In November 2014, a mate and I got talking about the adventure of a lifetime. Now after more than 12 months of planning it is possible, but we need your help to turn it into a reality. My great mate Brendon Last will be there to drop me at the start and pick me up at the finish, he plans to shadow my walk (in his air-conditioned 4x4)from about 100km away just in case anything goes wrong in one of the most inhospitable deserts in the world.
In an effort to raise awareness and valuable funds for Beyond Blue, I plan to cross the Simpson Desert following the Madigan Line. Currently three million Australians are living with depression and anxiety, and we feel this charity is deserving of our support. I will walk unassisted for 520km, and pull our gear and provisions by cart. This walk will challenge me physically and mentally, but I will only be able to achieve our goal with the help of sponsors.
Following in the footsteps of Cecil Madigan, who in 1939 led the first major expedition across the Simpson Desert, the walk will start at Mac Clark reserve in the Northern Territory, and finish at Birdsville in Queensland. When we arrive in Birdsville I will become the first person to undertake an unsupported crossing of the Simpson Desert on foot via Madigan’s Line.
This walk follows on from past fundraising efforts, where in 2013 I walked across the Simpson Desert for the first time. In ten days I walked 430km from Birdsville in Queensland to Dalhousie Springs in South Australia, and raised more than $12,000 for Beyond Blue. In 2014 I participated in the inaugural Burke and Wills Trek, walking from Innamincka to Birdsville, and raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
In 2016 I aim to successfully cross the Simpson Desert again, and we hope you will be able to support us in this endeavour. Best Regards Graeme Gates