Man on a river mission
Cobram will be getting a visit from a man on a mission, travelling the Murray River for Movember.
Koo Wee Rup retired motor mechanic Peter Scott, 58, and a few mates are embarking on an epic six-week, solar-powered journey along the length of the Murray River in a purpose-built boat — all in the name of men’s health.
Mr Scott is tripping down the world’s third longest navigable river to raise awareness and to educate others about men’s health and should be in Cobram on October 30 if everything goes to plan.
The goal is to raise $15 000 and awareness for men’s health charity, the Movember Foundation.
The trip is a high stakes journey, with Mr Scott could also be farewelling his lifelong beard if he raises enough funds.
Kicking off on Monday, Mr Scott left Jingellic and will dock at Lake Alexandrina roughly 50 days later.
The adventure will see him navigate 2300 km, covering 50 km a day, with the travelling at a steady pace of 5-10 km/h, only running on solar power to reduce battery use.
‘‘It’ll depend on the day how far I get, on a sunny day I could get 50-60 km and, on cloudy days, it could be more of a fishing day,’’ Mr Scott said.
He has spent the past 18 months building Stray Current, named to signify the use of solar power and the flow of the river to power the vessel.
‘‘The event’s really come up fast, but the preparation is going really well so far,’’ he said.
‘‘There are a few last-minute things to do but it’s almost scary how easily it’s all coming together — I’ve got a sticker on the back saying, ‘what could possibly go wrong?’’’
Throughout the trip, Mr Scott will invite people on board, hoping to spark open conversations among mates and to inspire men to take a more active approach with their health.
Fuelled by a family history of depression and his grandfather’s suicide, Mr Scott is determined for more men to share their experiences and, in the process, raise awareness of men’s health issues.
Three out of four suicides in Australia are men, with 450 Victorian men dying by suicide each year.
‘‘With farmers doing it tough in the drought, I thought the Movember Foundation would be good to support,’’ Mr Scott said.
‘‘As well as an ex-motor mechanic I’m also an ex-teacher and so we had a lot to do with Movember through the school.’’
In between his five-hour day stints, Mr Scott will be stopping in at towns along the way to charge the boat batteries and rattle the fundraising tin. Planned stops include Albury, Corowa, Cobram, Tocumwal, Echuca, Morgan, Barmah, Swan Hill, Clayton Bay, Mildura, Wentworth, Renmark, Berri, Mathoura, Mannum, Murray Bridge and Goolwa.
‘‘I’ll be partnering with businesses to stand out the front and rattle the tin, but I’m looking to advertise them on the boat too,’’ Mr Scott said.
‘‘My goal is to get everyone along the way to donate just one coin to the cause.
‘‘I’m hoping for $15 000 but we’ll see how that goes.’’
Movember Foundation Australia country director Rachel Carr said support from people like Mr Scott was important to get the message out.
‘‘I’ve seen men in my life go through tough times and heard first-hand the impact that men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide have on Aussie men,’’ she said.
‘‘Being part of the Movember movement is about raising the volume on men’s health and I’ll be joining our Mo Bros and Sistas in shouting from the rooftops this Movember.
‘‘There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done — but with each Mo grown, dollar raised and story shared by our Movember community we get closer to our goal of stopping men dying too young.’’
To sign up or donate to Mr Scott’s trip visit: give.everydayhero.com/au/mountains-to-the-mouth-straycurrent
River trip: Peter Scott is embarking on an epic six-week journey along the Murray River, all in the name of men’s health.
Family: Peter Scott with his daughter Krystie and wife Anne.