Team Nisient

Larapinta Adventure Challenge 2022

Rob and Sandra's #team_nisient fundraising page

I’m participating in this trek to raise funds and awareness for Endeavour Foundation who help to provide opportunities for people with intellectual disability to live their best life and realise their dreams. 

In Australia:

  • One in five people have some form of disability
  • Over 35% of 8.9 million households include a person with a disability
  • Every two hours a child is diagnosed with an intellectual disability

Please help me to help Endeavour Foundation change the lives of some of our most marginalised and vulnerable Australians by giving whatever you can.

Take it one step further and spread the word by sharing my page with your friends and family.

Thank you- your generosity means such a lot.

My Achievements

My Updates

Seven 7 steps to thrive at home

Thursday 21st Jul

Forgive the looooonnnnng pause between posts. As you can see, we seem to have surpassed our initial fundraising target and are now doing the last stretch towards $20,000.


Out of curiosity, I took a look at how all these donation dollars have already made such an impact on the Endeavour Foundation’s dream to implement life-changing technology into all their custom-built, supported and staffed homes.


For those amongst us in our communities, living with an intellectual disability does not mean that they are not as smart or as capable. It simply means that people learn in different ways. Some of those traditional methods of support and communication need to change for comprehension and ease of use.


What I found was 7 easy steps to thriving at home and you can also read more about this at:

Step 1. Get organized!


Sit down on Sunday and plan the week. This can be as simple as verbalising what you want to achieve or as complex as six days of meal preparations for those of us too busy to spend 3 hours a day in the kitchen.

Helpful hint: Include new things that you have wanted to learn and experience to keep your brain and emotions excited about the coming week.

Step 2. Exercise daily.


Exercise for this team at the moment, is a necessity…… but how often do you say to yourself “I will start tomorrow”?

Helpful Hint: little bits make up a lot.

·      Take the stairs and even go up and down a couple of times.

·      Get off the bus a stop early

·      Invest in all-weather gear so you enjoy that 5 min lunchtime walk

·      Grab a buddy and train your quads with your squad.


Step 3. Make healthy choices is easy when you have the right information.


Ditch the old food pyramid, ditch the Atkins diet, and ignore the Paleo people…. Eat a rainbow of colours (the more variety the better it is for you) and listen to your body. If you do not feel hungry, don’t stick to a 4-5 meal-a-day diet.

Helpful Hint: Learn as much as you can from scientific research onto living for longevity, eat a diet rich in good oils and drink at least 2 litres of water over and above all the tea and coffee. Easiest of all, eat seasonably and sustainably.



Step 4. Find new ways to stay in touch with your friends and family.


For those living with the Endeavour Foundation, this means accessing the life-changing technology we have raised money to develop. For everyone else, we have social media (when utilised correctly), Facetime, WhatsApp, WeChat and the humble telephone.


Helpful Hint: Why not knock on your neighbour’s door, introduce yourself and invite them over for a cup of tea? You may even make a lifelong friend.

Step 5. Focus on how you’re feeling.


When we feel angry, sad or frustrated, we often respond to situations in our own unique way. Again, for those living with the Endeavour Foundation, this means utilising some cool simple technology to understand how we feel and express this to others. For the rest of us, knowing when and where to reach out for more support is often what trips us up.  


We all know Beyond Blue, Lifeline, Men’s Support Services and our own personal support networks are a great first step. Knowing to reach out earlier rather than later is still a bit of a challenge for some.

Helpful Hint: Take 5 minutes three times a day and ask yourself. How are you feeling? Make sure you stick around and hear the honest answer your subconscious may be trying to tell you.



Step 6. Limit social media and news consumption.


This is a no-brainer, but how many times do you find yourself bouncing around social media and an hour has disappeared? All the overstimulation, different opinions and personal bias we see reflected in each click and scroll can impact how we feel. Our emotions then cause our brain to release cortisol, and the next thing we know, we feel uneasy, anxious or over-stimulated without realising the reason.


Helpful Hint: Allocate an hour a day (or less) to connect with friends and family on social media and to skim through news headlines, and then outside that allocated time, only accept calls, video calls or text messages from loved ones.


Step 7. Incorporate something fun into every day.


Laugh and laugh often. If you have never played kindness Bingo… you have never lived.

Helpful hint: Donate to the support #teamNisient in this trek around the Larpinta trail, and I will see to it you get all the hints and tricks you need to incorporate fun into every day.

Another Year and Yet Another COVID Story.

Wednesday 20th Apr
Let me begin by saying, I still don’t know what it is like to have COVID. One of my team mates recovered three weeks ago, but my excuse for not training for the re-scheduled trek on August 26th, 2022 is way more pedestrian.

