Peter?s retirement takes him around Australia for kids
By MEL MARTIN
MOST people look forward to retirement so they can have a good rest, but 79-year-old farmer Peter Tripovich is walking around Australia instead.
But he's not walking 20,000 kilometres just for the exercise, he's raising money for orphaned and abandoned children, and 2000 kilometres into it, he's already raised $4000.
"I'm averaging 40 to 45 kilometres each day," he said.
"I look at what's before me. I concentrate on the day and the fact that each day gets me another few steps towards my wife, Jan."
His wife is waiting for him in Calliope, 550 kilometres north of Brisbane, where she intends to catch up with him for a few weeks' walking when he gets close enough.
Mr Tripovich has been getting lots of support from motorists, and yesterday morning's pouring rain in Coffs Harbour didn't dampen his enthusiasm.
"I've been really lucky with the weather, and at least when it's raining, you don't get dehydrated," he said.
"People have been pulling up along the road to make donations, and I've been getting lots of 'good on you, mate' and 'keep up the good work'."
The walking has only just started, but Mr Tripovich is not daunted by the 18 more months of walking ahead of him.
"It's all for a good cause, and I hope I can be an inspiration to young people that through living a healthy life you can achieve great things.
"I do feel tired at the end of each day, but after a good night's sleep, I'm ready to do it all over again the next day."
International Children's Care, for which Mr Tripovich is raising money, is a not-for-profit humanitarian organisation that cares for orphaned and abandoned children in 23 developing countries.
The organisation establishes caring, family-style homes in which children are nurtured and encouraged to develop.
n You can contribute to the 'Peter Tripovich Fund' by sending your donations to International Children's Care, PO Box 1296, Warragul, Vic 3820 or via www.iccaustralia.org.au Peter can be contacted on 0428 598 068.