#IveBeenInspired this International Women’s Day

Womans-picMarch 8 was International Women’s Day, a worldwide, UN recognised event that celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women in the past, present and future.

To mark the occasion, we had individuals all over the world making a move towards empowering the untapped potential of women.

In an effort to provide two villages in the Philippines with a new start, team #TrekToEndPoverty, raised a whopping $77,000 for microfinance projects in the area. These funds have provided 50 women with the training they need to build their businesses and change their lives through Good Return programs.

Just across the South China Sea, a team of 24 adventurers cycled 400 kilometres, from the streets of Vietnam’s Saigon to Cambodia’s Siem Reap, on Plan International Australia’s Cycle for Girls 2014. Having raised over $122,000, the team travelled to rural villages to see how their funds have helped to give young girls in the area the opportunity to gain an education and empower the world around them.

The Mater Research Cycle for Cancer team also used their pedal power to raise funds and awareness into world-class research for women affected by common cancers.

Aside from our teams on the ground contributing to huge progress in empowering women through economics, education and health, we had another cause for celebration this International Women’s Day. In 2014, the always courageous and adventurous friend of the Inspired team, Turia Pitt, was crowned NSW Woman of The Year. In 2011, Turia suffered burns to sixty percent of her body as a result of a scrub fire that broke out when she was competing in an ultra-marathon race in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Just a few years on, Turia has accomplished many things, including heading a group of individuals on Turia’s Great Wall Challenge to raise money for Interplast, for which she is an ambassador.

Here at Inspired Adventures HQ, we’ve been inspired by many women in the world and our lives, and chose this occasion to give thanks to the kindness, warmth and strength of these inspirational individuals.

Freye Lowery – Copywriter

#IveBeenInspired by my mum and sister. I know it sounds cliche, but I really do believe that everything that is good about me is because I had these two strong women guiding me. My mum was a teacher and a librarian. She taught me the importance of a good education and the simple perfection of a good book. My sister taught me to stand up for myself and to always respect the choices of others.

Jet Van Batenburg – Fundraising Coordinator

#IveBeenInspired by my mum. She has been brave enough to do a complete career switch—twice. She changed from nursing to sales at 54 and now she is switching careers again at 59! She inspires me to always do what makes me happy, and that you should never feel stuck in something like a career, just because it’s easy or you’re used to it.

Katie Camerena – Communications Manager

#IveBeenInspired by the women who fight hard for democracy, women’s rights and who passionately advocate on behalf of the vulnerable populations living along the Thai-Burma border—refugees, migrant workers, displaced persons, women and children. Dr. Cynthia Maung (Mae Tao Clinic) embodies the hope of a peaceful future for the people of Karen State (and Burma as a whole). Naw K’nyaw Paw Nimrod is a women’s rights activist and was elected General Secretary of the Karen Women’s Organisation in 2013. Her leadership in the struggle for women’s rights and equality is empowering other women in her community. It’s an honour to have worked alongside both these women.

Katie and Dr Cynthia

Kimberly Kay – Senior Fundraising Coordinator













#IveBeenInspired by my grandmother, “Nonna”. She lived through both world wars, was permanently displaced from her homeland, and brought her young family here by boat to build a happy home. At 96, she still had the youngest heart and warmest giggle I’ve ever been around. She is my moral compass, leading me towards living a good life and forever guiding me towards my truth.

Rachael Lord – Campaign Manager, from the ground in Cambodia 

#IveBeenInspired by past, present and future feminists. I dedicate the 320 kilometres I have ridden so far to all the girls and women who suffer from domestic violence, abuse, sexual assault, rape, discrimination and gender inequality at school, in the home and at work. We need feminism to keep fighting for equality, fair treatment, respect and dignity for all human beings—men, women, boys and girls.

Rachael celebrated International Women’s Day with these ladies on her Cycle for Girls adventure…

Dan Haddon – Marketing Coordinator

#IveBeenInspired by my sister. When she was younger, she got into some bad circles, losing her path and ambition. In her early 20s, she turned a new leaf and started working hard at what she’s good at. With a tenacious attitude, she started her career and soon after built her own business. Now, with a kicked-back lifestyle living on the Cornish coast in the UK with a gorgeous family, she is one amazing mother to her beautiful daughter, my 8-month old niece, who is just too cute. She works hard, she mothers, she surfs, she horse rides, she housewives, she’s loved by many, she oozes inspiration and I’m proud to call her my sister!


Emily Cole – Campaign Manager

#IveBeenInspired by my mum. When I was growing up she made a lot of sacrifices for myself and my brother. She was always there for me, working hard as a single parent and giving us the best she could. My mum always said that no matter what I did she would be proud, so long as I was happy. I hope that one day, I can be as good a mother as my mum is to me. If I can achieve that, I will be very proud.




If you are also passionate about changing the world, one woman at a time, take a look at our upcoming adventures. Why not discover an exciting new destination, make new friends and raise money for women-focused causes and projects around the world?

Feeling inspired?

Meet the team at Inspired Adventures

There’s a lot to be said about teamwork. Working towards a common goal with a sense of synergy and an enthusiastic attitude produces mutually reciprocal feelings of satisfaction amongst any team. That is a powerful tool that we have learnt to master at Inspired Adventures. In the last 12 months, our team has doubled and we have added two focused Fundraising Coordinators to provide specialised skills and knowledge.

