Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

From the Outback to New York: Documentary showcases Indigenous runners

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Mark Arbib, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Minister for Sport
    Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health Member for Lingiari

The Australian Government is proud to have supported a documentary showcasing the incredible journey undertaken by four young men from remote Indigenous communities as they train for and run the 2010 New York Marathon.

Running to America screens on the ABC tonight. The documentary tells the story of Charlie Maher, Caleb Hart, Juan Darwin and Joseph Davies as they train for the marathon under the guidance of Australian sporting legend Robert De Castella.

The documentary follows the men, who hail from Alice Springs (NT), Maningrida (Arnhem Land) and Kununurra (WA), through eight months of gruelling preparation, including elite training at the Australian Institute of Sport and intensive fitness regimes back home.

The Australian Government is proud to have supported this project, including approximately $1.25 million to fund the Indigenous Marathon Project and $200,000 to support production of the documentary through the Public Awareness Program.

The Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said Running to America is an inspirational story of the great courage and determination shown by four Aboriginal men.

“This is an example of how outstanding young Indigenous people can overcome personal challenges and take responsibility for achieving their personal goals and dreams,” Ms Macklin said.

“It’s a reminder to each and every one of us that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.”

Minister for Sport Mark Arbib, who ran with this year’s Indigenous marathon team in New York last month, said the participants’ achievements sent a message to all young Indigenous Australians that you can do anything you put your mind to.

“The dedication the young Indigenous people showed in training, running and finishing the marathon is inspiring,” Senator Arbib said.

“Running with this year’s group gave me a great insight into the journey these young people have been through and I congratulate all the participants for the great example they have set.”

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, said the documentary is yet another great opportunity to promote healthier lifestyles amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“These four terrific individuals should be congratulated for bringing health messages to their own communities and the broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

ldquo;They are empowering people – both at the individual and community level – to take responsibility for their health. This builds on the Australian Government’s Live Longer! Campaign which promotes healthy lifestyle messages.

Live Longer! Encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to give up smoking, eat healthy food, take regular exercise and have regular medical check-ups – four actions that could help extend the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Mr Snowdon said.