Our own superhero: Captain Australia

Special guest: Captain Australia with Tristan Bloor, Emma Bloor and Chandi Basnayake in Rosedale. Photographs: Katrina Brandon



THROUGH wet, cold, warm and fires, Captain Australia is here walking around Australia raising money for cancer in children.

He is the ‘dag with the bag and the flag’, who is dressed as a superhero, ready to save the world by travelling 15,000 kilometres, Brisbane to Brisbane. His aim is to raise $1 million to help go into the research towards pancreatic cancer in kids with the charity The Kids’ Cancer Project.

Having beaten Stage 4 cancer himself, he would like to help the recovery chances of young children by having greater funding for the research.

“The superhero stuff is to kind of attract public attention under the idea that if I can earn public regard they can look past me at the charity. So it’s a bit of theatricality,” said Captain Australia, aka Simon Harvey.

“It’s to help kids that are currently sick access the clinical trials and certain treatment pathways that they might not otherwise have but it’s more about the root of the problem. It’s a science oriented charity that’s about softening treatments, improving the effectiveness of treatments for pancreatic cancer.”

Recently, Mr Harvey walked through Sale, Rosedale, Traralgon and Moe with his gear, sharing his positivity with the local communities. Even visiting local schools, the community caught glimpses of him almost everywhere.

Principal, Joel Brayshaw from St Patrick’s Primary School in Stratford said, “We’ve got a Grade 4 student at the school who has his own cancer struggle at the moment. He’s been diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer, and his family got in contact with Captain Australia to see if he wanted to visit the school. He was really excited about that. He loves doing school visits and loves talking to the kids about his journey.”

“The students had the opportunity to dress up as a superhero for the day, just like Captain Australia, and to do that they brought in a gold coin donation. I think we raised about $215 for the day.

“All the kids got to sign Captain Australia’s magic walking stick, and he’s still walking along with it.”

Captain Australia mentioned that on arrival in Rosedale, he felt welcome and said that he couldn’t get to the hotel without stopping and speaking to eight or nine groups of people. He said that he loves visiting regional towns as they are more welcoming to outsiders.

“The city is pretty different. The city is less open, less receptive and a little more distrusting I think,” Mr Harvey said.

During rain, Mr Harvey powers through, ensuring that he has at least one dry set of clothes and a dry sleeping place. He mentioned that powering through the quest means a lot to him, helping those at the start of their lives.

“Of the thousands of Aussie kids diagnosed, 20 per cent did not survive or get to treatment, so before or after treatment died. So of a 1000 that’s 20 per cent so that is 200 children every year, so roughly three a week with the average age is six,” he said.

“Only a year-and-a-half later, that number is 17 per cent, so where 200 children were dying a year, 170 now. So 30 children who have a fighting chance at survival who didn’t previously, that is a validation that the science has gone in the right direction.”

In towns such as Narooma, where a family let him hold their sick two-year-old-son, Captain Australia said that he feels more of a need to keep going with his quest even more.

Mr Harvey said, “The Big Walk was more about the lessons and was more philosophical. Simple things like kindness is the enduring cure to sorrow. Whether you witness it, whether you do it, whether you’re the giver or the recipient, it doesn’t matter. It makes our world better, kindness and broken lives can be fixed. There’s all these learning opportunities in it as well as things that are like a focus.”

To donate or for more information, go to capsbiglap.au or Facebook CapsBIGLAP/ to follow his journey.

Superman effort: Cancer survivor Simon Harvey, aka ‘Captain Australia’, is walking around the country to raise money for The Kids’ Cancer Project.