Virginia Gordon

My Activity Tracking

326.8 km

126 km

And now the end is near . .

Regrets, I've had a few

But then again, too few to mention

I did what I had to do (11 marathons)

And saw it through without exemption (OK maybe three days off)

I planned each chartered course (for your viewing pleasure)

Each careful step along the byway

But more, much more than this

I walked this marathon my way

Was thinking about Frank Sinatra's visit to Sydney where he performed at the old Sydney Stadium. And no, I was not there! But my parents were. I was born that year and so would have been left with our grandparents. Vince remembers Frank chatting to him in the front row and borrowing his glasses and singing with them on.

The Sydney Stadium was a sporting and entertainment venue in Sydney, New South Wales, which formerly stood on the corner of New South Head Road and Neild Avenue, Rushcutters Bay. Built in 1908, it was demolished in 1970 to make way for the construction of the Eastern Suburbs Railway.

Our parents saw Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole there. Possibly also Peter Paul and Mary whose records we listened to at home. I think that and church music is where I started enjoying singing harmonies. 

I think at some point our mother also played basketball there when she was at school in Darlinghurst. If not, then across the road in the park. Must research that when I stop walking. 

And stop I shall. Not totally not ever. Just the scale of it to honour your donations.

On Saturday, a very very wet and miserable and bleak day my goal was 10kms with another 10kms on Sunday. This meant dawn starts as I had afternoon commitments - seeing my first play since 2019 amongst them. 

Life coming out of COVID lockdown is exhilirating. First play, first musical, first ballet, first chamber music. That's it for me then until we see where things wash up with the Greek Alphabet and its variants.

I'm on the downhill run today. Fast paced before and after meetings. Closing in on the final kms to make it a tidy and quite astounding 464kms...11 marathons.

Still time to donate up to 11:59 tonight and know you are supporting innovate and amazing research into heart disease and the resources provided by the Heart Foundation.

Could not and perhaps would not have done it without you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and for all those hearts you will help.

This picture was from Saturday. Trains had stopped and the light rail had stopped so I walked down the middle of the road from Town Hall to Circular Quay. Noone else did. Maybe the rain. Maybe the unnvering nature of doing so. 

One bloke was amused by it and called to me from the foot path "You won't get hit by a tram". Everyone is a comedian.

Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye
Cheerio, here I go, on my way
Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye
Not a tear, but a cheer, make it gay
Give me a smile I can keep all the while
In my heart while I'm away
'Till we meet once again, you and I
Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye

I have reached Bingara completing 10.5 marathons in yesterday’s storm

Madness. Determination. Thank you.

More life saving work being undertaken by the Heart Foundation - just think what your donation might make possible

Associate Professor Seana Gall

Improving the prevention and management of stroke.

Q&A with A/Prof Seana Gall

Improving the prevention and management of stroke

Associate Professor Seana Gall is a senior research fellow and Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow at University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research. Her research focuses on heart disease and stroke.

What are you currently researching?

Stroke is a type of cardiovascular disease that affects the brain. Strokes happen when the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain is interrupted. This can happen because of either a blocked artery, or bleeding from an artery into the brain. The impact of a stroke on a person depends on which part of the brain is affected. For example, a stroke might affect a person's ability to talk, read or write, or the ability to move their arms and legs. Over 100 people have a stroke every day in Australia. At least 80 per cent of strokes can be prevented by managing risk factors such has quitting smokingmanaging blood pressure and improving diet.

I am an epidemiologist (a person who studies how often diseases occur in the population). My team and I use population health research to answer questions about how to prevent strokes. We study large groups of people; both healthy adults (some we have followed since they were children) and people who have already had a stroke. We use these studies to identify new targets to prevent stroke or to help reduce the risk of a person having another stroke. 

We are also running a study called Personalised Knowledge to Reduce the Risk of Stroke (PERKS-International)*. People participating in the study get a free health check to identify their stroke risk factors. We look at their blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels, weight, physical activity, diet, and smoking. People are then given information about their stroke risk factors in two different ways using their mobile phones. The study will show us which way of providing risk factor information works best to motivate and support people to reduce their risk of stroke. 

My aim is to reduce the number of strokes that happen each year in Australia. We can do this by identifying new prevention targets and by testing new interventions to help people manage their risk factors. 

* To find out more about the PERKS-International study, please visit the 

What difference will your research make to people’s cardiovascular health in Australia?

Even though stroke is largely preventable, in 2019, on average, 23 people died of stroke every day. My research will make a difference to people's lives by helping health professionals to identify and manage people's risk factors for stroke at the right time, with easy-to-use inexpensive interventions. My research will increase our understanding of the causes of stroke in men and women at different ages. While people typically think of men as being most at risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke, the rate of women and men dying from stroke each year in Australia is similar. 

What motivated you to do your research?

I love the process of identifying a problem, figuring out how you're going to tackle it and then delving into the data to get an answer. I started my research career at Monash University with a science degree. I was very interested in physiology, which is how our body works. I initially did research in a laboratory where we used animal models to answer questions about physiology. While I loved the research itself, I am a 'people person' and wanted to do research with people. 

I was lucky enough to be accepted into the PhD program at the University of Melbourne in epidemiology, at what was the National Stroke Research Institute. At the time I knew very little about epidemiology, but I learned on the job! My PhD involved working directly with people that had had a stroke in a large cohort study (a type of study that follows people over time to see what happens to them). I had the privilege of being invited into people's homes where they told me all about their recovery and how they managed their health. I got to see people's resilience but also their struggles. It motivated me to try to understand how we can prevent more strokes from happening.

Are there any recent achievements or discoveries you can share with us?

My greatest achievement in the past year has been leading the Synergies to Prevent Stroke (STOPstroke) program. Stroke researchers from across Australia and New Zealand work together on stroke prevention. The STOPstroke program is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council through a Synergy Grant worth $5 million. Our program has three themes:

  • Being able to better identify who is at risk of stroke.
  • Improving the prevention of stroke. 
  • Building infrastructure for stroke surveillance.

As part of STOPstroke, I have had the opportunity to lead my first randomised controlled trial (PERKS-International). We recently started recruitment for the study, which will include over 800 people from Australia and New Zealand.

What role has Heart Foundation funding had in your career journey?

I have been fortunate enough to have Heart Foundation funding since I was a postdoctoral fellow. This has included two Future Leader Fellowships, with my current Fellowship finishing at the end of 2022. I cannot express how much the support of the Heart Foundation has meant to me. The funding has allowed me to dedicate time to my research, including supervising junior researchers completing their PhD. It has allowed me to make significant advances in understanding ways to improve the prevention and management of stroke in Australia. These advances that would not have been possible without Heart Foundation support. 

Do you have a message for Heart Foundation supporters?

The Heart Foundation is at the forefront of reducing cardiovascular disease in Australia. Their support of the research community through funding is truly a lifeline. Australia is a world-leader in heart and stroke research, largely due to the support of the Heart Foundation. They provide much needed support for early and mid-career researchers. For me, the Heart Foundation’s support has allowed me to continue doing the research that I love. It has helped me to make advances in our understanding of how to prevent and manage stroke to get the best outcomes for Australians.

Here is some of the research being undertaken by the amazing Heart Foundation

Dr Shiang Lim

A new drug to protect the heart from damage after a heart attack.

Q&A with Dr Shiang Lim

A new nanodrug to protect the heart from damage after heart attack

Dr Shiang (Max) Lim is Head of the Cardiac Regeneration Group at St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research. 

After completing his PhD from the University of Strathclyde (UK) in 2005, Dr Lim spent 4 years completing his postdoctoral research at The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute (University College London, UK). This research focused on targeting heart cell ‘machinery’ to protect the heart against damage following a heart attack.

In 2020, Dr Shiang Lim received a Heart Foundation Vanguard Grant. His project will build on his previous research and will investigate a new treatment to protect the heart from damage after a heart attack. 

What are you currently researching?

Cardiovascular disease continues to be a leading cause of death worldwide. Effective new treatments that protect the heart from injury following a heart attack are urgently needed.

One of the processes that leads to heart damage from a heart attack is a change in the shape of the ‘powerhouse’ of heart cells; the mitochondrion. Mitochondria can either fuse together or divide, and the balance between fusion and division is important for healthy cell function. My research has found that the balance is shifted toward division in heart cells when they become injured.

