Tag Archives: Philanthropy

Interview with Justine: 15 years of Inspired

I sat down with Justine, the driving force behind Inspired, to have a look back at what she’s achieved since we opened our doors fifteen years ago. Had the pleasure of discussing her outlook on the growing popularity of ethical travel, her desire to create a company for social good & the bright future of Inspired Adventures

So Justine, have you always been impacted by companies preaching social good?

When I was about 14 I remember going into town with my Mum and seeing The Body Shop for the first time. I’d never seen anything like it before. I loved the fact that they were talking about community trade, ethically sourced ingredients, recycling the plastic bottles – and this is mid 80s. Anita Roddick was at the forefront of this movement, they were discussing women’s issues, no cosmetic testing on animals. It really struck a chord with me.

How does Inspired's adventures impact the lives of the participants?

It is often declaring that you’re going to do something out of your comfort zone; a fundraising challenge requires a lot of preparation and the confidence to go away with people you don’t know and actually completing that is quite transformational. It  can often make a difference in how they live their lives thereafter as they suddenly know themselves to be a bit of a local hero. It is the concept of ‘ordinary people doing extraordinary things. 

15 years of incredible work - What is there to celebrate?

We’ve raised – and counting – about $33 million dollars. I think it’s really wonderful to imagine the impact of that money and what it can and has achieved.

For example: We’ve funded a Kids Helpline counsellor on the phone for an entire year.


We funded a piece of video equipment for rural hospitals so they could video conference in with bigger Children’s hospitals in the cities and help pioneer life-saving operations for kids.”

“It’s hard to comprehend what we’ve actually raised.  I say to the team often that it is the butterfly effect of that money that is often quite extraordinary.

Equally worth celebrating is the people are the 6,000 or more who have been on our adventures & the amazing people who sign up to; pledge a minimum amount, spend a year fundraising and getting fit & healthy, going to join a group of strangers and go somewhere in Australia or International, probably somewhere I’ve never been to trek, cycle or run a marathon and put myself out there.  It changes lives. For that year or so it gives people a goal and gives their lives meaning.


As a society the idea of sustainable and socially conscious travel is becoming increasingly popular and supported by the masses - Why do you feel that society is coming round to this phenomenon?

It’s very exciting that we finally are. It’s come an incredibly long way in the last 10 years. For many people it starts with diet and nutrition – avoiding processed foods and eating clean – thinking about different ways of approaching diet. Starting from the ground with not shopping at your local supermarket with plastic bags – making a commitment to the environment at home, one that is very manageable and achievable for us all to begin. It’s a natural progression for people to think about how they travel.

There’s been a real increase in smaller, niche, boutique travel agencies that really have a focus on ethical, sustainable & responsible travel practices. I think it’s become a lot more accessible and as the popularity increases it becomes a lot easier to travel that way. Following the sentiments of “Leave only Footprints”.

I’m really pleased the world is wising up, it seems a natural shift between how we live our lives and how we want to see & travel the world. As a parent as well it’s wonderful to be a good example to kids. Provide those insights and environmentally responsible practices, community education done in a really responsible way and keep educating the next generation.

What do you see as being the future of Inspired?

Creating extraordinary travel and fundraising for the younger generation.We’d like to place a focus on Australian travel, exploring our own backyard. We have an extraordinarily diverse and wonderful country with a lot to learn about the community and our history. Equally growing our New Zealand operation, which is exciting, and looking further afield. Working with other charities in the Asia-Pacific region and constantly look into new destinations & itineraries such as those this year to Costa Rica & Japan.

We’re running lots of Corporate adventures so that’s a wonderful opportunity for development too. It’s important that team-building and Leadership development for staff and inter-company relations to aid Corporates in being better global citizens and having an awareness of responsible travel & ethical practices.

What would you say to inspire other women who look up to you and have similar dreams?

Never give up!

Follow your instincts and listen to your heart, whatever feels right. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Stay very true to yourself and find time to connect with the inner you – your creativity and your passion.

We as women are incredibly creative and passionate. There’s an opportunity to constantly be listening, looking and exploring. Tap into that inner-goddess.

Check out the upcoming adventures on our calendar!

