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AC Director, Maree Lacy hits the trail for Oxfam

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24 Apr 13

Accountancy Connect Director, Maree Lacy took on the ultimate challenge and completed the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker in Melbourne in a team of four, making a difference by raising funds to help overcome poverty and injustice around the world.

5 minutes with Maree....

  • What is the Oxfam Trailwalker?

Oxfam is a not for profit organisation that for more than 50 years has provided aid to people in developing countries that suffer from poverty and injustice. Oxfam Trailwalker is an organised walk which started in Hong Kong in 1980 by army civilians as part of their training program.
Now operating in 11 countries, and based in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, the walk is designed to challenge teams of 4 in walking 100kms through tough and challenging terrain with the ultimate aim to fundraise for people in need.
750 teams took off from Wheelers Hill on April 19 and were supported by 850 volunteers.

  • What motivated you to join the walk?

After seeing what Oxfam has achieved and in talking with friends who have completed the challenge, I was keen to give it a go in order to raise funds for underdeveloped countries. One in 9 people around the world do not have access to clean water – by participating in Oxfam we could make a difference!

  • What was your preparation for Oxfam?

Our training commenced in January 2013 and involved planned walking days (on and off the trail) commencing from 10kms and building our way to 55kms before tapering. Apart from a level of physical fitness, ensuring we remained hydrated and our food intake provided the necessary protein and nutrients, was also essential.

  • What were the challenges that you faced throughout the walk?

The challenges included physical fitness, changing terrain – from massive hill walking, up and beyond the 1000 steps to flat walking trails - changing weather conditions, walking at night, blisters, mental toughness, remaining focused on the task at hand, dehydration, rehydration, toilet stops, team work and encouraging each other to remain positive.
Unfortunately, we received news mid-way through the walk that a trail walker had passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest. The news saddened all involved and definitely challenged us to continue the Oxfam cause.

  • How important is team work in the preparation and on the day?

Extremely important. Preparation is the key, ensuring that the team is on the same page with realistic expectations of what we are trying to achieve.  Open communication, honesty and trust – all the attributes you look for when working in a team environment. On the day you have to be prepared that anything can happen and flexibility is required.

  • How long did it take to complete the walk?

Our team took 28 hours and 42 minutes in total.  24 hours of this was walking and 4 hours in breaks throughout the checkpoints.

  • We know Maree that this is the 2nd time you have participated in this event. What inspires you to continue to join the walk each year?

I have really enjoyed both experiences and have not ruled out a 3rd yet but early days! The camaraderie of your team, the support that the support crew and friends provide, the cause of Oxfam and what is represents are the main factors in why I participate in Oxfam.

  • How would you encourage others to participate in the Oxfam walk?

If you are wanting to challenge yourself, increase your fitness and gain wonderful memories of working (and walking!) with your team, then Oxfam Trailwalker provides all that and more. We can make a difference and so far the Melbourne Trailwalker has raised $2.3 million – how good is that!

 

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I wish to extend my gratitude to the AC team for the great work that I have received from your office.  I hope that all great things will come to pass to your office & to each one of you.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to prove my skills & experiences. Thank you for your kindness & having faith in me. Thank you for being true friends.

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Luana, Accounts Payable Officer