A specific protein called Drp1 is needed for mitochondria to divide. Blocking Drp1 stops this division, which can protect the heart from damage after a heart attack. My project aims to explore the protective effect of a new medicine that targets Drp1. By stopping the changes in mitochondria, we hope our studies will provide a new treatment to reduce heart damage and improve outcomes in people after a heart attack. 

What difference will your research make to people’s cardiovascular health in Australia?

My research combines cutting edge stem cell strategies with tissue engineering (a technique to grow new heart tissue) and medicines. Through my research, we hope to find new and effective treatments with minimal side effects. We want to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease, reduce hospital readmissions and improve peoples’ quality of life. 

Are there any discoveries from the past year from your research you can share with us?

I have previously identified a new population of stem cells in human hearts. These stem cells have a ‘secretome’; which refers to all the proteins released (or secreted) from the cells. Using an animal model of cardiovascular disease, I have recently shown that the stem cell secretome can help the heart repair after a heart attack. We are very excited about the potential of this work, as a possible new way to treat heart damage.

What role has Heart Foundation funding had in your career journey?

Funding from the Heart Foundation gives me a chance to make an impact on the lives of people with cardiovascular disease. Through my Heart Foundation Vanguard Grant, my team can test our innovative ideas to develop the next new life-saving treatment.

Do you have a message for Heart Foundation supporters?

Thanks to funding from a Heart Foundation Vanguard Grant, our team can move forward with testing our new medicine which could prevent heart damage caused by a heart attack. With your support, these innovative ideas can become reality, and we can improve the lives of people who have had a heart attack.

From me, thank you again for your generosity supporting me to support others.

A moment

This lady was so worried a pidgeon was walking across a major intersection she ran onto the road to shoo it away. She was oblivious to the ear-splitting siren and the fact she herself was the one at risk of being run over. We all stopped breathing. She and the bird survived. Our city streets are full of birds on wet days. As if the reduced number of people allows them to take back THEIR city.

Sydney is a small country town

Sydney is small country town. On the water.

It’s been a joy to have people - you -  with whom I can share my love of Sydney and my small photographic slivers of Sydney through my eyes. 

Scaled down due to COVID and missing some areas I love like Betty and Rushcutters Bays and the Cross. But that will return, in time, once we see what happens during December with masks off and everyone welcome almost everywhere.


My footprint in Sydney is both large and small. It’s always included the northern beaches, the city and the east, but it also revolves around a small track. Work has been in Canberra and locally in Surry Hills, Redfern, Chippendale and the city. The Supreme Court, barristers chambers (various), Parliament House in Macquarie Street, Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices (CPO) in Bligh Street, the Sydney Institute and newly The Women’s Club. Walking down Macquarie Street is like walking down William Street in Bathurst. Intimate, friendly, running into friends.


Our mother Barbara was both a city and a Northern Beaches girl with strong Adelaide roots and family. She had a lifelong passion for history which is instilled in my sister Jenny and myself. 

She and our father Vincent had a natural curiosity about the world around them and the history of any place we lived or visited.  Barbie traced a connection back to Captain John Piper but this didn’t seem to line up with her extensive family tree which had great roots over many generations in Adelaide. Was there an illicit affair she wondered? 


Her stories of catching the ferry home from SCEGGS with the Shore and the Grammar boys, her drives with uni friends to balls up and down the northern beaches and at uni, her days studying in Science House all travel with us and remain with me on my city walks. She worked in a pharmacy in Macquarie Street and my father in a legal firm in Martin Place – so close and yet so far. Not meeting until they both lived in Braemar, home for young professionals in Bathurst where they met playing tennis several times per week, enjoying dances, going to the polo crosse and enjoying the glorious life of our historic and beautiful home town.

Barbara always shared her memories of working in Macquarie Street. Of lunchtime recitals in St Stephens. Her memories of delivering medicines to Government House for famous visitors who stayed there. Discretion was her middle name. Always.

She was the generation of pharmacists that actually made medicines themselves by hand. Her memories of the judges who came into the pharmacy who wore Hombergs. Oh, how stylish. To the day she died she was mortified I went to town not wearing stockings and let’s not revisit the horror none of us wore step-ins! Something I know my school friends shared with their mothers. I shan't share that my dawn walks are in leggings. Black and covered with a long jacket I hasten to add.


When Barbara received her first pay that was less than a male, she questioned it from the get go. She was paid an equal wage from the beginning of career. Barbara bought a set of personalised golf clubs with her first pay. Her next pays were to buy a car. She remembers that driving across the Sydney Harbour Bridge at that time one knew every driver and often waved at each other. Country town.


Going to town is phrase both city and country people use. Coming to town is another when we ask when country friends and family are coming.


Going to town was positively exhilarating when our 5km lockdown zone was removed. To walk from Taylor Square down the full length and around The House through the Gardens was positively joyful. 

You have seen some of my photos and I know for those of you out of town, you have loved remembering your visits and I expect are planning your next in 2022.


Thank you for walking with me. I am writing less than I planned as the walking is the priority.



If you are reading this and wish to donate by 30 November, please visit my MyMarathon fundraising page


If you do, you will be in great company with others of my wonderful and very generous Heart Heroes.


Thank you Lorin Muhlmann, Anita Heiss, Mark McIntosh, Shevaun David (second donation), Matt Jones (second donation), Jamie LeHuray, Rachele Schonberger, Fiona Phillips, Adam Flynn, Jennie Gordon, Anne Cusick, Maryanne Carrick, Sally Sharpe, Verna Trotter, Maryanne Steinman, David Donaldson, Roxy Kavanagh, Helen Dentrinos, Bek Hamed, Samantha Fin, Sandra Charlton, Ron Ogden, Jill Colvin, Jill Bryant, Lachlan Astle, Li Lydia Feng, Marg Hombsch, Anne Seve, Nicole Jorgensen, Louise Humphries, Nicole Jorgensen,  Helen Bryson, Bridget Fair, Anna Schibrowski, Abdou Hachani, Paige Livingston and Thomas, Ziggy, Dex and Chewie; Anne Frankenberg, Evonne Atallah, Genevieve Spence, Angela Kwan, Derryn and Yosi Tal, Nick Wright, Sara Bold, Bridget Fair, Anna Schibrowski, Lalita Mathias, Shevaun David, Margie Cook AO, Tim Storer, Jenny Buckland, Kristin Bengtsson, Rebecca Davies AO, Michaela Conomos and Cooper Conomos, Margot Bain and family, Katharine Rogers, Mary Jane McKerihan, Anita McKerihan, Kathy Murray, Nicky Cummins and the Alexander family, Leisa, Kenny and the Croker family, Jenny Gordon, Rob Antulov, Joanne Motta, Matt Jones, Susan Wyndham, Penny Gordon, Nola Gordon, Rosemary Noonan and my secret supporters. Gosh have I missed recognising you here?


It is wonderful to have people from all parts of my life accompany me on this! 

#MyMarathonAU #heartfoundation


Amazingly these wonderful humans have together ranked our fundraising to 8 out of the 20,390 participants in this year's #MyMarathonAU. The average raised by each participant is $345.



What's a slow 422 kms between friends

Yesterday I reached 422 kilometres. 10 marathons walked.


I still have a couple of days left until the end of November. 

Will I sleep in this weekend or go out at dawn to do a couple more kms? Let's see if others in our networks come on board today or tomorrow shall we?

I hope you have enjoyed my walks through the photos I share on my fundraising page and the several times I have blogged along the way which I hope adds to this shared experience. 

Less blogging and more walking, but always photographs so you can share my daily walks.


I want to thank each and every one of my wonderful and very generous Heart Heroes. YOU ARE AMAZING.


