• DATE12 June 2019

NRG Services Project Supervisor, Joel Bunter has returned from “the experience of a lifetime” after trekking across the outback to raise funds for charity in the Youngcare Simpson Desert Challenge 2019.

Regarded as the ultimate Australian adventure, the nine-day trip saw Joel and 14 other hikers trek more than 250 kilometres, climbing over 1,000 sand dunes while braving the isolated desert landscape.

Thanks to a charity golf day at Toowoomba Golf Club which raised more than $33,000 together with other donations, Joel’s trek ultimately secured more than $40,000 for the benefit of young people with high care needs.

“It wasn’t what I expected – I never thought the landscape would be so beautiful, after all the recent floods,” Joel said.

“It was very isolating, but the raw beauty and size of the landscape was unbelievable, it just blew my mind.”

Along with the lack of beds, showers or toilets, the group had to endure long days in the field, getting up in the freezing cold around 4am and spending 10 hours walking each day.

“Some days it was just extremely cold…There’s no shelter out there and the sand manages to get into everything,” he said.

However, despite the mental and physical challenge, Joel says he would go back “in a heartbeat.”

“It’s the people you meet. Everyone was there for the common cause and Youngcare and Aurora Adventures organised the course fantastically,” he said.

Joel said he wished to thank NRG Services, the FKG Group and other sponsors including Gerard Lighting, Amentco, Bob Jane T-Marts, Diametric Engineers, Sheppard Earthmoving and Toowoomba Holden, among many others.

According to Youngcare, more than $604,000 was raised from the event, which will make a direct impact on the lives of young people with high care needs and their loved ones.