“As a father, the work that Bruce and Denise Morcombe (Daniel’s parents) and the Daniel Morcombe Foundation do to keep kids safe is something I’m very passionate about,” Billy told the Baw Baw Citizen.
“After having my son, I wanted to do something to contribute and do my part to keep kids safe, so here we are, about to undertake this.”
He will celebrate his son’s second birthday while running to raise awareness of Day for Daniel and attempting to raise $100,000 for the foundation.
Billy is from Caboolture in Queensland, so his starting point in Warragul might come as a surprise to some. The statue which watched over the first steps of his walk holds a clue to why the town was chosen:
“I actually come from a boxing background, and in Warragul here we have the statue of Lionel Rose,” he said.
“For anyone who doesn’t know Lionel Rose, he’s the first Aboriginal world boxing champion, and [I’m] very lucky to call Lionel a friend.
“He came up and stayed with my family and watched me compete in boxing a few times, so I want to start somewhere which has some significance to me and pays a tribute to Lionel.”
Denise Morcombe told the Baw Baw Citizen Billy’s contribution is “truly exciting.”
“Billy came to us about 12-15 months ago and said he was going to do this run and we thought ‘wow, how’s he going to do this?'” Denise said.
“We have a lot of people who say they’ll do different fundraisers or assist us to get some funds, or they volunteer so we can get our child safety messages out there, but this is the first time someone has done this.”
“Putting on a morning tea or organising a golf day is fantastic and we appreciate that, but wow, for someone to run 2,000 kilometres over a month and a half, that’s tough going so we wish him well,” Bruce Morcombe added.
“It’s all about keeping kids safe. We want all our kids to be safe. Parents, carers, teachers, police officers, everyone in the community wants to make sure our kids are vigilant, our kids have a hope and a future, and we want to send a message to the predators out there: don’t bother.
“Go and seek some help if you’re in that way inclined, but seriously, leave our kids alone.”
You can donate to help Billy reach his $100,000 target by clicking here.