Every time I go to make plans to start walking, start strength training or to dig out my hiking boots and re-introduce myself. Part of my brain goes onto say that ‘knowing my luck, I will do all this training and return a positive RAT before we are due to fly’.

It is not like I have done diddly squat over the last few months. I have walked around parts of Most Panorama, I have walked the Murray River in Renmark SA, I have half assed supported team mates in their fundraising, I have kinda trained a little over Christmas, New Year and through a relocation to rural NSW…..  and I have driven 6000km’s in search that perfect spot to be both challenged and scenic.

BUT… to be completely honest, I am lacking motivation and luckily lack of motivation is easily cured.

Step 1 - You donate to the worthy cause to provide life changing technology to people living with an intellectual disability through Endeavour Foundation’s continued development of the Thrive Online Hub – an interactive portal for people with intellectual disability to stay active, engaged and connected no matter where they are or what their needs may be.

Step 2 - This keeps me motivated knowing that you care about this topic close to my heart

Step 3 - You get to reduce your taxable income


Step 4 - Fingers crossed to remain COVID free in the weeks leading up to the trip.

DO NOT Forget Your Sunscreen

Wednesday 20th Apr
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

Unless of coarse you forgot the sunscreen and end up looking like a cooked prawn

Not My Last Blog Post

Monday 9th Aug
Two weeks ago it became clear to everyone that Larapinta 2021 was a little out of reach to those from Sydney. Unfortunately with a sizeable portion of the original trekking group now in lock down, some decisions have had to be made regarding this years fundraiser for the Endeavour Foundation.

I will soon be contacting each of our sponsors individually to inform them of our plans and to again thank them for their amazing generosity.

While I do that, rest assured you have not heard the last of this fundraising effort. In fact we are now scouting for individuals to join #TeamNisient in trekking Larapinta in 2022.

Individuals like you.

Yes, you!

We want you to join us in 2022 to come with us to see some of the most amazing country side. Come and stretch your legs, challenge yourself. Get off that couch, do some strength training and be supported.... every step of the way.

In joining us in 2022, you will have the added benefit of a team approach to fundraising. No need to do this alone. We can all join forces and hold Bunnings BBQ’s, a cocktail party fundraiser and even throw a team murder mystery night where entry fee goes straight to the Endeavour Foundation.

Your support team at Soulful Concepts and with Rob and I to lend a practical hand, you can do fundraising to suit your style.

We began this fundraiser to raise money for phase 2 of the Thrive Hub. The phase of the rollout may change but our interest in supporting the investment in life changing technology for those living with intellectual disabilities will not alter from year-to-year.

For our existing sponsors, we can not thank you enough for support our 2021 effort. Your sponsorship dollars have already gone to the Endeavour Foundation and we will contact you individually with our plans to trek the Larapinta track in 2022 with your names (or your face for those who have preferred their avatar) on our gear. We can not thank you all enough for your support. We could never have done this without you.

Still Steppin’

Tuesday 20th Jul
As August draws near and lock downs seem to be the flavour of the immediate future. It is hard to believe that this little wander around the Larapinta Trail will eventuate in a few short weeks.

No offical decision to postpone the trek will be made until the 11th August but I assure you that no matter how this plays out. This will be a win-win for the Endeavour Foundation, you the sponsor, me the wanderer in this crazy adventure and for those living with intellectual disabilities.

I will make an offical announcement in a couple of weeks but if this adventure is postponed to 2022 all the money we have raised… and will continue to raise…. Will go directly towards phase 2 of rolling out the Thrive Hub…. You will have an amazing opportunity to reduce your taxable income over two financial years!

And…. Wait for it….. drum roll please….. You may even see more familiar faces join us in this adventure of a lifetime. (I’m looking at you)

In this current climate of uncertainty, the Thrive Hub is a necessity to keep those individuals living in Endeavour Foundation supported accomodation, connected to services, support and with access to life changing learning activities.

The only thing that will be changing if this adventure is postponed is our renewed vigour for rallying our friends and family in support for an August 2022 departure. That means I may even reach out to see if anyone wants to join in on the next 12 months of training.  Think about it. You get an adventure of a lifetime (less strenuous than lions head), the Endeavour foundation gets to run this again with the help of Soulful Concepts and Rob and I get your amazing company while wandering through some of Australia’s most amazing countryside.

It will be amazing! Sleeping under a blanket of stars (or in your own tent) wandering to take photos by day and and well deserved wrap up dinner at a fancy hotel with a trip on the Ghan to celebrate.

Who’s in????

Lock Down 4.0 for Melbourne or 2.0 for Sydney. We are the Lucky Ones.

Tuesday 29th Jun
While the rest of the world still comes to grips with sickness, death, disease, financial distress. Here in Australia we have been so fortunate to be on an island. To a certain extent, we can control who and what enters our boarders.

