Trugin on for a cancer cure

Brendan and Carmen named their shitbox Olaf and their team name is Trugin on for a cure. (Steven Hudson)

If someone asked you to drive a shitbox car 3594 kilometres through the muddy and untamed tracks of the Australian outback for charity, would you do it?

Brendan Andrew, and his wife Carmen did.

The couple left the warm confines of their Werribee home to participate in a week long expedition from Wollongong in New South Wales to MacKay, Queensland.

The annual Shitbox Rally starts with a fundraiser and two person teams are expected to raise a minimum of $5000 to support the cancer council.

“I think everyone’s had someone affected by cancer,” Brendan said.

“Carmen has had breast cancer, so we’re affected directly that way.”

The next phase of the fundraiser involves the shitboxes and 250 teams take to the roads in cars worth no more than $1500.

“The [shitbox] event is a celebration of all that fundraising, and for like minded people to come together,” Brendan said.

“As we as we’re traveling around, we’re going to some very remote towns so we’re trying to spread the word through the remote towns about the Cancer Council and shitbox rally.”

Brendan said the scenery in the outback helps to keep the restlessness of sitting in a car for long hours at bay.

“Outback Australia is an amazing place, you do not get bored, there’s always something to look at,” he said.

In case of emergency, multiple medical and support vehicles follow the teams on their journey.

“If you can’t fix your car on the side of the road within 20 minutes, you put it on a trailer and they bring it back to where we’re staying for the night,” Brendan said.

“If it doesn’t survive, you get a medallion that says your car died on shitbox, to continue you hope in a car with someone else from your buddy group.”

Brendan and Carmen’s attempts to participate in the rally had been thwarted multiple years because of COVID-19, but he says they’ve caught the rally bug.

“We really want to keep doing it, we want to fundraise and do the work for the Cancer Council,” he said.

“We’re very proud of what we’re going to achieve, we had a lot of people that couldn’t believe what we’re gonna do in the car that what we’re doing it in.”