GIVIT to the Road Boss

Event raises money and laughs for or­gan­i­sa­tion

Maroochy Weekly - - NEWS - Vicki Wood

ARMED with swags, spare parts and lots of char­ac­ters, 55 cars set off to make their pil­grim­age west­ward across Queens­land from July 10 to 20.

The ar­ray of ve­hi­cles all lined up to tackle the sec­ond annual Road Boss Rally which is 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 that 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 GIVIT on as the char­ity 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, map­ping out the course, gain­ing ac­cess to prop­er­ties and de­cid­ing on the lo­ca­tions to stop 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 to get be­neath the sur­face and find the core and the cul­ture of Aus­tralia and who we are,” he said.

Through­out the day, the par­tic­i­pants test their skills and knowl­edge driv­ing through the off-beaten tracks. They glimpse the Aus­tralian land­scape and see many places tourists don’t of­ten travel.

This year they trav­elled from Glad­stone to Tam­worth stop­ping at the Bou­lia Camel Races.

The rally leaves a last­ing eco­nomic foot­print along the way with each town they stop at be­ing funded to feed the crews and many hold auc­tions or raf­fles to help the com­mu­nity fur­ther.

The rally has raised more than $500,000 in two years for GIVIT.

GIVIT founder and CEO Juli­ette Wright hasn’t part­nered with any­one since she be­gan the or­gan­i­sa­tion in 2010.

“There are so many gen­er­ous peo­ple that 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.”

So, Juli­ette cre­ated GIVIT to fill that gap, they can con­nect 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 was ex­cited by the gift.

“They are cur­rently us­ing my iPad from home. So, this is a very valu­able source for our young ones to learn.”

Many other drop offs were made along the way in­clud­ing a wash­ing ma­chine, sport­ing equip­ment and var­i­ous 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 Caloun­dra RSL.

She has been ral­ly­ing in her 1966 HR Holden since 2009 and loves the ad­ven­ture.

“It is a fun way of giv­ing your­self a pat on the back and giv­ing time out for the 12 months of fundrais­ing and vol­un­teer­ing for the char­ity,” Heather said.

“A lit­tle hol­i­day for us and we get to see where our money goes.”

A com­mon thread for many of the par­tic­i­pants was the com­radery the group felt and the way they could help.

Martin Crouch from Mt Mee said it was ex­cel­lent fun and got him off the farm. The dairy farmer drives with his wife Rowena and loves help­ing peo­ple.

“There is a great com­rade­ship in the group,” Martin said.

“There are a lot of an­tics that hap­pen along the way and it is a chal­lenge in a two-wheel drive, we go a lot of places some 4WDs won’t go.”

But John Led­bet­ter as the res­i­dent me­chanic is on hand to help. The Toowoomba res­i­dent doesn’t raise as much money as oth­ers but says he at­tempts to help out in other ways.

“Per­son­ally, I think the rally is good and we are do­ing some­thing for char­ity. I have had 34 peo­ple do the trip with me over the years and three of them have con­tin­ued on with their own cars,” John said, who has done the rally since its in­cep­tion.

“This has been my way of giv­ing back and I work on other peo­ple’s cars while on the rally.”

Ken Laugher from Ma­roochy­dore said he didn’t spend a lot of money on his ve­hi­cle.

“A lot less than I spend on drink­ing on the rally,” he said.

“Put it this way, you can’t put a price on it. It goes to­gether, it stays to­gether, it goes home and I park it.”

Ken has been on the rally at least seven times and has been do­ing char­ity work all his life.

“This is the best rally to do with the char­ity and all that.”

The next rally will be on July 9, 2018. Find out more at road­boss­ or go to


SPLASH OUT: Creek cross­ings along the way made for chal­leng­ing driv­ing.

GIVIT Founder and CEO Juli­ette Wright and Road Boss Rally or­gan­iser Jamie Law­son.

De­bra and Steven Ash in The Red Rocket.

Jock­eys just hold on rather than steer camels across the line.

Bon­nie and Clyde get stuck on a mound through a Wacko.

Adults join in the fun with camel tag­ging, the win­ner tak­ing away $500 at the Bou­lia Camel Races.

Sculp­tures line the roads near Ara­mac.

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