Taking the plunge for a cancer cause

A whopping 130 metres above St George’s Terrace in the Perth CBD, members of the Navy, Army and Air Force assembled at the 33rd storey of the Central Park Tower as they prepared to abseil down to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

CAPTIONMembers of the Australian Defence Force abseil 130 metres down the Central Park Tower in Perth’s CBD for the annual Central Park Plunge, raising money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. Story by Stephanie Hallen. Photos by Corporal Nakia Chapman.

Commanding Officer 25 Squadron Wing Commander Paul Taylor said the ADF members accepted the challenge back in May this year, formed seven teams of four, and began the epic journey of fundraising and camaraderie.

“A ‘normal’ day at work often has a very different meaning for members of the ADF, so a chance to abseil 130 metres down Perth’s tallest building was a great opportunity for us to give back to our community, while showcasing the opportunities the ADF has to offer,” he said.

“Like so many Australians, I’ve had family members affected by prostate cancer. The plunge was a great opportunity to raise funds for such a worthy cause.”

The seven teams included Navy’s Navy Ascendants; Air Force’s Air Force One, Death From Above and Belay my Last; and soldiers from the Australian Army’s 13 Engineer Regiment and 10 Light Horse Regiment.

A combined team of Army and Air Force members also participated in the challenge and initiated some friendly rivalry among the ranks.

Raising money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation  of Australia was dear to Petty Officer Neil Harris’ heart.

“My brother succumbed to prostate cancer a few weeks ago, after a long battle,” Petty Officer Harris said.

“I participated in the plunge for him, and also with a hope that money raised would put us closer to finding a cure.”

Petty Officer Harris, a member of the Navy Ascendants, raised more than $3500 alone, in a mammoth fundraising effort contributing to the team’s overall $4815 – the highest amount raised by the ADF teams, who gathered more than $33,500 between them.

All funds raised were donated to the foundation for prostate cancer research and to provide support to individuals and families impacted by prostate cancer.

CAPTIONWing Commander Paul Taylor, Colonel Rhogan Aitken, Brigadier Brett Chaloner and Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Beck gather at the base of the Central Park Tower in Perth’s CBD after abseiling down 33 floors during the Central Park Plunge.


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