Tag Archives: Australia

Australian Women Who Inspire Us

In honour of March’s celebratory ‘Women’s History Month’ just ending we thought we’d explore a little further into the adventurous, intelligent and boundary-pushing women of Australia’s past & present.

 1. Edith Cowan

Edith Cowan became the first woman elected as a member of Parliament in 1921. She worked tirelessly to advocate women’s rights and showed a true commitment to the betterment of education and health & justice issues. In 1894, Edith was one of the founding members of the Karrakatta Club that outwardly campaigned for women to position themselves in life with degrees, jobs and roles that were equal to their male counterparts. This resulted in the Karrakatta Club becoming actively involved in the rise of the suffragette movement.

(Image credited to Grapeshot MQ)

She championed for female Justices of the Peace and become one of the first to achieve this position in 1919. Her legacy includes the Edith Cowan University as her namesake being the face of the Australian $50 dollar bill.

(Image credited to the Reserve Bank of Australia)

 2. Miles Franklin

Famously Miles Franklin, otherwise known as Stella Maria Sarah Miles Frank, is a greatly celebrated Australian author and feminist. Best known for her acclaimed novel “My Brilliant Career” which has gone on to become an Australian classic.

(Image credited to Melville House Books)

Franklin was involved in the early Australian feminist movement and often had her works rejected for publication for being too controversial. She wrote many works of a journalistic nature under nom-de-plumes throughout her life.

(Image credited to the NSW State Library)

This incredibly gifted author is the namesake of the famous literary prize; the ‘Miles Franklin’ as she included in her will the funding of this prize aimed for the ‘advancement, improvement and betterment of Australian Literature.’

 3. Germaine Greer

Germaine Greer is an Australian born incredibly vocal feminist, author and social critic. Known for her critique of the patriarchal structure of our society, Greer was a vital part of the Australian feminist movement.

(Image credited to the Sydney Morning Herald)

Her novel ‘The Female Eunuch’ argues that women should fight to find independence and individuality aware from societal pressures and expectations. Whilst being an unpredictable and at times contentious figure there is no doubt that Greer has made strides in the world of women’s rights.

(Image credited to Harper Collins Australia)

 4. Marita Cheng

This impressive woman was the youngest ever Australian of the year in 2012 and a huge advocate for women working in engineering and technology. Cheng is both the founder and the CEO of a company called ‘aubot’ which primarily focuses on the making of telepresence robots but also works on both the ‘research and development in robotic arms, virtual reality and autonomous mapping and navigation’.

(Image credited to Aubot)

Cheng became very aware of the dwindling number of women in her engineering classes at the University of Melbourne and with the assistance of her fellow engineering peers they went to surrounding school to teach young girls robotics to encourage interest in the field of engineering. This led to the student-led organisation ‘Robogals’ which has now been implemented internationally teaching workshops to over 70,000 girls from 11 different countries.(Image credited to Engineers Australia)

5. Elizabeth Blackburn

A brainiac in the field of Molecular biology Elizabeth Blackburn’s study on Telomares molecular nature earned her the Nobel Prize in 2009. Blackburn found that Telomares (the ends of our chromosomes which act as a protective tip to preserve genetic information) of an unusually short nature can be an indication of illness.

(Image credited to the MIT Press)

Her research concluded that when measuring the length of telomeres the results could give patients and doctors a chance to identify diseases, intervene early and sometimes even allow prevention. Blackburn’s findings made it clear that improving your lifestyle; diet, exercise and stress level maintain your telomares and can affect your lifespan on a cellular level.

(Image credited to The Science History Institute)

6. Alyssa Azar

A young Australian adventurer with positively incredible accomplishments for a woman of her age. She is the youngest Australian to ever climb to the summit of Mount Everest on May 21st, 2016 at a mere 19 years old.

(Image credited to ABC News)

Outrageously she is also the youngest person to cross the Kokoda Track as an 8 year old in 2005. She’d made two previous attempts to summit Mount Everest but was forced to turn back due to natural disasters taking place; an avalanche and an earthquake but her third attempt was proven to be the completion of a lifelong goal.(Image credited to The Chronicle)

Aren’t they wonderfully inspiring.

Do you have a strong & remarkable Australia woman that you look up to?

Check out the upcoming adventures on our calendar!

