15th March 2017
Hamilton Island workers Kayne Kerr and Ben Errikson noticed that many people visited the Queensland Island paradise to escape their problems. Now, the two friends have embarked on a road trip down Australia’s east coast to raise money for mental health non-profit organisation Beyond Blue.
Dubbed the Great Northern Going South tour, the pair left Hamilton Island and flew from the Whitsundays to Brisbane before jumping in their car bound for Noosa and then onto the Sunshine Coast. From there they head south to the Tweed Heads and Byron Bay before continuing on to Yamba, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie and ending in Sydney.
The week-long road trip is designed with a $1000 fundraising goal in mind, roughly $1 per kilometre. However through crowd-funding and promotion on social media, the two have already exceeded that target and are now aiming for $3000. Stopping in at various locations, you can follow the boys’ on their travels on Facebook and Instagram.
Suicide prevention is close to Mr Kerr’s heart, with two of his close friends recently attempting suicide and the younger brother of another close friend taking his own life. It was while planning road trip with colleague and friend Errikson, who was preparing to leave the island, that Kerr received the shattering news. From this tragedy came the touching idea for the fundraiser.
"We thought why not turn our road trip into a Beyond Blue fundraiser and make it funny through Instagram and online. It's pretty close to everyone on the island because people seem to move here to get away from their problems,” Mr Kerr said.
Realising that not everyone can escape their problems with Hamilton Island holidays, the pair decided to turn their road trip into a fundraising initiative to support the vital work of Beyond Blue. They plan to edit a video documenting their trip and send it to Great Northern beer company, hoping to get them on board for a donation to the mental health support charity.