Our dynamic team is determined to give as many people as possible their own incredible adventures whilst raising millions for Australian charities and supporting communities in need around the world. We work in a team in the office and when we are ‘on tour’ working as Social Leaders on our Adventures. However we don’t just ‘come along for the ride’; often we choose to fundraise for a charity so that we can better understand the challenges of fundraising in order to help you meet your goals. We go above and beyond to put our money where our mouths are so that we can put more money in the hands of our charity partners.

Creative, passionate, committed and light-hearted, come and meet our team!

Justine: Managing Director Justine believes in living life to the full, experiencing the world and encouraging others to make a difference to people’s lives. Her belief in the power of volunteering, community work and supporting others in any form is the cornerstone of her business philosophy. A challenging ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro and a chance meeting with a Tibetan monk living in exile was all the impetus Justine needed to create Inspired Adventures. Follow Justine at Justine’s Corner.

Hannah: Senior Campaign Manager Hannah fell in love with Cambodia when she volunteered to teach young kids in a rural village. After six months, Hannah’s backpack needed a rest so she paused for a breather in Sydney. She stumbled upon Inspired Adventures and the rest is history. When she’s not at work, Hannah enjoys keeping active, exploring the coastline and playing her guitar.

Kristen: Fundraising Coordinator Kristen joined the Inspired Adventures team in 2011 after participating in an Inspired Adventure in 2009. Kristen cycled through Cambodia and raised funds to build a school. A keen explorer, Kristen has travelled to some of the world’s most remote locations and has even worked as a mountain bike instructor. She has already planned the next 10 years of adventures based on her love of scuba diving, hiking and animals.

Visit the Inspired Adventures Calendar and find a Charity Challenge perfect for you.

Inspired Adventures featured in Travel Weekly!

You can see the article here or read it below.

By David Carroll on  3 August 2011

Traditionally in a business, the role of team sculptor and creator of office cohesion has generally been played by human resources departments. Failing this, the task falls to specialist companies run by super-fit and easily-excitable people who like nothing more than to coerce others into undertaking all manner of bizarre sports and activities in the name of team building.

As well as creating a workplace bond, companies today are also keen to be seen as positive contributors to the community. A corporate charity challenge allows them to do both.

It’s a simple idea – a group of colleagues sign up for a team-building physical challenge and use the trip to raise serious money for a not-for-profit organisation of their company’s choice. The project usually involves an overseas journey or a one off experience, from running the New York Marathon to walking the Great Wall of China.

When it’s done well, everyone in the company gets behind the participants and morale is raised because people feel proud of their employer. Plus the company can identify future leaders, reward top performers and benefit from some positive public relations.

In the UK such challenges have been popular for years and large charities often work directly with companies to organise the trips themselves in-house. In Australia, however, charity organisations are smaller and lack the resources to design and organise major trips.

Back in 2004 Justine Curtis was general manager of a fundraising agency employing 250 people around Australia who collected on the street for organisations such as Amnesty International, Medecins Sans Frontieres and the Cancer Council, for which it raised $20 million in three years.

As part of a management training course she was asked to come up with an exciting goal that could be achieved within 12 weeks.

“I’d been to Africa before and hadn’t had the balls to climb Mt Kilimanjaro and I’d left feeling unfulfilled,” Curtis said. “I also had a friend who’d started a charity supporting orphans in Zimbabwe, so I created a goal of reaching Kilimanjaro and raising $30,000, which would fund travel to Africa for me and two friends and fund a water pump for the orphanage.

“We raised the money and climbed to the top in three days. It was a life-changing experience because it gave me a sense of the power we have to create something in our mind, put it in place and make a difference.”

Curtis decided to start Sydney-based Inspired Adventures the same year. Since then the company has grown quickly and in the next 12 months it will take up to 700 people on 45 separate adventures.

In order to design, manage and lead customised experiences combining a physical component with a hands-on activity (usually related to the charity’s focus) Inspired charges a $10,000 upfront fee, which is generally paid for by the corporation’s charity of choice.

Between 10 and 20 employees take part in the trip, and before departure they throw themselves into a variety of fundraising activities, with Inspired helping develop individual’s targets and strategies.

Usually the tougher the physical challenge the higher the fundraising target.

“Marathon runners tend to raise more because people get that it’s a huge challenge, it’s tangible and it requires enormous dedication and commitment”, said Curtis.

Inspired also works with the company to leverage public relations opportunities and it promotes the corporate challenges through its newsletter, which now has around 10,000 subscribers.

Business development manager Kyle Taylor claims that once participants have covered their travel costs, they raise an average of $4700 each for the not-for-profit organisation. That currently translates to an average return of $63,000 for a charity, but the figure is climbing steadily.

“Five years ago if we raised $35,000 it was fantastic, but in the last six months it has exploded and we have been continually exceeding $100,000. At the moment we are working on a New York Marathon challenge involving five charities and 50 runners. It will raise $600,000 by the time it leaves in November.”

Next financial year the company will raise about $3 million for not-for-profit organisations, double the $1.5 million it raised in the last financial year.

Inspired works with a wide variety of charities – from Kids Helpline to Alzheimer’s Australia – and it will work with just about any company on a corporate challenge. Most of its work, however, is with larger organisations where employees can make use of greater resources and networks to reach their fundraising targets.

“Corporate Australia is still behind those in the UK, but it is starting to gain a sense of what can be achieved by having staff or clients sign up for the trip of a lifetime,” said Curtis.

“These are priceless journeys that people who don’t normally work together can share. They also require dedication for at least a year, so they are good for staff retention, and people will always associate the experience with the organisation.”

Read more Inspired Adventure News from Justine visit our Inspired Adventures Calendar and find a Charity Challenge perfect for you.