Best Australian Walking Trails

Covering 7,692,024 million square kilometers, Australia is the world’s 6th largest country – offering trekkers of all experience levels endless opportunity to slip on those trainers and hit the ground to get in those training miles. How lucky are we? From mountains to seaside, Australia offers some amazing opportunities to get your heart pounding, whilst enjoying stunning vistas that are so characteristic of Australia.

New South Wales

Wentworth falls (Blue Mountains)

Bordering metropolitan Sydney, this iconic section of Australia’s Great Dividing Range is one of our favourite weekend getaways for training – an easy train ride from the CBD sees your landscape change from city skyline to mountain hues. The Wentworth Falls area offers trek variations ranging from 30 minutes to 6 hours. The classic Wentworth Falls Loop (6 hours) offers a moderate-challenging trek with LOTS of stairs – no matter which direction you tackle the hike, your legs will feel the inevitable burn that comes with stair training. With sweeping views of the valley, and multiple waterfall stops to encourage you to keep going, this trek is the perfect opportunity to train your leg muscles for those of you who are setting off on step-heavy adventures – Great Wall of China & Machu Picchu trekkers we’re talking to you!

Distance: 10.2km
Time: 6 hours
Track Condition: Steep
Difficulty: Moderate-difficult


Kokoda Memorial Walk (1000 Steps)

With 1000 steps to traverse on this trek, you can experience a tiny sense of the exhaustion felt by the soldiers who battled the Kokoda track in World War 2. This makes it the perfect opportunity to test those knees in preparation for any upcoming adventures that involve steep inclines and declines, especially the Great Wall of China, and the Kokoda track itself!

Distance: 5km
Time: 2 hours
Track Condition: Steep
Difficulty: Moderate

Northern Territory

Litchfield National Park

The beautiful Florence Falls in Litchfield National Park, with cool swimming hole at base. Northern Territory, Australia
An hour and a half drive from Darwin, Litchfield National Park offers a variety of day walks ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours, taking trekkers down winding paths to waterfalls and plunge pools, and back up again to tabletop plateaus and outback views. Most tracks found in Litchfield National Park are very exposed to the elements, and as such provide the perfect opportunity to practice trekking against the elements, especially prolonged cardio in hot conditions. For those of you cycling through SouthEast Asia, this could be the perfect opportunity to practice getting your heart rate up while battling hot and muggy conditions. Try completing a number of the different walking tracks in succession to create a longer workout!

Distance: 1-3.5km
Time: 30mins-2 hours
Track Condition: Steep
Difficulty: Easy-moderate


Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

The iconic image of Tasmania, Cradle Mountain

Tasmania – it’s a hiker’s paradise. It’s hard to pick just one trek, but we have to say Cradle Mountain is definitely up there with our favourites! Rising graciously over Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain boasts many different treks which allow you to challenge yourself whilst taking in the wonders of the ancient rainforest and alpine heathlands, buttongrass and beeches, icy streams and glacial lakes. We’ve narrowed down our recommendations for treks in the area:

  • Marion’s Lookout (3 hours)
  • Crater Lake (3 hours)
  • Dove Lake (2 hours)

And for those of you up to the challenge:

  • Cradle Mountain Summit Bush Walk (5 1/2 hours return)

Distance: Varies
Time: 2 hours-5.5 hours
Track Condition: Steep, rocky
Difficulty: Hard

Western Australia

Eagle’s View Trail, John Forrest National Park

Located in the John Forrest National Park just 30 minutes out of Perth, Eagle’s View Trail offers a moderately challenging loop trail, with some steep gravel sections breaking up the flatter ones, to keep you on your toes.

Distance:  15kms
Time:  6 hours
Track Condition: Steep, rocky
Difficulty:  Moderate


Whitsunday Great Walk

The Whitsunday Great Walk takes you on a 28km journey through Conway State Forest, starting at Brandy Creek, and finishing at Airlie Beach. While designed to be undertaken over 3 days – with camping facilities along the way – you might choose to tackle just one stretch.

South Australia

St. Mary’s Peak, Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges National Park

scene in Flinders Ranges Australia
St. Mary’s Peak is the highest mountain in the Flinders Ranges National Park and the second highest peak in South Australia. Soaring to 1171 metres, St Mary’s peak offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the Flinders Ranges, Wilpena Pound and surrounding plains.

To get to the summit you have two options:

  • Direct route: 14km, 6 hours return
  • Inner trail: 21.2km, 9 hours return

Both trails are challenging, with steep inclines – requiring serious hiking experience. Appropriate footwear is must for this adventure – ankle support please!


Feeling inspired?

