Senator FIFIELD (Victoria) (7.01 pm)-Last Wednesday I had the real delight and honour to be at the launch in Melbourne of Extreme Rolling. Madam Acting Deputy President Brown, you might wonder what Extreme Rolling is. If you are anything like me, when you first heard of it it brought to mind that 1970s classic movie Rollerball about a violent rollerskating sport set in the future, I think. Senator Bernardi remembers that movie-
Senator Sherry-I do too.
Senator FIFIELD-and, yes, I thought Senator Sherry might as well, circa 1975. Extreme Rolling actually is not a violent futuristic sport. It is a great adventure currently being undertaken by two great Australians, Andreas Dagelet and Dale Elliott. Andreas and Dale are hand-pedalling from Melbourne to Darwin, a distance of about 5000 kilometres. It will take them five months to hand-pedal.
You might wonder what exactly is hand-pedalling. It is a bicycle style of vehicle where you sit, put your feet in stirrups, but actually use your hands to pedal. It is quite a gruelling form of transportation. Apart from completing this gruelling epic, Andreas and Dale have two objectives. The first is to raise money to treat African children with club foot, and the second objective is to visit more than 150 schools and community groups to raise awareness about disability.
It was a surprise to me that children with club foot were still failing to eceive the care that they need. It costs just $200 to treat club foot, and the Extreme Rollers aim to raise $200,000 to treat 1,000 children with club foot. Club foot affects one in 750 children worldwide and most children in Africa who have club foot never receive treatment. Yet it is a condition that is easily treated at birth and, if caught before the age of two, a series of casts can avoid the necessity of having surgery. Andreas and Dale are certainly dreaming big.
Over the next 10 years they hope to expand the program to eradicate club foot. Both Andreas and Dale acquired their own disability- each is a paraplegic through an accident. But neither of these terrific ndividuals has allowed this to define them or to slow them down. It would be fair to say that Andreas and Dale have the spirit of adventure in their hearts. They are like a cross between Bear Grylls, that ex-pecial forces soldier who has a show on SBS at the moment, and MacGyver, that 1980s TV action character.
Andreas and Dale are two very adventurous individuals. Andreas has previously circumnavigated Australia on a handcycle and Dale became the first Australian and second person in the world to skydive solo as a paraplegic. Andreas and Dale have a great philosophy: ‘to contribute to the world one roll at a time’, and they are wanting to use this current adventure as a catalyst for change.
Their effort is underpinned by a great support team: Kat Skull, Bec Skull, Renee Dagelet and Mick Meeham. This venture deserves support. The progress of this venture by the Extreme Rollers can be followed on www.extremerolling.com and today the Extreme Rollers are travelling from Kinglake, in the heart of the area affected by the tragic Victorian bushfires, through to Kilmore. Donations can be made at that website and I would encourage colleagues and those listening to support Dale, Andreas and the team in this great endeavour.