Claude
Claude "Lawnmower Man" Harvey stops in at Coolum to collect donations as part of his mammoth walk to raise money for Bravehearts. Brett Wortman

Lawnmower man a cut above rest

THE great open road, a customised lawnmower and 36 pairs of sandals.

Claude "Lawnmower Man" Harvey is Australia's answer to Forrest Gump.

The super-fit 65-year-old has been pushing his mower across the state since April in a tireless effort to raise funds and awareness for Australia's leading child protection advocate Bravehearts.

Yesterday, he was in Coolum doing what he does best - meeting people and spreading the Bravehearts message.

Mr Harvey became involved with the organisation after watching a paedophile being arrested on the TV news.

"We all would like to hurt the perpetrator, but how many of us would think to help the victim?" he said.

This fundraising walk is his third and this time he is on his way to the Gold Coast after starting at Mt Isa - a distance of 2260km.

So far this trek, Mr Harvey has gone through four pairs of sandals (his preferred walking footwear) and walked an average of nine hours a day behind his mower.

But he never gets tired.

"My family calls me a robot," he reveals.

In 2008, Mr Harvey made a four-week trek from the Gold Coast to Sydney and in 2010 did the Gold Coast to Cairns.

"I've crossed over the Sydney Harbour Bridge with my lawnmower, had two different lawnmowers and 36 pairs of sandals," he said.

And there is no sign of him slowing down.

In fact, he is already planning his next adventure - a 120km walk on the Gold Coast during Children's Week.

Mr Harvey's previous fundraising efforts have helped 4340 children receive specialist sexual assault counselling and he has raised $84,000 so far on this trip.

To make a donation visit bravehearts.org.au.



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