Thank you Lorin Muhlmann, Anita Heiss, Mark McIntosh, Shevaun David (second donation), Matt Jones (second donation), Jamie LeHuray, Rachele Schonberger, Fiona Phillips, Adam Flynn, Jennie Gordon, Anne Cusick, Maryanne Carrick, Sally Sharpe, Verna Trotter, Maryanne Steinman, David Donaldson, Roxy Kavanagh, Helen Dentrinos, Bek Hamed, Samantha Fin, Sandra Charlton, Ron Ogden, Jill Colvin, Jill Bryant, Lachlan Astle, Li Lydia Feng, Marg Hombsch, Anne Seve, Nicole Jorgensen, Louise Humphries, Nicole Jorgensen,  Helen Bryson, Bridget Fair, Anna Schibrowski, Abdou Hachani, Paige Livingston and Thomas, Ziggy, Dex and Chewie; Anne Frankenberg, Evonne Atallah, Genevieve Spence, Angela Kwan, Derryn and Yosi Tal, Nick Wright, Sara Bold, Bridget Fair, Anna Schibrowski, Lalita Mathias, Shevaun David, Margie Cook AO, Tim Storer, Jenny Buckland, Kristin Bengtsson, Rebecca Davies AO, Michaela Conomos and Cooper Conomos, Margot Bain and family, Katharine Rogers, Mary Jane McKerihan, Anita McKerihan, Kathy Murray, Nicky Cummins and the Alexander family, Leisa, Kenny and the Croker family, Jenny Gordon, Rob Antulov, Joanne Motta, Matt Jones, Susan Wyndham, Penny Gordon, Nola Gordon, Rosemary Noonan and my secret supporters.

Gosh, have I captured everyone? So many of you with such generous hearts.


It is wonderful to have people from all parts of my life accompany me on this! 

#MyMarathonAU #heartfoundation


Amazingly you wonderful humans have together ranked our fundraising to 8 out of the 20,390 participants in this year's #MyMarathon. The average raised by each participant is $345.

I could have walked to the stunning Sapphire Coast of NSW


I have walked to…..Parkes, Young, Coota and Dubbo

Amazing to put my 400kms intro perspective don’t you agree??!!

Rocketing to the finish line

Marathon Woman has walked to Armidale. After detouring and dreaming of oysters at Pambula on the beautiful Sapphire Coast of NSW.


I have walked 400kms.


You asked, you pledged and early yesterday morning I completed 9.5 marathons.


I took a new direction as I walked over to vote in my local council election. Vote early vote often. And oh, how amazing to know so many people who are standing for office to serve this year. Admire you all so much. Admire those of you flatchat on the local council and state election campaigns at the moment, including several of my Heart Hero/ines.


My reward on yesterday’s walk was to discover one of those magical rockets which I loved as a child. 

It still looks so stylish! Its colours are magnificent. I was 7 years old again.


We loved playing on the one in Tanya Park at Dobroyd. Now deemed too dangerous. 


I am from a generation that drank curdled milk in the sun at morning tea - far more dangerous. Who burnt my bottom and legs on those hot scalding slippery dips.


Our monkey bars at primary school were over hard cement and a hard, bone cracking drop when we did those backward rolls which I loved. Our long jump at school was positioned with a fence at its end – a reflection perhaps of the nuns’ lack of confidence any of us could do a long jump.  Remember my long-legged friend Jane Reedy slamming into the fence. Scarifying experiences of childhood at every turn.


But to our own Rocket Man.


Dick West is a hero of childhood playgrounds in Australia.


In 1959 Dick West set himself up in business fabricating boat and car trailers he also did general welding and ornamental iron work. It was also around this time that he became interested in fabricating playground equipment. He was further encouraged in this direction by a Blue Mountains City Council engineer John Yeaman who had visited America and brought back the plans of a playground "rocket".


Dick built his "Moon Rocket" first in 1961 and it became known as the "Blackheath Moon Rocket". It stood an impressive 30 feet high and was subsequently installed in Blackheath Memorial Park. 

He made a total of 38 moon rockets and they were erected in locations such as Elizabeth in South Australia, Moree, Broken Hill and Taree.


Over the years Dick built a variety of interestingly shaped play equipment including a stage coach, submarine, old woman's shoe, elephant slippery dip, HMAS Endeavour (which earned him a trophy at the 1970 Blackheath Rhododendron festival) a space capsule, a Tiger Moth biplane, a vintage car and a dinosaur. These were installed in playgrounds across Australia. A number of these were sponsored by the Blackheath Rotary and started life in the Rhododendron festival procession and then would be installed in the Blackheath Memorial Park.


The main work which launched R J West Fabrications was with a contract with the "World Wide Church of God" who were constructing a huge building which required 123 feet clear span roof trusses. This work was followed by other steelwork framing jobs. The firm also became renowned for its artistic wrought ironwork.


Thank God ...and for Dick. 

And I thank Waverley Council for honouring our childhood memories. Keeping the rocket, preserving it and consulting at the moment about how best to do this. There is also a wonderful and quite simple metal slide, similarly now in the "perhaps too dangerous for kiddies" category.


It’s an interesting area is Waverley Park. Its Memorial Gardens are contemplative and yesterday there was an artist painting, older people stretching and kookaburras happily pulling out worms from the wet grass. They circled me as I circled them. You may have seen two baby videos I shared through facebook stories.


The Waverley Park Soldier`s Memorial was originally erected to commemorate those from the municipality of Waverley who served in World War One. A plaque has been added to commemorate those who served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. 


Given Bondi’s huge Russian community there is no surprise to see the memorial plaque in honour of the perished soldiers of the former Soviet Union.



Waverley Park includes Waverley Oval with its grandstand and turf cricket pitch, a Bocce court, and oodles of other mulit-purpose sporting fields. The Margaret Whitlam Recreation Centre, also known as Waverley Park Pavilion is set here.


Our father used to play football in Waverley Park and Queens Park. He came up from Goulburn to attend Sydney University and was homed with relatives in Kogarah. He played fourth grade league whilst going through uni. As he had to work to support his uni studies there was little time for pleasure so it’s great he could play. Particularly on Saturdays when one of his three jobs was putting out the chairs and preparing for Mass at the local church. We are a very Catholic family. In every way.

His lifelong love of rugby league and rugby union was passed on to his two daughters. Our happiest memories of winters in Bathurst were pulling up to the side of the oval in our car staying warm as we watched the game from the car – all of us honking the horns when there was a try or a goal.


Happy days my friends  - as are my days walking. Why I don't walk with friends, as I love the exploration and thinking and whimsy and wonder that enters one when walking mindfully.


I thank all you – and in some cases your families – my generous Heart Hero/ines  -for coming on this adventure with me. 


All for such different reasons which move me to know.

Thank you all for your trust in me to deliver for the Heart Foundation.

We will help others lives - maybe even yours or mine amongst them.


Your donation will help the Heart Foundation fund lifesaving heart disease research that makes a real difference for people living with heart disease, as well as to their families and communities.

Thank you for sharing this experience with me.





Walking is a wonder drug

The wonder drug

Walking for an average of 30 minutes or more a day can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke by 35% percent and Type 2 diabetes by 40%.

It’s not just your heart and muscles that benefit from walking.

Regular physical activity can help:

  • reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke

  • manage weight, blood pressure and blood cholesterol

  • prevent and control diabetes

  • reduce your risk of developing some cancers

  • maintain your bone density, reducing your risk of osteoporosis and fractures

  • improve balance and coordination, reducing your risk of falls and other injuries

  • improve our daily mood which cumulatively leads to better mental health

Find your 30

All adults aged 18-64 years should aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. That’s 30 minutes on five days of the week. 

It’s considered ‘moderate’ if it takes some effort, but you’re still able to talk comfortably.

Read more here:

You can join a Walking Group or get your very own Personal Walking Plan here 👉

Did you know you can sign up for a Heart Foundation Walking Group or get your very own Personal Walking Plan here 👉

Have you taken this free heart health test?

Many of us know someone living with diabetes, but did you know that according to data from the Heart Foundation's Heart Age Calculator, 90% of people who have diabetes have a heart age at least 5 years higher than their biological age? 

What's more, 57% (nearly 3 in 5) have a heart age 10 years or greater than their biological age!

If you or someone you know is living with diabetes, there's no better day than today to look after your heart. 

Find out your heart age below, or talk to your GP about having a Heart Health Check ❤️

Take the test 👉

We Remember Them. Lest We Forget.

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month marks the moment the guns fell silent on the Western Front after the bloodshed of World War I. 

Over the past century, this moment has been adopted across the globe as a time to remember those who served and sacrificed in all wars and conflicts.

