Participants around the country took part in RunRona in May, a virtual run/walk event supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Taking place on May 30 – 31, and coinciding with National Reconciliation Week, RunRona had 4000 people pledge their support to the initiative, with participants walking or running distances from 5km – 42km.

RunRona is an initiative of Aboriginal social enterprises Clothing The Gap and Spark Health, and partnered by the Korin Gamadji Institute. The event connected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples during isolation, focusing attention on health and wellbeing. 

“We are proud of creating an event that encouraged Aboriginal people to stay connected, active, and prioritise their mental health in the face of a global pandemic,” Laura Thompson, Managing Director, Clothing The Gap said.

“We believe the tiered registration pricing system for the event enabled equity in access, encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, with over 20 per cent of registrations being from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Community.

“This was also an event for the whole of Australia to get involved in, and we are so excited that the RunRona message went far and wide with 143 international registrations from 13 countries.”

KGI staff joined over 50 community members, past program alumni, and new REAL Healthy program participants in their RunRona team.

The team was spread throughout Victoria, with strong representation in Mildura, Geelong, Melbourne and Shepparton.

“The COVID crisis has made it challenging for us to connect with our young people in the usual face-to-face way, so RunRona was fantastic to re-engage with our new and existing KGI mob, and focus on our health and wellbeing,” REAL Healthy Program Lead, Brady Cooper said.

“One of the most rewarding aspects was seeing families exercising together – social media helped us to connect and continue to motivate each other, and we had some really positive feedback afterwards.”

Participants of the KGI’s new REAL Healthy program had access to RunRona, as well as the 12-week health and wellness program.

“Through our REAL Healthy program, we’ve been able to educate, motivate and support participation in health and activity – something that’s incredibly important for all Australians, but especially the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

With support from the Federal Government, REAL Healthy is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples between the ages of 13 – 25, and includes access to Aligned Leisure managed health and recreation facilities. 

It’s not too late to register for REAL Healthy, click here for more information or to register,

L-R: KGI Director, Aaron Clark with KGI staff Michelle Kerrin, Angela Burt and Brady Cooper participate in RunRona
RunRona and REAL Healthy participants in Mildura, Victoria