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Meet The 2024 10 Peaks Challenge Trekkers

Before our trekkers head out to take on Australia’s top ten highest peaks, get to know their motivations for taking on the challenge.

To learn more or donate to a trekker, click the button below!

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Greg Johnson

Having seen the impact the 10 Peaks Challenge has on the mission of Youngcare, it was an easy decision to take part in the trek. Knowing that the trekkers are volunteering their time, firstly to raise huge sums, and then to willingly experience a lot of real pain and discomfort, is quite simply inspiring. They don’t have to do this… but they choose to.

I am looking forward to the physical challenge and finishing in Mt Kosciuszko as we started – a team. The biggest obstacle will be drinking instant coffee. Yep, I am a coffee snob.

Duncan James

I decided to take on the 10 Peaks Challenge as I wanted to raise money for a cause that I care deeply about. I’ve seen first-hand the struggles and removal of choice that young people with high care needs are faced with. One of my close friends has been living with a physical disability that has impacted his independence and I want him and others just like him, to have the freedom of choice that we all take for granted.

Youngcare is a not-for-profit charity whose mission is to help improve the lives of young people with complex physical disabilities, and they receive no recurring government funding. So, although this trek might be hard, it’s easy when compared to the day-to-day hardship that young people with disabilities experience throughout Australia every day.

This particular trek and fundraising activity really resonated with me, as all the trekkers paid their own way to do this with all profits going to the actual cause and not to the cost of the trek. To me, this is what sets the 10 Peaks Challenge apart from others. Plus, I don’t like the cold or heights, so this will be fun. 🙂

Lucas Van Raay

I’m thrilled to be taking part in this year’s 10 Peak Challenge supporting Youngcare. I have followed and supported Youngcare for the past few years and its privilege to be able to get involved help raise funds for this great charity. Youngcare advocates for freedom, dignity and choice for young people with high physical support needs to choose where they live, who they live with and how they live their lives. I’ll be joining others on the trek as we try to raise awareness and much needed funds to help Youngcare continue its mission and provide more positive outcomes for the community. Any donations to this fantastic charity would be greatly appreciated and help continue the great work Youngcare has been doing for nearly 20 years.

Kellie Allender

I am thrilled to be taking part in this year’s 10 Peak Challenge to raise much needed funds for Youngcare. I have personally seen how a life can change at any given moment, and the impact this can have on individuals and their families. Youngcare is an amazing non-profit organisation creating a future where every young person has the freedom and choice to live the young lives they deserve.

I will be joining an amazing team to hike in isolated, uncomfortable conditions for four days but this is a reminder that many of us are privileged to be able to do this. The challenge we will put ourselves through is so minor compared to what individuals with disabilities have to endure on a daily basis. I would be grateful if you are able to get behind this charity and show your support. Your support allows hundreds of young people with disabilities to feel at home, and free to live equally in their communities.

Greg Kentish

Witnessing those less fortunate than oneself becomes a profound wellspring of inspiration, echoing the sentiments of the Dalai Lama, who espouses that our life’s purpose is to extend assistance to others.

My recent connection with Youngcare Australia has ignited a profound sense of motivation within me. I find myself in a privileged position, armed with the ability to wield my influence for the greater good.

This privilege allows me to contribute to the positive transformation of Australia, particularly for those individuals who rely on the invaluable services provided by Youngcare.

As I reflect on the broader landscape of humanity, the realization that our existence gains deeper meaning when we extend a helping hand to those in need has become a guiding principle in my life. The teachings of the Dalai Lama resonate strongly, emphasizing the interconnectedness of our journeys and the moral imperative to alleviate the burdens of others.

Youngcare, with its unwavering commitment to supporting young people with high care needs, encapsulates a cause that resonates with the core of my values. The firsthand experiences garnered through involvement with Youngcare have illuminated the challenges faced by individuals in dire circumstances. This illumination, rather than breeding complacency, has become the catalyst for a more profound commitment to positive change.

The sheer magnitude of the impact that Youngcare’s services can have on the lives of those they support propels me to leverage my position of influence responsibly. Recognizing the power that accompanies my position, I am inspired to channel this influence towards creating tangible, positive differences within the Australian community. Youngcare’s mission aligns seamlessly with my aspiration to contribute meaningfully to society. Through collaboration, advocacy, and the strategic utilization of resources, I aim to amplify the reach and effectiveness of Youngcare’s initiatives by competing the Ten peaks walk. By harnessing the collective strength of our community, we can strive towards a more inclusive, supportive society.

Catherine & Nick Bonifant

We have chosen to take part in the Youngcare Ten Peaks Challenge to raise money to support an organisation we have held close to our hearts from its inception – Nick co-founded Youngcare 19 years ago. We are looking forward to doing this together, the challenge, the experience, the adventure. But ultimately every $10,000 we raise ensures a young person avoids admission into institutions, like hospitals and aged care facilities. We want to show our children how important it is to do hard things, and how we must always help others.

Todd Finney

I’m undertaking this Ten Peaks Challenge, not only to challenge myself to raise funds for Youngcare, or to physically challenge myself on the hiking, but also to raise awareness of the work of Youngcare. Through my day to day work in CTP insurance with Suncorp, I hear about the rehabilitation and recovery required when someone has been injured in road incident. These road incidents occur when people least expect, and can have extreme consequences. The residents in Youngcare homes, or recipients of grants through the At Home Care grant program have similarly had their lives turned upside without much (if any) warning. Youngcare is an organisation that leads the young people through some difficult terrain to find the “right” home life solutions with care, dignity and respect. On a personal note, throughout the past couple of years, I’ve experienced an injury and worked through the rehabilitation required to get back to full health. So it is with this memory of pain and rehabilitation that I am challenged to take on the Youngcare Ten Peaks Challenge.

Luke Naish

Tradelink has been a long supporter of Youngcare and its vital purpose in providing assisted living environments for Australians with high care needs.

The Tradelink team, with the support of many of you, have now raised over $500k over the last 4 years.

As incredible as this is, we also understand there is so much more to do. In May, I feel privileged to join other Youngcare volunteers on an epic 3-day event designed to tackle all 10 of Australia’s highest peaks on the cusp of winter!

Our training is well underway, as the course is designed to genuinely challenge us as we trek, climb and camp out in the elements.

My sincere hope is that through the completion of this event we can draw focus on the important work Youngcare provides to so many in need, and we raise funds to support worthy Youngcare recipients.

I’d ask you all to give what you can to help make a difference, as any real change starts with us.

Adam Souter

The Ten Peaks Challenge is designed to challenge participants both physically and mentally, to push its participants outside of their comfort zone. It is a challenge taken by choice and the discomfort is temporary. Unfortunately for many young people the challenge is everyday life and the discomfort is permanent.

I am proud to be participating in this challenge alongside a caring and motivated group of inspirational trekkers to support Youngcare as they advocate for dignity, freedom and choice for young people. Youngcare gives back some level of control to those in need by way of a choice of where to live, who to live with and how to live their lives.

As I talk to friends and colleagues about the coming adventure, I am amazed to hear of many that have been assisted by Youngcare over the past years and of the positive change this has made to the lives of the recipients and their families.

I look forward to the physical and mental challenge of the trek in the knowledge that every dollar I raise will make a genuine difference to the life of a young person in need.

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