Andrew Johns walking from Newcastle to Sydney

Posted on October 19, 2008 by


PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd joined rugby league legend Andrew Johns today at the start of a six-day mental health charity walk from Newcastle to Sydney.

Mr Rudd walked the first 5.5km leg of the 176km walk with Johns this morning, along with about 500 supporters.

The Prime Minister surprised supporters with a pledge of $2 million in federal funding to Sydney’s Black Dog Institute for people suffering bipolar disorder.

The walk aims to help the institute raise awareness and funding for bipolar disorder, which affects 600,000 Australians.

In speeches before the walk, Mr Rudd said he was important to encourage Australians to be more open about mental illness.

Surf star Matt Hoy and Parramatta Eels star Brett Finch will accompany Johns all the way to Sydney.

Johns will divert from his journey at various points on the walk to kayak, swim, surf, play golf, coach kids rugby league, and play cricket with various sport personalities.

The walk will follow the coast and finish in Sydney on October 24.

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