2018 Social Impact Events Calendar

Rewind a couple of weeks … was your New Year’s resolution to get more in touch with what’s happening in your community? Us too! Here are our top picks of social impact, arts, culture and environmental events that need to find their way into your 2018 schedule.

FEBRUARY all month: Sustainable Living Festival

Melburnians, take note: The Sustainable Living Festival , which lasts all of February, engages individuals and communities to host and promote sustainability events. Celebrating the very best examples of ecological and social sustainability the event embraces interactive workshops, talks, demonstrations, artworks, exhibits, films and live performances.

FEBRUARY 27-28: Purpose conference

You could call it a conference, but it’s more than that.  Purpose.do is two days to gather with people who are passionate about purpose-driven businesses: working in them, running them, launching them, and thinking hard about how they fit in the world in 2018. 

MARCH 4: All About Women

Returning for its sixth year to the Sydney Opera House, the All About Women festival features an incredible line-up of speakers on intersectionality, #metoo, Trump, climate justice, and other issues that matter to women (and everyone!) in 2018. Tickets are going fast to the most popular sessions.

MARCH 4: Clean Up Australia Day

Also happening on March 4 is the 27th annual Clean Up Australia Day. You can make a real difference to your local environment by registering to collect rubbish at your local park, beach, bushland and help promote a cleaner community.

MARCH 24: Earth Hour

Today is Earth Hour, the world’s largest grassroots movement for climate change action. Millions of people in over 180 countries take part in Earth Hour by switching off their lights from 8:30-9:30pm local time as a symbolic gesture to show that our planet needs stronger action on climate change.

MAY 25: TEDx Sydney

Returning for its 9th year, TEDxSydney is an independently organised event that will feature inspirational talks and performances from leading thinkers with ideas worth spreading. Discussion will focus around technology, design, science and culture.

Feeling Inspired?

  • Stay tuned for our follow up events calendar for the second half of 2018 featuring Vivid, Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, Mental Health Week and more.
  • Visit the Inspired Adventures Calendar to add a big date to your calendar this year when you take on an epic adventure



Could Pokémon Go actually be making the world a better place?

In less than a month, Pokémon Go has captivated the world, blurring the line between the real and the virtual. The augmented reality app is designed to get people on their feet, explore their city or town and capture Pokémon on their smartphones. PokéStops are scattered around the city, where players can collect Poké Balls, and connect with other players to discover where other Pokémon are hidden, levelling up as they do so.

Love it or hate it, that app actually might be doing a lot of good. And at Inspired Adventures, we love doing good!

Here are some of the ways this humble app has made a positive change in the world.

It has lead to the rescue of abandoned animals

From hamsters to injured dogs, players have found and rescued a number of animals on their quest to catch Pokémon. Sara Perez and Matthew Teague discovered an abandoned cage full of hamsters and mice and took them home to nurse back to health. A few of the hamsters have been adopted so far, with the rest to find homes soon. Another woman also discovered an injured puppy during her Pokémon search. The puppy appeared to have been abandoned, and was taken to the vet for treatment. He is expected to make a full recovery.

It has given new homes to shelter dogs

A dog shelter in the US state of New Mexico has invited players to bring along a canine companion with them while on the hunt for Pokémon. Organiser Haley Bowers said, “A lot of people that like Pokémon like animals, so I figured it would be a pretty good program to combine both the dogs and Pokémon”. The shelter has already experienced a spike in the number of adoptions as a result of this initiative. At least 10 people have filed to adopt, but anyone is welcome to stop by just to take the dogs along for a walk!

It’s helping people find love

You can catch Pokémon, and as it turns out the eye of other players as well.

A couple in Canada have met through the game and have been inseparable since. “I’ve tried Plenty of Fish, I’ve tried Tinder, OKCupid nothing no luck whatsoever and then right away with Pokemon Go I met someone,” said 26-year-old Patrick Toutain. He met Chelsea Lemire on a chat board for Pokémon Go.

“A lot of us grew up with it so to meet somebody else that kind of had the same childhood growing up with it you instantly connect,” said Lemire. “You have to get out of the house to play so you don’t have a choice but to talk to people,” she added.

We’re sure there are plenty more couples who have met through Pokémon Go!