I can’t say we always get this inclusion/exclusion correct….. but with the higher mortality rate of family overseas in 2020, compared to the inconvenience we have here. I am proud that we protect our most vulnerable.

These most vulnerable include the Kamilaroi mob of my Mother and my daughters Wiradjuri mob but are not limited to these two regions. Spare a thought for all the First Nations people that spend an anxious wait to see if FIFO workers have carried this virus, like you and I would carry the common cold. Just going about their daily routine, unaware of the consequences of returning to families and loved ones.

This post is not meant to highlight the hopelessness of this pandemic. In fact to do the opposite. While we all give up our gym workouts and make sure we socially distance with any soul that crosses our path now we are forced to train in suburbia. Let us all remember why the Thrive Hub was originally created and why we are waiting with fingers and toes crossed to see if we are sticking to the trekking schedule.

This technology we are raising money to roll out allows for connection, services, training, and support to be available to those living with an intellectual disability while we all grumble about the lack of toilet paper in our supermarket shelves.

So with only 24 hours left to get some money back on your tax this year…. Along with every other charity screaming at you to donate before it is too late!

Just know that I am going to keep posting, keep walking and keep updating you on the amazing work of the Endeavour Foundation to roll out the next phase of this life changing technology way beyond lock down 4.0 for Melbourne or 2.0 for Sydney.

An Honest Approach To Fund Raising.

Thursday 17th Jun
Although time will soon be running out to capitalise on reducing your taxable income and getting your name carried on our backs/packs and gear around the Northern Territory, I am reaching out to give you an honest update.

I would love to say that training is on schedule….. but I am struggling when life commitments get in the way…. And the last few weeks have been crazy!!

A dear friend of mine said to me the other day that my ‘big girl pants’ are in need of a dry-clean and I have to agree with them since I can count only 3 days off this year.

So, I joined a gym and did my first workout in 10 years this morning. Wowzers… tis was gooood. Tied but good.

So now for your part…. I would LOOOOOOVE some motivation to keep going. Your support for people living with intellectual disabilities will go along way to investing in the Thrive Hub and with the added benefit of showing your support for my work-outs.

The stair master set on level 7 is a killer.

So if you really want to see this big girl wearing her big girl pants and not passing out after 5 mins (perhaps I could take it to a level 8… or even 9!)….  Dig deep… I may even post a photo of me in my sexy hiking books, carrying a weighted pack in the middle of a really awesome gym….. for a price.

A bit better terrain to train on, but certainly no ducks

Saturday 29th May
One of the nice things about the Blue Mountains is an abundance of trails, perfect for us to get our training up.  This one is called Duck Hole, and after climbing down a few hundred metres, there's certainly no ducks.
Really pretty though, and the trail is quite rough at times.  Lots of little side tracks too that often lead you down the wrong path.  Still, getting better: second time I only went the wrong direction twice (won't talk about the first attempt)

It’s a Lonely Road to Larapinta

Saturday 22nd May
With my Mum out of action and me taking care of the ‘old folk’, I try to escape once a day for a wee wander down the lonely roads around Gympie. I wouldn’t say, it is arduous territory but these boots are made for walking…. And walking is what they shall do in amongst the cooking, cleaning, playing nurse and sneaking in a few visits with my nephew.

It is a long and lonely road

Saturday 8th May
We are currently in outback NSW to continue the long journey to build up stamina for our Larapinta trek. We class the community here as family and this town our home.

There are people here that will benefit from the Thrive Hub and your contribution will help us bring this important technology one step closer to reality for those people living with intellectual disabilities.

Come walk the journey with us. You will be amazed at how you will feel like you are surrounded by family and doing this for your community.

Love Love Love this place.


The challenge of Larapinta

Saturday 1st May

So the little graph on the bottom of that image is the elevation profile for the Larapinta Trail.  The scale doesn’t do it justice, especially that last little kick at the end where there’s an 800m elevation gain in the day!  Up and down just over 7km over the length.  We’ve been told the views at the end make the effort worthwhile.  We’ll have to let you know on that.

What is worthwhile though by far is the cause that we are doing this for.  The Endeavour Foundation Thrive Hub will significantly improve the quality of life of people living with disability, providing them an online, always available and accessible source of quality information and tools to assist them in their day to day living.  Every dollar we raise through your support will go to help fund the expansion of this technology program and make it available to more than 4,000 people across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

We went for a walk.

Tuesday 20th Apr

It is all fun and games until you realise that “introductory” and “family friendly” meant slippery rocks, vertical descents, climbing (not hiking) and plenty of going downhills on your bum.