Today at 11am, we ask  asked to pause for just one minute to remember those who gave their lives in service to their country, those who returned home injured or ill, and those who bravely serve our country today.

Friends this is for you. Cardiac rehabilitation is a support, exercise and education program to help you recover after being diagnosed with a heart condition.

Cardiac rehabilitation is a support, exercise and education program to help you recover after being diagnosed with a heart condition. 

It’s an important part of your recovery, and research shows that people who attend cardiac rehabilitation have improved recovery, improved mental health and better quality of life ❤️

Cardiac rehabilitation can help you to:
✅ Connect with others who have a heart condition
✅ Learn more about your heart condition
✅ Manage your risk factors and emotions
✅ Understand your medicines and how to take them
✅ Get back to everyday activities
✅ Understand the warning signs of a heart attack.

Your doctor, nurse or health worker will tell you about cardiac rehabilitation programs near you and be able to make a referral. If you are interested but have not been referred, visit to find a cardiac rehabilitation program near you 👩‍⚕️👨‍⚕️

If you'd like to learn more or connect with others sharing a similar experience, you can also join our My Heart, My Life Support Community here:

In the future your smart home device could help manage your heart condition, not just tell you the weather ❤️💬

In the future your smart home device could help manage your heart condition, not just tell you the weather ❤️💬🌦️

Dr Islam is at the forefront of this research, currently exploring how a smart home system could help people with heart failure manage their condition.

“For a person with heart failure, their symptoms can change day by day,” says Dr Islam. “I am developing a smart home system to monitor behaviours like physical activity, daily weight measurements, and adherence to medicines. The system can also record blood pressure, heart rate and heart failure symptoms.”

Dr Islam's innovation is an ‘ecosystem’ which will use a combination of wearable devices, apps and automated voice systems to give an overall picture of a person's heart health.

The beauty of this smart home system is that it could also improve outcomes for people living in regional and remote parts of Australia! Learn more about this innovative research 👉

Did you know there is a Broken Heart Syndrome?

💡 #GettingToTheHeart of ... takotsubo cardiomyopathy (aka broken heart syndrome) 💡

❤️ We know that stress can have a negative effect on your heart.

❤️ Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is when the heart muscle suddenly doesn't work as it should following a highly stressful physical or emotional event.

❤️ When this happens, the heart’s left lower chamber (ventricle) gets larger and changes shape to resemble a Japanese octopus trap – a tako-tsubo! The change in shape means the heart can’t pump blood around the body normally. 

❤️Anyone of any age can be affected but is most common in women after menopause.

Different sex, different symptoms

Heart disease is another example where sex — or perhaps sexism — still plays a huge determining factor. Women are less likely to experience the “classic” symptoms of a heart attack — symptoms that were discovered in research led by men, in which most of the participants were men.

Women’s most common heart attack symptom, as with men, is chest pain or discomfort. But women are more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and back or jaw pain.

But because the diagnosis method still favours male biology, many women experience a delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis.

On average, women are diagnosed with heart disease seven to ten years later than men. This often results in other chronic diseases being prevalent by the time of the diagnosis.

You can read more about this here:

Great news!

I'm off again. 

The universe has spoken.

I will today commence my next 42kms, completing my ninth marathon.  The rain has set in so just a small lap today so I don't get a chill!

Oy vay. Who is this person masquerading as Virginia Gordon.

Thank you to Shevaun for a very generous second donation, with such beautiful encouragement.  A very warm welcome to Rachele for coming on board so generously. It is lovely to be joined by Jamie with whom I loved working. 

You have together pushed me out the door to start my ninth. Well done you!

Joining a spectacular Team VG of my wonderful Heart Hero/ines.

Thank you all.

Netball Ankles

Was chatting with a friend about all this walking.  She misses walking but her ankles amongst other things are too weak. Aged in her 80s it’s the thing that worries her most - that she is losing her sense of freedom and mobility.


Ankles are something that any of us who played netball understand. Ankle sprains and rolled ankles are part of life.


One of the sayings about ankle ligaments is that they are like seat belts. They are always there but you hope you don’t have to use them. 


Amazingly and inspiringly, there are quite a few girls from my year at school who are still playing netball.


In Australia netball accounts for almost 4% of all sporting related hospitalisations. This is quite a bit considering all the sports available to our diverse country (the highest rate was AFL at 8.8%). Also, to be hospitalised implies that it’s a pretty decent injury.


Ankles are particularly at risk in netball due to the stop start nature of the sport. Not many sports demand that you stop within 1 step of receiving the ball. It’s especially difficult when you are more focused on catching something than landing. (Or in my case as Wing Defence, stopping the play and the ball.) Consequently there is a lot of force coming down from a height at all sorts of different angles. Your ankles have to cope with any landing that isn’t perfect. It doesn’t take much to get it wrong, or even just land on someone else’s foot.


I’ve been thinking about the ankles a lot and how important our feet are to us. I don’t think people value them enough. Every week I do a couple of facebook meditations led by the legend Petrea King. Petrea always works through the body in our practice together. The feet are always given attention – for the role they play, what they enable and we even focus on every toe.


I played netball through primary school and right through to year 12. I think about our netball days with such affection, also as several of my 1976 team have joined me here on my walks as Heart Heroines. Here is our photo.


The names of our teams are truly wondrous. One year we were Lysistrata. Inspired by the ancient Greek comedy by Aristophanes, originally performed in classical Athens in 411 BC. It is a comic account of a woman's extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War between Greek city states by denying all the men of the land any sex, which was the only thing they truly and deeply desired. It’s interesting that virginal 12 year old school girls at a Catholic school would connect with this don’t you think! What were we thinking? We won so many games, so we were neither a Greek Comedy nor Tragedy. We played across the Central West and are lucky to be alive.  We would often be driven to our netball carnivals by the nuns, whose driving experience made for terrifying trips. We would start each trip with a prayer (we secretly prayed for our lives) in cars with St Christopher medals on the dashboard.



Another name was Jail Birds (note the American spelling) and in the year of this photo we were Caddie. Our love of film was so great. Caddie was released in Australia on 1 April 1976 so how up with it were we?! We saw so many films at school and so many Australian films which stay with us now. I am assuming we were inspired by Caddie herself, played by the wonderful and quite luminous Helen Morse.


On every walk I do think of different donors and supporters, as you come from all different parts of my life which is absolutely wonderful. So maybe today I shall think of my Hero/ines who donate your time so graciously and fully to non-profits and charities, my board and committee friends.


I wanted to let you know I have just completed my 8th marathon in 5.5 weeks. 340 kilometres. Let’s put this in perspective.  The equivalent of walking from Sydney to Parkes or Tamworth or Dubbo. And if I am supported to walk one more, then the equivalent of walking to Armidale or Wagga Wagga.



Yowzer! Has an alien taken over the body of Virginia Gordon? Who is this person? 

Or as another Heart Hero emailed this week Will it ever end?  Or are you condemned to ceaseless laps of the Centennial Loop until you have ploughed your very own furrow?”


These are the mysteries of the modern world my friend. Stay tuned and the answer may be revealed. The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways.


Let’s see where the final two weeks will take me.


Will other supporters come on board to encourage me to take those final steps to my 9th marathon? I do hope so. 

We have done so well together with the amount of money we have raised for the Heart Foundation, but I want to do more for them. Every week in my circles another life is touched or affected by heart related “events”.


In the meantime, my neighbour - the retired professional AFL player - is worried about my footwear. He’s guided me to get organised and take this all a little more seriously for my own good. So enjoy my signature Vans in shots, as they may be in their final starring moments.




Red Light Green Light

It’s been a week of stop start for me. Very red light green light as our new living with COVID normal will play itself out. Curiously both my sister and I had to be tested for COVID from visiting two different exposure sites. Mine in the city and hers in Randwick. Our second test. 

How cheerful the nurse was as she managed the long queue which starts along the street every morning from 7am. You need cheerful as a part of your brain runs through the “what ifs” of having COVID. One of my closest friends got COVID despite two vaccinations, so it is not imaginary to me.


Not wanting to put others at risk put an immediate stop to my walk on a major walking day. My goodness that was a good thing as the feet are very sore.  The reality was I focused on what was physically possible in the remaining window and re-adjusted it to 6.5 marathons as my achievement. 