It gets people moving

Perhaps most obviously, Pokémon Go is getting people outside, as the aim is to find Pokémon in your neighbourhood. It is one of the reasons that the app was created in the first place. More people are spending time walking outside, and step counts have almost doubled in the time that Pokémon Go has existed. It has given people the motivation to get up and stay active, for hours at a time.

It is improving the lives of those suffering from anxiety and depression

People who suffer with social disorders, anxiety and depression have found solace in the game, which encourages players to connect with others. Jack Kilbourn, from the UK has battled with depression and anxiety for years. He now spends his time walking around the city in search of Pokémon, connecting with other players who share his enthusiasm for the game. “I’m getting more confidence… Pokémon is encouraging me to get out of the house again and speak to other people – I would never have done that before. I’m starting to feel better again,” he says. And he’s not the only one; hundreds of Twitter users claim that the app has helped them make new friends despite suffering with social anxiety.

It’s sharing knowledge

Pokémon Go encourages players to explore and observe the world around them. It’s a great way for kids to learn how to use maps, and if you’re not aware of the geography of your area, the game helps with that too.

Many businesses are also jumping on the Pokémon bandwagon to varying levels of success. One zookeeper at Birmingham Zoo noticed that many people were visiting the zoo to catch Pokémon, so she decided to make the exhibits more Pokémon-friendly:

Source: Zookeeper problems

Feeling inspired?

Do you feel like doing good? Check out our 2017 calendar!


alt text="Fundraiser of the Month"

Fundraiser of the Month – Gabrielle Lee

Gabrielle Lee

Cause: Leukaemia Foundation
Adventure: Machu Picchu Challenge 2016: Leukaemia Foundation

As our Fundraiser of the Month, Gabrielle 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 Inspired Adventure for the Leukaemia Foundation?

I love a challenge and I have never been overseas. I stumbled across the Inspired Adventures website and when I saw the Machu Picchu trek for the Leukaemia Foundation, I didn’t need to put any more thought into it. I booked it instantly. When my brother Josh was 5 years old, he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. We are very close, born just 12 months apart. Josh spent a year at Westmead Children’s Hospital where he underwent a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy. My mum didn’t have much money and relied heavily on support services such as transport, financial assistance, accommodation, education and emotional support. Being a cause so close to my heart, I love any opportunity to fundraise for the Leukaemia Foundation. Josh is now 26 years old and fortunately, very healthy. He’s especially excited for the adventure I’m about to take!

How are you feeling about the challenge ahead?

I’m excited! I am eager to meet my team who seem to be such like-minded and inspiring people. I’m a little bit nervous about the difficulty of the trek but I’m sure it will be a great experience and I can’t wait to take on one of the most beautiful treks in the world!

What have been some of your more successful fundraising ideas so far?

Having a fundraiser BBQ at Bunnings would be the most successful event I have held so far. It was great to get out in the community and talk to people about the foundation and why I’m raising money. I had such a supportive team of family, close friends, and even some acquaintances who turned out to be more generous than I could have ever imagined!

"Seeing how helpful and generous people can be would have to be the ultimate highlight."

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

Just seeing how helpful and generous people can be would have to be the ultimate highlight. Getting a donation from someone who you least expect really warms the heart. Meeting people while fundraising and hearing stories about their experiences with leukaemia, whether it is their own, a friend or family member, it makes me feel so determined and motivated to do all that I can for the foundation.

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

I joined the Machu Picchu group in December and so I haven’t had long to get organised. My biggest challenge has been the financial struggle that comes with any overseas trip. I just stay focused on what’s ahead and how much this cause means to me. I have been working hard to get myself to Peru and it’s not hard to remind myself why I’m doing this.

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

My priorities have changed. I am so driven and determined to be a better person and challenge myself more.

What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming adventure to Peru?

I’m most looking forward to meeting the rest of the Inca trekkers, experiencing the Peruvian culture and of course, getting to Machu Picchu!

"My priorities have changed. I am so driven and determined to be a better person and challenge myself more."

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

It will be the best thing you’ve ever done. Work hard and don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way, and have fun!

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!


6 Innovations That Will Leave a Lasting Impact on the World

We love socially-good innovations, just as much as we love taking on new adventures! There are some seriously cool and inspiring innovations out there ­– innovations that will no doubt leave a lasting impact on the world. From water that can be carried in a wheel to shelters that can easily be assembled for those who need it most, we’ve rounded up six revolutionary ideas you should know about!

