Outback trek raises over $400,000 for community groups

Through the generosity of donations and sponsorship in excess of $400,000 has been raised during this year’s Destination Outback.

The event is a project of Rotary Club of South Dubbo.

Last month 128 people, who were in 46 cars, visited rural and remote communities across western NSW, including Cunnamulla, Yaraka, Longreach, Tambo, Tooloombilla, Nindigully and Armatree.

They raised money for four main beneficiaries; Pink Angels, Royal Far West, Black Dog Ride and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Destination Outback event director Brett (Macca) McCarthy said the donations came from generous people during the trip through auctions and their Platinum sponsor.

“We estimate the total fundraising to date, taking into account amounts gifted external to Rotary Club of Dubbo South and including the extraordinary generous amount gifted by the Cromwell Property Group Foundation, to be in excess of $400,000. Simply amazing,” Mr McCarthy said.

From the total people who went on the trip, there was 46 new participants and Mr McCarthy said the feedback was extraordinary. 

While it was a successful event for members of Rotary Club of South Dubbo, they are mourning the loss of Sandy Dunshea, who sadly passed away on August 29.

Mr Dunshea was on board for the first Destination Outback in 1990, and was involved in organising the fundraiser for many years.

During the auction on the last night of Destination Outback 2018, an Akubra hat - which was signed by everyone on the trip - sold for more than $3000.

Mr McCarthy said the person who bought the hat drove to Dubbo the next day to give it to Mr Dunshea.

During the trip, the Club provided donations to Mitchell State School, Longreach School of Distance Education, Tambo State School, Cunnamulla Library and RFDS Queensland.

And before they even set off on the trip $10,000 was donated to Dubbo Volunteer Rescue Association. The Club also donated $10,000 to the drought telethon, plus $10,00 to Royal Far West,  $12,000 to the Black Dog Ride and $5000 to Pink Angels.

As well as raising money for various organisations, South Dubbo Rotary wanted to give back to the rural communities they visited. They spent more than $150,000 on meals, accommodation, fuel and incidentals in those rural towns.

“We also took a defibrillator with us which will be donated back to an organisation we visited along the trip for them to have,” Mr McCarthy said.

To find out more information contact Mr McCarthy on 0418 840 000, or email sales@orreco.com.au

As the event is run every two years, money is kept in the kitty to look after various organisations throughout that period before the next Destination Outback.

“Things could pop up that we want to support. So if we leave some money in the bank then we’re able to support those projects,” he said.

Although the 2018 Destination Outback is well and truly complete, Mr McCarthy, together with the eight other committee members are already planning the 2020 trip.

“We start doing minor planning now but after Christmas we’ll ramp into getting things ready and by August next year we’ll build the 2020 route,” he said. 

“It’s well over 12 months in advance of putting it together.”

Mr McCarthy was humbled by the generosity of the sponsorship from Cromwell Property Group Foundation.

“They raised a lot of money (for Destination Outback) through their own Foundation, which means the beneficiaries of our event are the ones that are the winners,” he said.

Another fundraising program of Rotary Club of South Dubbo is their charity ball which is held in partnership with the RFDS.

The ball began in 2013 and is held biennially at the Dubbo Base hangar.

The next event will be held on April, 6, 2019.