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Meet a grandmother who trekked across Tasmania’s Tarkine for children in need

A month after turning 73 years old, Christine embarked on a 49-kilometre trek across western Tasmania to raise money for children living in poverty.

The grandmother of three walked up to 10 kilometres a day, five days a week, for four months to prepare for the trek, a week-long trip in February, hosted by ChildFund Australia and Inspired Adventures, through the Tarkine rainforest and surrounds.

The trek was the first of its kind for Christine. Despite some initial doubts from family and friends and straining a muscle in the lead up to the trip, Christine pushed through and raised more than $1300 for ChildFund Australia. 

“When I signed up for the trek some people said, ‘I don’t know if you can do that’,” Christine says. “But if someone says something like that to me, I’m bound to prove them wrong.

“I did a lot of walking to prepare. Before I got my trekking poles, my husband gave me a sawn-off broomstick handle to use and when I strained my gluteus maximus and my physio gave me some exercises, I did them every day.”

The trek took Christine and five other ChildFund Australia supporters through a diverse range of landscapes – from moss-covered, lush rainforests to untouched, rocky coastlines – but the highlight of the trip, says Christine, was the people.

“I was the littlest and the oldest and they sort of all took me under their wing,” she says. “I was worried I was holding them up on the walks, but they were all encouraging.”

Tasmania community fundraising trek Feb 2022
Christine (pictured in the middle, white hat) with other ChildFund supporters on the Tasmania community fundraising trek. “I was the littlest and the oldest and they sort of all took me under their wing,” Christine said.

Christine signed up to the trek to prove a point to herself and her loved ones that she could do it, but most importantly to raise money for children in need.

She had never taken part in a fundraiser like ChildFund’s Tasmanian trek before, but she was no stranger to getting behind a cause. Christine regularly donates to various Australian charities and has been supporting ChildFund since 1993. Initially, she signed up to show her sons, who were nine and 10 years old at the time, the importance of helping others. “I wanted my boys to learn that you can’t just think about yourself and that while you can’t help everybody, if you can help one child it can make a difference,” Christine says.

When her sons grew up, Christine continued her support because “the need was still there”.

“I would encourage others to support children overseas,” Christine says. “Small donations are better than nothing.

“A lot of people just think of their own needs. I think we’ve got to look out for everybody.”

Thanks to the generosity of supporters like Christine, ChildFund Australia’s Tasmanian Trek in February 2022 raised $21,000 for children living in poverty around the world.

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