JCU Medical students helping eradicate global poverty
12 days, 16 runners, 1000 kilometres. JCU Medical students are continuing a legacy started by past undergraduates in 2012 with the Run to Better Days. Aimed at eradicating global poverty one step at a time, the annual event has so far raised $115,000 for charities that make a difference to the world’s poorest people.
In 2019 that charity is the Against Malaria Foundation, and third-year JCU Medical student Hailey Smith is working as the Head of Logistics for the run.
For Hailey, participating in such a worthwhile cause is made that much sweeter by the fact the fundraiser was founded by her predecessors in JCU’s Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery course - Daniel Charles, Brenton Mayer and Laura Koefler.
“I think it’s a very cool thing that they did, and if you look at all the figures over the years of the money that they’ve raised, they’ve made quite a significant contribution to the Against Malaria Foundation and the other charities that they’ve previously raised money for,” Hailey says.
The origin of the run lies in pragmatic thinking and a strong desire to make a positive difference to the world.
“As medical students, they recognised we can’t do heaps to make a huge difference in global poverty,” she says.
“The Against Malaria Foundation is one of the most cost-effective charities, so for every dollar that we raise it actually goes towards buying and distributing mosquito nets.”
The 1000 kilometres is a ribbon of the Bruce Highway between Mackay and Coolangatta, with the occasional detour down a smaller road if there's more space. The team of 16 will be taking it in turns to do the hard yards.
“We have one runner who gets out, they run their distance, usually about five to 10 kilometres,” Hailey says.
“Then another runner will get out and swap with them, so it’s a relay in that format running down the coast.”