Run for Resilience: Reflecting on the ANZAC Journey Home

Local ultra runner Wayne McMurtrie raises awareness of veterans’ PTSD plight with new ultra event.

This September, a solo, supported ultra-marathon journey will be taking place in Queensland as a mark of remembrance and commemoration for all Australians involved in conflict – past and present.

The Run for Resilience will be a 22-day, 1500-kilometre journey of resilience and coming home. Wayne McMurtrie and his Support Team will step off from Anzac Square in Brisbane at dawn on September 1, making their way to the central-west Queensland town of Winton.

Why this route? Mr McMurtrie says that in 1914, as the chaos of war swept across the globe, and from Winton, young men boarded a troop train to Brisbane and began their journey towards war, earning their place in the legend of the ANZAC.

“The Run for Resilience will be a reversal of the original route, signifying how the country trains its troops to go to war, but doesn’t train them to come home,” he says.

“As we run across all levels of terrain, the run will focus on telling the story of current generation young veterans as they struggle to re-define their sense of self-worth and identity, while re-discovering their passion and purpose as they make their way back home in today’s modern society”.

“Community engagement will be a key factor to the success of the Run for Resilience, and to achieve this Fee Mc will host live “Campfire Sessions” to promote positive interactions with local community groups, sporting clubs, schools, regional government, local ESOs and Reserve units along the route.”

With 2018 marking 100 years since the armistice between the allies and German forces, and signalling the end of World War I, the Run for Resilience will also highlight the isolation that many young veterans experience when their time in uniform ends, as well as the tyranny of distance that veterans in regional Australia face – including gaining access to services, support and employment.

Mr McMurtrie will be Joined by his sister, Cairns Community Radio Presenter Fiona and together they will document the journey through the Community Radio Program “Campfire Sessions with Fee Mc”.

Fee says “We will invite members of the communities that we visit to join us around the campfire to share their stories and encourage conversations that break down the stigma around mental health”.

The end of the journey will coincide with Veterans Health Week, which will be held from Saturday, 22 September to Sunday, 30 September.

The Run for Resilience’s charity partners PTSD Resurrected Inc and EDit (Ex-Defence integration team) are currently working to assist young veterans in recovering from the traumas experienced during their service and to re-integrate into life at home with their families and to become respected and valued members of the community.

In September, the community will be encouraged to support the Run for Resilience in any way they can, by either joining the run, join us by the campfire, provide a donation, cheering participants on, or just by joining the conversation.

Run For Resilience's Charity Partners

PTSD Resurrected Inc was established in 2017 to restore hope, healing, and purpose to individuals suffering from PTSD as a result of trauma experienced during their service. The charity recognises trauma does not only impact an individual, but the entire family and as a result helps those individuals and their families to address trauma from a holistic perspective. Visit ptsdresurrected.org for more information.

EDit (Ex-Defence integration team) is a veteran-owned, Australian not-for-profit entity providing employment, transition and integration solutions for former defence members and their families as part of a veterans employment program. Their vision is to see more veterans in meaningful civilian employment and to break down the workplace cultural barriers to the commercial world through a quality transition course and in educating organisations on how best to integrate a veteran into a non-military workforce. Visit edit.org.au for more information.

More Information, Donate & Volunteer

For more information to donate, or to volunteer go to https://www.run4resilience.org/