All-women motorbike group to cross Central Australia’s desert for charity

by | May 9, 2022 | News | 0 comments

The All-Women Simpson Desert Crossing motorbike group will again take to the red sands of the Australian outback, challenging their mental and physical strength across four gruelling days as part of “Do It For Dolly Day” this Friday May 13.

The group started in 2019 when 12 women successfully crossed Australia’s Simpson Desert on motorbikes and has become an annual charity event in partnership with Dolly’s Dream to take a stand against bullying and cyberbullying.

Founded in memory of Dolly Everett, who took her own life at age 14 after alleged bullying and cyberbullying, Dolly’s Dream aims to empower and educate the community to prevent all forms of bullying and its devastating effects.

AWSDC co-organiser Kimberley Killick said Dolly’s Dream was the perfect charity for the LGBTIQ-friendly riding group to raise funds for, with many group members having experienced bullying themselves.

“We ride to show that women who support and lift each other up, instead of bully and put others down, are able to go further in life and get better outcomes… and we raise funds to make a real change for generations to come,” said Ms Killick.

Aiming to add on to the $80,000 that has been raised over the past three years through the Simpson Desert ride, the women will journey from Birdsville in Queensland to Mt Dare in South Australia, with some of their riders having minimal sand-riding experience.

“We accept each other’s differences, and we support each other across one of the most brutal terrains in Australia,” Ms Killick said.

“We ride as a team, we rally around each other and set the pace of the person who is struggling to set an example of inclusion and support.”

She said that sand is an unusual surface to ride on. Sand can feel like water moving underneath the bike. A rider should not fight the sand but rather go with it using the motorbike’s momentum.

“You’ve got to be alert and oriented the entire time, and we can ride up to 120km in one day,” she said.

“It’s exhausting. It’s boiling hot and we’re standing up on the bike for 80 per cent of the ride.

“Dolly’s message to ‘speak even if your voice shakes’ is so pertinent during this emotionally and physically demanding trip. I’m shown time and again during the ride that people don’t know what you’re going through unless you tell them. When you share your voice, it means that the group can come around and support you to share the load of the journey.”

Dolly’s mother and charity co-founder Kate Everett said the funds from Do It For Dolly Day go to several initiatives including a free mental health support line with trained counsellors. She said that contributions from the AWSDC ride safeguard future generations from the lifelong impacts that bullying has during childhood and adult life.

“We work hard to continually update and develop vital bullying prevention and online safety programs for kids, families, schools and communities across Australia to create a cultural change where kindness and compassion with each other is the new norm,” Ms Everett said.

“These extraordinary women of AWSDC have a huge impact on Dolly’s Dream. Their strength, determination and commitment to help us end bullying forever are awe-inspiring.”

More information can be found here.

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