What drives you?

Rally makes most of scenery while help­ing others out

Central and North Burnett Times - - WEEKEND - BY Vicki Wood

ARMED with swags and spare parts, lots of char­ac­ters in 55 ve­hi­cles set off west­ward across Queens­land. The ve­hi­cles were lined up to tackle the sec­ond an­nual Road Boss Rally, which was full of steep as­cents and de­scents, wa­ter cross­ings and mag­nif­i­cent scenery, with the in­tent to raise funds for Givit.

Road Boss Rally or­gan­iser Jamie Law­son has been run­ning th­ese events for 30 years.

“My dad has been in­volved in car ral­lies since the 1950s and back then it was se­ri­ous ral­ly­ing,” he said.

“As it evolved he re­alised there was a need for peo­ple who loved their cars, loved the bush and all as­pects of the tri­als but weren’t re­ally in­ter­ested in the rac­ing side.”

And the En­deav­our Rally was formed.

Two years ago, Jamie changed the name to Road Boss Rally and has taken on Givit as the or­gan­i­sa­tion to sup­port.

“We found Givit quite by ac­ci­dent but it is the per­fect fit for us,” Jamie said.

Givit is a not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion run through a web­site where they have a data­base of do­na­tions to con­nect with peo­ple who re­ally need it.

Jamie and his wife Michelle spend all year work­ing on the rally. They map out the course, gain ac­cess to prop­er­ties and de­cide on the lo­ca­tions to stop at each night.

His love of the Aus­tralian out­back, the cul­ture and the peo­ple draws him to the places, mak­ing no two ral­lies the same.

“It al­lows us to not just visit but get be­neath the sur­face and find the core and the cul­ture of Aus­tralia and who we are,” Jamie said.

Through­out the day, the par­tic­i­pants test their skills and knowl­edge off the beaten track.

They glimpse the Aus­tralian land­scape and see many places where tourists rarely go.

This year the group trav­elled from Glad­stone to Tam­worth and stopped at the Bou­lia Camel Races.

The rally leaves a last­ing eco­nomic foot­print along the way. Lo­cal busi­nesses feed the crews and many hold auc­tions or raf­fles to help the com­mu­nity fur­ther.

Road Boss has raised more than $500,000 in two years for Givit, whose founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Juli­ette Wright had not part­nered with any­one since form­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion in 2010.

“There are so many gen­er­ous peo­ple who mix their love of char­ity with their love of go­ing to wild places over land in their very en­ter­tain­ing cars,” Juli­ette said.

She re­alised there was a need for Givit when she tried to do­nate her son’s baby clothes to a lo­cal char­ity.

“Not one char­ity would take the clothes,” Juli­ette said. “They get the pick of the bunch of baby clothes from Life­line and Salvos and lots of peo­ple do­nate baby clothes, but no one do­nates the crib or work boots so the fa­ther can get a job, or the iron­ing board.”

Juli­ette cre­ated Givit to fill that gap. The or­gan­i­sa­tion con­nects peo­ple with real items through the hun­dreds of char­ity groups con­nected to Givit. Juli­ette and her team are still hand­ing out do­na­tions they pur­chased with last year’s funds and the rally par­tic­i­pants wit­nessed their gen­eros­ity along the way.

In Glad­stone, they do­nated a wheelchair to a 14-year-old girl with se­vere arthri­tis.

In Mut­taburra, they do­nated iPads to the kin­der­garten. Prin­ci­pal Tanya Bam­bling said she was ex­cited by the gift. “They are cur­rently us­ing my iPad from home,” she said. “So this is a very valu­able source for our young ones to learn on.”

Many other drop-offs were made along the way, in­clud­ing a wash­ing ma­chine, sport­ing equip­ment and a num­ber of ap­pli­ances.

For many of the rally crew this is their favourite part, see­ing the re­sponse from those they are sup­port­ing.

Heather Christie knows well the ef­fects of help­ing as she spends her days sup­port­ing char­ity groups, in­clud­ing the

PHOTO: VICKI WOOD

◗ The view of the plains on the road from Win­ton to Bou­lia.

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