Olympic gold medallist Cathy Freeman is back in running mode as part of the Cathy Freeman Foundation Team who are participating in this Sunday’s Melbourne Marathon (9 October). The team are running to raise urgently needed funds to support the education of children living on Palm Island, Australia’s fourth most disadvantaged community. “I’m so excited to be running again and for such a wonderful cause – I believe that all children deserve the same opportunities to learn, experience life, explore their talents and fulfil their dreams,” says new-mum Cathy. The Cathy Freeman Foundation Team aim to raise $50,000, which will provide education programs for over 500 school-aged children on Palm Island, home to the largest discrete Indigenous community in Australia. More than 90% of Year 7 students living on Palm Island cannot read or write at the minimum NAPLAN standard and less than 10% of students graduate from secondary school. An Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report released last month found that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people who were at school, TAFE or university were less likely than their peers to engage in risky health behaviour. “We’ve been working with the children on Palm Island since 2007 by providing programs that aim to engage students in learning, to improve their literacy and increase their school attendance.” The work of the Cathy Freeman Foundation was acknowledged last month in a Queensland government report on education programs that are successful. To make a donation to the Cathy Freeman Foundation Team, visit www.everydayhero.org.au/team_cathy_freeman_foundation. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.