Wello Water

In many developing countries, it is the job of women and girls to collect water for the family and household. Often the journey to find water is arduous and long, meaning girls are spending less time at school and more time working. Also, the water is heavy – 20kg in fact. It’s backbreaking. No one should have to walk many kilometres with that much dead weight on their back.

Introducing: the Wellow WaterWheel. This product was designed to reduce the drudgery of water collection for women, providing a faster, safer and more time-efficient way to transport water home to their families. It’s affordable, it keeps the water clean and it’s ergonomic.

Source: Wello Water Facebook


Did you know when girls have access to sanitary products, their rates of absenteeism at school reduce dramatically? LaunchPad was designed with a mission to deliver affordable, biodegradable sanitary pads to women and girls in Sierra Leone. They were created and selected based on the needs of women’s cultural taboos and environment. LaunchPad also teach women how to start a business by selling the sanitary pads. Double win!

Source: OneGirl Facebook

The Ocean Cleanup

We all love the ocean, right? And we all know that it suffers under the hands of humans that pollute it on a daily basis, right? Enter: The Ocean Cleanup. This marvellous contraption envisions a network of long floating barriers, which in turn would allow the ocean currents to passively gather plastic and other pollutants. Once the plastic is gathered in a central point, it can then be collected for recycling. Simples! The Ocean Cleanup’s feasibility study showed that a single 100 kilometer-long cleanup collection could remove 42 per cent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch over a period of 10 years! Amazing!

Source: Ocean Cleanup Facebook

Better Shelter

This cool contraption was created with refugees in mind and is pretty awesome if we do say so. The Better Shelter comes in flat packs, meaning aid relief can transport it easily and assemble it without tools. It also has an expected lifespan of three years. Three years of shelter would mean so many people who need protection will be safe from the harsh elements of the environment. The shelters include a solar panel and a lamp to provide light. Better Shelter have also teamed up with UNHCR and the IKEA Foundation to deploy and use the shelters in the countries where refugees need them the most.

Source: Better Shelter

Eco BLAC brick

In India hundreds of thousands of brick kilns produce about 200 billion bricks each year. This process creates a considerable amount of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Paper mills also dump boiler ash in landfills, affecting human and environment health. As demand for housing increases, it is expected that demand for bricks, an essential building material will also increase

Some brainy kids at MIT decided this needed to change, and developed a brick called the Eco BLAC brick, which they made from the boiler ash, using low-energy alkali activation technology rather than a kiln. The result? Recycled industrial waste turned into construction materials.

Source: MIT Tata Center

Orange Sky Laundry

Orange Sky Laundry was founded in 2014 by two young Aussie blokes, Lucas and Nicholas. Their mission? They want to create a vehicle for conversations, opportunities and education through a free mobile laundry service for the homeless. The custom fitted van has been servicing parks and drop-in centres Australia wide, with two industrial washers and dryers in each van. They were also awarded Young Australians of the year for 2016!

Source: Orange Sky Laundry Facebook

Feeling Inspired?

Visit the Inspired Adventures Calendar to find your mountain!


Business for Good: The Good Beer Co.

Have a cold one and help save The Great Barrier Reef!

What if we told you that you could get the Great Barrier Reef out of hot water, just by having a cold one? It seems like an Aussie pipe-dream; drinking our preferred bevie whilst saving our beloved reef.

The good news is: it’s not a pipe-dream! Thanks to James Grugeon, the brain-man and founder behind The Good Beer Company, we can now do some social and environmental good while indulging in our favourite Aussie past-time: drinking beer.

The Good Beer Co. is Australia’s first social enterprise beer company. Its mission? Good Beer that does good. In partnership with enviro-savvy microbreweries around Oz, The Good Beer Co. brews quality crafts beers that are inspired by a select charity partner, to whom at least 50 per cent of profits will be donated.

For their first enviro-friendly cause, The Good Beer Co. has launched a crowd-funding campaign for production of its first drop, Great Barrier Beer, which will see at least 50 percent of profits go to the Australian Marine Conservation Society (how good is that!?).

Crowd-funders will also get the opportunity to be the first to enjoy its easy drinking beers, and have a say in future beer recipes, labels and causes. All brews will be made from quality Australian products, as well as being environmentally friend through their ingredient sourcing and production.


