Outback Trek revs up for the 21st anniversary
Monday, 31st May, 2010
Outback Car Trek celebrates 21 years and $15 million for the Flying Doctor.
The annual Royal Flying Doctor Service fundraiser, the Outback Car Trek, will celebrate its 21st anniversary in 2010, with more than 300 participants driving from Hay to Hamilton Island, via Broken Hill.
The Trek, which has raised more than $15 million for the Flying Doctor since its inception in 1990, starts in Hay in south-western NSW on Sunday, June 6.
The theme for this year's event is old friends, but there is a new face at the helm with Bill Patrick preparing for his first year as event organiser.
"The Outback Trek has established itself as the major fundraiser for the Flying Doctor, and I am delighted to see it come of age," Bill said.
"Each year, participants in the Trek take their much-loved pre-1971 cars across almost 4,000km of the most rugged and remote terrain in Australia - all in the name of charity.
This year the goal is to raise $1 million more. The funds raised go to the RFDS to help them deliver emergency aeromedical and essential health care to communities in rural, regional and remote Australia.
"And although we love fundraising for the Flying Doctor, we just hope we don't have to call for their assistance at any time during the Trek!" Bill said.
Participants in the 2010 Trek will travel through Broken Hill, Copley in northern South Australia and Birdsville, Stonehenge, Barcaldine and Ravenswood in Queensland before arriving at their final destination of Hamilton Island on Saturday, June 12, averaging 530km per day.
A feature of this year's Trek will be navigating the flood affected regions of north western NSW and southern Queensland.
"For the most part, the Trek is synonymous with dirt, dust and dry conditions. This year will be a very welcome change; we might even get our feet wet," Bill said.
"But whatever the conditions, we'll be on the road, 'doing it for the doctor'.
"While we're only in the outback for seven days, the Flying Doctor is out there 24 hours, seven days a week.
"The communities we'll be visiting rely on the medical services provided by the Flying Doctor, and that's why the Trek is so important; we're helping the RFDS take the care to where it's needed the most," Bill said.
To keep up to date with the Trek as it progresses or to make a donation, visit www.outbackcartrek.com.au or www.flyingdoctor.org.au.
* The "glorious" Rocky Bull, a 1968 Chevvy Impala - one of many colourful entries in the Outback Car Trek in its 20 years.