Many Australians are affected by depression and anxiety, and for rural and remote communities, the toll can be especially high. As a business servicing these communities, HARDI Australia saw a great opportunity to support the goal of improved mental health for all Australians via the 2018 Beyond Bitumen Rally.
The Rally has been running for more than 10 years and is a major fundraising initiative of Beyond Blue, one of Australia’s leading mental health charities. Beyond Blue helps people to protect their mental health and to recover when they are unwell, and works to reduce people’s experiences of stigma and discrimination.
The 2018 event covered 1400km of largely dirt roads in New South Wales’ Central West, traversing farms and forests and calling through regional towns, as it wound its way from Bathurst to Orange.
HARDI Australia sponsored father-and-daughter team Andy and Charlotte Edwards and their distinctive red and ‘toothy’ 1972 Datsun 1600. Andy is passionate about raising the awareness of mental health issues in the bush and has been part of the Beyond Bitumen initiative for a number of years. His efforts in promoting the Rally raised close to $10,000 for Beyond Blue.
The HARDI team kicked off their challenge with a last-minute check at On-Trac Ag in Bathurst. Over the next three days, they took in some of the most beautiful parts of NSW, including the quaint historic town of Gulgong. Along the way, they received valuable support and encouragement from HARDI dealers Sprayer Barn in Dubbo and McClintock in Forbes, where the team fitted the ‘Datto’ up for a new HARDI spray rig and chipped in with a generous donation to the cause.
All up, the event raised a total of almost $400,000, which will help Beyond Blue deliver mental health services and programs, and improve people’s opportunities to access the support they need.