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High flying experience of a lifetime makes an impact for life

24 October 2017 Media releases

It was the experience of a lifetime that will empower young people for life. More than $111,000 has been raised by a group of high flyers who skittled the skies above Sydney in aid of Wesley Mission’s Take Charge of Your Life program and other vital services supporting young people. 

On a bleak and wet day the Wesley Mission supporters took a leap of faith from one of the city’s tallest buildings—the AMP Centre—to travel at up to 40 km per hour along a zip line to its sister building 20 storeys below.  They joined around 160 participants, who were raising $1 million for a number of charities as part of the AMP Foundation’s 25th anniversary.

After the participants sped down the Big Zipper line and arrived on the roof of the AMP building, they eagerly shared the excitement of the 125 metre burst.

Stephanie Tesoriero, said she wanted to return the support she had received at Wesley Hospital when dealing with an eating disorder: “I’m petrified of heights and wanted to conquer my fear,” Steph said. “I’d only do this for Wesley Mission! They have given me so much and I just really wanted to give back.”

One of her anonymous donors was praiseworthy on social media: “Steph, you are an amazing and inspirational young lady. It took a lot of guts to jump off the 47th floor of a skyscraper, but you did it. You should be so proud of yourself. I am in awe of you!”

Tash conquers the AMP Big Zipper

Tash... elation after the Big Zipper drop.

Tash who has been supported in Wesley Mission’s Take Charge of Your Life program had been in foster care since she was six months old. Wesley Take Charge of Your Life has helped her transition from foster care to independent living by providing her with accommodation and supporting as she studied for a career in disability services at TAFE.

High above the city amid the mist and gloom, her spirit was bright: “I did this for Wesley Mission because they’ve helped me out more than anyone has helped me out before,” Tash said.

Wesley Mission CEO the Rev Dr Keith Garner said he was delighted by the breadth and diversity of support for the event and Wesley Mission. “It takes courage to step out into the unknown,” Dr Garner said. “It is the same challenging experience for the many people who Wesley Mission cares for and supports each day.”   

While some participants were speechless after the descent, Wesley Mission supporters were clear about their intent and acclaim:

“I researched all the different charities and chose Wesley Mission because I loved that they focused on a lot of different things, especially youth as I have three kids myself,” Tamara Wikaruk.

Dominique Clapoudis …look no hands!

Dominique Clapoudis…look no hands! “I love what Wesley Mission do for the community.”

“I love what Wesley Mission do for the community. It is so easy to forget in your day to day life what is really going on outside,” Dominique Clapoudis.

“I did the Homeless Food Challenge with Wesley Mission and it was such an eye-opener for me. It was mind-blowing to experience what it is like to live on so little. I am passionate about what Wesley Mission does supporting those who are not in the best place,” Jackie Chung.

“That first step was terrifying!  It’s great fun and going to great cause, I am delighted to partner with them,” Darragh Monaghan.

“Grateful that Wesley Mission stand alongside those with real bravery,” The Rev Rick Dacey, Senior Minister, Wesley Mission.

"Incredible experience, can I do it again?” Steve Neilson, IS Service Desk Manager, Wesley Mission.

“I read through all the charity partner descriptions and as soon as I read about the Wesley Take Charge of Your Life Program I knew I had to pick Wesley Mission. I really wanted to raise money to help support foster kids get back on their feet," Ernest, AMP.

“I chose to do the zip line for Wesley Mission as I have been a Lifeline volunteer for three years and I know how valuable the work that Wesley Mission does,” Natalie, Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland telephone crisis supporter.

The AMP Foundation Big Zipper, is just one of many ways you can fundraise for Wesley Mission. Find out how.

Skittling the Sydney skyline at 40 km per hour