I love being a campaigner at Oxfam Australia and one of the main reasons is that my job gives me the opportunity to meet some truly amazing people. Last year I had the pleasure of working with the inspirational couple Wendy and Matt Napier, who reflecting on their lives saw that comparatively they had more than they needed. Not millionaires by any stretch of the imagination, just an ordinary couple who understand that few in the world have enough food, water, shelter and the money get through each day. That millions of people, while trying their hardest to make a living, simply do not have access to fair employment, education and health care like we do in Australia. This being the case, this ordinary (or rather extraordinary) couple made the incredible decision to give up their day jobs and to dedicate themselves to raising awareness about global poverty and the Make Poverty History Campaign.
Choosing original and jaw dropping activities that prove they are extremely committed (and let’s face it at least a little insane), last year the lovely Matt decided to cross the country on a push bike – riding all the way from Perth to Canberra (ok so not quite all the way across, but close), while his awesome wife Wendy drove the support car, took care of all the logistics, ensured Matt made it the entire way and planned a variety of events (personally I think she had the harder job!)
On the way they stopped at schools, held community events and reached out to over 100, 000 Australians about the need for Australia to be generous when it comes to our international aid budget through their activities.
This year they are at it again, but decided that last year’s challenge was a little too easy! So now Matt will now WALK – yes that right WALK – right across the country, this time “going the extra mile” and finishing in Sydney – all while bouncing an AFL ball (I am sure just to prove, unlike most men, he can do more than one thing at a time, as well as stave off boredom while crossing the Nullarbor). They will be engaging with local AFL clubs on the route as well as again visiting schools and communities to raise awareness about global poverty.
While we can not all afford to give up our jobs and work full time as volunteers, there are ways that we can all make a difference – so please support Matt while he undertakes this gargantuan effort.
You can also follow their journey on Facebook
by Oxfam NSW Campaign Coordinator Debbie Hunt