Emma donates Kakadu trek to Jenny’s Place client


A former client of Jenny’s Place will embark on a life-altering trek through Kakadu escarpment country in June thanks to the generosity of another trekker, Emma McCabe.

Emma, a teacher and Assistant Principal of Waratah West Public School, was one of 10 trekkers who were all set to embark on the challenging Kakadu trek in August last year. After months of training with a 20 kg pack, the Northern Territory closed its borders due to COVID-19, just days out from departure.

A second trek, to the Three Capes in Tasmania in October 2021, also had to be cancelled due to COVID restrictions. The trekkers had all paid for their treks and secured shirt sponsors and support for their treks. Organiser and intrepid trekker, Community Relations Coordinator Donna George, rescheduled both the 2021 treks for this year.

In the meantime, Donna had already booked a 21-day Simpson Desert trek for 2022. Emma McCabe wanted to cross the desert.

“Trekking the Simpson Desert was on my bucket list,” she explained. “There is nowhere else like it and it is such a challenge.”

She knew her new role as Assistant Principal, on top of her teaching schedule, would make it impossible to commit to two treks this year.

“I had already paid for the trek and done all the fundraising for Kakadu,” she said.

With great support from her school community, her partner and family and friends, Emma knew she could easily raise the necessary funds for the Simpson Desert. She decided to offer her fully-paid Kakadu trek to someone who might benefit from the experience.

Emma met Donna when they trekked the Larapinta Trail in Central Australia together as a fundraiser for Camp Quality.

“My Mum died just before I did that trek and I found it a really healing experience,” she said. “I was away from everything and out in nature, which was like therapy. I had time to reflect and do some thinking. The others doing the trek with you are sympathetic people, walking to help others, and you form close relationships.”

Emma decided to give that healing opportunity to someone who could benefit from it. She offered the fully-paid for Kakadu experience to a Jenny’s Place client or former client. Following an application process, Jarunya Spencer was chosen.

“Women who have escaped a domestic violence relationship need to heal from something awful,” Emma said. “Trekking does that.”

Jarunya, Donna and eight other amazing people will take on the nine-day challenge over 86 kms through the Kakadu Escarpment country from 1 June. The other trekkers have purchased or donated hiking gear and training support to help Jarunya prepare for the trek.

Emma will join Donna on the 21-day Simpson Desert crossing from 15 August to 7 September. Places are still available for this trek, click here to become a hiker or sponsor this hike.

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