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Soldier On Fundraising Walk to Adelaide Ends for Mildura Man Nathan Shanahan

Monday 27 April, 2015

Source: 891 ABC Adelaide


A former soldier keen to raise awareness about mental health issues has walked into Adelaide after a 400-kilometre trek from Mildura in north-western Victoria.

Nathan Shanahan is now a firefighter but spent six years in the army, a background that led to his fundraising challenge.

“I did it because from being in the army I had a couple of mates that had post traumatic stress [disorder], I actually have depression and anxiety myself,” he told 891 ABC Adelaide.

“I just wanted to try and shake that negative stigma and get more awareness out there that you still can achieve things, relatively big things when you are suffering.

“I basically wanted to help get rid of that negative stigma that I think is attached to any sort of mental illness or condition.”

Mr Shanahan said the walk, which took less than a fortnight, had left him with a sense of achievement.

“It’s been a long trek, but very fulfilling and a good sense of achievement,” he said on his arrival at the weekend.

“I’m a little bit worn out now. I sort of averaged about 45 [kilometres] a day and a 25kg pack didn’t make it too much easier.

“We got I think 60mm of rain on the second day, which really softened up my feet and that caused me a bit of grief with blisters.”

The money raised will go to Soldier On, an organisation that supports those with physical or psychological injuries from defence force service.

“The goal was $10,000, we hit that I think it was a day before we left … and I just had a look and it was up to $27,000 so it really skyrocketed once I hit the road,” Mr Shanahan said.

“The support was just unbelievable so it’s a credit to everyone in the country South Australia area and Mildura as well.”


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