It was a beautiful Sydney Autumn day on Sunday 6th May when over 200 people, as part of 22 teams, joined together in Parramatta Park to “Honour Our Heroes” in the 3rd Annual Relay Walk of that name.
The event is organized each year by the RSL & Services Clubs Association to increase public awareness of the needs of veterans, many of whom return home from conflict with physical and mental health injuries. These veterans need the support and assistance of the community to transition into positive and productive lives when they leave Defence.
Clubs across Sydney and the Central Coast, along with ClubsNSW, entered teams into the Relay Walk, along with teams from Team Rubicon, Legacy, Deloittes, and others. Each team walked the fourteen circuits of three kilometres of Parramatta Park, to achieve the 42 km target, in honour of the 42 Australian soldiers who gave their lives in the Afghanistan War.
This was also a fundraising event, to raise funds for the Veterans Benevolent Fund, which assists homeless veterans services and the establishment of new Veterans Centres across the State. The current estimate of funds raised from the event is $35,000 but donations are still coming in.
The Australian Army Band – Sydney performed a bevy of great songs for the audience for an hour. The Army Band are one of Australia’s most dynamic and active musical ensembles, who provide ceremonial support for vice-regal events but also performing at a wide range of other community and Defence functions.
The Relay Walk also featured a number of very talented singers from the Talent Development Project (TDP), a program supported by ClubsNSW.
They performed during the day to entertain the walkers and families. These singers have incredible voices and are great ambassadors for ClubsNSW and the TDP.
The event is also a family day, with children’s rides, face painting, ice cream and other treats for the whole family. Children of any age can walk the circuit with their parents and family and it was great to see so many doing so.
Thanks also go to the Corporate Partner companies and community organisations that support the event: Gold Crest Security who provide security and traffic management services for the weekend of the Relay Walk; tic technologies for the website and online registration system; Coca Cola Amatil for supply of water for all walkers; Lions Club Parramatta for running the BBQ; Rotary Clubs Sydney for free use of marquees, and Parramatta Park Trust for their support in staging the event.