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Anthony Goyder and Steve Choate prior to crossing the Great Sandy Desert. Picture: REBECCA MANSELL

Hills camel master helps trekkers

CHRIS O’Hora from Calamunnda Camel Farm has helped two men and five camels prepare to cross the Great Sandy Desert to raise money for melanomaWA and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Mr O’Hora had to start with the basics as Steve Choate, 34, of East Fremantle and Anthony Goyder, 41, of Fremantle knew nothing about training the animals.

This week more than a year after the men started working with the camels they started their trek from a remote Aboriginal community called Billiluna.

The 1200km trek is expected to take 40 days, which means they will have to average 30km a day through some of WA’s most barren wilderness.

Their finishing point is Eighty Mile Beach, which is about halfway between Broome and Port Hedland.

The idea for the trek was inspired by one of Anthony Goyder’s ancestors, Peter Egerton Warburton, who in 1873 first explored the Western Australian interior with a team of men and 17 camels. 

The two friends are replicating a section of the original journey and will be largely unsupported. 

Steve Choate said while their initial motivation was to have a once in a lifetime experience they were also fundraising money for two WA charities, which help people in WA with their own challenges.

They aim to raise $10,000 for each charity. 

Donations can be made via their website https://www.greatsandy18.com/donate

In Western Australia alone, the RFDS services over 2.5 million square kilometres, with 17 aircraft and operating facilities at Jandakot, Kalgoorlie, Meekatharra, Port Hedland and Broome. 

The RFDS reached more than 60,000 people last year, delivering life-saving aero medical evacuations and transfers and a range of primary healthcare services to those who live, work and travel across WA.

melanomaWA educates the community about sun safety and prevention and early detection of melanoma. 

Thrifty WA provided a truck to transport the camel trailer from Perth up to the start and end points of the trek. 

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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