The Journey Begins: Chimu's James McAlloon Sets Off On Epic Fundraising Trek Across Australia

Chimu Adventures' QLD Relationship Manager, James McAlloon has today set off on his 4,320km walk, named Footsteps for Food, to raise money for South American communities in need.

Chimu Adventures’ QLD Relationship Manager, James McAlloon has today set off on his 4,320km walk, named Footsteps for Food, to raise money for South American communities in need.

Early this morning, Chimu Adventures’ QLD Relationship Manager, James McAlloon set off from Alexandra Headlands Beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast on an epic trek to Bunbury, Western Australia.

The ambitious project, titled Footsteps for Food, is raising money for South American communities devastated by the loss of tourism due to COVID-19.

While Australia has managed to avoid the most devastating impacts of COVID-19, South American communities have not been so fortunate. South America is now the epicentre of coronavirus cases, and where the disastrous health impacts of this pandemic are felt, so too is the economic fallout the greatest. With as many as 70% of the population living hand to mouth, the future for these nations is very uncertain.

Footsteps for Food

James McAloon’s early morning departure for Footsteps for food

In April 2020, as the situation in South America deteriorated, Chimu’s management did a shout out to their teams to see if anyone had any fundraising ideas. James McAlloon suggested he walk across the entirety of Australia and try to raise tens of thousands for the hardest hit. 

READ: Footsteps For Food: Chimu Turns Its Focus To Supporting Latin America

Footsteps for Food will take McAlloon across some of the harshest landscapes Australia has to offer.

Averaging 40km per day, McAlloon has set out south-west from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, across the Great Dividing Range to Port Augusta, South Australia. He will then walk across Australia’s endlessly arid interior via the famous Nullarbor Plain. McAlloon will arrive months later on the West Australian coast. Along the way, McAlloon will be driving fundraising efforts throughout the towns that he visits and via social media. 

James with is proud parents, Wayne and Leslie McAloon at the starting line

Although McAlloon will have to face the enduring trek alone, he has created a small army of supporters to help drive him on. One such supporter, legendary elite endurance athlete, Kurt Fearnley, AO, even took the time to send James a personal video of encouragement before his departure. 

With current border closures still in place, and a precise timeline of border restrictions easing unavailable for some states, the route James McAlloon has on the radar may need a rework. James will assess the situation as he proceeds, which may result in alterations to the original plan, based on
border restrictions at the time.

“I’ll walk around and around in my back yard if I have to, the aim here is to complete footsteps for food, that is my ultimate pledge.”

James McAlloon

“Chimu are no strangers to the perils of COVID-19, having operated evacuation flights under the toughest of conditions to bring Australians home from Latin America, when borders and ports suddenly closed.

That felt fundamentally wrong. Our operation is traditionally to work in the reverse direction. Yet it is what was left behind that drives us to do more. I couldn’t be prouder of James’ pledge and will support him 100% of the way, many of our team are already planning on joining him for some sections, it feels like a family project, albeit a massive one.

We are working on food supplies with our operations team to ensure we are ready to distribute.” Said Greg Carter, Co-Founder of Chimu Adventures.

Chimu’s Charity, Mad Project will manage all donations made to the journey. 

Click here for more information on the journey, and here to follow James’ journey on Facebook.

Win A Trip to Antarctica

Antarctica – Credit Chimu Adventures

To coincide with the commencement of McAlloon’s journey, Latin America and Polar Travel Specialists, Chimu Adventures have announced they will be providing a trip to Antarctica as the winning prize in a raffle to raise money for Footsteps for Food.

Tickets in the raffle will cost $40, the equivalent approximate amount of money required to feed a family of four for a week in many of the worst affected areas in South America. All proceeds from the raffle will go directly to Footsteps for Food.

Click here to enter the raffle.