Current Year 10 student, Ashley Ward has organised a 3 hour cycle marathon, Ride for Mallacoota, to raise much needed bush fire relief funds.
“My dad and I wanted to organise the Ride for Mallacoota because after my Marshmead experience, it made me feel really connected with it, especially during Parent Visiting.” Ashley explains. “We came up with the idea after hearing about the fires, and I really wanted to do something for the area as I knew they were impacted by the fire. It also ensures that Mallacoota can support not only themselves, but the Marshmead girls in the future.”
All proceeds raised will be given directly to three local businesses: the Mallacoota Wildlife Shelter, Lucy’s Restaurant and the M.V. Loch-Ard.
The M.V Loch-Ard, a 1910 historic water vessel, and Lucy’s Restaurant are both crucial when Parent Visiting weekend is in full swing during each Marshmead term.
“We pick the three businesses because a major part of the wildlife was affected during the bushfires,” Ashley says. “To start rebuilding that population again is essential, as well as the care of the wildlife that has been injured.
“The others help support the number of people coming into Mallacoota to stay for that weekend, from the Loch-Ard bringing them to and from the Marshmead property, and Lucy’s for letting families dine and eat delicious food.”
With the help of her father, the owner of cycle studio in the Docklands, she organised the 3-hour cycle marathon and quickly built up 16 corporate teams with over 110 riders for the event. Her own team consists of five other MLC students.
“The response for the initiative has been very exciting and slightly overwhelming, inside and outside of the school. On my dad’s side of the fundraising, a lot of people from outside the MLC community and ANZ has been a big part of helping this initiative, helping us set up a bank account for the event, and spreading the word in their community as well. The support from inside the MLC community has been amazing as well, especially my co-ordinator Ms Rogliano and (Head of Middle School) Mrs Lange, who have help me a lot during this journey.”
Ashley shares that she didn’t realise just how much of an impact Marshmead made on her until nine months after her experience.
“It made me more aware of what is happening around me, and how it made me independent and willing to go out of my way and help others in such a situation. It also gave me a more positive and optimistic outlook on anything I do, which has also certainly changed me as a person.”
Contributions can be made towards Ride for Mallacoota via the following GoFundMe page: