Werribee Rotary to walk from Kelly country

Liat Watson, Natalie Gesslein, ‘Ned Kelly’, Geoff Smith and Marion Coles. Picture: Damjan Janevski

What do Werribee Rotary, Ned Kelly and the Royal Children’s Hospital have in common?

Quite a bit, it seems. Werribee Rotary Club members will put on their walking shoes this October for a 200-kilometre trek from Wangaratta to Werribee to raise money for the hospital’s Victorian Paediatric Palliative Care Program.

The fundraiser will be the group’s fifth charity walk and will extend over nine days, passing through towns where the notorious Kelly gang roamed, including Beechworth.

Werribee Rotary hopes to raise $45,000 from this year’s effort.

Werribee Rotarian and children’s hospital committee member Liat Watson became an advocate for the palliative care program after her son Mitchell, at the age of seven, died from Type C Niemann-Pick disease in 2008. Niemann-Pick disease affects a person’s metabolism to the point where the sufferer gradually “un-learns” basic skills, such as walking and talking.

“If it was not for services like those provided through this program, it would not be possible for families to spend such precious times with their child,” Ms Watson said.

“It’s so hard not to have Mitchell here, but we have such wonderful memories of our amazing little boy that wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the palliative care program.”

Werribee Rotary is still looking for a major sponsor. You can support, participate, sponsor or donate at rchfoundation.com.au/event/200k2015