek will be worth every step.

What do you hope to get from the experience? From this experience I hope to raise awareness, raise funds and contribute to making a difference to young lives.