Domestic and family violence is not just a social issue.
In 1995 Australia’s CEO Challenge Board Member Rob Reed, participated with 100 other people in the American Indian Movement Sacred Run, that year held in Japan to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The run covered a distance of 4,000km over 50 days and was undertaken in a relay fashion. Through this experience, Rob learnt about running to carry a message and running as a symbolic way to raise awareness of issues that affect our community.
Inspired by the run, Rob returned to MinterEllison in Brisbane where he established the Community Investment Program as a way to coordinate the pro bono and community engagement efforts of the firm.
One of the first CIP partnerships that was developed was with Australia’s CEO Challenge. Through high quality and customised education, policy, training and staff engagement, Australia’s CEO Challenge works with the businesses sector to prevent and alleviate the effects of domestic and family violence through the development of integrated workplace strategies and community partnerships.
In 2012, Rob decided it was time to bring his learning’s from the Sacred Run to his work with Australia’s CEO Challenge. He ran 110km (Sunshine Coast to Brisbane) to raise awareness of the silent issue of DV and to raise funds for Australia’s CEO Challenge.
It was a very symbolic run. 110km represented one kilometre for every life lost to DV in Australia in the previous year.
He ran the first 100km essentially alone and through the night, representing the dark and lonely life of the person in a DV relationship – not knowing if they are going to make it through the night.
He ran the last 10km with a large group of runners and this symbolised the hope provided to people in DV relationships by refuges and organisations like Australia’s CEO Challenge.
It was a physically and mentally challenging activity but it was a great way to spread the message out about domestic and family violence and almost $12,000 was raised.
In 2014 we saw the inaugural year of the Darkness to Daylight Challenge with 280 participants taking on the challenge led by Rob and a committee of lawyers from Minter Ellison. Together $20,000 was raised.
In 2017, the event raised in excess of $180,000, with more than 2,500 participants including corporate teams involved.
In 2018, we hope the event to continue to increase exponentially, with a fundraising goal of $200,000.
This year we plan to utilise our committed media partners, traditional promotional strategies and social media platforms along with Australia’s CEO Challenge corporate and community partners to increase community awareness and participation.
The 2018 event will be held on Wednesday 23rd to Thursday 24th May 2018, South Bank Parklands.