Andrew to blaze trail for charity
ANDREW Brien likes a challenge, and he loves outback driving. So when the opportunity came along to combine both the chief executive of the Fraser Coast council jumped at the chance.
Mr Brien is leading a team of council staffers in the Outback Trailblazer challenge to raise funds for Angel Flight.
Every year Angel Flight volunteers fly hundreds of people from rural and regional Queensland around the state for medical treatment.
Last year the volunteers, who donate their aircraft and time, flew 12 patients from the Fraser Coast in 53 flights so they could receive medical assistance.
Angel Flight has so far flown 8000 missions helping more than 1800 people and 2200 pilots from across the country have registered to help.
The seven-day Outback trailblazer four-wheel-drive charity event from October 17 to 23, organised in conjunction with the Barcaldine Regional Council, will take participants on a journey through inland Queensland.
Activities include bush races, yabbie catching and a Teddy Bears' Picnic at Tambo - participants have to bring their own Teddy to get in - and lots of camping.
“While there will be a lot of fun there is a serious side of the event,” Fraser Coast Council CEO Andrew Brien said.
“Each team has to raise a minimum of $4000 for Angel Flight. We aim to raise more than the minimum so we're hoping that businesses and residents across the region will help out.
“We're offering sponsors advertising space on the four wheel drive that we're taking in the challenge.”
That four wheel drive will be Mr Brien's work vehicle. They are also offering an ultimate sponsor package - a seat in the vehicle.
“For $5000 someone can buy the last seat in the vehicle,” Mr Brien said.
Details of sponsorship packages are available on the council's website www.frasercoast.qld.gov.au.
The team members are taking annual leave to participate in the rally and are paying for their expenses along the way.
Mr Brien is entitled to use the vehicle for any private use including while on annual leave as part of his employment contract. This usage is part of the remuneration package and is valued at $22,000 per year which is deducted from the total cash component.
“Angel Flight does a lot for this area so we'd like to give something back,” Mr Brien said.
A raffle is being organised as part of the team's fundraising efforts.
“We've been overwhelmed by businesses donating items for us to raffle. Donations include eskies, four-wheel-drive accessories, tee-shirts and caps,” Mr Brien said.
“Tickets in the raffle will be available from Council administration centres and libraries by the end of the week. Anyone who would like to make a donation can also leave them at any of the customer service counters in Tiaro, Maryborough or Hervey Bay.”
The team also includes Director of Infrastructure and Environment Wayne Sweeney and Executive Manager Strategic Integration Kim Roberts.