Jet-skiing is not the easiest way to travel the 2,200 kilometers from Port Melbourne to Brisbane, but when it is for a good cause, Scott Tipping decided it was the way to go.
The 12 day trip, which Mr Tipping began last Monday, has so far raised more than $21,000 for RUOK, and when passing through Port Macquarie on Tuesday, he talked about raising awareness for suicide prevention.
“The idea came after I had an incident at work where a member of my team took their life and I saw the impact it had on their family and friends, including me, which really took me by surprise,” Mr Tipping said.
“When it first happened I pledged to do more for mental health in the workplace, but 18 months later I really hadn’t done much, which is why I decided to plan the trip.”
Racing at speeds up to 60 kilometers per hour, Tipping said the conditions for jet-skiing have not always been as accommodating as planned but that he has been able to spend between two and four hours a day on the water.
“The hardest part has been the weather; when planning the trip I did schedule in days for bad weather, but so far every day on the water has been bad – I think there is a metaphor in there, that life isn’t just smooth sailing,” he said.
Mr Tipping said every time he stops on the jet ski the conversations sparked have been really encouraging.
“Pulling up on the jet ski is a great conversation starter which then leads to talking about why I am doing the trip, which has been excellent,” he said.
“The message I am trying to get across is that being busy at work is no excuse for not talking to your colleagues and getting to know them as humans.”
On his donation page, Mr Tipping has already received 95 donations with many donors giving words of encouragement.
“So important for people to know they can have the conversation if they need to,” Stevo Ducati said.
‘”Hi Scott I think this is a fantastic cause and look forward to seeing the journey unfold! Anything that encourages awareness about mental health and suicide is extremely important,” Tom Perry said.