  • Keen to tackle an Inspired Adventure’s trekking challenge? See our adventures here.


Why we love our sunburnt country

With most Australians living within 50 kilometres of the coast, it would be easy to assume that seaside wonders are Australia’s greatest natural asset. However, turn 180 degrees and start heading inland and you’ll soon discover a vastly different beauty: the uniquely red, undulating desert that is Australia’s Red—and it will leave you breathless.


From Uluru to Kakadu, the Australian Outback is staggering, its stillness and grace bringing peace to even the most frenzied traveller. The unique red rocks that are so distinct and iconic to the Outback are humbling, both in size and their seemingly random occurrence; you sense the power of nature, as well as the history and culture behind this vast landscape.


Anyone who has walked the base of Uluru will tell you how overwhelming small you begin to feel ­­– not in an insignificant way, but rather as part of a realisation that we as human beings are a small part of an enormous and beautiful picture. For anyone who travels to Uluru it is an awe-inspiring experience. For Australians, it’s an even greater honour to stand at the base of a stunning formation that holds so much significance to modern Australians, as well as the traditional owners of the land.

Natural beauty aside, the Australian Outback gives an unparalleled insight into the original custodians of this land. I found my first trip to the Outback both revealing and touching – what I thought I knew about our Indigenous Australians was overtaken by reality as I realised how little I knew about this amazing culture and their history. Not only did I learn about the Dreamtime, the significance of rock paintings, artistic expression, and the connection to land, I also came to understand the modern reality of many Indigenous Australians for whom life is rapidly changing, and rarely easy. This is an idea that I took away from my Outback experience and something I will never forget.


There are many ways to experience the Australian Outback, from guided tours to creating your own bespoke adventure. Some of the best journeys include trekking the Larapinta Trail, trekking in Kakadu National Park, visit the Kimberley or travel from south to north Australian on The Ghan.

And once you’re there ­­– how do you make the most of your Outback adventure? Approach it without any expectations, breathe in the beauty of this breath-taking land, and make sure to engage with the wonderful local communities!

Feeling inspired?


Fundraiser of the Month – Debbie Carey

Debbie Carey

Cause: BCNA
Adventure: Great Aussie Outback Trek

As our Fundraiser of the Month, Debbie has scored herself a $50 donation to her fundraising page. To be our next month’s winner, make sure you’re uploading your journey to social and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired.

What inspired you to take on your first Inspired Adventure?

I really wanted to take myself out of my comfort zone – both physically after my treatment, and from a fundraising perspective as I have never done anything like this before.

Why did you choose to fundraise for BCNA?

As a breast cancer survivor myself (2 years), and having lost my mum in 1986, and my cousin being recently diagnosed this was a no-brainer for me. I was passionate about giving something back for all the support I received.

What do you think is so exciting about being able to take on an adventure as well as give to a cause you care about?

Omg! Life is for living and not for standing still. I want to see as much of this beautiful country as I can and live for the moment. What better way than from the top of Mt Sonder?

What are your total funds raised so far? Are there any key fundraising ideas that have been the bulk of your success?

So far I have raised $7,756. I have held a ladies swap shop, an English Cream Tea & scones afternoon (after blagging free scones from Bakers Delight), various auctions and raffles, a kitchen car boot at work. The key has been blagging as many free things as possible and for me… using my outgoing husband to drum up sales of tickets etc. haha!

What have been some of the highlights of your fundraising experience so far?

Lots of wine and laugher! Haha! No seriously, I think drawing attention to this fantastic cause and really pushing myself out there. Something I am really not comfortable with.

What have been your biggest challenges in taking on an Inspired Adventure? How did you overcome this?

Getting as fit as I can with the various ailments that are popping up as a result of my treatment (ie osteoarthritis) and managing the pain as best as I could. I think having a positive mental attitude and approach to this has helped me.

Have you noticed any changes or transformation in your life since taking on your first adventure?

Absolutely! The field of women showed me that it’s ok to be vulnerable. I have remained strong for everyone around me from day 1 and I now accept that it’s ok to ask for help.

"I met some fantastic, strong and brave women on this trip who have shown me that I am part of a much wider sisterhood than I could have ever imagined."

What advice would you offer to other people looking to complete a challenge like this?

Go into this with an open mind, a positive outlook and get ready to appreciate absolutely everything that you see, feel (yes… even the spinifex!), hear and smell. Soak up absolutely everything and grow with the experience.

