Ikara trekkers return from 100km walk to raise funds for Indigenous education and health research.

Twenty-five UoN staff, alumni, and community members have returned from a 100km trek across the arid Australian Outback.

The University of Newcastle’s Ikara-Flinders Ranges Challenge Champions – including its Vice Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky AO – walked the remote Heysen Trail of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges in South Australia, raising nearly $150,000 for Indigenous education and health research.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Indigenous Australians are nearly three times more likely than non-Indigenous Australians to experience high levels of psychological distress, have hearing problems as children and bilateral vision loss. 

Indigenous Australians are also twice as likely to die before their fifth birthday or have a disability or a long-term health condition. 

The Ikara-Flinders Ranges Challenge is the second trek of its kind that the University has organised to raise awareness and funds to help tackle these challenges. In 2017, the 65-kilometre Larapinta Trail Challenge raised $152,432 through the support of 950 donors.

With donations being accepted until 31 October, the Ikara team still have a chance to meet their target of $155,000.