Mowerman a true hero
CLAUDE 'Mowerman' Harvey is a man with a mission - a mission to spread awareness of child safety and raise funds to help protect Australian children.
For the past 12 years, 74-year-old Mr Harvey - who was recently awarded an OAM - has been pushing his trusty mower all over Australia in an effort to raise $2 million by 2022 for child protection organisation Bravehearts.
Having recently completed a 27-day tour of South Australia, Mr Harvey earlier this week embarked on a 38-day tour of regional Queensland, including Blackwater, Emerald, Capella, Clermont and Dysart, to continue spreading his important message.
Mr Harvey, whose tour will end in Mackay on July 24, said he originally started raising money for Bravehearts to raise awareness for and help prevent child sexual assault.
"I hope to achieve the $2 million one day and put the word out there about child sexual assault and stir up people's hearts about it,” Mr Harvey said.
"I'm up to $1.15 million. Let's put it this way, when I first started out the goal was $1 million and I was going to give up when I raised $1million. After I raised $1million, I set a $2 million goal.”
Mr Harvey, who spends five months of the year touring Australia on his epic mission, said he experienced "awesome” support from people in country towns.
"People are so different out in the country than what they are in the city,” he said.
"People are too busy in the city, all they want to do is walk past you and they don't notice you and they're always in a hurry, whereas the country people they're casual and they greet you.”
Mr Harvey said rural residents were always happy to donate to his cause.
"Lots of people donate in these areas. I just go around to businesspeople and ask them for donations,” he said.
"And I just walk the streets and I'm greeted by mayors and councillors as I come into town.”
Mr Harvey admitted he'd likely continue the cause even after reaching his $2 million goal.
"(I'll) probably keep going until I die,” he said.
"I just want to thank people for their kindness and everything.
"Without the people, none of this would have happened.”
Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnson said the charity was fortunate to have the support of an avid contributor like Mr Harvey.
"For more than 12 years Claude has dedicated his twilight years to Bravehearts and child protection and we are forever grateful for his remarkable contribution.”
- For information on Bravehearts' programs, visit bravehearts.org.au.