[by Laura White]
Zibeon Fielding (young Indigenous Health Worker and Indigenous Marathon Project graduate) is off to Tokyo to run the Tokyo Marathon with his mentor and supporter, millionaire entrepreneur Stuart Giles. Image: supplied
Millionaire and Indigenous runner tackle Tokyo Marathon together
Two men from different worlds - a young man from a tiny remote Indigenous community and a millionaire entrepreneur from Brisbane – have bonded over marathon running and will tackle their latest challenge when they both run the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday.
Stuart Giles, 49, from Brisbane and Zibeon Fielding, 25, who lives in remote Central Australia, share a deep and abiding passion for major world marathons and for tackling tough charity challenges to support, empower and uplift Indigenous Australians.
The friendship and mentoring relationship blossomed under the banner of the charity founded and run by legendary Australian marathoner Rob de Castella, the Indigenous Marathon Foundation.
Aboriginal health practitioner Fielding from Mimili (population 300), situated in the far north-west region of South Australia on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, will be running his third world major marathon and Giles will be running his sixth.
A third of remote Aboriginal work for the dole participants say community worse off
[Lorena Allam, The Guardian]
The federal government’s own review of the remote Aboriginal work-for-the-dole program has found 36% of participants say their communities are worse off under the scheme.
Receiving an OAM came as a surprise for 75 year old Pam
[Ashlea Witoslawski, Shepparton News]
Aunty Pam is the youngest daughter of Sir Douglas and Lady Gladys Nicholls and believes it was her parents insightful teachings that enabled her to also become a leader.
Akaltye Centre open for business
[by Patrick Nelson]
Charles Darwin University’s Akaltye Centre on Alice Springs campus has had a major makeover in the lead up to Semester 1, which starts early next month.
In 2016, Fielding was selected to participate in the Indigenous Marathon Project, completing the New York City Marathon along with 11 other Indigenous runners, all guided and coached by de Castella. In 2018, Fielding met Giles, co-founder of Epic Pharmacy and Icon Group (Australia’s largest private cancer and oncology services group, valued at more than $1 billion) as they were both training for the Boston Marathon and “hit it off”.
Giles had met de Castella the year before at a reception at the Australian High Commission in New York.
“I was blown away by what Rob was doing with Indigenous athletes through his Foundation and I could see the life-changing effect it was having on the young people there,” Giles says.
Both he and Fielding bonded over Boston - the marathon that would prove to be their toughest yet.
“It was the worst weather conditions in the 122-year history of the famous race - with torrential rain, icy wind and freezing conditions generally, and we bonded as brothers by both enduring that on the day and finishing the race when lots of other people didn’t,” Giles says.
Fielding says he has learned and grown so much under the guidance of de Castella and mentorship of Giles.
“Stuart is obviously an incredibly successful and well-connected high-flying entrepreneur and I had never met anyone like him – he was from a totally different world to me,” says Fielding.
“Despite all of his success, he wants to reach out into Indigenous Australia. He knows that there’s poverty here and that there’s numerous social and economic problems in our own backyard and he inspires me to keep achieving and to be an agent for change.”
Following the 2018 Boston Marathon, Fielding ran an ultramarathon of 62km to raise $50,000 for local charity Purple House in Alice Springs to fund dialysis services for kidney disease patients in the APY Lands. In addition, Fielding also directed a short documentary called Running 62 about his ultramarathon and personal journey, to raise awareness of the power of health and fitness, supported by Giles and the Epic Good Foundation.
Fielding and Giles fly out today to compete in the Tokyo Marathon. For Giles, it marks his accomplishment of the six World Marathon Majors (New York, Berlin, London, Boston, Tokyo and Chicago) – making him one of less than 4,000 people in the world to have done so.
But it’s Fielding, who after returning from Tokyo, will begin training for his biggest endurance challenge yet: a seven-day bike ride across 700km of Australia’s harshest terrain - the mostly untouched APY Lands that he calls home – hoping to raise $30,000 for a community gym in Mimili.
He plans to become the first man to ride around the entire APY Lands, from the Stuart Highway in South Australia, along the outskirts of the Northern Territory, and cruising past the Western Australia border, back to his hometown.
Fielding embraces the challenge with passion.
“I want to promote a healthy lifestyle and positive change in the community through a culture of running and exercise,” he says.
“I know what it’s like to lose loved ones to premature deaths through suicide or chronic disease.
“The idea of the community gym is one that the students of Mimili School came up with. It will give the young people a place to gather, an activity to pursue and employment opportunities as personal trainers and staff.”
His relationship with Giles has already taught him a lot: to seize the day and be prepared to take on any and every challenge that comes his way.
“For someone like me to have two hugely successful and influential people like Rob and Stuart investing their time and efforts into me makes me feel like I can take on the world and do anything,” Fielding says.
“Zibeon is a shining example of what his generation of Indigenous people can achieve and are achieving,” Giles says.
“In any community or any setting, you can’t be what you can’t see and when you have role models who have provided a new platform for achievement and inspiration, and people like Zib amplify that with every goal they set and thing that they accomplish.”
Fielding knows that his challenges are ‘extreme’ and doesn’t expect other members in his community to emulate his feats.
“Not everyone will want to run a marathon or ride a bike 700km,” Fielding says. “But I started with a small challenge of running and just putting one foot in front of the other. You just never know where all those footsteps will lead you.”
How you can help
Make a donation. Visit https://tourdeapy.gofundraise.com.au and make a donation – great or small – to assist in Zibeon’s dream of building a community gym inMimili.
Share Zibeon’s story. We’re hoping to reach as many people as possible with news about Zibeon’s Tour de APY challenge. Please share across your social media channels, in your publications or through your networks. The more people we reach, the more likely it is that Zibeon’s community gym will become a reality!
Up for a challenge? Join Zibeon on his ride as a support rider! You’ll tackle the terrain side-by-side and experience a unique cultural immersion opportunity unlike any other, all while raising funds for this important cause
School students soon to be taught Aboriginal English
[Laura Withers, Daily Mail]
The newly-created syllabus, which is being implemented by the NSW Education Standards Authority, aims for Indigenous culture to be included in every subject.
Edward VIII's racist letters comparing Aboriginal people to monkeys revealed
[Adam McCleery, Daily Mail]
The Crown and Us: The Story of The Royals in Australia, which will air on the ABC on Sunday night, delves into 10 letters from his trip, purchased by the State Library of NSW in 2006.
Mainie Founder a QLD Finalist in Telstra Business Women's Awards
[by Pip Miller]
Nominated by her peers, Charmaine Saunders’ finalist position in the award category Small Business, recognises a propensity for hard work, a passion for empowering women and business acumen.