Sparke Helmore Lawyers is supporting Newcastle-based Juliana Bahr-Thomson as this month she undertakes a gruelling 1,000 kilometre paddleboard charity challenge from Newcastle to Noosa, Queensland.
Juliana, also known as the Mermaid with a Message, is using her momentous journey to raise awareness of family violence and ocean conservation. She aims to raise more than $50,000, which will be donated to White Ribbon Australia and the Surfrider Foundation Australia. The journey is also a Guinness World Record attempt in the prone paddleboard record category.
As a PE teacher and professional ocean lifeguard, Juliana believes more needs to done to educate children about family violence and reduce its impact on them, and to also teach children about the importance of environmental sustainability.
“It took me 23 years to speak out about the domestic violence I endured and I feel it’s my legacy to pass on a message of strength and self-assurance to other women and young people,” Juliana said. “We need to reduce the prevalence of family violence in society and also foster young people’s understanding of the environment and how it will shape their future.”
“Juliana has a great message of resilience and we wish her all the best as she takes on this inspiring challenge,” Sparke Helmore Chairmand, Mark Hickey, said.
Juliana’s challenge began from Newcastle Harbour on 1 May and she aims to arrive at Noosa Beach on 11 June 2016.