27 February 2022
An adventure cyclist from Melbourne is riding more than 1,000 km along the Australian Alps to fundraise for Mind Australia.
Julian is taking on the Hunt 1,000 – a 1,017 km off-road cycling route from Melbourne to Canberra. It encompasses Kosciuszko, Alpine and Namadgi National Parks, and includes an ascent of nearly 24,000 m.
Julian’s motivation is his sister, Caroline. After years of short and long term inpatient stays for mental ill-health, Caroline was eventually supported by Mind Australia – and even became an employee once she was well enough to work again.
Caroline is now the healthiest and happiest she has been in 20 years, but her experience within the mental health system has spurred Julian to raise awareness and money for people living with mental health and wellbeing concerns.
“Like many Australians, some of the people nearest and dearest to me have been profoundly impacted by mental health issues, including stints in underfunded and under-resourced hospitals. I have also suffered from anxiety and depression at various stages of my life,” Julian said.
Julian has conquered gruelling bike rides like this in the past but said the Hunt 1,000 was the “biggest challenge yet due to the huge distance, the massive amount of climbing and the roughness of the tracks”.
“Australia is becoming better at tackling mental health issues, and a lot of the stigma around talking about mental health has started to be broken down, and people are becoming more comfortable talking about mental health openly.
“But more work needs to be done so that mental health problems can be funded, discussed, and addressed similarly to how physical health issues are treated across our society.”
To donate to Julian’s ride visit his Go Fund Me page.