275kms. That would be 5.5 marathons more than my goal! 

I do not think any of you can be disappointed in my focus and my commitment to you, matched by my commitment to raising precious funds for research into heart disease.


During the past two weeks a friend was rushed to hospital and had a stent put in. Heart related sadness has also affected the lives of people we know so well. 

Heart issues affect everyone and touch the lives of more Australians than any other disease. I do not need to tell many of you here who are living after your own major heart challenges. I thought of you all, often, on my long walks.


I got the green light that my result was negative as did my sister. Yay. Off I go.


Saturday saw a lovely long walk. I headed into town. Still excited I can do that. Last week we even crossed the Harbour Bridge!


The harbour is a part of my soul. A part of my life since childhood. She is always there. Accessible, available. Seductive, shimmering, restoring. It’s been wonderful to be allowed to return to her more often, in more places.


Spoke to da boyz who were fishing under the harbour bridge with such spoils. Fashion shots and bridal shots around the harbour just like pre-covid days. 

What is so rare is to walk along the fully open Overseas Passenger Terminal which has returned to the community as no floating petri dishes are berthed there.


This means you can complete the full length of the NSW Writers’ Walk. Something normally not possible due to security, cruise ships and the travelling hordes. 

Magical to be on the other side of the harbour to enjoy her in all her open beauty. The Writers’ Walk was the initiative of Peter Collins who was a wonderful arts minister. Our dear friend Jenny Cook worked with him on realising this project and many more.


Amongst those underfoot the wonderful Elizabeth Jolley, P. J. Travers (whose statue in Ashfield I shared with you), A. B. Facey and Watkin Tench, often described as a thoughtful and humane writer.


I couldn’t help but wonder after all he experienced what A. B. Facey would think to see himself in this glamorous environment of the Emerald City, there shining in gold in the morning sun alongside the harbour. He would think, quite simply, fortunate.



The Red Light Green Light doll from the Netflix series Squid Games was brought to Sydney for Halloween. How apt with her scary red eyes, her height and the horror of the distorted game represented in Squid Games.


I visited the doll as a change of pace for my 10-12kms on Saturday and again on Sunday. Devoted to you - my generous backers. 

(Much thought went into each day’s walking so I could give you the best experience in my photo feed of life in Sydney, which I have diligently uploaded following every major walk. I wanted you to ”get your money’s worth!! A generous ROI!!” If you haven’t looked at them recently, please do so as in total they remain a lovely documentation of lockdown living and the seductive whimsy and wonder of this great city.)


The experience of the doll in person was delightful. The crowd included a large number of hipster millennials, devotees of the show of all ages and backgrounds, and a significant number of young mums with prams and children.


I think the excitement of being out post lockdown and having a reason to go the city also added to the calm sense of community around her. 

The magical moment was when the theme song started and EVERYONE was silent. Absolutely could hear a pin drop. I marvel to be in a big city where silence can happen.

One morning, children started to play the game, and tik tokers posed for their shots.


Another day, not one person moved. Her head turned, the music played and then she came back with her red eyes. Silence.


An eery sense of people remembering the game in the series with the awful outcomes.


The ANZ marketing manager for Netflix happily posted on LinkedIn about this great activation and it was. Fantastic positioning. But the comments are quite extraordinary and mostly condemning him and them for having her on display.


Sorry Tony, but this isn't great. It’s hard enough trying to shield the influence from my 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son as it is. And now there’s this, out there in public, on Circular Quay! My daughter has asked me about the show because one of her friends has snuck a watch of it, and she’s seen that this child alluring iconography appears everywhere. And man, my 4 year old son asked about it too. Let that sink in. A 4 year old. Your marketing of this horrific show has won over the zeitgeist and there’s barely a thing a parent can do to shield our children from it. We didn’t ask for it. I think I might cry when I see a kid on the trick or treat trail on the weekend. But at least I know I’ve been able to tell you this here. Tony, us parents are struggling with all this. Busier parents might even be oblivious to their kids celebrating this game in the playgrounds or watching the show. Speaking to other parents, the stories are the same, if not worse. You just have to do better than this.


I know this is real. And I know the tension amongst my networks with their children dressing up as the guards for their trick and treating, but their parents banning them from watching the show. It is pervasive.


What Red Light Green Light the doll reminded me of was a blissful childhood and my happiest of days at the Cathedral Primary School in Bathurst. We played statues so often down the back near the big trees and just I love love loved it. That was when we were not climbing the same trees and oh so many of my friends breaking limbs. Childhood is all about living in trees, broken limbs, grazed bleeding knees, bee stings.


It’s nice to reminisce and it’s nice to have schoolfriends join me here for this walk as your fellow Heart Hero/ines. My dear friend I have known the longest whose mum and mine were in hospital at the same time to have us. My lovely friend I met in kindergarten in 1966 and with whom I share a birthday, who I have never forgotten and have always thought of on that day. My friends from high school with whom I played netball.  Lifelong friends. All so precious to me.


I had to sacrifice much to do this fundraising. And I will do it again. Sleep, reading, social phone calls, seeing friends and relatives and any life beyond walking, working and sleeping. How wonderful to come home from the last gruelling effort to find a beautiful message and donation from one of my fellow Ukelele Ladies. I ditched my ukulele for walking and cannot wait to start learning it again.


Thank you all, from all parts of my life, for your generous donations, encouragement, and support.


Together we have raised $4273 placing me –us– 9th out of 19,942 participants, on the leader board. We rock!


Overall, this MyMarathon has raised $1,189,070 for the Heart Foundation.


Think of the research this will fund, the innovations, the ideas, the things that will improve and save lives.


I shall write this week to thank each of you.

Happily donations can continue to be made over the next month so I shall continue to talk about this on my socials as I want to ensure as much money as can be raised is. 

Hearts matter. Your heart, my heart, our hearts.





To put this marathon business into perspective

Here is what 200kms look like.

So far I have clocked up 250km.

No more dash 8s to the Berra - I have walked there!!

Every donation has motivated me to walk more. 

And so I will, until my final walk on Sunday.

Your last three days to support me!! 

Thank you 🙏🙏🙏 for supporting critically important heart disease research by the wonderful Heart Foundation. 

It may in the past saved your own life and It may in the future.

Stay well and stay safe.

Thank you to my Heart 💓💓💓 Heroes and Heroines for walking  🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️with me.

I am so grateful we are doing this together.


✅ Treat yourself as your own carer. Often we compare ourselves to what we used to do or what others are doing. But that can make us feel worse. If you were caring for someone, how would you speak to them?
✅ Go back to basics. Are you sleeping enough? Eating regular, healthy meals? Moving when you can? Are you socialising? Planning things to look forward to? What helps you relax? Sometimes positive wellbeing is about just keeping things rolling, one step at a time.
✅ Get to know yourself (or your new self). The You as you know it has possibly changed, and this can be pretty unsettling. Take some time just to get to know who you are now. What have you learned about yourself lately? What’s important to you? What brings you joy?
✅ Seek support and lean on others. Have conversations with friends, loved ones and health professionals about how they can support your health journey.
Learn more from Clinical Psychologist Carlye Weiner:

Have your say and help the Heart Foundation 🙏🙏🙏

More Australians die from heart 💓💓💓disease than any other cause, and research is our greatest weapon in the fight against cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The Heart Foundation is committed to funding the highest impact research into CVD, with ten $1 million Strategic Grants awarded in the past two years. 

These grants have been and will be informed by people like you – researchers, health professionals, those with lived experience and their community.

Have your say and help us find the gaps where further research is vitally needed:

Could smart watches be used to diagnose heart conditions? 🤔

Could smart watches be used to diagnose heart conditions? 🤔 

A/Prof Kumar is researching whether they can, AND the early results are promising! 📈

"People from all age groups will experience palpitations or irregularities in their heart rate at some point in their lifetime,” says A/ Prof Kumar. “The older you are, the more likely you are to have a heart rhythm problem, which can be serious and can lead to a stroke or even sudden death."

The standard way of diagnosing heart rhythm abnormalities is with an electrocardiogram (ECG), but these are not very portable.

