By ERWIN CHLANDA
“Entrants will be treated to the finest in country hospitality, enjoy the good-natured rivalry and camaraderie of fellow participants and have the opportunity to soak up the complete outback experience for which Australia is renowned.”
That’s the enticing pitch for the OZ Outback Odyssey which set off from Alice Springs yesterday, raising money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service – whilst having a good time.
The pitch says the RFDS, a not for profit organisation, now has a fleet of 60 aircraft operating from 21 bases across the nation and providing medical assistance to over 270,000 people every year – that’s one every two minutes.
The Odyssey convoy consists of some 40 vehicles more than 30 years old. They are now winding their way to Darwin via Gemtree, Tobermorey, into Queensland and turning north to Adels Grove and Burketown, back into the NT to Cape Crawford, Lorella Springs, Mataranka and Darwin.
There is lavish support: Six vehicles running checkpoints and managing the event on a daily basis; two medical vehicles with qualified medical practitioners and three mechanical support vehicles.
The pitch suggests: “Entrants are encouraged to bring along give-away items to hand to the children of the outback communities that we come across on the journey. Items such as stickers, lollies, pens, etc. are greatly appreciated by the children and put an extra big smile on their faces.”
The trip ends with a presentation dinner on August 2 and “the chance to extend your Darwin stay to take in one of Australia’s most unique horse racing events – the Darwin Cup in a corporate facility no less,” as the pitch puts it.
Participants need fairly deep pockets, with entry fees for old cars at $4,950, recent model cars $4,400, plus $1,200 per crew member covering “meal tickets, camping and fines”.
That doesn’t include “accommodation where applicable, fuel, supplies, alcohol, etc”.
Can you write your outback adventure off tax? Maybe.
Says the pitch: “Sponsorship secured from companies / small business may be tax deductible when the logo / name of the business is advertised by the entrant on their vehicle and/or on clothing and/or promotional material all produced by the entrant themselves.
“OZ Outback Odyssey is not qualified to provide taxation advice. Please seek your own tax advice if required.”
A second beneficiary of the event is Power Community Limited, harking back to the foundation of the event in 1992 by the Port Adelaide Football Club. Since 2014 the event is run privately by OZBASH Ltd.
Power Community Limited is a separate entity created by the club “to plan and deliver community programs in SA and NT.
“PCL works in partnership with a range of government, corporate and not for profit agencies to deliver programs with a focus on raising funds for charity, engagement, leadership and pathways to employment.”
These include “Power Of Dreams which assists charities in SA to bring dreams to reality by growing awareness and raising funds for a number of charities including Starlight Children’s Foundation, Childhood Cancer Foundation, SCOSA, Time for Kids and Leukaemia Foundation”.
Another branch is “Power Community Youth Programs, a metropolitan and remote community schools program teaching drug awareness, healthy lifestyle and career pathways, encouraging students to make better decisions and to support their peers”.
PHOTO: Part of the convoy in Todd Mall yesterday.
By ERWIN CHLANDA