Stawell’s Natasha van Leeuwen is taking on an extraordinary challenge, to walk 100km within 24 hours in March.
The Oxfam Trailwalker is one of the most inspiring team challenges in the world and Miss van Leeuwen said her group is hoping to walk the distance in 28-29 hours.
A number of walks are hosted around the world and three are in Australia. Miss van Leeuwen will be participating in the walk with three of her friends from March 29-30 in Melbourne from Emerald Lake to Fairfield.
“We are going to do a small amount of training,” she said.
“We will walk 50km and walk into the night. Have a few hours sleep and then go another 20km."
Miss van Leeuwen said the big concern is fatigue during the walk.
“I’ve been told at the 50km mark – everyone is really happy,” she said.
“After that, the mood shifts until the finish line is in sight.
“But it will be worth it – it’s such a worthy cause.”
Miss van Leeuwen said the Oxfam charity is one close to her heart after spending some time visiting countries in need.
“We’re taking the challenge to raise awareness on behalf of Oxfam,” she said.
“I’ve done assignments before at university with a side focus on the support Oxfam provides.
“I have also seen poverty in some countries overseas. It’s heartbreaking to see and sometimes you can notice the impact poverty has in some countries as soon as you step off the plane.”
When travelling through poverty-stricken countries, Miss van Leeuwen said it was a real eye-opener.
“So many children weren’t receiving an education and were sent out to beg to tourists,” she said.
Miss van Leeuwen moved to Stawell ten months ago and joined Stawell Gold Mine as a graduate environment and community officer.
“In the last year and a half I did my masters in environment and sustainability,” she said.
“I understand the difficulties in making changes in the world but raising awareness is an important thing.”
Miss van Leeuwen said sometimes people forget how lucky the opportunity as simple as going to buy a coffee up the street can be.
“People living within Australia and overseas in poverty is a massive thing,” she said.
Oxfam works in 79 countries helping over 22 million people — empowering communities to lift themselves out of poverty.
Miss van Leeuwen said if anyone would like to donate to their fundraising efforts they could the website here.
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