It’s no secret that our beautiful Great Barrier Reef is at a tipping point, having lost about half of its coral cover in the past 30 years. Unless we take action now to protect it, the outlook for this natural wonder of the world looks bleak. Yet by helping to crowd-fund ‘Great Barrier Beer’, Aussies will be helping reverse damage to the Reef and ensure its protection for the future.

And, for later brews, The Good Beer Co. will partner with craft brewers across Oz who are committed to supporting important charities. So when Aussies choose to drink Good Beer, they do good too. Need we say more?

Visit their website here, or donate to the cause here.

We can't wait until our case arrives at Inspired HQ!

Feeling inspired?


Inspired’s best travel moments of 2015

"Take only memories, leave only footprints" – Chief Seattle

It’s the small moments amongst the chaos of travel that we remember most. 2015 was a big year for Inspired in so many ways. We conquered mountains, we hiked incredible trails, we cycled across countries, we ran marathons, we renovated apartments, we bought houses and some of us got married and had babies! And of course, we travelled our little hearts out and boy did we create some incredible memories!

Here’s a few of our most special travel moments from 2015.

Theresa, Campaign Manager

I had an incredible year of travel and was lucky enough to go on 2 Inspired Adventures!! My favourite memory is from the Hike the Homelands with Amnesty International. We saw the sunrise over Mount Sonder in the Larapinta region from our campsite–it was truly breathtaking.

Kat, Campaign Manager

An incredible moment of 2015 was visiting the Treasury in Petra. It’s everything you’ve imagined. There has been such little excavation that you can’t help but want to reinvent your life and become Indiana Jones searching for mystery. The heat was intense but certainly worth it.

Kelsey, Campaign Manager

My travel highlight of 2016 was heading home to Minnesota and seeing the Northern Lights!

Laura, Fundraising Coordinator

At end of our 7th day in China we said goodbye to Jo, Marion and Megan after a long day on the wall at the cable car station, a few of us grabbed a quick ice cream and took on the challenge of trekking about an hour further to toboggan off the wall. I’m not exactly sure what happened next or if a challenge was ever propositioned but next minute the two Davids, Demi, Heidi, Hero and Laura are sprinting across the Great Wall, up and down flights of stairs, through watchtowers and almost knocking over tourists (Amazing Race style) in order to make record time to the our final destination.

There is some debate about what time we actually began but what Hero thought should take at least 60 minutes we finished in between 15 and 20 minutes. When we arrived at the toboggan entrance, they had just shut. Luckily, Hero convinced the ticket seller to remain open for our group to take the ride down from the top of the wall to the car park. We all jumped on our toboggans like little kids and raced on from our hardest day so far trekking. At the bottom we found the ladies enjoying an ice cold beer. We then took a shuttle back to our bus to meet out driver and our number one cheerleader, Margaret.

Sharni, Fundraising Coordinator

This year for the very first time I visited Australia’s Southern gem – Tasmania! 7 days of bliss road tripping around the island – relaxing by the Hazards in Coles Bay, eating Oysters & cheese on Bruny Island & enjoying a spectacular view from the top of a snow-capped Mt Wellington! But the highlight of this trip for me was definitely hiking the legendary Cradle Mountain NP, wombats, chilly weather and all. This experience has added another adventure to my bucket list – to hike the iconic Overland Track! Sometimes the most beautiful experiences, are right on your doorstep.

Kate, Campaigns & Partnerships Manager

This year I decided to turn my travel attentions to Australia and made it to every state and territory! I trekked the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, cruised the wild rivers of western Tasmania, and snorkelled with turtles on the Great Barrier Reef.

But the highlight was finally making it to the Red Centre and Uluru. The rich colours, stillness and vastness of this ancient land is breathtaking! I watched the sun rise and set over Uluru and Kata Tjuta and learned about the rich Indigenous heritage of the region. It’s a truly special and spiritual place.

This was my second trip to the Northern Territory and it’s firmly cemented it’s status as once of my favourite places in the world. My first visit in 2013 was to trek in Kakadu National Park, an unforgettable experience. In 2016 I will return to the Red Centre to trek the iconic Larapinta Trek and I can’t wait!

