WHAT does Western Australia’s striking Kimberley region have in common with a tricked out 1977 Kingswood, mates, curious crocodiles and the highest grossing animated film of all time, Frozen?
The answer can be found in Variety WA’s annual Variety Bash, a veritable ‘carnival on wheels’ through the Kimberley, which raises money for children with disabilities.
In August, second year Curtin University Occupational Therapy student Andrew Hare teamed up with three friends to participate in the Bash, an experience that raised more than $20,000 for Variety WA, and gave him a new perspective on disability and fundraising.
“We heard about the Variety Bash through a friend about 10 years ago and had planned to be one of the youngest crews to ever participate, however we kept on putting it off,” Mr Hare said.
“Someone was finishing uni, then someone was building a house or getting married, it never seemed to be the right time. It was after I had a near death experience that I realised how quickly life can change, and how instantly life can end, and that we shouldn’t put off things that are important to us.”
The Bash started in Kununurra on August 21, and the team, made up of Nick Joseph, Mark D’lima and Santo Pratico drove a Frozen-themed 1977 Kingswood wagon, engineered and modified to be able to handle the rough terrain of the Gibb River Road and bush tracks.
“We travelled to Home Valley Station, Mt Elizabeth Station, Mt Hart, Fitzroy Crossing and Derby and arrived at our final destination, Broome, on Saturday August 27… they say the Variety Bash is a carnival on wheels and that description is very fitting,” Mr Hare said.
“It is amazing what can be achieved when you put your mind to it. Rather than just put something off because it seems too hard to achieve, with some serious problem solving and passion, anything is possible,
“We raised $17,000 through donations and fundraising events and, including our own contribution, we cracked well over $20,000. Variety will use that money to provide grants for assistive and medical equipment, programs and experiences for the children.”