for a cause

  AFI Branding       17th June, 2019
Have you been down Australia’s most formidable roads?

Well, our Head of Business Development, Nick Bolitho, recently completed 5,150 kilometres from Perth to Sydney in a 10-day event crossing the most isolated regions of Australia’s outback. The Shitbox Rally challenges teams to drive cars worth less than $1,000 across Australia, spreading awareness and raising all-important funds for Cancer Council. The Shitbox Rally has been running for 9 years and in total has raised over $19,000,000 for Cancer Council.

Here’s just a snippet of what Nick and his fellow fundraisers experienced over the 10 days:

On day 1 of the rally, the 550 participants prepared to depart Optus Stadium in Perth. The stadium was a colourful display of big characters in fancy dress costumes, decorated and pimped up cars, and an atmosphere of overwhelming excitement and anticipation.

Over the following days, the teams traversed hundreds of kilometres of sealed and unsealed roads, lined with beautiful trees, but soon replaced by salt bush and red dirt. Nights were spent under the stars in swags and tents. Some mornings participants were woken up by The Village People’s YMCA over the loud speaker, accompanied by matching dress – what a sight!

On day 3, the first team was awarded the notorious “My car died on the Shitbox Rally” medal. Almost a third of the way through the challenge, things were starting to get interesting. The roads were getting harder and the cars were under increasing stress; it was a bit like Russian Roulette and the odds were not stacked in everyone’s favour! Frequent roadside gatherings often looked like a scene straight out of a Mad Max movie as cars were being triaged left and right.

Each day of the event had a theme; from Smurfs Day where everyone was in costume and painted blue, to Princess Day, which honoured a young girl who had recently been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Throughout the rally, there were constant reminders of why they were all there. Whether it be a personal story shared around the campfire or a sticker on someone’s car.

The end was near as day 10 dawned with only 257 kilometres to go to the finish line. As the teams arrived at Centennial Park in Sydney, they finished with champagne and laughter. What an amazing group of people; diverse, bonkers and from every walk of life, united through adversity, the challenge, and a common goal for a cancer free future.

Well done, Nick!

To read the full journal – jump on over to Image Magazine