People and Places
Mates making a difference By Liz Rogers

​​​​​​​Show off your stuff and shine online

For results driven advertising put your products here

Book your Winter Deep Clean Now!

Having a cleaner environment will help keep your family healthier, happier and more comfortable at home. Contact us today to know more 1300 910 971

​​Plant the seed and reap the rewards

Results-driven online and in print advertising available now

​Every month we have special features

Designed to amplify your business

Create connections online in print and on social media

Your event can be listed on our What’s On pages

You wouldn’t read about it. Two friends since primary school. Local lads about town applying to drive on dirt roads and raise funds for Cancer Council in the Shitbox Rally and not being accepted. Applying again the next year and not being accepted. Applying the third and fourth time . . . you get the drill. 

You’ve got to give these two long-term mates an ‘A’ for effort because on the fifth time — finally — they’re in! So why so hard to become part of a daring adventure packed with teams of two driving cars worth $1000 across some of Australia’s most challenging roads? Because as Shitbox Rally founder James Freeman puts it: “You’re not the only one with cancer in the family.” James lost both his parents to cancer within 12 months. Everyone has some cancer story to tell. 

Here’s a snapshot of Jonathan ‘JP’ Pritchard and Simon Vercoe’s journey and the joy they are experiencing being part of this amazing community fundraiser that has raised $16,646,368 for Cancer Council overall.  

JP, from Jetty Road Brewery, lost both his parents to cancer. His beloved mum passed away 22 years ago and, as we agree while nodding over caffeine and conversation, it’s something you never get over. You learn to adjust. He explains: “My mum, Rita, passed away in my arms. She was in her late 50s. I still miss her every day and long to hear her voice. I suppose she was one of the lucky ones because she went quickly, whereas Dad (John) had a more drawn-out battle. I reckon he was broken-hearted. Simon’s dad, Peter, was robbed. He was young and died suddenly from lung cancer. His mum, Cheryl, now has pancreatic cancer and is fighting it.” 

Horse trainer and seller of equine accessories Simon continues: “Mum had this huge operation about four years ago called the Whipple procedure, which has given her some more time, but Dad went quickly. I was watching the Discovery Channel, which was covering Shitbox Rally, about six years ago and called JP and said ‘We’ve got to do this’, but it’s taken a while to get there. We did a car rally together years ago in a sports car and really enjoyed the team experience. It will be fun being out in the middle of nowhere and meeting people with similar stories.”

Shitbox Rally is not a race. It is eight days of driving cars that aren’t worth the petrol pumped through their engines from Melbourne to Townsville via Birdsville. There are food villages, triage for cars, friends made for life and plenty of stories exchanged. One thing’s for sure, each person has a different way of handling this pervasive disease. Simon talks: “Dad was in the wine industry. He was always larger than life and had a wake, which was held in Lygon St in Carlton while he was still alive. The day was full of family and friends and there were speeches made. He also went through a bucket list.” 

JP continues: “It’s different for everyone. Part of the participation in Shitbox Rally is you have to raise a minimum of $5000 dollars, but most teams raise well above that. Raising the money is the hard part. We bought our Nissan Bluebird straight away when we entered the first time and finally we get to drive it. It’s going to be epic. We can’t wait.” 

“At least the airconditioner works,” concludes Simon.

JP and Simon will be heading off on the journey of a lifetime for their parents and all cancer sufferers on October 19 and will be away until October 25. The rally target is set at $2million-plus this time round. If you’d like to get them to where they are going and donate to Cancer Council, log on to 

Come on, help make a difference, and yes, you would read about it — in Mornington Peninsula Magazine

Online  in print  on social media

Banner ads now available on our site

​Thinking of online advertising?

Try a multi media package. Smart advertisers choose Mornington Peninsula Magazine

Step up and shine online

Put your brand or super special offer here


Advertise with us and book your online advertising spot

Promote your business or offer here - Food Wine Produce

Banner Ads now available

Perfect to promote your business to our online readers

Related Posts

Join our VIP club

Automatically go in the draw for a monthly members only prize!

Receive occasional emails to update you on events and special member offers, plus every month a link to Mornington Peninsula Magazine e-version days before it is released.

Opt out at any time. We promise, no spam!

Advertise with us

Target the affluent and discerning consumer who prefers local products and services.  Showcase your brand in Mornington Peninsula Magazine, online and on social media with one booking.

List your event

No matter what type of event you want to promote we have an option to suit your event size and budget.