Room To Read – Do you like a challenge?

Jan Brownlie

That’s a leading question if ever there was one. We live in challenging times.

Most of you have probably never heard of Room to Read but I’m sure a lot of you know World Expeditions. I’ve travelled and hiked in the far-flung corners of this beautiful planet and I’ve always believed that the way out of poverty for children in developing countries is education. That’s where Room to Read comes in.

Founded in 2000 on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children®, Room to Read is creating a world free from illiteracy and gender inequality. They are doing that by helping children in low-income communities develop literacy skills and a habit of reading, and by supporting girls to build skills to succeed in secondary school and negotiate key life decisions.

The Sydney Chapter of Room to Read (where I’ve been a fundraising volunteer for more than 10 years) has joined forces with World Expeditions to bring you the Kozi Challenge. The Challenge is a 22km hike to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko along the Main Range Track, through one of Australia’s most unique landscapes.

Let World Expeditions take you on this guided walk to our highest peak, one of the original seven summits. The trip starts with a BBQ in the evening of 19 November and ends with breakfast on Sunday 21 November. Included in the cost is 2 night’s twin-share accommodation, all your food for the weekend, transport to the start of the walk and back to your accommodation at the end.

Once the trip is guaranteed to depart (we need a minimum of 25 people), then you will need to raise some money Room to Read. The minimum fundraising target is $500 per person. That’s a $50 dollar donation from 10 people – I’m sure you can do it! You’ll be given some ideas on how to fundraise when you book the trip. If you can’t do the walk then consider being a sponsor for someone who is. Every dollar counts. 

Please come and join us, get the word out, tell your friends and family, get a team together – this is something positive you can do in these uncertain times to make a real difference. Due to recent surges in COVID-19, particularly in South Asia, children in low-income communities need our support more than ever. With your support, we can help Room to Read ensure learning continues for vulnerable children around the globe.

Will you accept the challenge?

Nature’s Gifts – Series Introduction

Bruce Gall is a former Director of the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Our national anthem, Advance Australia Fair, has weathered much criticism over the years. That unfashionable phrase, girt by sea, has had many detractors, and in 2020, the word young was replaced with one to make the anthem more inclusive, especially for First Australians.

Kosciuszko – the destruction of a national heritage icon?

Dr Graeme Worboys, (Honorary) Associate Professor of the Fenner School for Environment and Society, Australian National University

NSW Deputy Premier and State National Party Leader John Barilaro’s 2018 Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Legislation is the single greatest political and ideological undermining of the conservation and protection status of Kosciuszko National Park in its 75 year history. It has elevated a pest animal to be more important than Australian native animals and has established a legislative precedent that threatens the concept of all Australian protected areas and National Heritage listed properties.

Feral horses to receive greater protections than native fauna in Kosciuszko National Park

The National Parks Association of NSW expressed dismay at yesterday’s announcement that the NSW Government will introduce legislation that will allow feral horses to remain in Kosciuszko National Park.

Koscuiszko National Park tourism plans risk further damage to fragile ecosystems

The NSW Government this week announced $27 million to upgrade and expand walking and cycling trails in Koscuiszko National Park (KNP), designed to boost tourism. The proposals however add to an increasing number of pressures on alpine ecosystems—sensitive and highly localised in Australia—says the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA).

Natural values of Kosciuszko National Park must not be overlooked in Snowy 2.0

The National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) has cautiously welcomed the federal government finally appearing to embrace renewable energy in the context of Snowy 2.0. But politicians still haven’t outlined how the scheme would avoid damaging the natural values of the unique alpine ecosystems and judgement must therefore be reserved.

NPA CEO, Mr Kevin Evans said: “The vulnerability of the alpine ecosystems to climate change encapsulates perfectly why we urgently need to transition to renewables.