Underwriters ride for mental health

DUAL Asia Pacific CEO Damien Coates and a team of underwriters have successfully completed a 437km Zoo2Zoo bike ride from Sydney’s Taroonga Zoo to Dubbo’s Western Plains Zoo, following three gruelling days riding through the NSW mid west.

Damien Coates and his team have cycled, swam, run and walked over 85,000 kms in 5 different states with the goal of raising much needed funds for Black Dog Institute.

The Black Dog Institute is working to solve mental health problems – to lower mental illness, lower suicide risk and promote wellbeing. Black Dog encourages the notion to Exercise Your Mood (EYM) which is a national fundraising and awareness campaign designed to increase community awareness of the importance of regular exercise for maintaining good mental health.

“Our partnership with Black Dog in 2016 has been immensely important for us both in terms of giving back to a cause that we all care so much about but also in terms of raising awareness and creating an environment where mental health issues can be openly discussed” said Coates.

Mental illness affects one in five Australians every year, with the most common being depression and anxiety and affects people from all walks of life – it impacts individuals, families, workplaces and communities. Less than half of all Australians experiencing the symptoms of mental illness will seek professional help because of stigma, cost, lack of face-to-face services and distance to services.

“Everyone of the team riding in Zoo2Zoo had a personal reason for wanting to support Black Dog and coming together as a team to talk about these reasons really brought us together and meant we weren’t just riding for Black Dog we were riding to support each other” states Coates.

Throughout 2016 DUAL has partnered with Black Dog Institute to raise much needed funds to improve the lives of people affected by mood disorders and set an ambitious target to raise $50,000.

DUAL supports one charity a year. In 2015 they partnered with OzHarvest and staff had the opportunity to learn the extent of food waste in Australia and how we can all make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than us by redistributing unwanted food.

In 2014 they focused on raising funds for Make-A-Wish Foundation and children in need, everyone was given the challenge to walk, run, swim or cycle 20kms across the year.

In addition to these initiatives DUAL has now completed two major cycling events Royal Far West and Zoo2Zoo, raising in total $40K.