GRADUATES ANNOUNCED

Here at The Indigenous Marathon Project we have always maintained that finishing the New York City Marathon is just the start of a marathon of experience, adventure and opportunity.

IMP is committed to providing ongoing, long-term opportunities for its graduates to continue instilling a sense of achievement, pride and an non-extinguishable confidence in themselves, their families and their communities.

In 2015, IMP has been extremely fortunate to have been gifted historic, life-changing opportunities to a select few graduates who have demonstrated a commitment to IMP’s core objectives, passionate about driving social change in their communities and who are shining lights of inspiration and role models, long after they have crossed the line of the New York City Marathon.

We are extremely excited to announce three incredible adventures and the successful graduates that will be representing IMP, their families, communities and the entire nation!

The North Pole Marathon – adrian dodson-shaw

Congratulations to 2014 IMP squad member from Broome, Adrian Dodson-Shaw, who will swap his sunscreen for ski gear when he trudges his way through icy conditions to complete the 42.2km adventure, geographically on top of the world!

Adrian will create history when he becomes the first ever Australian Aboriginal to land at the North Pole and participate in this extremely unique race on 9 April.

Adrian will be accompanied by IMP supporter, Jon Brand, who will also be flying the IMP flag in Santa’s home-town and helping to raise much needed funds for IMP.

Marathon legend, Deek, will also be on hand – but instead of using his running ability, he’ll be keeping a watchful eye out for any big, white furry locals who might take more of an interest in the competitors than the event! Sharp shooters will be scattered along the course on the look out for any polar bears that might want to join in!

We would like to offer our sincere thanks and gratitude to Trish and Don Griffin who so very generously donated their two entries to IMP to make this possible. Also to event organiser, Richard Donovan, who generously provided an entry for Rob to support his chargers.

More information and ways you can assist our fundraising efforts will be available in the coming weeks so be sure to keep up to date with our social media and help spread the word about this incredible adventure, one that our entire nation should be proud to get behind!

Spirit of Kokoda – Elsie seriat

One of the most special and patriotic opportunities offered to IMP was the chance for one of our graduates to trek the Kokoda Trail.

Congratulations to Elsie Seriat, another of our 2014 IMP graduates, who has been selected to represent IMP, Thursday Island, Torres Strait and the entire nation on this very emotional adventure.

For Elsie, this trip will have an incredible personal connection after her Grandfather, Charlie Seriat, was part of the army that fought during World War II.

At the end of the first 12 months of the Pacific War, 830 Torres Strait Island men, which accounted for nearly every man of eligible age on TSI, volunteered to serve Australia. This resulted in the formation of the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion which was the only Indigenous Battalion ever to be formed in Australia’s military history (reference – anzacday.org.au).

Elsie will be accompanied by IMP ambassador and world champion paralympic athlete, Kurt Fearnley, who also generously donated this entry and who will again complete the gruelling trek.

The Kokoda Trek will take place between 17-25 April and we will be providing more information in the coming weeks.

US Sport and Cultural Program:

bianca graham, georgia gleeson, luke mckenzie & nathan riley

A partnership between IMP and the US Embassy has created the opportunity for four IMP graduates to mentor and chaperone approximately 12 Indigenous Australian youth, aged 14-17, in a three week sport and cultural tour of Washington, Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.

The youth will train with local running coaches, learn strength and conditioning skills, sports psychology, injury prevention, athlete nutrition and conflict resolution.

They will also volunteer at one of the oldest national track meet competitions, the Penn State Relays, which features the best teams from around the US.  

The tour will also provide the youth with the opportunity of participating in a local fun run, while the cultural aspect of the program will see the group meet representatives from the local Native American Community, in an opportunity to share elements of each other’s culture.

Bianca Graham, 2011 graduate, Georgia Gleeson and Luke McKenzie from IMP’s 2013 squad and Nathan Riley, a 2014 graduate, have all been selected as the chaperones for this opportunity.  The list of youth is currently being finalised and will be announced in the coming weeks.

We are very grateful to our friends at the US Embassy for offering such a life-changing, memorable experience to our graduates and also our young Indigenous Australians.

We are excited to share this journey with our supporters and will provide updates and photos throughout the duration of the trip, which will be held between 9-27 April.  Keep your eye out for more updates in the lead up to the adventure!

Thank you to our supporters, sponsors, graduates and everyone in the community who continues to support the work of IMP. These experiences would not be available without your unwavering support and sharing the passion to make life changing contributions to Australia’s Indigenous community.