A HUMBLE event created in Cape York for mental health awareness is going national, with Conquer the Corrugations walks to be held in Victoria and the NT this year.
Co-founder Emma Jackson says the goal is to have a walk in every state and territory, ideally from next year.
Ms Jackson will make the trip to Victoria on Friday with her sister-in-law Debbie Jackson for the first Conquer to be staged outside of the Cape, on the outskirts of Geelong.
The walk will go from Barwon River to Inverleigh and more than 150 people are expected to take part – about the same amount that took part in the inaugural Cape York event.
“It’s 17km on both Saturday and Sunday. I’m really looking forward to it because it’ll be a good guide for how we can expand things next year,” Ms Jackson said.
While the Cape York team has played a large hand in the Victoria event, the expansion was led by a group of southerners.
“They saw the Landline piece, which ran a few times, and came up to the Cape last year to take part in our event,” Ms Jackson said.
“It was a group of people who had lost somebody to suicide and they asked if they could hold a Conquer in Victoria. Of course, we said yes. It’s a great initiative.”
The success of Conquer the Corrugations is two-fold.
It’s an event that doesn’t ask participants for money and isn’t a fundraiser for a charity.
While it’s focused on mental health awareness, many do the walk as a personal challenge or for social purposes.
“The highlight of the journey – and this will be the ninth year that Conquer has been held in the Cape – is seeing someone come on the walk and then watching how their life changes,” Ms Jackson said.
“Their perspective changes and you can see how the impact becomes part of them and how they start thinking about and approaching mental health.”
The success of Conquer has been recognised by mental health service providers, and to highlight the value of having those providers involved, the Conquer committee invited RFDS QLD section Cape York’s Mental Health Guru Jos Middleton to join the Cape York Conquer crew in Victoria.
“There will be a strong Cape York connection in Victoria this weekend with a few people there who have previously walked with us. The main thing is it’s being driven by the people on the ground and not by us and that’s what will make it special,” Ms Jackson said.
A Conquer the Corrugations will also be held on East Arnhem Land on September 2 and 3 this year.
The Cape York walk will be held in the traditional weekend of September 30 and October 1.