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Blue Knot Foundation announces its fundraising collaboration with Damien Rider

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Damien Rider

Blue Knot Foundation, the National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma, has today announced that survivor and ultra-adventurer, Damien Rider, will step into an ongoing fundraising role, providing the Foundation with a unique opportunity to reach new audiences.

Living on the Gold Coast, Damien Rider is a survivor of child abuse, a globally respected wellness and mindset coach, and a celebrated advocate against trauma.

He was the featured baton-bearer of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, was invited to be a keynote speaker for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and was invited to be an ambassador for Blue Knot in 2021.

Beyond his advocacy work, Damien has captured the attention of the globe for embarking on extraordinary challenges to raise funds for worthy causes – from paddling 800 kilometres for 17 days in shark-infested waters along the Australian Coast to skateboarding for 56 days along the entire Route 66 through the scorching Mojave Desert. In June 2021, Damien reached new heights, using an event in the United States to raise funds for Blue Knot, where he jumped off a hot air balloon at 7,500 feet and promoted the Foundation’s resources on a global scale.

Now, with his feet planted back on Australian ground, Damien is thrilled to be involved with the Foundation on an ongoing basis and wants to show survivors that recovery is absolutely possible with the right support.

Damien’s next fundraising effort will see him speaking at a prestigious benefit event in Memphis on December 12, where money will be raised to support adult survivors of childhood trauma and Blue Knot’s support services will be shared with new audiences.

Jeremy Thacker-Rhodes, the organiser of the event in Memphis, has expressed his excitement to have Damien and Blue Knot on board.

“After attending Damien’s event for his World Record Breaking balloon jump, we knew that this was the cause we wanted to support for our event this year. We believe in what he is doing and have seen first hand the impact it has on individuals that need to heal from the impact of violence and abuse.”

“Although we are sad Damien can’t be here in person to attend the event, we are so excited to share his inspirational story with our guests, and we know he is doing great work for Blue Knot back home in Australia.” Mr Thacker-Rhodes said.

Dr Cathy Kezelman AM, President of Blue Knot Foundation, has underscored the importance of ongoing collaboration.

“It is wonderful to have Damien back in Australia and working with Blue Knot to support our shared passion in providing hope and optimism for healing from complex trauma. The reality is that this is a global issue, and Damien’s important contribution towards changing lives in Memphis and the attendant support for our work reflects the importance of joining forces for real change.”

Damien has similarly shared his excitement, with high hopes to continue fundraising efforts in 2022.

“I am thrilled to be back in Australia as part of the team at Blue Knot. After years of travelling the world, doing extreme events to raise awareness and sharing my story, it is an unbelievable feeling to be back in Australia, working closely with the Blue Knot Foundation and the incredible work that they are committed to.” Mr Rider said.

“It’s a great feeling knowing that, no matter where I am in the world, I can share the important message that there is hope and help. That you can heal from trauma. I can’t wait to participate in more events in 2022 to strengthen these messages and contribute positively to the community.”


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