Wardy's walk

How far could you walk in a day? 10kms, 20kms? Michael Ward clocked up to 66kms per day, when he decided to walk from Origin's Adelaide to Melbourne offices.

At 723kms, this was not your average stroll. Michael, an Origin employee, was raising money for MindBlank, who work with schools to reduce the risk of young people committing suicide.

In 2005 Michael's brother David committed suicide at the age of 21, while serving in the Royal Marines. "I will never know the real reason, or what he was thinking when he died" said Michael.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44, with around 3,000 people dying by suicide every year. That's an average of eight people every day. For every suicide, there are tragic ripple effects for friends, families, colleagues and the broader community.

Michael's loss has motivated him to focus on mental health issues and to break down the stigma associated with suicide. "It's ok to ask for help, it's ok to not be coping and it's ok to say to someone 'you know what, I'm not doing too well today'" urges Michael.

His epic fifteen-day journey, which saw him tread the pavement for up to 13 hours a day, raised more than $57,000 for the charity close to his heart, including a $10,000 donation from the Federal Government and $10,000 from construction company Brady Group.

Origin's employees also gave generously and our Foundation's Give2 program matched more than $11,500 in donations.