The Australian character is unique and endearing. Our patriotism though understated and more often than not self-deprecating is no less intense or passionate as our louder American cousins or as formal as our British forebears.
In a world that has become too used to September 11 and Bali bombs and a society that is ever growing fearful of what might be around the corner or in the next backpack, it is essential that “in an Australian way” we reaffirm the values and aspirations we have as a community.
The challenges we are facing today are unique, requiring at all levels of society fresh and innovative approaches. To that extent the runners of the M.F.B. hope to contribute in whatever way they can to our nations emotional wellbeing.
This run will be a practical reflection of the very attributes and characteristics that have made this country what it is today.
The message of our run that we intend to take to the community is one of self-sacrifice, mateship, integrity and a commitment to the very essence of what it means to be an Australian; reaffirming the foundations that have made Australia such a successful and welcoming society.
We intend to achieve this by running from Gallipoli to London, visiting the numerous World War 1 battlefields that digger’s fought and died in, battlefields where once implacable foes are now firm friends, battlefields that have long since come to represent the futility of mass slaughter and of industrial killing.
We do this not to glorify war that is not the Australian way and that would not be in the spirit of A.N.Z.A.C, rather we want to highlight to the community today the values and ideals that one of the greatest generations of Australians were willing to sacrifice their youth and their dreams to defend and protect.
In a world of suicide bombers and the fear of climate change and alike, it is ever more critical for us not to lose sight of the inner strengths and values that have enabled this nation to triumph over the greatest of adversities.
The aim of the run is to achieve overall community awareness (both here and the countries visited) of the sacrifices of those who came before us and the resultant connection through to the conflicts that we have today. We intend to run from Gallipoli to London – commencing on the day after ANZAC day 2008. The route will include Turkey, Greece, Italy, France and Belgium. (See Map Appendices)
The runners will be visiting significant WW 1 & WW 2 battle-sites and commonwealth war graves to pay homage to the young Australians who gave their lives.
- Raise awareness of the efforts of generations past both here and abroad – particularly those who have not experienced a world at war and who benefit from the sacrifices made through these conflicts.
- Create educational interest, not necessarily about war, but geography, history, literature, cultures, and politics – through school activities, Fire Brigade school visits and interactive (live) website.
- On the completion of the run we intend to take the message to the schools, in conjunction with the education department, to instill a sense of adventure and accomplishment the run represents.
- Promote the MFB as a community resource over and above its traditional role of fighting fires.
- Raise monies for worthy Australian charities
- Honor the notion of “Old foes and new friends”