I would like to thank the people of Blayney for supporting and cheering on Royce Simmons, a former rugby league and Penrith Panthers player, who recently walked 300km in just 11 days. In doing so, Royce raised an extraordinary $650,000 to support the Dementia Australia Research Foundation (DARF).
Royce set off from his hometown of Gooloogong in central New South Wales on Tuesday 17 May, passing through towns including Cowra, Blayney, Bathurst, Lithgow and Katoomba, as he made his way towards Penrith.
Along the route he conducted fundraising initiatives and held events to support the local community and junior Rugby League clubs.
Royce crossed the finish line in Penrith on Friday 27 May, just in time to see his beloved Panthers kick-off against the North Queensland Cowboys at BlueBet Stadium.
Earlier this year, Royce displayed generosity and courage by sharing publicly that he had been diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer's disease, at the age of 61.
Through his commitment to completing this incredible challenge, Royce has raised awareness, and will make a difference to the lives of Australians impacted by dementia, now and long into the future, by raising much needed funds to support vital research.
I extend my heartfelt congratulations and appreciation to Royce for everything he has done.
I also thank Royce's many supporters, the Penrith Panthers, all the communities along the route, and everyone who donated and supported this challenge.
For more information on Royce's Big Walk visit https://roycesbigwalk.com.au/
Maree McCabe AM
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.