Ally, Copywriter

There’s nothing truly as mesmerising as snorkelling in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It’s honestly one of the most breath-taking places in the world, made even more special now that this beautiful reef is under threat. The best part of my snorkel? Swimming with not one, not two, but three turtles. It was an experience I will never forget.

Kate, Head of Client Services & Marketing

It’s so hard to choose just one moment. I had an amazing trip to Hawaii earlier in the year. But I’d have to say the Trek Towards a Cure in Peru with National Breast Cancer Foundation seriously life-changing. One of the best memories from the adventure was when 3 other trekkers and myself conquered Huayna Picchu (the mountain perched above Machu Picchu). It was a slog up there (it’s vertical in parts AND it had been raining so it was mud central!) but we persisted and made it to the top. The birds-eye view over Machu Picchu was breath-taking, and I really enjoyed the fact that there were so few people!! We had a little picnic, a few tears and breathed in the mountain air. It was a very special moment.

Serena, Campaign Manager

2015 has been full of incredible adventures both here and abroad. My highlight has to be this moment on a deserted Sri Lankan beach, with some of my best friends who had flown halfway around the world.

Feeling Inspired?

Create your own special travel moments in 2016 on an Inspired Adventure!


Finding serenity in the silly season

Taking time out

If you’re lucky enough to have some time off at the end of the year, by all means catch up with friends and family, enjoy the holiday parties, and partake in the merriment. But don’t forget to carve a little time for yourself amidst the madness. It’s too easy to get overwhelmed with all the goings-on of the season with work holiday parties, family obligations, friends’ dinner parties… the list goes on. Just remember, you don’t have to say yes to every invitation that comes your way. It is absolutely okay, necessary even we’d say, to schedule time just for yourself. Whether that’s a walk in nature, a lazy afternoon with a book,  your favourite hobby or just sitting by the beach – make the time and do it. Even better, use this time as an opportunity to reflect on the year that’s been and set your intentions for 2016.

Giving with intention

“It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” – Dr Suess, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

It’s a beautiful thing, gift-giving. It can bring so much joy to both the giver and the recipient. And when you get it just right, giving a heart-felt gift that is right on the mark, the look of excitement and gratitude is priceless. Unfortunately, the tradition of exchanging gifts at Christmas can sometimes feel like an obligation which leads us to rush out and buy a bunch of stuff.  We all know the kind of impulse purchases that we’ve received and probably given before. (A ‘spa hamper’ with a kilo of shredded paper filler and one bath bomb, anyone? )

So our advice is to avoid giving gifts that will add clutter to your giftee’s life, and to give ones that can be truly enjoyed – think consumables and experiences. A fancy bottle of wine, delicious fair trade tea or chocolate, class vouchers (the gift of learning!) or tickets to a show are all lovely gifts that show you care without adding clutter.

Gifts that make a difference
If you’re really not sure what to get someone, why not a goat, a hygiene kit or some farming seeds? Maybe not literally, but giving the gift of a donation in someone’s name is possible through a number of charities, some of our favourites are:
Unicef Inspired Gifts
Oxfam Unwrapped
Plan International Australia Gifts of Hope
World Vision Gifts that Give Back

If you want to give a gift anonymously to someone in need, Kmart’s Wishing Tree let’s you make the season bright for a child who might not otherwise receive a gift this Christmas.

Spreading holiday cheer

The holiday season is a time to reflect on everything in your life – all the people, opportunities, and comforts you have to be thankful for and look after those who may have less. There are so many wonderful organisations (like our charity partners!) doing important work to help those less fortunate. Take some time over the Christmas period to ask yourself how you can help, and then get in touch with the organisation that aligns. Many charities are inundated with requests to volunteer on Christmas Day, but need all the help they can get the other 364 days of the year.  What a wonderful feeling it will be to start the new year with a plan to give back!

If you’re around Sydney on Christmas Day, The Wayside Chapel hosts a Christmas lunch to bring the community together and provide a festive meal to the homeless people of Kings Cross. The Christmas Wayside Chapel Street Party has filled volunteer positions but, in the true sense of community, would love to see people from all walks of life join together to celebrate. Mission Australia hosts a similar Christmas Lunch in the Park in Perth and is seeking sponsorships for plates of food.

