Four colleagues signed up to walk the Kokoda track#1 in July 2011. A physical challenge of legendary stature.

Now they have decided to shake out the kit and take on an unsupported crossing of the challenging South Coast Track in Tasmania to test their endurance and to continue to press the need for better understanding for people with Autism Spectrum disorders.

Ian Dall, Steven Wilson, John Stroud and David Russell are the trekkers and are all on the positive side of 50 years of age.  They hail from all over Australia and are linked by a common bond of seeking a challenge and making a difference.  They all work for the same company Telstra. Previous challenges for David, Steven and John include the Sydney Oxfam Trailwalker in which they completed the 100km in 36hours and 18minutes and raised $7,500.

Their motivation is to challenge themselves  physically and to do something positive for Autism awareness. They were also fundraising for Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) who provide programs, services and support for people with autism and, importantly, their families too. In the end raising $2700 for Aspect.

The key goal of the walkers is to raise understanding and awareness for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder with a prevalence of 1 in 120 children and an estimated 130,000 Australians of all ages. Some of the team’s family are living with this isolating disorder.

The Kokoda trek was successfully undertaken in July with trekking company Kokoda Trekking

People regularly say that doing the Kokoda track is the toughest thing they have done. …and sometimes life changing. This was somewhat daunting, but for inspiration the team did not have to look any further than the sacrifice of the young Australians who fought and died on the track in what is considered to be the most desperate and pivotal campaigns of the Pacific War and often referred to as the battle for Australia. Indeed this was one of those life affirming adventures.

The trek was everything that they could have hoped for, both  physically challenging and emotionally rewarding as well as meeting their goal of increased awareness for people living with Autism.

#1(Kokoda track or trail?  I have decided on track although I understand that trail is technically correct. Why Track?  Because that is what is used by the Isurava Memorial and that’s good enough for me- David Russell).

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