Don Burrowes has seen first-hand the devastating impacts of mental illness on a community and plans to do something about it this month by taking on the Kokoda Trail to raise money for mental health research.

Don arrives in Papua New Guinea on Monday 22nd July to embark on the 96km walk, which will take 8 days to complete. In that time, the 59-year-old hopes to raise $5,000 for Australian Rotary Health.

1 in 5 Australians are affected by a mental illness every year and Don himself has previously experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following a car accident and has seen close family members and family friends impacted by schizophrenia as well as other mental illnesses.

“Through my work in a previous position providing support to rural farm families and communities I have also seen first-hand the devastating impact the mental illness has on an individual, a family and friends,” Don said.

“Ideally I would like to raise about $5,000 for Australian Rotary Health to be targeted at research into improved treatments and ultimately a cure for Schizophrenia.”

Don is also using this experience to pay tribute to his wife’s father, who was part of the Kokoda campaign in World War 2.

“It’s my intention to carry a photo of him with me in recognition of the service he and all the servicemen gave in this bloody campaign. He survived and returned to civilian life afterward but would never speak about his experience other than to teach his children to speak in Pijin English.”

To support Don in his fundraising campaign, donate here.



MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica Cooper – (02) 8837 1900 or