A Harrisdale Primary School teacher has led a team of staff members known as the Harrisdale Handlebars on a non-stop 24-hour ride and walk to raise more than $19,000 for Movember.
Teacher Luke Walton coordinated the event, with 35 staff taking part. Students also contributed by participating in a lap-a-thon.
The team cumulatively moved for more than 102 hours, rode 1143km and walked 254km over the 24-hour period. The school fundraises each year for the Movember Foundation and comes together to go above and beyond to support the cause.
Mr Walton said the atmosphere and excitement from students was amazing, and he hoped the event would spark conversations about mental health.
“It is important for my community to understand that Movember is not just about growing a fantastic looking moustache. It is a launching point to a bigger conversation,” he said.
“We all have a man in our lives, be it your brother, father, uncle, son, cousin, grandfather or even a friend.
“This is a cause that is intrinsically linked to our everyday lives and being able to say that not just myself, but my school community, has been able to make a difference is something I have intense pride in.”
Mr Walton said he hoped the lessons from Movember translated in the classroom and beyond. “My hope and dream is that students, and not just the boys, know that it is okay to not be okay but that they must speak to someone if they need help,” he said.
“In my class I have a simple rule with my students, if they are not feeling “happy, healthy or safe” they need to come and speak to me or someone they trust.
“This is also the basis of Movember. It could be something is not feeling right physically or it may be from a mental health stand point. No one should feel afraid or feel like they have to stand alone.
“As a teacher I believe my role is to give students the tools to stand up and know where to go or who to speak to in order to make themselves the best they can be.”