In exciting news, A/Prof Kumar's research has found certain smart watches may perform as well a normal ECG. 

Learn more about this innovative research 👉

Flânerie, the great war reporter Martha Gellhorn told Victoria Glendinning, “is as necessary as solitude: that is how the compost keeps growing in the mind”.

So much to enjoy in this article. I loved this:

Rather than wandering aimlessly, like her male counterpart, the female flâneur has an element of transgression: she goes where she’s not supposed to.

Oh if only that were true for me. But is not.

Photo copyright: Martha Gellhorn in May 1946. Photograph: FPG/Getty Images

We'll always have Paris

Je suis une flâneuse extraordinaire. 

C’est toute.


I have been thinking a lot about walking.


Not surprisingly after 226kms in the past 22 days.


Thinking the last time I walked so much, so consistently, so daily, was in Paris. A city made for walking, where we were lucky to have a base living with dear friends Louise and Rob.


A dear school friend and Heart Hero suggested to me on the weekend I must be enjoying all this walking. My answer quite surprised me as I said no, not really.


Intellectually I LOVE the walking as an achievement, viewing this as if a virtual computer game of some sort. I LOVE meeting and exceeding targets. Treating this like a campaign, something I do for walk and LOVE planning and winning campaigns.


I LOVE the walking has brought us all together and through this mechanism of moving feet over distance we are going to save lives through our fundraising. THAT was my goal. To take my COVID walking and use it to make a difference.


I LOVE that I am well enough to walk. I LOVE that having had to learn to walk again five years ago that I can and can now walk so far. THAT is amazing.


The funds raised - AMAZING.


But am I loving it? Perhaps a question on notice if you will. Perhaps the answer is not yet, but soon!


Many of my school friends are walkers. They actually go on walking holidays. It has until this marathon business been another of life’s great Glorious Mysteries to me (and trust me, we Catholic know those mysteries!). Our recent school reunions have been joyous tales of adventures following in the steps of the pilgrims. Others just do a quick 10 or more kms on bush walks around our beautiful city. Miraculous. Inspiring. Not me.


My walks would more commonly be between meetings with friends at a gallery, a bar, a café, an exhibition, a cinema, a ferry, an event, a launch, a talk, a debate or a picnic.


The truth is I am a flâneuse. Always was and always will be. I have made it an artform.


Perhaps some may say a boulevardiere.


If you turn to wikepedia, something I would not usually quote, it suggests Flâneur derives from the Old Norse verb flana, 'to wander with no purpose'.

The flâneur was defined in 1872 in a long article in Pierre Larousse's Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle. It described the flâneur in ambivalent terms, equal parts curiosity and laziness, and presented a taxonomy of flânerieflâneurs of the boulevards, of parks, of the arcades, of cafés; mindless flâneurs and intelligent ones.

With Edgar Allan Poe's short story The Man of the Crowd, the flâneur entered the literary scene. Charles Baudelaire discusses "The Man of the Crowd" in The Painter of Modern Life;[6] it would go on to become a key example in Walter Benjamin's essay "On Some Motifs in Baudelaire", which theorizes the role of the crowd in modernity. 


Baudelaire has long been a close and dear companion. As have the metaphysical poets. In recent years, reading a poem a day has been a spoiling discipline, introduced to me by Terry Cutler. I know poets and marvel that I do. That these workers of wonder live amongst us.


During COVID, one of several of my COVID Projects was to give away my library of books. I resisted the Maria Kondo test of considering which sparked joy. Each and everyone did – the joy of memory, of discovery, of the bookshop in Paris or at MOMA in New York.


To farewell each book was to farewell a child. It did not spark joy, it was a wrench. It needed to be done.


After the first couple of hundred were carried by bus (the only safe way I could leave home)  to one of three public libraries in batches of 8 or how many I could carry, the next ones were bundled for two local charities that actually sell books. Then four street libraries became the regular beneficiaries.


During my walks in COVID, and for this marathon, I would start my twice weekly walks in Randwick with a drop off at the Noffs Street Library. Their shelves were empty as libraries were closed and people needed to read. I was discomforted to read that there are professional book thieves who were raiding the donated books so they could sell them and so I moved my donations to smaller more local ones in Randwick gardens on my walks.


Baudelaire was one of the last of my books to go to a new reader. My poetry collection was the last to be broken up. But as if to be rewarded, a lovely Heart Hero has gifted me three new books of poetry. A gift to me to deliver to The Women’s Club for the Rose Scott Library, whose poetry collection has already been supported in recent years by this Heroine.


During the COVID clusterf###, which started where I shop and live and breathe, my walks became more local and the opportunity to be The Flâneuse disappeared as the city scaled down. My world was 12 steps where even taking out the rubbish was a risk living in an apartment block. The park full of the maskless wonders in their hundreds.


Today I can feel myself awakening as if from a dream, as my walking can now extend beyond my 5km bubble and I return to a hint, a breath of air, a wisp of a breeze that carries the memory of my former life which is now within grasp. 

We shall see what the results of maskless socialising and the return to work delivers, as Dr Chant expects we shall see within the fortnight. Please God we can get through this as easily as we now deserve.


On my walk this morning I have never ever seen such excited schoolchildren of all ages, rushing to see friends, squealing as they embraced at the interchange, big boys with faces full of smiles as they shoulder hugged each other, wearing masks, or not, the smiles so big.


I have come home to see my socials light up with the joy of parents whose home schooling days have ended. For their good and the good of the nation, this is a good thing.


The breeze blows through the jacaranda in the home office and the national anthem from the school can be heard as it is every morning.


Plus ça change my friends. Plus ça change.


Was COVID a dream?


Was this marathon a dream?


When shall the flâneuse return to her former life and walk maskless through a gallery?


Read and enjoy:







Wow wow wow. Look what we together have helped achieve. 

This is why I walk. 

This is why you so generously backed me. 


Thank you for generously embracing my marathon and in doing so, together, we are achieving so much 

In memory I lit candles and prayed, on my morning walk

 Thinking of you and your family.

“My God is the God of walkers. If you walk hard enough, you probably don’t need any other god.” ~ Bruce Chatwin


“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.” ~ Raymond Carver


“The moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.” ~ Henry David Thoreau


I took my mind for a walk

‘I took my mind a walk
Or my mind took me a walk—
Whichever was the truth of it…

…And my mind observed to me, 
Or I to it, how ordinary 
Extraordinary things are or

How extraordinary ordinary 
Things are, like the nature of the mind
And the process of observing.”

 ~ Norman MacCaig 

Have you heard of the term ‘cardiac blues’? 💙💔

Have you heard of the term ‘cardiac blues’? 💙💔 It's really normal to feel down or even experience depression or anxiety after a heart attack.

✅ Find someone to talk to. It could be someone in your healthcare team, a family member, or a friend.

✅ Keep active and maintain your connection with family and friends.

✅ Meet people who’ve been through the same thing you have via cardiac rehab or a support group.

✅ Join the Heart Foundation's free My Heart, My Life support and recovery program. You'll receive online and physical resources, through your email and phone from the Heart Foundation.

Join the My Heart, My Life program as a patient or carer:

Checking your own heart 💕💕 health

A timely message from A/Prof Ralph Audehm as more Australians emerge from COVID-19 restrictions. 

As recent modelling has shown, nearly 350 heart attacks, strokes or heart-related deaths over the next five years could have been prevented if 27,000 Heart Health Checks had not been missed or delayed due to the pandemic. CVD prevention has never been so critical.

Don't delay it any further; speak to your GP today about having a heart health check 👉

You can also check out the full article about the current landscape of CVD prevention in a post-COVID world 👉

I am an archer firing arrows from a horse

Tai Chi and Qigong have enormous benefits.  

I have commenced this during the marathon. I want to ensure my body and mind continue to align ...and to keep this walking machine in best condition, with increased stamina and aerobic capacity!

I love pretending I am an archer on a horse 🐴🐴shooting arrows 💘💘💘 on both side, riding triumphantly to safety.

Just consider the benefits:

  • Decreased stress, anxiety and depression.
  • Improved mood.
  • Improved aerobic capacity.
  • Increased energy and stamina.
  • Improved flexibility, balance and agility.
  • Improved muscle strength and definition.
How generous it is that I can learn this for free, in the comfort of my home, thanks to the Randwick Public Library.

