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The Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF) launched its Father’s Day Fun Run at Redfern Park this morning (Wednesday) – an initiative designed to celebrate the role that good men play, particularly in Indigenous communities – with former Rabbitohs fullback and Souths Cares mentor Rhys Wesser lending his support to the cause.

The cause includes some of Australia’s most high-profile Indigenous Ambassadors and leaders, including CEO of Tribal Warrior and Redfern local, Shane Phillips.

The IMF Father’s Day WARRIOR Fun Run will be held on Sunday 6 September, with the major event in Sydney’s iconic Centennial Park. It is a fun, family-friendly, community event featuring a 5km and 10km walk/run for people of all ages and abilities.

The launch, hosted by IMF Founder and Director (and former World Champion Marathon runner), Robert de Castella, included the announcement of IMF Father’s Day WARRIOR Fun Runs being organised and delivered by Indigenous Marathon Project Graduates (a program of the IMF) in Indigenous communities right across the country, in South Australia, Queensland, the Northern Territory and WA.

The event is a major fundraiser for the IMF, a registered health promotion charity established in 2009 by Mr de Castella, which uses running to promote health, drive social change and celebrate Indigenous resilience and achievement.

Rhys highlighted the importance of the events message and the positive affect it can have on communities.


To find out more about the Father’s Day WARRIOR Fun Run, please visit


“This is a great cause to be a part of,” said Rhys.

“For myself, both as a father and as an Indigenous man, this is something that’s close to my heart. Having positive role-models in any community is important, so to be an ambassador is a huge honour.”

Mr de Castella acknowledged the importance of celebrating good men and the role they play in their communities and families, especially our Australian Indigenous communities.

“Culturally, men have been seen as the strong protector and provider – the WARRIOR, the protector, the provider and the teacher,” he said.

“However in recent times, especially in some Indigenous families and communities, the role, respect and value of some men has been eroded and some are losing their value, self-respect and significance.

“This must change and we want to celebrate and promote, in a fun but powerful way, what it means to be a good man.

“The IMF Father’s Day WARRIOR Fun Run will provide that opportunity, not just to the indigenous community but the entire community where families are encouraged to celebrate their fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and male role models on Father’s Day in a healthy, fun and beautiful environment.

“All funds raised will go to the IMF, a charity with tax deductible benefits for donors, that uses running to change lives and celebrate Indigenous resilience and achievement.”

Since 2010, IMF, through the IMP program, has taken 43 Indigenous men and women to finish major international marathons and become inspirational agents of change for their families and communities.

The IMF Father’s Day WARRIOR Fun Run is the first of its kind and will aim to expand into other major capital cities across Australia within the next five years.

To find out more about the Father’s Day WARRIOR Fun Run, please visit

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South Sydney Rabbitohs respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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