Our People to Live Stronger & Longer

Windsurfing Adventure Raises $26,000 for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector

Rod McEwin has a passion for windsurfing, the Murray River and playing his part to help improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal people in NSW.

In 2006, Rod set sail on a windsurfing adventure down the Murray River. Visiting the River, a week or so each year, he has ridden more than 1,800 kilometres and raised more than $26,000 for the Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health sector. The adventure started when Rod received a call from a friend who made windsurfing boards.

“He rang to say he had a second-hand board for sale. My sister kindly agreed to buy the board with me. I am still not sure if I own the front half or back half. Luckily for me, she lets me use both halves!”

Rod was fascinated with the Murray River as a boy. He and his friends spent endless summer holidays on the river. “We would swim, water-ski, muck around in a dinghy, sail in a tiny yacht, fish and put out pots for yabbies. Sometimes, we would catch enough yabbies to feed several families,” said Rod.

Ready for a challenge, Rod and the first of several friend and family land crews, embarked on his adventure down the Murray River. The board was sailed, paddled, carried, dragged or whatever else it took to get it down the river with only human effort, the wind and current of the river. The team camped near the banks of the river and spent time amongst the river birds, native animals, and remarkable scenery. Rod encouraged people he met to donate to Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) and show their support for the ACCHS sector.

“It has been an amazing ride, and I am grateful for the endless support from my family and the generous land crews. For me, the trip has been much more than a sporting adventure. I have met incredible people and raised awareness for an important cause. My family has worked for this not-for-profit organisation, and I feel proud to have helped people realise that we can do more to close the health and life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and we can do this together.” Donate to the AH&MRC today.

“It’s fantastic to see such drive from one person, to raise money for our sector. Rod’s fundraising efforts have put the AH&MRC ‘on the map’ and supported us to deliver important health programs through our Aboriginal Medical Services in NSW to Aboriginal Communities. We sincerely thank Rod for his ongoing support and dedication. I hope others feel inspired by his story to get involved,” said Robert Skeen, AH&MRC CEO.

Read more about Rod’s Windsurfing Adventures online at Windsurfing on the Murray.

If you would like to share your fundraising story with the AH&MRC please email the Communications Team today: Comms@ahmrc.org.au