World record driver on the road again

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - JU­LIAN LEHNERT ju­

HE SET the Guin­ness World Record last year for the long­est jour­ney in an ex­ca­va­tor, now Nor­man Bar­tie is back on the road to pay his re­spects to all those who helped him on his jour­ney.

Mr Bar­tie drove more than 5600km in his back­hoe ex­ca­va­tor last year, trav­el­ling from Bris­bane to Townsville, Toowoomba,

Nar­romine, Al­bury and Can­berra be­fore re­turn­ing to his start­ing point in late April.

The feat, which he un­der­took for his char­ity It’s NOT Your Fault 4 Kids, also took Mr Bar­tie through the North Bur­nett, to which he has now re­turned with thanks and cer­tifi­cates in tow.

Mr Bar­tie pre­sented one such cer­tifi­cate to Mayor Rachel Cham­bers at Gayn­dah’s his­toric mu­seum.

His fol­low-up jour­ney through Aus­tralia, now in a ute rather than a dig­ger, is be­ing used to spread aware­ness for his char­ity, which tack­les do­mes­tic vi­o­lence aimed at chil­dren.

“Our mes­sage is to let chil­dren know that, with any type of child abuse that they ex­pe­ri­ence, it’s not their fault,” Mr Bar­tie said.

“We re­in­force that core be­lief that they are beau­ti­ful. They are pow­er­ful. They’ve got the power, no mat­ter where they live, no mat­ter what re­li­gion or colour of skin or gen­der or age or bank bal­ance.

“They’ve got the right to be em­pow­ered ev­ery sin­gle day and re­write that script ev­ery day. That’s what we call self-em­pow­er­ment,” he said.

Af­ter his brief stopover it’s back on the road.

“I’m off to Eidsvold next and then to Theodore and the Moura po­lice sta­tion – they’ve got a cer­tifi­cate to be given to them,” Mr Bar­tie said.

“Af­ter­wards I’m head­ing to Emer­ald and Belyando.

“I’m re­ally try­ing to make sure kids see the ute – see the mes­sage that we’re out there.

“At the end of March, we’re go­ing into schools with a lit­tle ex­ca­va­tor to do our Dig Deep pro­grams: emo­tional in­tel­li­gence, just to help kids keep it sim­ple.”

Pic­ture: Ju­lian Lehnert

GUIN­NESS WORLD RECORD: Nor­man Bar­tie pre­sent­ing Gayn­dah with a cer­tifi­cate to thank the town fol­low­ing his world record jour­ney.

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