In this episode of Any.Talk, Cait talks to Trent Morris who is raising money and awareness in possibly the most unique charity event yet: A "Shitbox" car rally across Australia.
We discuss the ins and out of the event, logistics in coordinating 300+ cars travelling through some of the most rural towns, and how small businesses working together can get "shit"-boxes done.
Listen to the full podcast episode below, or stream it on Apple Music, Spotify or wherever you prefer to stream your podcasts. Make sure to hit the subscribe button.
Cait: Good morning and welcome to another episode of Any.Talk. I'm Cait from Anywise, and today I'm talking to Trent Morris. Please, Trent, tell me a little bit about yourself.
Trent: G'day Cait. Thank you. Great opportunity and I appreciate it. So I'm just an ordinary guy I guess. I'm ex-military and, and I've been in corporate for about 20 years. I'm a consultant now and obviously, we're here to talk about something exciting that's coming up at the end of the year with respect to the Shit Box Rally and raising funds for cancer.
Cait: Beautiful. Could you tell me a little bit about the Shit Box Rally? What is it?
Trent: Yeah, so the Shit Box Rally was started by a guy by the name of Jamie who lost both of his parents to cancer a few years back and he decided he wanted to do something about it. So he started a challenge basically, which is the Shit Box Rally. You buy a car for less than $1,500 on the road, so all of your repairs and stuff and keeping it on the roads gotta cost less than 1500 bucks. And then you drive a really, really long way over really bad roads and I'm really looking forward to it. It's gonna be excellent.
Cait: Because I think, if I remember correctly the challenge that you are doing is from Port Douglas to Adelaide. How many kilometers was that again?
Trent: It's about three, three and a half thousand kilometers. But it goes right down through all the back roads through Birdsville, Coober Pedy, et cetera, and It's about eight days of driving if I remember correctly. And we're doing it in a 2002 "Shit-subishi", Magna, that's every day I'm out there fixing something on it. So it definitely fits the bill as a shit box. It's gonna be outstanding and there's gonna be a lot of towns that I've never been to, so I'm really looking forward to seeing a bit more of Australia.
Cait: Rolling it back a little bit, how did you get involved? How did you hear about this?
Trent: it was actually a friend of mine who, who got involved. He's a bit of an adventurous spirit. He does the hundred kilometer walks and he does all sorts of stuff for raising money for cancer. And he was actually the one that found the Shit Box Rally. And, he talked to me about it, and I thought, that's just amazing. I love cars, I love travel, I love seeing new things. But anyway, he showed me this and I was just hooked. We've gotta do that.
We wanted to do one that, went somewhere that we'd never been before. And I mean, he's a pom so he's hasn't seen a lot of Australia. But, being ex-military I've seen a fair bit and I wanted to do something that I'd never seen before. So, yeah, we found the spring one, which was Port Douglas to Adelaide. And why not? It's not overly expensive, it's a great adventure, and it's raising money for a great cause. So we are really excited about it.
Cait: Could you tell me a little bit about the cause? I believe it's Cancer Council, correct?
Trent: It does raise money for the Cancer Council. They've raised in excess of 38 million over the last few years, and they're the largest non-corporate sponsor of cancer research support. And they run three rallies a year, plus a mystery box rally.
So all the funding goes, you know, you can obviously go and have a look at it at shitboxrally.com au and see what they've supported, but they've supported research into neurological cancers. They've supported lymphatic cancers, lung , breast cancer, all sorts of stuff. And I just thought it was a great cause and it's an adventure, which is gonna be a huge amount of fun and we're doing something good at the same time. So I was like, why not?
Cait: I'm just having a look at some of their photos on their website and it's looks like so much fun. You guys are gonna have a blast. But with it being such a long drive do you and your co-pilot have any strategies in mind to not go crazy on such a long drive.
Trent: Yeah, I think my co driver's gonna be the one that goes batshit crazy listening to me talk all the time. I'm used to the long drives and I really enjoy them. I think the biggest tension is gonna be if we have issues with the car, which is highly likely. I mean, to get a car that bad across roads that are that bad, over that distance is gonna be a challenge. The way we are kind of looking at it, it's just really long drives punctuated by drink stops. Or should I say it's a, it's a really long range pub crawl. So we are, we are looking forward to that.
We're looking forward to the people that we're gonna meet on the way, there's 250 or 300 teams involved. So it's a huge, huge event. Some of these towns are gonna swell by 600% or 700% on the night that we're there.
So yeah. I don't know, sing songs, you know, tell jokes. We both sort of the, have the same ideologies, so I don't think we won't be fighting too much. I think it's just being aware of our surroundings and playing grownup for a little while, when it comes to that type of stuff.
Cait: That's a good point you mentioned how some of these smaller towns, their tourism is probably not the greatest. So if they're gonna get swamped with 600, 700%, that's, that's gonna so good for their economy.
Trent: Mm. Absolutely. I mean, without understanding the exact numbers, but understanding a little about large scale movement, when you're looking at the fuel that we'll be buying, when you're looking at the meals that we're provided for dinner and breakfast the next morning, the cups of red cordial that we all consume when we stop, et cetera, there's going to be a lot of money flying into those small towns. And I guess that's part of it, the logistics preparation on something like this has to be huge, because it's not just being able to buy the fuel, but they've gotta have the fuel there for us to buy. So all of that is, is a huge effort and we are really gonna appreciate that. I think we'll appreciate the town's willingness to support this great cause as well.
Cait: Over the last 13 years, and you touched on it before, how these box rallies have raised 38 million dollars.