One of my most memorable moments was waking up to the smell of a campfire, and pulling the swag off my face to the soft sounds of the ‘I am Australian’ song playing from our bus whilst looking up at the awe-inspiring starlit sky.

I met some fantastic, strong and brave women on this trip who have shown me that I am part of a much wider sisterhood than I could have ever imagined.

Fundraiser of the Month

Become our Fundraiser of the Month to win a $50 donation to your fundraising page!

Take a picture whilst fundraising for your adventure and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired and your adventure hashtag. The most exciting use of the hashtag, with a fundraising focus will be our Fundraiser of the Month – it’s that easy!


Eddie Mabo: Celebrating 25 years of native title for Indigenous Australians

It’s hard to believe it was just 25 years ago that the momentous legal case recognising the land rights of the Meriam people, took place here in Australia.

The Mabo Case, as it is known today, challenged the concept of ‘terra nullius’ or land belonging to no one and claimed native title to the Murray Islands.

In 1974, while working as a grounds keeper at James Cook University, Eddie Mabo learned that what he thought of as his people’s traditional land was actually owned by the Government. This discovery lead him to challenge the land ownership laws in Australia.

Image source: aiatsis

The case began in 1982 on the grounds that the Meriam people had:

  • Continuously inhabited and exclusively possessed these lands
  • Lived in permanent settled communities
  • Had their own political and social organisation

On these grounds, the Mabo case sought recognition of the Meriam people’s rights to this land.

It took ten years, but finally on 3 June 1992, the High Court of Australia ruled that the lands were not terra nullius and that the Meriam people were “entitled as against the whole world to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of (most of) the lands of the Murray Islands”.

The High Court recognised the fact that Indigenous peoples had lived in Australia for thousands of years and enjoyed rights to their land according to their own laws and customs. Unfortunately, Mabo died of cancer just months before the ruling was made.

Mabo was posthumously awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal in the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Awards, together with the Reverend Dave Passi, Sam Passi (deceased), James Rice (deceased), Celuia Mapo Salee (deceased) and Barbara Hocking. The award was in recognition “of their long and determined battle to gain justice for their people” and the “work over many years to gain legal recognition for indigenous people’s rights”.source.

The new law of native title replaced the former concept of terra nullius. In recognition, the High Court changed the law in Australia to establish the Native Title Act 1993, paving way for claims by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to take back their traditional rights to their land.

Image credit: alchetron.com


The Great Barrier Reef in crisis: what’s going on?

So you’ve probably heard that our beautiful Great Barrier Reef is in major strife due to a huge global coral bleaching event. Yet many people don’t know why it’s important, how it happens and what it means for our Reef. That’s where we come in: welcome to Reef in Crisis 101.

Coral bleaching? What's that?

Coral bleaching is caused by unusually high sea temperatures that kill the tiny marine algae, which are vital to coral health. There is actually no evidence of these disasters happening before the late 20th century, and this is the third global coral bleaching since 1998.

To get more into the science of it, coral bleaching occurs when abnormal environmental conditions cause coral to expel tiny photosynthetic algae, called zooxanthellae. The loss of this vibrant algae causes the coral in the reef to turn white and “bleach.” The good news is that bleached coral can recover if the temperature drops and zooxanthellae are able to recolonise them, otherwise…it may die.

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Wonderful and beautiful underwater world with corals and tropical fish.

What's causing it?

Climate change. There’s no denying the facts that rising temperatures and therefore rising ocean temperatures are the cause of this crisis. Professor Justin Marshal, a reef scientist from Queensland confirmed the cause.

He told the 7.30 Report, “What we’re seeing now is unequivocally to do with climate change. The world has agreed, this is climate change, we’re seeing climate change play out across our reefs.”

You’ve no doubt heard about El Niño: ocean currents cause large changes in rainfall and temperatures in countries around the Pacific Ocean. So for example, Australia is hotter and dryer in El Niño years, and cooler and wetter in La Niña, the opposite pattern. These effects change our ocean temperatures too. Our 2015/2016 summer was extremely hot and long, and this long exposure to hot water is what caused the recent bleaching event. This made one of the worst coral bleaching events the Great Barrier Reef has ever experienced.

Official data from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority indicates that only 7 % of the total reef area has escaped some degree of bleaching.

“We’ve never seen anything like this scale of bleaching before. In the northern Great Barrier Reef, it’s like 10 cyclones have come ashore all at once. We have now flown over 911 individual reefs in a helicopter and light plane, to map out the extent and severity of bleaching along the full 2300km length of the Great Barrier Reef.