Not that I intended to spend allot of time on my rear end…. But gravity was convincing when combined with a healthy fear of falling. The view from the top was breathtaking but the steep climb up out of the Grand Canyon made me realise that  that I am in desperate need of some weight training if I am going to survive the Larapinta Trail.

Where Does My Money Go?

Wednesday 17th Feb
Have you ever glossed over people's find raising efforts, kinda a little skeptical that you hard earned money is not going to anything useful?

We are trekking the Larapinta Trail with one thing in mind. To Raise money for technology investment into the Thrive Hub.

Click on the following link to hear all about the reason why this has been introduced directly from Stewart Koplick one of the Implementation specialists working on the project.

I think I'll go for a walk

Saturday 23rd Jan
Welcome to 2021.  Whilst the past 12 months have presented so many challenges both here and abroad, this year presents us with hope and opportunity.  Hope that we can establish our new normal and see the end of this global pandemic; hope we can focus on the recovery of this precious planet we call home; and opportunities to really care for our fellow man and really have each other's backs.
2020 has reminded us that life can change on a dime.  It has taught us that social connection and contact is something we both need and crave.  We've also seen technology facilitate our home, school and work lives when we can't be physically together, and the need for ongoing investment to facilitate this is paramount, especially for those people living with an intellectual disability.
The Endeavour Foundation is in it's 70th year this year; an independent, for purpose organisation established in 1951 with a vision to support people with an intellectual disability to live their best life.  One of the ways they raise funds is through activities like this year's Larapinta Adventure, which will raise much needed funds for the ongoing investment into the Thrive Online Hub providing information and tools for people with an intellectual disability that can be accessed from anywhere, any time.
Other than the shameless Monty Python reference in the title, what is this adventure you may ask.  In August this year, Sandra and I are going on a little walk, through some of the most amazing countryside right on our doorstep.  The Larapinta Trail is one of Australia's most spectacular treks through the West Mac Donnell Ranges in Central Australia, and for 7 days we are going to be hiking over 170km to help raise funds for this wonderful cause.
So now we need your help.  We've set ourselves a target of $9k, and we are unashamedly holding out the hat.  We are fortunate to work with some great customers and suppliers; partners we know share the same give back to the community mindset that we do.  Here's your chance to support us in furthering the work of this great foundation.

Imagine What's Possible

Monday 18th Jan
Each day that Rob and I are out on the Larapinta Trail will help your reset my mojo after all the events of 2020, while also redefining it for people with intellectual disability. By raising awareness and essential funds, this adventure will help to open up new worlds of possibility in the daily lives of people living in association to the Endeavour Foundation.
You may well be aware of the prize house tickets that are usually offered around the Sunshine Coast. Rob and I are taking our support one step further and have set an $9000 target to support people living with an intellectual disability.
The funds raised throughout the next 6 months will go toward the continued development of the Thrive Online Hub – an interactive portal for people with intellectual disability to stay active, engaged and connected no matter where they are or what their needs may be.
This resource was developed and initially launched in response to the initial lockdowns across the country, and has acted as a source of activity, engagement, and connection for people with intellectual disability of all ages and across multiple states.
Here, anyone with intellectual disability can access a wealth of health guides, activity plans, supported learning, and specially developed video learning modules covering cooking, fitness, gardening and much more. Upcoming additions to this learning platform will include essential life skills such as budgeting, hygiene, online safety, and social skills - paving the way for greater confidence and independence.
With help from you, this hub can grow further beyond the trial, to offer ever more programs, skills and forms of learning, all adapted to the changing world around us.
Together let us all join forces and give access to vital technology that we all take for granted.
Much Love
Sandra and Rob

Thank you to my Sponsors


Guzman Y Gomez


Guzman Y Gomez

What a great cause! Good luck with your trek!



Rob Brother, From all of us here in NZ, we appreciate all that you and Sandra do.


Dean Rather

You can do it!




Chucky And His Slaves

You guys are amazing. Wishing you a magical time in your preparation for this walk. Remember to wear those tow socks!


Coates Group

Best of luck from the Coates Crew to Rob and Team Nisient!


Terry Winters

Best wishes Rob and Sandra. Terry


Nick Roggeveen


Curt Rondeau

Good Luck you two, amazing work you both contribute to others. Proud of you!!


Louis Jen

Awesome venture and best of luck with it Rob and Sandra!


Darren Frost

Wish you well for the trek. A great cause.


Rob Gillan & Sandra Roggeveen


Rob Gillan & Sandra Roggeveen


Crispin Swan


Priscilla Gunton

You can do it!!!



Wishing you a wonderful journey.







You guys are an inspiration, love your hearts and what you're doing to raise awareness.


Jenny Storaker

Go team Rob and Sandra. Wonderful cause xxx


Lorraine Phillip