If you have a neighbour or colleague who will be on their own for Christmas, why not make like HONY for the Holidays, an initiative to pair people with nowhere to go for Christmas with those who have an extra place, and invite them to spend the day with you? Whether you have a big family feast or just a small gathering, adding one more spot at the table is a beautiful way to live out the generosity of the season.

Lifeline and beyondblue are sadly overwhelmed with calls during this time of the year from those struggling with mental health.  Pete Schmigel, CEO of Lifeline Australia says, “Often, a compassionate ear can be the best way to support someone going through a difficult period, and this is particularly important during the festive season.”

If you or a loved one needs someone to talk to, please call Lifeline 13 11 14 or beyondblue 1300 22 4636.

Feeling Inspired?

Read more about ethical gift giving.

Check out our Festive Fundraising guide if you’re currently fundraising.

Add some adventure to your New Year’s resolutions!


Fundraiser of The Month – Elizabeth Mallet

 Name: Elizabeth Mallett (Lizzi)
Cause: NeuRA – (Neuroscience Research Australia).
Adventure: NeuRA Memory Cycle – Vietnam and Cambodia 2015 and Great Wall of China Discovery Trek 2016

Lizzi’s Inspired journey has been a beautiful one to be a part of. She overcame her doubts and fears, driven by the kindness offered to her by NeuRA to take a challenge that took her well outside her comfort zone. Lizzi is now training and fundraising for her second Inspired Adventure, heading to The Great Wall of China in April next year. If you are in need of some inspiration, her story is the one to read!


“My journey with NeuRA started twelve years ago when my dad was first diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and Fronto Temporal Dementia. I was only 15 years old at the time and had never heard of this disease. I was confused and scared for my dad, however, our medical researcher at NeuRA explained what was happening to my dad in a way that I could understand. Since then, NeuRA has been a huge support for my family during dad’s illness and after his passing seven years ago. I always wanted to do something more to help raise awareness and give back to NeuRA.

The first trip was the Memory Cycle from Vietnam to Cambodia. I was sceptical at first as I didn’t think I could raise the money being on my own in Sydney nor was I a cyclist. Who was going to be on the trip with me? And how can I keep up with them? So many doubts went through my head however I overcame these when I started my social media campaign and raised over $5,000. I managed to raise funds through emails and Facebook postings. I had a campaign where people donated $10 for each kilometre I rode for one day of the month. I clocked up my kilometres doing laps in Centennial Park in Randwick. When the time came to go on my trip, the group of people I was with were the most inspiring, caring and like-minded people, and I quickly realised that I was very lucky to be on this trip. Each day was harder than the last, but I stuck it out and managed to cycle the whole lot. It was determination but also mind over matter that got me through the distance. The team and I supported each other through the whole trip which has resulted in lasting friendships.

When the China trip came up, this seemed like a great trip to go on with my brother. After seeing what I achieved with my fundraising, he wanted to have a go and we thought we could do this trip together. I’m very excited to do the fundraising and the Great Wall of China trek with my family involved this time round as it’s a life changing experience that we can share together.

I have moved back to Perth and started organising events to raise the money. I figured that since I have exhausted the online option of fundraising that I would have better luck raising the money in events and it will be a lot more fun than sitting at home typing away at the computer. It gives us an opportunity to educate people about the diseases that affected our lives and the work that NeuRA does. Doing trips like these gets people interested and they start asking questions. I have had so many random people stop me and ask what it is I am doing (usually doing some random poses in my NeuRA top or cycling with my white bike) then this gives me a chance to explain my fundraising for NeuRA and what NeuRA’s research means to me.

Sometimes you have to put yourself out there to make a difference. Stepping out of my comfort zone and going on the cycle trip was the best thing I have done. It’s given me the courage and confidence to do crazy stunts that get people’s attention and allows me to spread the word and expose NeuRA to a whole range of people. Not only have I raised funds for NeuRA but I have educated people and become someone they can approach to talk to about dementia, MND, stroke, Alzheimers and you anything else you can name. Passion for your cause really makes a difference to how you fundraise as anyone can fundraise for anything these days. So bringing your heart and soul into it makes you stand out above the rest. Don’t be afraid to tell your story as you never know who is out there needing to hear it and wanting to speak to someone who will understand. We go on these trips to make a difference and in the end we do so one way or another.”

