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30 March, 2021

Sydneysider takes on Coo-ee March solo

58-year-old Pieter Lindhout has set off on the 520 kilometre Coo-ee March route solo, as of March 22.

Pieter Lindhout takes on the Coo-ee March solo on a rainy Monday morning.

The solo walker should be in Sydney by Tuesday, April 20, and has dedicated his efforts to raise money and awareness for the youth mental health charity, BAYTR.

The past six months, Mr Lindhout has been socialising the idea with his family and has been in the stages of training for the big walk. When asked if he had participated in big walks like this before, Mr Lindhout responded;

“No, this is the first big walk. I did a 60 kilometre walk in a day, a coast trek and that killed me.”

The Coo-ee March story is a story close to Mr Lindhout’s heart. Having three great uncles who were at Gallipoli on the western front, he grew up listening to the letters that were left to one of his great aunts, read by his mother.

By reading and eventually publishing these letters, Mr Lindhout was able to “really get under their skin and understand that when they got back from what was a horrible brutal war, they came back to a horrible brutal life suffering mental health issues.

“So, we think, happy days, wars over, actually for them a lot of the hardship was just starting. So, the whole PTSD, mental health issues, kind of really resonated for me.

“So then thinking, what a beautiful story, the Coo-ee March is where our heroic, noble volunteers wanted to participate in the war, the knowledge around mental health when they came back was so non-existent.”

Mr Lindhout will be completing the walk solo, with a few friends joining for one or two days at most.

He wishes to spread awareness that it’s ok to not be ok, and asking for help with mental health should be less stigmatised.

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