Windermere Cape to Cape Trek
80 Kilometre Trek To Raise Funds For Local Kids
AFL legend Matthew ‘Richo’ Richardson and a team of like-minded trekkers are taking on Western Australia’s famous Cape to Cape Track to raise funds for Narre Warren based not-for-profit Windermere Child and Family Services.
What is the #Trek2KeepKidsSafe?
The #Trek2KeepKidsSafe is all about supporting local children and their communities through Windermere’s Kids on Track program. Over six days in October, a group of 27 dedicated and passionate supporters are trekking the spectacular Cape to Cape track to raise funds for the program. The Cape to Cape walking track is situated along the south-west corner of Western Australia, 250km south of Perth. The trip involves considerable preparation and commitment, with the trekkers already training and fundraising.
What is the Kids on Track program and why is it so important?
Kids on Track is an early intervention child safety and crime prevention program for children at a range of schools in the Casey and Cardinia areas. The program is delivered in partnership with Victoria Police and reaches Years 5 and 6 children. It is designed to equip young people with the skills and knowledge to stay safe.
“Prevention is always better than a cure. I want our kids to know who can help them if they or a friend feels unsafe or worried about something and what to do about it,” says Matthew ‘Richo’ Richardson, Windermere Ambassador and former AFL footballer. Richo will be leading the Cape2Cape team in Western Australia.
“Kids on Track supports children to make safer life decisions, increase their understanding of what they can do if they feel threatened or unsafe, and reduces their risk of being involved in antisocial or criminal behaviours in the future,” says Rachel Clarke, Kids on Track Facilitator.
The program covers a range of topics that may not normally be explored in depth in a classroom situation. This includes subjects such as consent, personal safety, anger management, drugs and alcohol, bullying and cyber safety.
“There is a lot of power in providing information to young people without judgement. We provide a lot of information, which includes having a basic personal safety plan. This might be a plan so children can know what do if they see violence or a situation out in the streets. Potentially it might
also be violence in their own home,” says Rachel.
The feedback from the young people who complete Kids on Track is that 98% say they will make different choices in the future based on their learning from the program.
Who are Windermere Child and Family Services?
Windermere Child and Family Services is a Narre Warren based not-for-profit organisation that provides a range of family supports and services.
“At Windermere our focus is on supporting families. There are so many and varied issues faced by children, families and individuals in our community which have now been further exacerbated due to Covid and remain a primary concern for us. We offer support in areas such as family well being, early childhood development and also services for victims of trauma or assault,” says CEO, Dr Lynette Buoy.
Windermere does receive funding from the state and federal governments. “But not all of our services are funded. Some of our community initiatives, such as our Kids on Track, program were started because we saw a real need in the community. It’s for these types of programs that we are reliant on support from donors and sponsors, such as our wonderful Cape2Cape trekkers,” says Dr Buoy.
This is not the first time that Richo has trekked to support Windermere. In 2018 he completed the arduous Kokoda Track as part of a fundraiser for the not-for-profit. The Kokoda trip successfully raised funds for Windermere to continue to run a range of family violence support services.
To support Windermere and the fundraising efforts of the team in their 2021 Trek to Keep Kids Safe, please go to https://www.windermere.org.au/news/cape2cape