We are almost there .....and here is an incentive for new donations

You are not a drunk, so just stop walking like one!!!

Walking in the city at dawn - indeed anywhere around Sydney -  is not something that makes me feel safe. I need to choose very carefully where I go, as it can be both isolated and populated by people for whom life has thrown some challenges. I know male friends never have this same concern when they head to the park or pound the pavements, but it is real.


COVID made the city both a blissfully empty and COVID safe place, part of which just made it into my 5km bubble. The bubble crossed Martin Place and the entrance to the Botanic Gardens removing the glorious harbour and garden walks as an option until we “hit” the magical vaccination targets.


When I started this walk, I started planning each day’s walk so as to give you - my donors and my Heart Heroes - some variety. I also took my happy snaps so you could join me on my walks. I have uploaded them nearly every day since I started training on 26 August. 

Most are places and spaces well-known to me, but for many of you in the country, interstate, overseas, they are your absent friends – the stuff of memories – or new discoveries from my beautiful historic Sydney.


It was walking down Park Street one early Sunday morning when I stopped to take some photos of the architecture and then the Peace Justice and Unity mural on Pilgrim House.


My shock was great when an intense and angry man pushed me sideways as he came from behind.


“Get the F### out of my way. GOD you make me sooo angry. Just wandering all over the place. You are not a drunk so stop walking like one. 

"Just stop this. I’ve had enough of you.”


“Don’t talk to me. Get out of my f###in way. “


This tirade did stop me in my tracks as I had been lost in reverie and photographic considerations. Rather than safety which usually sits on my shoulder.  Reminding me to think before I make a decision on which side of a deserted street I will walk.

The one thing on which we could both agree is I definitely was not drunk!!


I worry about the number of homeless people and buskers who have lost their income from the passing CBD workers. I know the city has provided some interventions which saw people housed in hotels as part of an amazing collective action of peak bodies to ensure our most vulnerable had care. Homed in hotels with beds for real sleep without danger, running water, food. Showing what we as a society can do if we try, so let’s see what we can do now the new normal returns.


Last Sunday I returned from the Opera House from a joyful gathering with my sister’s school friends coming off the back of me finishing my fourth marathon that morning. I had been up since 4am to make the deadline of emerging fresh and fancy for an 11am meetup for the first sitting at the Opera Bar.  

Due to the bushfires and then COVID my first trip to a Bar since March 2019 was on 12 June 2020. It was a day of such excitement to be outdoors at the Opera Bar, after seeing the extraordinary Bangarra. Who knew two weeks later when our lives seemed to be returning my local area would become an epicentre, where I missed 15 exposure sites by often an hour or a day.

So to be back at the Opera Bar, was Redux. It was exhilirating, surreal and lovely.

Looking perhaps a little less fresh at 7pm when I arrived at Bondi Junction station, apparently I still looked fancy. The intimidating homeless man I used to always see at my public library decided to abuse me as I passed him to reach my bus. “Look at you with your smart and fancy clothes, thinking you are just so great”….the rest of the tirade was too foul for me to repeat. A deserted bus interchange with this gentleman two doors away was not where I wanted to end a glorious day. 

But hey after 15 weeks in leisure wear, other than on work zooms, I’ll take fancy as a compliment. It’s been slim pickings in my small COVID world.


Nothing took the joy away from welcoming two more generous donations at drinks where fabulous old fashioned cash was given to me to boost my efforts. You girls rock!!


Just 10 days ago, I said I would do a fourth marathon if five more donors would support me. Ask and You shall receive. I received those five and then some.  From all parts of my life. Cousins, school friends, fellow film lovers, clients and arts colleagues. Love that all of you want to support heart disease research.


I have been moved by the stories you share with me about your own experience with what some now call “heart events”, with such sadness for your families, and such worry for yourself.


May we together feel confident that our donations to the Heart Foundation will help other families, other friends, other work colleagues, through their amazing research and their network of support services to get ahead of heart health issues.


Amazingly so many of you have joined me for this walk as generous donors – and together we have ranked our fundraising to 7 out of the 16,087 participants in this year's #MyMarathon.


The average raised by each participant is $284.


YOU have knocked this out of the park!


I want to thank YOU – my wonderful and very generous Heart Heroes.


Thank you Anonymous (many, and I do not know who you all are, no matter how much I wonder), Bek Hamed, Sandra Charlton, Verna Trotter, Maryanne Steinman, Roxy Kavanagh, David Donaldson, Samantha Fin, Ron Ogden, Genevieve Spence, Marg Hombsch, Evonne Atallah,  Nicholas Wright, Derryn and Yosi Tal, Angela Kwan, Lachlan Astle, Li Lydia Feng, Anne Seve, Nicole Jorgensen, Louise Humphreys, Paige Livingston and Thomas, Ziggy, Dex and Chewie the Wonder Dog; Anne Frankenberg,  Sara Bold, Bridget Fair, Anna Schibrowski, Lalita Mathias, Shevaun David, Abdou Hachini, Margie Cook AO, Tim Storer, Jenny Buckland, Kristin Bengtsson, Rebecca Davies AO, Michaela Conomos and Cooper Conomos, Margot Bain and family, Katharine Rogers, Mary Jane McKerihan, Anita McKerihan, Kathy Murray, Nicky Cummins and the Alexander family, Leisa and Kenny and the Croker family, Jenny Gordon, Rob Antulov, Joanne Motta, Matt Jones, Susan Wyndham, Penny Gordon, Nola Gordon, Rosemary Noonan …and the one who keeps his digital footprint small.


And who knew I had it in me, I have completed four marathons and just for the fun of it I will soon add to that

a virtual City to Surf – being virtual, no Heartbreak Hill to kill me.

Here is my photo from Sunday morning at 7am where the City to Surf usually would start. With something like 50,000 people of varying fitness jostling with excitement.


I am behind in my personal notes to my new donors and I hope you can forgive me. I just wanted to keep walking!!!






Thousands of Victorians are still with us because a brave bystander stepped in and took lifesaving action. 🦸🦸‍♂️

. 🦸🦸‍♂️

Every day around 18 Victorians will have a cardiac arrest, with only 1 in 10 surviving. 

Bystander intervention has the greatest impact on improving that rate.

We know that CPR doubles your chance of survival. Using an AED (or defibrillator or 'defib') increases survival even further. 

Ambulance Victoria has dubbed October '#Shocktober', as they encourage all Victorians to learn how to use an AED or defib, locate their nearest AED or defib, and sign up to become a #GoodSAM Responder. 

GoodSAM is a free app that alerts registered responders when someone nearby is in cardiac arrest. We know the app has already saved more than 50 lives and we encourage anyone who knows hands only CPR to sign up today at: 

To learn #CPR and how to use an AED, head to

Your donations have facilitated some amazing things! 💭👏

Your donations have facilitated some amazing things! 💭👏

One of these is the free My Heart, My Life recovery program. It is the FIRST of its kind in Australia, helping people with heart disease and support people with their recovery in an easy and stress-free way.

So far, 4,335 people have signed up for the My Heart, My Life program! ❤️

Have you or a loved one been affected by heart disease? 

Join the My Heart, My Life Facebook group:

Look at what you and I have achieved. Wow!! 💃🥂👏🦸‍♀️🎉😷

15 October, with two days off….

Look at what your generous support is making possible ❤️💚💛❤️💚💛💓💓

Professor Khachigian is passionate about finding new and effective treatments for cardiovascular disease because it is a major cause of death in Australia 📈❤️

"Medical research can make a real difference to our lives; think of medical applications of penicillin, spray-on skin to treat burns, Cochlear implants, and vaccines to prevent cervical cancer. These are all impactful Australian inventions." - Prof Khachigian 🔍

Giving researchers the chance to turn these "out-of-the-box" ideas into reality is only possible because of the generosity of Heart Foundation donors. 

That is you! My 53 Heart Heroes and your families. Even the super dog Chewie is backing me. This is what we are making possible.


Read the full Q&A with Professor Levon Khachigian:

Saying goodbye

Deep and dissolving verticals of light

Ferry the falls of moonshine down. Five bells.


There is never an evening journey on the Queenscliff when I do not contemplate the wonderful poem Five Bells by Kenneth Slessor. 

