Climbing mountains for an Australia free of suicide
A brother and sister pair from regional NSW are this week embarking on a three-month expedition to climb six mountains in five countries, honouring their late father and aiming to raise $250,000 for Lifeline in the process.
Lifeline Australia Chairman John Brogden said the inspirational challenge set by Will and Maddie Gay, whose father died by suicide in 2009, would change the course of countless Australians’ lives for the better.
“Lifeline is often bowled over by stories of incredible strength and courage in the community, and the story of Will and Maddie Gay is no exception,” Mr Brogden said.
“With more than $100,000 raised so far by the brother and sister’s challenge, 6NIL, their support already demonstrates a touching and powerful commitment to Lifeline’s vision of an Australia free of suicide.”
Maddie and Will Gay, who come from the regional NSW town of Boorowa, will climb six mountains – Mt Kinabalu, Machu Picchu, Mt Meru, Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Cook and Mt Kosciuszko – between 10 September and 14 November.
While the pair do not have a history of climbing mountains, Ms Gay said their training schedule and passion would ensure they were ready for the challenge.
“We believe that there is nothing more important than a person’s life and everything should be done to protect it. It is such a tragedy to suicide affects so many lives when it is preventable. That’s what is going to be driving us forward for the next three months,” Ms Gay said.
“With 6NIL we’ve managed to turn something heartbreaking into a message of hope. We lost our Dad, but now his story is helping Lifeline change the lives of thousands of Australians. That is something we’re holding very close to our hearts.”
With more than a million calls expected to Lifeline’s telephone crisis line – 13 11 14 – in FY16, the support of Will and Maddie Gay will help the organisation take steps towards its goal to never miss a call from an Australian in crisis. Lifeline currently only has the resources to answer 85 per cent of these calls.
For more information on 6NIL, or to make a donation, visit www.6nil.com. For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.