Cait: What do you think has helped this particular charity event becomes so popular and effective at raising such a large amount of money?
Trent: They've got a very strong focus on it and it's quite organised so, not only is there the costs of actually being involved, which literally just cover the cost. So we paid an entry fee, we buy the car, we pay to get the car there, et cetera. So that all comes out of our pocket. But on top of that, you have to actually raise a minimum of $2,500 to get into the race by the halfway mark and then another two and a half thousand before you actually get to the start line.
So each team has to produce $5,000 of fundraising, excluding all other costs. But they also have a very smart way of engaging sponsors. They give you lots of ideas on how to raise funds. One of the things that we'll be doing is working with our local Bunnings store to do a scout-style sausage sizzle.
I think I'll probably be my best customer at that, we are called the Incredible Bulk for a reason.
And like anything, any good idea actually travels faster through referral, my teammate Stuart, I believe he heard it from a friend. And when I posted on LinkedIn that we were doing it, suddenly I was swarmed by people that I knew that had done it. And I'm thinking, this is fantastic. So there's obviously the words out there, people know about it. And they're willing to support it because it's not just giving money it's actually supporting friends who are doing something a little bit abstract, a little bit weird, and looking forward to the stories that come out of it. So it's a whole community thing.
Cait: And I believe that cancer affects so many people. How could people help support your team, the Incredible Bulk, which has an Incredible Hulk theme, I believe?
Trent: Yeah, we do, we do. We've got all sorts of fun stuff. We've got bizarre, bright green lighting like you see on the cars movie underneath the car, and we're painting it with purple underline and then green on top with black fuzzy hair.
If people are willing to sponsor, obviously we'd very much appreciate that. There's an opportunity to sponsor the team. There's an opportunity to support the team through donations or gifts in kind if that's more your thing all you need to do is go to shitbox rally.com. au and where it says Donate, you can look up our team, the Incredible Bulk one and two. I mean, even our car's got bulky one and bulky two on the label across the front, just like a professional racing team.
We haven't worked out who's bulky one and bulky two yet. But yeah, so you can go there, you can look it up and you can donate . If it's a corporate and they wanna sponsor, there is an opportunity to do that and then they can have their stickers all over our car and, and get linked on their website to the main sponsor website, et cetera. So it's, it's a great opportunity.
And like you said I've lost two grandparents to cancer. I've lost a couple of very close friends to cancer. And my teammate, his best friend's wife has only just overcome breast cancer. So it's not something that you can avoid in life. We're doing what we can to eradicate it so that we don't have to deal with it.
Cait: Is there any other thing that Australian businesses can do to help, not just your team but that'd be wonderful, but also the Shitbox Rally, Cancer Council. I mean, what other steps even small businesses such as Anywise, do to help?
Trent: Yeah, I think there's two things. Research costs money. So there's always gonna be an opportunity to help out financially. But I think more than anything it's awareness. This is a problem that affects us all and we do tend to get caught up in our own little world and focus on the things that impact us specifically. Sometimes it's nice to see people who are taking a step back and bringing awareness and supporting something that affects all of us, even though it's not affecting us specifically in that moment. And I think that's an important thing. If we wait until it's impacting us, it might be too late. Let's do what we can now to make sure it isn't affecting any more people as quickly as possible.
Cait: Very good answer. Would you be able to tell me a little bit more about the sponsors and the work that they're doing to help in this cause?
Trent: Yeah, absolutely. As I discussed we've got lots of different ways that people can help out. And one of the things that I really enjoyed about this and it goes back to I guess a little bit of my corporate background, is actually talking to businesses about whether or not they'd be willing to get involved with respect to gifts in kind, or support, donations, or even sponsorship.
We've got a few sponsors which we're very lucky. Our local Cafe is supporting us and he's chucked in a bit of a sponsorship. My local mechanic, as you'd expect in a Shit Box Rally, is supporting us. but he's done all the work for free. And bought a sponsorship package so he can advertise via the website.
I've got another friend of ours who's an accountant he's doing so a little bit of sponsorship for us. But really the thing that I'm most appreciative of is actually the Anywise team. For want of a better expression, they're our major sponsor. They've been very helpful. Adam [co-founder of Anywise] and I go way back to our military days and he's got a real focus on helping people and ethical business. And when we sent out the call for help, Anywise stood up and helped. That actually helped us reach our target and helped us set a bigger target.
So we're very, very appreciative of all of our sponsors, but specifically Anywise because, without them, we wouldn't have hit our target and we wouldn't have this opportunity to spread the message of the good work that's being done through Cancer Council.
So very, very, very proud of what we're doing and very appreciative of the help that everyone, including Anywise, is doing for us.
Cait: That's truly wonderful to hear of all the small local businesses pooling together to help you as well, your local cafe, the mechanic that, ah, it's rather warming. And that's something that Anywise is quite passionate about, the good that can be done when people collaborate.
Trent: A hundred percent.
Cait: Thank you so much Trent for sharing about your upcoming journey on the Shitbox Rally. I swear if you're based in Melbourne, I would be lining up to get a hot dog at Bunnings.
Trent: Well, might have to organize a trip down there to do that.
Cait: It could be a part of a precursor for your journey. Just a real quick drive to Melbourne.
Trent: Yeah, absolutely.
Cait: I'm sure this won't be the last time I get to talk to you. And thank you so much.
Thank you for joining another episode of Any.Talk. To stay up to date with the latest news at Anywise visit our website at Anywise.com.au or follow us on our socials at LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Until next time, I'm Cait, and take care of yourself. Thanks.