Celebrating community across the country

It was a weekend celebration of fun, fitness and community; from Adelaide and Barossa in the south, to the Torres Strait off the tip of Australia.


On Friday 9 October, 2014 IMP Graduate, Ruth Wallace was celebrated at her Return to Community ceremony in Adelaide. The Return to Community event is a chance for our runners’ achievements to be acknowledged in front of family, friends and their community.

Ruth was the first Indigenous female to represent Adelaide in the history of IMP.  Since her involvement with IMP, she has also been announced as the ambassador of Aboriginal Diabetes Study.

South Australia has a strong involvement in IMP, with three Indigenous runners representing the state – 2013 Graduate Luke McKenzie and 2015 squad member, Daniel Lloyd, both from Murray Bridge, continuing to inspire future generations.

Ruth’s story touched the hearts of everyone who attended and she is committed to being a role model to inspire, encourage and motivate people in her community to live active and healthy lifestyles.

We would like to thank Michael Page and the team at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute for being a major supporter of the event.

Seppeltsfield puts ‘unity’ in community

Along with a host of IMP graduates, Australia’s history-making Indigenous marathon runner, Adrian Dodson-Shaw, shared his remarkable story from Broome to the North Pole at the third annual Seppeltsfield Inspiration night on Saturday 10 October.

Adrian was joined by fellow IMP graduates, Charlie Maher (2010 graduate), Jurgean Tabuai (2012 graduate), Ruth Wallace (2014 graduate), and Daniel Lloyd (2015 squad member) who all shared their stories, dreams and hopes for the future.

The Inspiration Night was followed by the Seppeltsfield Fun Run and Family Day on Sunday 11 October, starting at Whistler Wines and finishing at the spectacular Seppeltsfield Winery.

The day was attended by about 150 people and in a relaxed, friendly and fun environment, included a celebration of Indigenous culture, history, family, friends and community – all bound by a little bit of social running (5.5km to be precise!).

Kids enjoyed craft and activities organised by local woman, Jacqui Possingham. Rob McDonald from Barossa Carraiges donated his time to offer free rides and Ngadjuri Elder, Auntie Josie Agius, enjoyed a ride around the oval.

Entertainment was provided by local Gawler duo, Brutha ‘n’ I, along with Adelaide based singers, Glenn Skuthorpe, Corey Theatre and Nancy Bates. Guests were also treated to the beautiful voice of Jessica Wishart and a couple of tunes from Kenny Wilson.

IMP Graduates, Charlie, Adrian, Ruth and Jurgean, and 2015 runner, Daniel, had their footprint placed on canvas, each signing their name, graduate year and number. What an incredibly significant piece of memorabilia.

Federal Member for Wakefield, Nick Champion MP, and his wife Fiona attended the weekend’s activities and commented that the Fun Run and Family Day was his favourite event on the calendar.

Event organiser and passionate IMF supporter, Jo Weaver, said the event aims to bring the community together through running.

“After becoming involved in running and reaping the benefits, I wanted to help others embrace the same enjoyment and health benefits.

“I established this event in 2013 after I had created a fundraising target for the IMF but hadn’t quite reached my goal, so to raise more money I decided to organise a fun run.

“Everyone who participated commented on how much fun it was, so I have since made it an annual event. It’s very humbling to see community solidarity to participate, contribute to and understand more about an organisation that creates life-changing opportunities for our Indigenous Australians.”

The event raised nearly $6,500 for the Indigenous Marathon Foundation and we would like to extend our sincere thanks to all the sponsors who made the event possible, for the participants who attended and made the day such a success, and of course, to Jo for organising the entire event and bringing a community together. We are extremely grateful to everyone who contributed to a weekend of culture, celebration, and community.

Click here and click on the Seppeltsfield albums for all the memories and action from the weekend’s events!


Creating change on their own TIRF

Thursday Island is located in the Torres Strait, just to the left of the tip of Australia’s QLD border.

The Island is bordered by spectacular teal green water (imagine Fiji!), picturesque sunrise and sunsets and a community that has undergone significant change in the last year – all through running.

The impact of IMP 2014 graduates, Elsie Seriat and Harold Matthew, was obvious when 200 people participated in the inaugural Thursday Island Running Festival (TIRF) on Sunday 11 October.

It wasn’t just TI that were involved – people from neighbouring Islands of Horn Island and Prince of Wales, caught the ferry over to be part of the action.

Before Elsie and Harold’s influence, barely anyone on the Island ran. Sport is well supported through involvement in rugby league and netball, but running was certainly not high on the sporting priority list.

Fast-forward one year, and the change is obvious. At 5am, people gathered in the dark, stretching, registering and full of nervous excitement ahead of their event – the half marathon, 10km, 5km or 1km kids dash.

Many of the runners have been part of Harold and Elsie’s TI Deadly Runners group – evidenced by wearing their Deadly singlets.

Just before 6am, the half marathoners were off. Three laps of the Island would see them complete the 21.1km course and as the sun rose so did the humidity. But all runners pushed through and finished in style, spurred on by the 10km and 5km runners who joined in at intervals throughout the morning.

Back at the Esplanade where the event was set up, more than 50 kids lined up to take part in the 1km kids dash. That’s the extent of the change being made – even kids were getting involved!

TI has a high incidence of diabetes an inactivity, but change is imminent. Running is taking off. Fruit is replacing lollies, salads are replacing chips and the community is becoming healthier; that’s the impact two people can have on an entire community.

Congratulations, Harold, Elsie and the TI community – you are leading the way for the future!

Click here for a gallery of pics. A full album of images can be found here (thanks to Purdy Images for the photography)

Indigenous runners leave footprints in melbourne

Graduates descended on Melbourne on Sunday 18 October to take their place on the start line of the 2015 Melbourne Running Festival.

It was an historic occasion, with 2014 Graduate Rachel Baker and 2013 Graduate, Evelyna Dhamarrandji, bringing five women from their Ratjpa Running Group to be part of the event.

Click here to read all about the Ratjpa Running Group, our inspirational graduates leading the way and their success!