It’s time to get out your running shoes and take part in this year’s WalkWest, a fundraiser organised by Western Health Foundation in partnership with Dow Chemicals Australia, to support “best care” for families across Melbourne’s west.

To be held in Footscray Park, Maribyrnong on Sunday morning, March 24, WalkWest is loads of fun for the whole family, with two, five and 10-kilometre runs/walks, and loads of free entertainment, activities and an array of delicious food at the WalkWest Village.

Starting and finishing at Footscray Park, the wheelchair-friendly, bitumen-paved route is along the picturesque Maribyrnong River and participants of all ages and fitness levels will raise valuable funds for the new Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital (pictured).

During the event, the WalkWest Village will be a hive of activity, with fun things to do for everyone. The line-up includes:

• Aerobics warm-up

• Bouncing castle

• Bounczn Dance Company performance

• DJ music

• Face-painting

• Food and refreshments

• Massage zone

• Juventus Soccer Club workshop

• Star Wars storm troopers

• Western Bulldogs mascot

A water station will be at Footscray Park and volunteers will be handing out water at checkpoints along the route. Dogs on leash are permitted in the park and portaloos with disabled access will be onsite.

Registrations are available on the day but registering before the event at is recommended.

Western Health Foundation director Julia White says Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital is set to open mid-year.

“It will deliver the healthcare needs for growing families across Melbourne’s west,” Julia says. “It will bring together women’s and children’s services under one roof and will include expanded maternity wards, a maternal-foetal health unit, specialist women’s health clinics, a full-floor children’s ward, separate clinics for children’s health services and the ability to care for very sick babies onsite keeping families together at this important time.

“Funds from this year’s WalkWest will provide additional equipment and special enhancements that will help deliver a hospital that families in the west truly deserve.”

The event kicks off at 8am at the WalkWest Village in Footscray Park.

For details of parking and public transport options visit the WalkWest website at

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Funds from WalkWest will support the new Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital. (Photo supplied)