Lizzi and bike

As our Fundraiser of the Month, Lizzi has won a $50 donation to her fundraising page for NeuRA. If you would like to be our next Fundraiser or Adventurer of the Month, simply share your Inspired Journey on social media and tag #IveBeenInspired.

Feeling inspired?


2015 – What a year!









million raised

Wowee, what a year we’ve had!

2015 was the biggest year ever for Inspired Adventures. We saw 77 trips depart and a massive 686 incredible people joined an Inspired Adventure. They ran, cycled and trekked all over the world for their chosen cause. This year, we saw an incredible growth in our funds raised for charity, with over $20 million raised in 11 years and $5.32 million this year alone.

So what else did we get up to? 

Our boss got married!

Our inspiring CEO and Founder Justine got married to the amazing Angus! It was a beautiful and magical wedding, and the photos are stunning (check out a sneaky preview below).

justine wedding

We travelled the world! 

We are so lucky at IA HQ that we get to go on some of our amazing adventures as a Team Leader. Kim trekked the Inca Trail with the Smith Family, Serena, Charlie and Sharni cycled in Cambodia for BCNA, Open Heart International and World Vision, Kate hiked the Lares Trail in Peru with NBCF, Theresa met Orang-utans and Elephants in Sumatra with 1 Million Women and Kat, Laura and Jasmine conquered the Great Wall of China with the Leukaemia Foundation, Kidney Health and the University of Newcastle. We absolutely loved our adventures and being able to share the experience with some wonderful teams.


We welcomed some amazing new clients

We love our charity partners – it’s incredible to be able to work with such wonderful organisations that are making such a vital difference to the world. We are so thrilled to have welcomed some new members to our family in 2015!

Welcome to: Birdlife Australia, Environment Victoria, Legacy Australia, Windermere, the Bob Brown Foundation, The Royal Flying Doctor Service, Macquarie University, HeartKids SA, The Salvation Army, NADO, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, Make-A-Wish Australia, beyondblue, CareFlight, ChildFund NZ, Suicide Prevention Australia, SANE, Mission Australia, Ovarian Cancer, Cancer Council QLD, Soi Dog, Mission Australia, Children’s Cancer Institute, The Wilderness Society, The Royal Hospital for Women, The Price of Wales Hospital, the Jane Goodall Institute, Christina Noble Children’s Foundation, School for Life, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Epilepsy Foundation, Animals Asia, Marie Stopes, Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation, Save the Children New Zealand and Future2 Foundation

We launched new destinations!

In 2015 we had our first adventure to Spain! We trekked 100km of the El Camino Trail from Sarria to Santiago with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and it was an epic adventure! The team trekked under the warm Spanish sun on the Camino Francés.

RACGP_2015_Santigo de Compostela_IMG_7903

We partnered with GetUp! to take our first group to the Tarkine in Tasmania. The team had an incredible time trekking amongst giant forests, sweeping beaches, rugged mountains and pristine rivers.

And in another first, we went to the Kimberley with the Climate Council. The team trekked rocky terrain, explored picturesque gorges and witnessed the age-old Indigenous rock art found across this ancient landscape. To top it off, they were joined by renowned scientist and former Australian of the Year, Professor Tim Flannery—the Climate Council’s Chief Councillor—at the remote Mornington Wildlife Conservancy. Alongside Tim, the team observed the rich biodiversity of the Kimberley, home to many threatened and endangered species including the northern quoll.

Climate Council_2015_Kimberley_Credit Paul Sheridan_2292_edited

And next year we are excited to explore even more new destinations! 2016 will see us trekking in Thailand with Soi Dog, canoeing the Murray River with Environment Vic, experiencing the stunning Lord Howe Island with the Climate Council and hiking in Kakadu with CareFlight.

We met some inspiring people

Youngcare_2012_ Great Wall_Participants_Group Shot_IMG_2239

Best of all, we met all of YOU. Without all the amazing people who took on an Inspired Adventure, we would never have achieved everything we have. So we’d like to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts! You are changing the world one adventure at a time and you should be so proud of yourselves.

Feeling inspired?

  • If you haven’t taken on one of our charity challenges yet, there’s no time like the present! Visit the Inspired Adventures Calendar and change the world in 2016