Australian industry leaders take on 100km Challenge to raise $750,000 for children in need

09 March 2017

Executives from some of Australia’s top companies are taking on this year’s Smith Family Challenge to help provide educational support for nearly 1,000 disadvantaged Australian children.

Google MD Jason Pellegrino, Network Ten CEO Paul Anderson and neurosurgeon Professor Charlie Teo AM are among more than 70 Australian executives and industry leaders descending upon the Kangaroo Valley in NSW for the 100km charity challenge.

Held over two days (10-11 March 2017), the event will see participants hike, paddle and mountain-bike their way through one of Australia’s most scenic wilderness areas, with teams working together to navigate their way to the finish line.

The Smith Family Challenge has grown to become one of the biggest fundraising events of its kind, since it began with three mates climbing three volcanoes in New Zealand back in 2008.

Now in its 10th year, the event has raised an incredible $3.8 million for The Smith Family’s work providing critical education support for disadvantaged young Australians. Funds go towards the organisation’s Learning for Life program, which has been shown to improve educational and employment outcomes for disadvantaged children.

“It is staggering to think there are 1.1 million young Australians living in poverty right now,” said Prof Charlie Teo AM. “Education is the pathway out of poverty and The Smith Family does extraordinary work to support disadvantaged children throughout their schooling. I look forward to taking on this year’s Smith Family Challenge to help even more children thrive in their education and beyond.”

Tony Davis, board director with The Smith Family and chair of the committee which organises the Challenge, said interest in the event has never been bigger, with fundraising records continuing to be broken each year. Participants pay the full cost of the event so 100 per cent of donations go directly to Smith Family programs.

“The Smith Family Challenge brings together some of Australia’s most successful men and women who are committed to helping disadvantaged children be the best they can be,” said Mr Davis.

“With the event now in its 10th year, we are hoping to smash last year’s fundraising record and raise $750,000 to help nearly 1,000 Australian children with their education. We’d like to think we could be supporting Australia’s next neurosurgeon or business leader – whatever career path these children choose, we know that supporting their education is critical to their success.”

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