For most people, this weekend will be a chance to unwind and forget the stresses of the week. For 24 Department of Human Services staff, it will involve a 454 kilometre cycling trek from Canberra to Mt Kosciusko and back.
The department has entered a team in the Hartley Lifecare Cycle Challenge for the third consecutive year, and is aiming to raise more than $70,000 for the charity which provides respite care to people with disability in the ACT region.
The department is an avid supporter of Hartley Lifecare, raising over $200,000 during its three-year involvement in the event and the most of any organisation last year.
On Wednesday 22 November the Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge launched the 2017 team in Canberra alongside department Secretary and team Patron Renée Leon.
Minister Tudge formally introduced the team, congratulating riders and the support crew for their fundraising efforts.
“This is my second year launching the team, and I love being involved,” Minister Tudge said.
“Their passion and energy is inspiring.
“Their efforts show our staff are dedicated to not only service delivery, but to being active and selfless members of their communities.”
Hartley Lifecare CEO Eric Thauvette and Bill Davidson, Managing Director of the team’s major sponsor Australian Hearing also attended the launch in support of the team.
Riders from the department will compete in two teams of 12, each with a four-person support crew.
Departing Canberra on Friday 24 November, riders will make their way through Jindabyne to Charlotte Pass in the Kosciusko National Park before returning to Canberra on Monday 27 November.
Team members will wear an Indigenous-themed uniform designed by the team in collaboration with department employee James Baban.
“I’ve been painting for over thirty years,” James said.
“It allows me to express myself artistically and spiritually, and brings my culture to the world.
“I was delighted to provide the department’s team with a painting—it is wonderful to know I was able to contribute in some way.”
The painting that inspired this year’s uniform was auctioned at the launch, and raised $1200 for the cause.
Hartley Lifecare hopes to raise $600,000 from this year’s event.
- To support the department’s group or one of the other 20 participating teams, please visit Hartley Lifecare.