I spoke in parliament today about 22-year old Canberran Bradley Carron-Arthur, and his 4000 km run to raise money for and awareness of mental illness.
Brad Runs North
1 March 2012
Running is one of my favourite pastimes and over the years I have managed to put in a reasonable number of kilometres, but nothing like the local Canberra boy Bradley Carron-Arthur. Twenty-two year old Brad is running from Canberra to the far tip of Australia, past Cairns, past Cooktown, ending east of Punsand in Cape York, a journey of 4,000 kilometres. Brad is raising money for the Australian Foundation for Mental Health Research. To date he has raised $9,450 of his $20,000 target. Having left Canberra on New Year's Day this year, Brad has so far travelled over 2,284 kilometres. According to the latest update two days ago, he had covered 22 kilometres that day and he was in Bundaberg. His trip has not been without its dramas. Apparently the batteries in his headlamp died just before he had to swim across a swollen creek that was cutting across the road. He made it across and arrived safely in Bundaberg, but I do not envy him with the rain that is going on at the moment.
Brad is raising money for mental illness. He points out that one in five Australians suffer a mental illness. A staggering 60 per cent of them do not seek support. Over the past decades there have been great efforts to reduce the stigma of mental illness by people like Brad, the former Premier of Western Australia Geoff Gallop, former Premier of Victoria Jeff Kennett, ex Wallabies winger Clyde Rathbone and many others. This government has a strong commitment to reducing the stigma of mental illness and investing in mental health, and we are delighted to have people like Brad raising money and raising awareness of these important issues.
Brad's run north has been made possible through the contributions, efforts and support of many people in Canberra and along the way. It is a demonstration of the positive power of social capital, which gives a sense of connectedness, wellbeing and purpose in our day-to-day lives. I would urge those in the chamber and those watching this speech to join me in supporting Brad. Just go to his website, www.bradrunsnorth.com, and make a donation or send him a message of support. Brad's efforts inspire all of us to help work on worthy causes and also to get out there for an occasional or a regular run. I am a great fan of Brad and his efforts inspire many of us. Like many Canberrans, I wish him all the best as he makes his way to the tip of Cape York.
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