The final few steps of an epic fundraiser fell in Footscray on Friday when Cassie Cohen and Jackson Bursill crossed the finish line of their 4000-kilometre jogging journey.
The pair had set out from Cooktown exactly 89 days earlier, covering close to a marathon distance every morning before meeting with refugees and migrants in communities along the way to hear and then share their stories.
The Bounding Plains to Share run served as a fundraiser for the Footscray-based Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, which greeted the dynamic duo with a breakfast at the finish line and accepted a donation of more than $12,000.
Ms Cohen said the pair met some extraordinary individuals who inspired them to keep the run alive, including Bashir, a 22-year-old commerce student at ANU.
“When he was 14 years old, both of his parents were killed in Afghanistan … Bashir made his way to Australia alone, and managed to achieve great year 12 results despite having no family support,” she said.
Through the run, Cohen and Bursill used social media to share a new story each day about the people they met along the way.
Their goal was to highlight the positive success stories of refugees and migrants.
“We’ve realised that most people who hold strong views against multiculturalism simply haven’t been exposed to many people from different backgrounds,” Mr Bursill said.
ASRC chief executive Kon Karapanagiotidis said he had kept watch on the lengthy journey and been impressed by their strength.
“It’s actually hard to fathom just how far they’ve run and how many people they’ve come into contact with along the way,” he said.
For details of the run visit: www.facebook.com/boundingplains2share