Of all the reefs we surveyed, only 7% (68 reefs) have escaped bleaching entirely. At the other end of the spectrum, between 60 and 100% of corals are severely bleached on 316 reefs, nearly all in the northern half of the Reef.”

– Professor Terry Hughes, convenor of the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce

Coral_Reef_shutterstock_92938828 Reef blog

Why does it matter?

So is it such a bad thing? While reefs make up less than 1% of Earth’s underwater ecosystems, we shouldn’t underestimate their importance:

  • They shelter 25 percent of marine species
  • The protect shorelines
  • They support fishing industries
  • They could possibly be home to the next big, undiscovered medical breakthrough

Dead coral then becomes covered with different types of algae and has the ability to cause a change in species of fish and a number of other animals living in the reef. This will soon be what causes the underwater animals and creatures to then become extinct.

These coral bleaching events are also a show of what’s to come if we don’t take action and address climate change. The bleaching events represent an ecological shift and a big enough change to see coral reef ecosystems disappearing forever. Do we want to lose our precious natural beauties?

Australia Great Barrier Reef Seascape of Clam Gardens
Reef Blog

What can you do?

It might seem like there is no way you as an individual can make a difference, but trust us, every action from every human counts. So how can you respond to the bleaching of the reef and the effects of climate change in general?

  • Use renewable energy in your home such as solar panels and tech batteries
  • Get your voice heard by your local government representatives, demand they take action to protect coral reefs, stop sewage pollution of our oceans, expand marine protected areas and take steps to reverse global warming
  • Respect the environment by walking or cycling when you can, recycling properly and living as waste-free as possible
  • Volunteer for a reef clean-up – and if you don’t live near a coral reef, then visit one on vacation!

There are many other ways but these are just a few you can start with.

Feeling inspired?

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How to spend only 2 days in the Red Centre

It’s no secret we love a good Aussie adventure. From the Tarkine to the Top End, our domestic charity treks are more popular than ever. Short flights, no visa requirements, and no jetlag (not to mention the spectacular scenery!) all make travelling in our own backyard pretty appealing. While seven days under the stars and over the red dirt of the Larapinta trail is hard to beat, sometimes you’ve only got a weekend. Here are our best tips to make the most of a short trip to Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park in the Northern Territory.

If possible, rent a car

All accomodation in the national park actually sits just outside its boundaries (in a resort town called Yulara) so you’ll need a vehicle to get around. There are plenty of tours and shuttle bus options, but the flexibility and economy of renting your own car means you can save money and travel on your own schedule. You do not need a 4WD rental, all roads around the accomodation and within the national park between attractions are sealed and in excellent condition. Beware of kilometre restrictions on rentals also, especially if you head further out. Although, in reality, including a trip to King’s Canyon (320kms from Uluru) isn’t quite feasible in a two or three day trip.

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Get up early

We know, setting your alarm on holiday doesn’t quite seem fair. But trust us on this one.  Most of the tours and activity in the park are centred around sunrise and sunset, and for good reason. First, for much of the year, midday can be oppressively hot as the sun climbs high in the sky. Second, and more importantly, sunrise and sunset are magical times in the desert. If you can, get yourself up about an hour before sunrise and drive to the Kata Tjuta viewing platform. You’ll sit in the quiet of night, stars overhead, as night’s curtain begins to lift behind Uluru off to the east. As the sky lightens the domes of Kata Tjuta slowly come into focus from inky black to glowing ochre. It’s pretty amazing! Once the sun is up, you’ll be in a perfect position to head over to Kata Tjuta for the Valley of the Winds or Walpa Gorge walk.

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Consider flying directly into Ayers Rock airport

If you only have a weekend, the time you’ll spend driving to and from Alice Springs airport will seriously limit the amount of time you can actually spend in the park. Some will say the drive from Alice Springs to Uluru is half the fun and that might be true if you have a few extra days. But for us, landing just 10 minutes from the park made much more sense.

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Learn about Anangu culture

Uluru and Kata Tjuta are both central in the traditional belief systems of local Anangu culture. We highly reccomend hiring a local guide to bring these stories, called Tjukurpa in Pitjantjatjara language, to life. There is an easy park ranger-guided walk called the “Mala Walk” at the base of Uluru each day which was a fantastic primer to these intricate and vast tjukurpa. After learning about Uluru’s reverence in these stories it’s easy to see why the more respectful option is not climbing atop it.

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