Coal miners head into Australia’s outback for Cancer Research

Phillip Enderby and Tony Griffin, friends for more than 15 years and employed at Glencore’s Ravensworth Coal Handling & Preparation Plant (CHPP), are planning to drive their AU Falcon more than 3600 kilometres through some of the most remote parts of NSW, South Australia and Queensland all in the name of cancer research.

The annual Shitbox Rally is the largest private annual Cancer Council fundraiser in Australia, and involves teams of two driving across some of Australia’s most remote roads, raising much-needed funds along the way.

In 2015, the rally aims to raise more than $1 million for cancer research.

Preparing for his fifth rally, Enderby has seen Australia the hard way, with rallies from Brisbane to Darwin, Melbourne to Cairns, Adelaide to Fremantle and, last year with Griffin, from Perth to Darwin.

Griffin’s second ‘awesome outback adventure’ unfolds over seven days in May when he and Enderby load the car and drive from Canberra to Townsville.

On the 9th May, 200 cars will depart from the ACT driving to Hay, NSW, home to the Australian Shearers Hall of Fame.

Next stop will be Silverton, known to film buffs as Mad Max territory, quite appropriate terrain for competitors who take on the Shitbox Rally!

Crossing into South Australia, just to add a few more dusty roads to their trip, the rally heads along the Birdsville Track and into Queensland where they will spend a long night at the famous Birdsville Hotel.

The next stop is Boulia, ‘Capital of the Channel Country’, which gives rise to the great rivers that flow west to Lake Eyre.

The last stop before Townsville is Hughenden, which was discovered by early explorers when on a rescue mission for the ill-fated Burke and Wills.

Finally, after seven gruelling days, the 200 Shitboxes (some by now on car trailers and being towed) will arrive in Townsville for a well-earned rest and to celebrate their fundraising efforts.

Enderby, manager of the Bulga CHPP, and Griffin, a technician at the plant, have been hard at work over the past six months raising funds for cancer research, approaching companies for corporate sponsorship, running barefoot bowls tournaments, golf days and selling raffle tickets.

The men have raised more than $5000 to date, with a target of $15,000 before the rally commences. In 2014, their total was $15,000, making them one of the top fundraisers in the rally.

In fact, over the past four rallies Enderby and previous co-driver/brother and cancer sufferer, David raised in excess of $60,000.

Enderby said they could not have reached such incredible targets without the generous support of Glencore, mining industry suppliers, local businesses, colleagues and family and friends.

“Over the years I have had cars donated, parts, cash and raffle prizes, and we’re extremely grateful for all of them,” Enderby said.

“Additional funds are also raised when we reach our destination, as all cars are put up for auction and the proceeds added to our fundraising total.”

If you’d like to add your support to Enderby and Griffin in 2015, go to http://www.shitboxrally.com.au/component/shitboxrally/?view=teams and click on the link beneath the 2 Studs team entry.  

Further details can be found on www.shitboxrally.com.au or on Facebook.

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