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Claude ‘the mowerman’ Harvey will attempt to mow-down 1200kms from Murwillumbah to Toowoomba when he sets off on his next ‘mowerthon’ on November 14.
The 14-day fundraising mission will see Claude push his trusty, customised-cutter through 12 towns from Northern NSW to the Darling Downs in Queensland, where he will visit places like Casino and Goondiwindi.
It follows a recent significant fundraising achievement, where the 71-year-old Gold Coast grandfather hit a 10-year fundraising total of more than $1million for child protection charity Bravehearts.
“I’m looking forward to getting back out on the road and raising funds to help Bravehearts prevent child sexual assault,” says Claude.
“My plan is to raise another $1million to help educate, empower and protect children from this crime and to also raise awareness. My mower and I create a fair bit of attention and I’m grateful for all the support and well-wishes I get from the generous people I get to meet along the way. They encourage and inspire me to keep going.”
Claude’s efforts have resulted in him trudging through 86 pairs of his trademark sandals across more than 25,000 km of the Australian landscape – from Hobart to Hamilton, Bundaberg to Biloela and everywhere in between – he’s been everywhere, man.
He once pushed his trusty, customised cutter across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, when he appeared with Kochie on Ch 7’s Sunrise.
Born in Kempsey, NSW in 1945, Claude became an active and dedicated Bravehearts volunteer after reading news of a sex offender who was arrested for sexually assaulting a child – a crime that will affect 1 in 5 Australian children before they turn 18.
When two family friends disclosed that they had also been sexually assaulted, Claude vowed to do everything possible to make a difference in the lives of victims.
Since then, this super senior has become a hero to thousands of kids, with supporters turning out wherever he ‘mows’.
“People are supportive and always keen stop for a chat, donate some money and take a few pictures with me and my famous lawnmower,” says Claude.
Bravehearts Founder and Chair Hetty Johnston AM, says his efforts are a testament to the difference one person can make to the lives of so many.
“Claude is a national living treasure and we are forever grateful for his remarkable contribution, and fundraising efforts,” says Mrs Johnston.
“It’s not every day you see a grandfather pushing a lawnmower through the main street of town. Claude’s passion to help Bravehearts create child-safe communities is incredible.”
Claude’s efforts enable Bravehearts to create child-safe communities around Australia, with our personal safety education program has reached more than 730,000 Australian children aged from 3 to 8 years. The program is delivered to childcare centres and lower primary and teaches children to stay safe in a range of situations – from sexual assault to bullying and cyber safety.