Variety NT Bash - 2012
The Variety NT Bash is not a rally or race. It’s an opportunity to join like-minded people on an adventure to explore the remote corners of the outback. It’s an opportunity to meet some amazing people along the way and share a story or two. It’s the opportunity to do the ‘oddest’ things in the ‘oddest’ places. It’s the opportunity to make lifelong friends with an ever-growing collection of people known as ‘Bashers’. It’s an opportunity to drive old cars to some magic places. And do all this knowing that every dollar raised goes to make the lives better for children with special needs and their families in the Territory.
Go to http://www.variety.org.au/NT/Events/Bash/ for more information on the actual Bash and the requirements to be involved.
I had the opportunity to be involved in this year’s Bash (Kuranda to Katherine 1-9 September 2012) and joined the crew at Adele’s Grove, Lawn Hill National Park Queensland.
From that first night I realised the Bash is more than a great Aussie tradition started by Dick Smith in 1985 - it is something truly special. The drive of Bashers to a common goal “its for the kids” is so strong you have to see it to believe it. This group of dedicated and driven Territorians give it their all for 12 months of raising money for children living with disability, serious illness or disadvantage, and the Bash is an opportunity to celebrate this effort and spread the word and the spirit across the country.
The team spirit is as strong as any sporting team with everyone pitching in to beat the odds. You can imagine what challenges face the Bashers getting 30 year old plus cars across some rough and rugged terrain. As the Bashers raise money to support kids with special needs there is a support team behind them making sure everything is done to keep the cars mobile. The ‘bush mechanics’ completed on the trip is worthy of any television show from plugging broken brake lines with pop rivets, to welding sumps up on the side of the road, to diagnosing the temperamental electrical problems of an old Benz. Safety is always the number one factor when keeping the cars running but if the car is safe and the motor is running - the skills of the groups mechanics will keep all cars on the road.
To have fun and celebrate is upper most everyday on the Bash with teams always trying to out do each other with costumes and scams. Bash bucks is the currency of the event and everyone is trying to scam, bribe and fine their way into getting the biggest kitty at the end of the bash. Some scams are slow and cunning and the scammed are unaware it is happening, while others are blatantly outrageous, but beyond your control. All is in jest and aimed at adding to the light heartedness of a cross-country motoring bash.
The final day this year was in Katherine, Northern Territory and a gala dinner held at Springvale Homestead. This is where due recognition was made to individuals, teams, and support members.
But that was not the event that left an everlasting memory for me from the 2012 NT Variety Bash. It was the following day when the Bashers made two unscheduled visits in Katherine, and I am still unsure who was happier. The kids laughing and having fun in and around the crazy themed cars or the Bashers themselves as they were reminded of what it really means to be a volunteer and fund raiser for Variety.
Here are some more images that epitomise the spirit of the Variety NT Bash.