Shalom College teacher Nicole Anderson is raising awareness about veteran mental health with Mal's March, held in memory of her father.
She is coordinating the event through March On for her dad Malcolm Pascoe who was a Vietnam Veteran.
Now Nicole is asking for community support.
“This month is the March On month to raise money for veteran’s mental health services and try to prevent veteran suicide,” Nicole said.
“It’s a great initiative and perfectly timed to lead (up) to ANZAC Day next month.
“As the daughter of a Vietnam Vet, who sadly lost his battle with depression only four years ago, and chose to leave this world, it is a cause close to my heart.”
Nicole describes her dad as one of a kind.
“My Dad was the king of dad jokes, a true larrikin, like Paul Hogan before political correctness,” she said.
“My Dad loved fishing and crabbing and was a proud Aussie.
“My Dad used to ride around our yard on my very pink, girly bike, looking like a big goofball.
“He once told us that it got that cold in Canungra water would turn to ice if you left it out overnight – so we did, and he put it in the freezer while we slept!”
In Mal’s memory Nicole is inviting members of the Bundaberg community to join the campaign Mal’s March and take part in the 96km walk or jog challenge during March to help raise money to support veteran mental health.
Nicole said the campaign was organised by Soldier On and the 96kms represented the length of the Kokoda Trail, and she said all money raised goes to supporting veterans.
The Kokoda Trail marks the course of one of the most important battles for Australians in the Second World War. The men who defended this rugged 96km track were the only line of defence protecting Australia from imminent invasion.
During the month Mal’s March can be conquered by walking as little as 3kms a day, and Nicole said although she was nervous about the challenge, she was determined and overwhelmed by local support.
“(I’m) mostly nervous, I have a few injuries that will make it difficult and a slow process for me, and I really hope my determination is enough to help me fulfil the goal of 96kms,” she said.
“But since starting this challenge and seeing the support of others – donating and joining the team – I am filled with excitement about how awesome people can be when given the chance.
“They just need to click on the link and join up. It’s not only a great cause for our vets but it’s a great motivator for anyone needing to get out and move more.”
To help Nicole support veterans click here to join Mal's March.
If you or anyone you know needs support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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