Credit: Lester Jones

Over the coming months in collaboration with ECCO, GRAZIA is setting out to meet young Australians from all walks of life who are committed to making a difference in the lives of others – be it through gestures small or large, extraordinary or everyday, from a national campaign to a kind word one-on-one.

Cast your mind back to the deluge of rain that inundated Sydney only weeks ago. In all likelihood, you were probably safely and comfortably ensconced indoors, eyes affixed to either a screen or a page to help you wile away the hours.

The prospect of walking 60km from Manly (or 30km from Kirribilli) to Bondi along the beaches, cliffs and coves of Sydney Harbour would’ve seemed uninviting given the inclement weather, but to the thousands of people who assembled to do just that on March 17, to do anything otherwise would’ve been just as unimaginable.

Amidst heavy rain and strong winds, some 3,700 Australians from around the country assembled en masse to complete the seventh annual Sydney Coastrek with the goal of raising funds for The Fred Hollows Foundation, an organisation now in the 25th year of its commitment to ending avoidable blindness in 25 countries around the world, particularly amongst Indigenous Australians. On that day, they raised more than $2.4 million. When you consider that the Fred Hollows Foundation can restore sight for as little as $25 in some countries, such a feat becomes even more remarkable.

Since it began in Sydney in 2010, Coastrek has raised more $16 million through the contributions of more than 20,000 trekkers who share the late Professor Fred Hollows’ goal of restoring sight to millions worldwide living with avoidable blindness. Attracting a diverse group of likeminded Australians from Perth to Bourke, Coastrek is fast-becoming one of the country’s most popular fundraising adventure treks, with events held each year in Sydney, Melbourne and, soon to be for the first time, the Sunshine Coast. This year’s Melbourne Coastrek will be held on the Mornington Peninsula on May 26, and the inaugural Sunshine Coastrek will be held on July 28.

On occasion of the release of the new ECCO Cool 2.0 shoe, in which 100% waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX technology acts to help keep feet dry no matter the task at hand, GRAZIA walked a proverbial mile with Founder and CEO of Wild Women on Top, Di Westaway and journalist Melinda Ham to discuss Coastrek’s incredible fundraising efforts for the Fred Hollows Foundation, and how your view of the world changes forever once your sight has been restored.

For more information about the ECCO Cool 2.0 shoes worn throughout, head here.

Motion: Lester Jones
Art direction: Patti Andrews
Special thanks to: The Fred Hollows Foundation