It’s About all of Us
Jackson Bursill (24) and Cassie Cohen (22) are two young endurance runners with a passion for using athletic feats with the aim of making the world a better place.
Bounding Plains to Share is the latest challenge (AKA crazy idea) the pair have set themselves, having previously teamed up to run Neverest, which Jackson founded in Canberra in 2015, as a response to the major earthquakes in Nepal.
The friends first met in January 2016, when Cassie messaged the Neverest Facebook page to see if she could help bring the event to Melbourne for its second year. The expansion was successful, and the event continued into its third year in 2017. Neverest is now held in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, and over $120,000 has been raised for the Australian Himalayan Foundation (AHF).
The idea for Bounding Plains to Share came when Cassie was inspired by the socially minded endurance feats of athletes such as Samantha Gash (who recently ran 3700kms across India for World Vision) and Andre Jones (who has just finished running from Melbourne to Darwin for Beyond Blue). The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) immediately came to mind, firstly because of the important work they are doing to support new Australians, but also because of the symbolic nature of demonstrating exactly how much space (or boundless plains) Australia has to support people in need. As soon as Cassie raised the idea with Jackson, he said ‘I’m in!’ and both runners have been in full planning mode ever since.
When he’s not organising events, Jackson is a Law/Commerce student at the Australian National University in Canberra. He has also represented Australia in cross country skiing, including at the Nordic Ski World Championships in Sweden in 2015.
Having graduated with a Professional Communication degree from RMIT University in 2016, Cassie now works full time in Canberra. She spent the three months following her graduation in Nepal, volunteering with the AHF, trekking and completing an internship with the Australian embassy. Cassie has also coached distance runners at both Melbourne University Athletics Club and RMIT.
Both Jackson and Cassie are passionate advocates for the power of language and rhetoric, and they are excited to push their physical limits, and to use the run as a platform to challenge the way people about our newest Australians.
We want to recognise the numerous groups doing similar work who have both inspired us and helped us along the way. One such example is the Behind the Wire Project with the book, They Cannot Take the Sky and The Messenger podcast.
Road to Refuge is another fantastic organisation who have inspired us and helped connect us with many in the community. Please check out their website for more real stories.
To recognise the incredible experts who have helped us along the way, we’ve established an Advisory Panel. Click here to read about their experiences and how they have gone above and beyond to support the Bounding Plains to Share project.
“Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them.” Immanuel Kant