Navy takes to the water to promote a dry Ocsober

Published on LEUT Sarah West (author), Mr Pup Elliott (photographer), POIS Paul Berry (photographer)

Location(s): ADFA, Canberra

Topic(s): Ocsober, Swimming

At 2000hrs (eight hours since the start)  Navy personnel continue swimming laps at the Australian Defence Force Academy pool as part of the Navy's 24hr swim relay in  support of Life Education's Ocsober launch.  (photo: Pup Elliott)
At 2000hrs (eight hours since the start) Navy personnel continue swimming laps at the Australian Defence Force Academy pool as part of the Navy's 24hr swim relay in support of Life Education's Ocsober launch.

The Royal Australian Navy has made a cracking start to its Ocsober campaign this year, having already raised more than $15,400 - three weeks before the Ocsober fast has even started.

Navy officially launched the national Life Education Australia Ocsober campaign on the weekend by conducting a 24-hour team relay swim at the Australian Defence Force Academy pool in Canberra.

The campaign will culminate with the month-long Ocsober fast - which will see people all over Australia give up the booze for the month of October to raise funds and awareness for Life Education.

Life Education is the largest non-government provider of drug and health education to Australian kids. The not-for-profit organisation visits primary schools to teach students about the dangers of excessive alcohol and drug use through their loveable giraffe mascot, Healthy Harold, who has been a favourite with kids for 30 years.

 The aim of Ocsober 2013 is to raise funds to help Life Education and Healthy Harold reach even more Australian school children across the country.

In the lead up to the 24-hour launch in the ADFA pool, Navy people started asking family and friends for donations and sponsorship.

The team from Navy’s Canberra base, HMAS Harman, has leaped to the top of the team fundraising tally, having collected $4991 – just $18 shy of its $5009 goal.

Harman is closely followed on the leader board by the HMAS Success Ocsober team, which has raised $2270 of its significant goal of $7730.

Commander Rebecca Jeffcoat has personally raised more than $1000 for Ocsober, after asking friends and family to sponsor her three hour contribution to her team’s 24-hour relay swim.

“I was happy to get behind this great cause and be able to push myself in the pool at the same time.

“I was so encouraged by my family and friends that when the swim started to get a little difficult, especially at 4am, I just thought of their incredible support and knew that I had to keep going.

Hopefully my contribution will help Healthy Harold visit a few more schools in the next year.”

Navy people across the country will continue to raise funds until the end of October, and numerous serving members have committed to take part in the Ocsober fast.

Navy was the largest corporate fundraiser during last year’s Ocsober campaign, having raised $42,203.33. The service is looking to grow that figure substantially this year.

HMAS Success' team for the Ocsober 24 hour swim relay at the Australian Defence Force Academy Pool in Canberra.

HMAS Success' team for the Ocsober 24 hour swim relay at the Australian Defence Force Academy Pool in Canberra.