Ridge views on the Larapinta Trail |  <i>Latonia Crockett</i>


Conquering the Larapinta Trail for Dementia Australia

Lisa Gormley is a middle aged adventure loving woman from Bendigo. This year, she will be conquering the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory, which is noted as one of the top 10 walks in the world, and fundraising for Dementia Australia. We sat down with her to chat more about her fundraising adventure.

Why did you join a Charity Challenge?
I'm not really one to holiday for holidays sake, I always like to have something different attached to a trip. This will be my second Charity Challenge. In 2004, I went to China and hiked the Great Wall for Guide Dogs Australia. I really wanted to give back and do something for a charity and I love hiking so the Great Wall of China challenge was perfect for me. I also love our Aussie environments and to be able to combine doing good with an adventure to a part of Australia I have not been to before ticked all the boxes. 

I chose Dementia Australia because my dad passed just over a year ago after suffering from dementia for many years. I was by his side until the end and have been affected a lot by his death. I wanted to do something for him and that might be able to help research and spread the message about dementia further. It was thinking about his passing and wanting to make a difference that I thought of a charity challenge and it led me to Huma Charity Challenge.

How did you fundraise for Dementia Australia?
I've done a range of things, promoted it on Facebook of course and that's had a lot of response. I am an amateur photographer so using some of my photos I made cards to sell. I put the cards and a few goodies (chocolates, biscuits, lollies) in a little sales box I created and sold them at work. I also took that box and a hamper to a polling station on our Victorian Election Day and sold raffle tickets and also treats. I was amazed at how many people also just gave me donations. 

My partner is a brilliant graphic designer so he helped create a poster using the Dementia Australia templates, my story and a QR code & url link to my
GoFundraise page. I have them at my parents' nursing homes, have emailed them to friends & colleagues, popped them in mail boxes and posted it on Facebook. That's been one of the most successful too. My initial target was $500 and I'm up to $768. I will hold a garage sale soon and also promote it again on Facebook.

What preparation are you doing to conquer the Larapinta Trail?
I've always been fit and active so I am lucky, but I've been increasing my walking which has also encouraged me to explore new areas. I walk around 4-5 times a week, some might only be a few kilometres (km) - especially before work but I'm walking easily 10kms several times a week. That's become my new norm. I have done a few 15km plus hikes too and will start doing them more regularly now that 10kms is “kind of easy”.....still tiring! 

I try and always carry a day pack with water to get used to that as well. I have learnt that the Larapinta Trail can be rocky, sandy or gravelly so walking on those surfaces is an important part of training. I'm lucky that in central Victoria our bush trails are rocky and gravelly and un-even much of the time. I've just started bike riding more and hope to do that every week as well and some weights and stretching when I can. Just keeping active.  

What support have you received on this fundraising adventure?
The biggest supporter is my partner. He has donated time and money and puts up with me banging on about hiking (he's not a hiker!). Work mates, neighbours and friends have been a big support through donations and buying my treats and my cards. Huma Charity Challenge and Dementia Australia have been great supports, touching base, giving me hints for fundraising, sending me templates and setting up my fundraising page.  

Any tips for people thinking of doing a Huma Charity Challenge?
Go for it, it makes you feel so good to be doing something for someone else as well as challenging yourself to go or do something you may never have done before. Reach out to friends and family, be creative, make networks on Facebook. I've become a member of hiking groups and Larapinta Trail groups and ask for advice and share my fundraising page with them and prepare! You want to enjoy the challenge not suffer the challenge, it's something you're doing for yourself as well as the charity you choose.


Ready to challenge yourself and support a cause?

We have numerous Charity Challenges happening across the globe throughout the year. 
Simply decide on your bucket list destination, choose your favourite charity and you're ready to go.