The night trips sitting outside, accompanied by the seagulls who fly low and close as if an escort.


The Queenscliff has been a part of our lives since our twenties and it was with sadness this week we took our last loving trip of farewell. (I used the trip to the city to get in my kms before getting on board and you will already have seen some of my Quay photos.)


It was a swell of a ride where the swell was so great, we could not remain outdoors. The seats we usually take were closed off due to Covid spacing but we found the other side open for us to document for the last time.


This ferry entered service on July 9 1983 as a replacement for the ageing ‘NORTH HEAD' and 'BARAGOOLA', built in 1913 and 1922 respectively.


Our lives have always been city and country, the bush and the water. Our father grew up on the land and our mother in cities. Born in Adelaide, as a child she moved to Queenscliff and lived in that area, also in Manly, before moving to Fiji during the war with her parents, as our grandfather was in essential telecommunications. When they moved back, they moved to Balgowlah which is a magical part of the world.


We would often drive down to Sydney after school on Fridays. Our parents shucking oysters and we enjoyed fresh fish, something that was hard to get at home in the country during those years. 

Our idyllic childhoods were spent swimming in Forty Baskets, walking through Fairlight to the two beaches where we spent every school holiday, even earlier with our grandparents from when we were babies. When old enough we would ferry in to see films in George Street, as our Bathurst local cinema closed. We travelled over and back with such excitement, loving the swells and the sense of adventure. Our mother’s uncle owned one of the big homes at Queenscliff which is also Harbord and so Queenscliff has long been a name told and known and an area explored regularly.


Our father used to always say Ferry Nice when the ferry would pass us and we loved also watching from afar, from Tania Park Dobroyd, as the big ferries did their pas de deux between the heads.


In more recent years, we have experienced the generosity of our friend at Freshie who opened her home for me, my sister and my mother to enjoy as staycations - and a place for my recovery. Her generosity continues as she supports the marathon. I also was welcomed into another beautiful Freshie home where I rested whilst cat sitting the most loving of cats, and I love his mother is here supporting me.


It’s been a week of other farewells.  We are with you in spirit, even though we cannot be with you in person.


Sydneysiders have this week farewelled the COVID lockdown in our 5km bubbles with a let her rip approach sweeping through the state. Record numbers of people have turned up for vaccination and it looks as though the 80% target with increased freedom to move, to visit friends, to live a fuller life, is mere days away from being met. Miraculous.


My walks for you may become a little more varied, as I plan my daily walks to capture Sydney through my eyes. Or they may not.  My gift to you. To thank you for your gift in supporting me and the Heart Foundation on this marathon of a fundraising effort.


I remain in the top 10 for fundraising, out of 14,752 participants. How amazing is that – the alphas amongst us know what that means. Together this is what you and I have achieved.  


I welcome those newly on board - Ron Ogden, Samantha Fin, Sandra Charlton, and three other anonymous donors joining with such generosity. I love I only know who one of you is. You are my Heart Heroes. Welcome to Team VG, or VAG Squad depending how long you have known me.


Please visit my photos which I post every day from my walks. Many show a city living with COVID and are a snapshot of this time. Some show the city revealing herself and her new face. The COVID signs and public messaging. Others are sharing my favourite spots.


I am also sharing photos each day through facebook stories during the marathon month of October. I know many of you love my music as I curate the experience more fully than I can here.


I have completed 3 marathons in 12 days. 126 kms to be precise. It is - to be frank - surreal.


I did call out on Facebook to say if I have extra donations I shall do a fourth. I have 2 out of the 5 donations I need to do that. So, let’s see if we cannot keep knocking this fundraising out of the park and help save lives – your lives, the lives of those close to you, the lives of people we will never meet.


I end as I say goodbye, with Kenneth Slessor. 


A poet and official correspondent during the Second World War. He grew up in Orange, in the beautiful part of Central NSW near where I grew up.


There are always connections when you are dealing with me! You should know that by now….



Time that is moved by little fidget wheels
Is not my time, the flood that does not flow.
Between the double and the single bell
Of a ship's hour, between a round of bells
From the dark warship riding there below,
I have lived many lives, and this one life
Of Joe, long dead, who lives between five bells.








Visiting old friends and new

In 10 days I have walked 104kms, completing 2.5 marathons and will close this one off in the next day or two.

With you, we have together through our donations raised $3,000 for critical heart disease research. I cannot imagine there is anyone who has not been touched by heart disease and thank you for such generous support.

Some of you, my generous supporters, have lived through significant heart events, others have lost parents to these conditions, many of you are yourself keeping moving to prevent it in you own life.

Other Heart Heroes have loved my photos of lockdown and the joy it has given you - and for some your children - which encouraged your donations.

Together you all have filled my heart with joy and for this I thank you.

I thank you for supporting me and will keep walking later in the month to complete one more marathon if new supporters would like to join me.

This week is an intense work week for me, starting with a ministerial Roundtable this morning and of course an intense focus on the forthcoming election so my week this week is interior.

I also will need to take a week off for recovery - my little feet have said ENOUGH!

It is the first day of so called freedoms here in NSW so shall look at it safely, whilst the maskless hordes re-enter my world the epicentre of the Bondi Cluster and my health takes priority until we see how our new living with covid world evolves.

For those of you unable to yet be out in the world I shall keep you company here each week and do a weekly posting on facebook until you feel you can. I will not leave anyone behind.

Not walking today, I completed my 15th home haircut this morning and used my third set of foils for the home hair dye job. Framed by zoom it is a miracle to behold. Just don’t sit behind me on a bus!!

The theme of this week’s walking was to visit old friends I have missed and meet a new one. Oh. And we did a hike around Maroubra to the shooting range for an hour and a half just to up the pace.

Old friends being the magical and affecting work of Janet Laurence and Tracey Emin, works I would in usual times visit regularly and the beautiful new work of Lindy Lee whose retrospective commences this month.

Old friends who I remember, whose memories walk with me at the AIDS memorial in Darlinghurst, who shared my Darlinghurst days at work, at play.

The site of the Academy Twin which I used to manage is now finally revealing its new form.

Old friends being the writers underfoot on the NSW Writers’ Walk which Peter Collins and our beautiful friend Jenny Cook made possible. Thinking of meeting so many of them and campaigning with so many of them for PLR, ELR, Women for Wik, reconciliation and other social justice campaigns, including the quite wonderful Faith Bandler - remembering her laugh, her inspiration, her tenacity, her optimism.

The Distance of Your Heart
As my artwork I would like to make a counter site in Sydney for the young, the old, the backpackers, the tourists and the businessmen and women; somewhere else they can have their image taken to send back to the loved ones that they miss, that conveys the feelings of distance and homesickness.

– Tracey Emin, 2014
At the city’s northern end on Bridge and Grosvenor streets and through the refurbished Kent Street underpass, The Distance of Your Heart features more than 60 delicate handmade bronze bird sculptures, designed by acclaimed British artist Tracey Emin. The bird sculptures perch on poles, above doorways and on awnings, enticing walkers along the thoroughfare.

The Edge of the Trees
A 'forest' of 29 massive pillars – sandstone, wood and steel – cluster near the museum entrance. Wooden pillars from trees once grown in the area have been recycled from lost industrial buildings of Sydney. The names of 29 Aboriginal clans from around Sydney correspond to the 29 vertical poles. Walking between the pillars you hear a soundscape of Koori voices reciting the names of places in the Sydney region that have today been swallowed up by the metropolis.

Organic materials such as human hair, shell, bone, feathers, ash and honey, are embedded in windows within the elements, evoking prior ways of life. Natural and cultural histories are evoked by the names of botanical species carved or burnt into wooden columns in both Latin and Aboriginal languages, along with the signatures of First Fleeters. Place names are engraved on the sandstone pillars in English and Aboriginal languages.

Secret World of a Starlight Ember
More than five metres wide, Secret World of a Starlight Ember is an ellipsis of polished stainless-steel pierced with thousands of tiny holes.

By day it captures the surroundings and the viewer's image dissolves into it, reminding us of one of Lee's key concerns: how we are inextricably part of the universe.

At night, there is a reversal as the light permeates out through almost 100,000 perforations, like looking up at the night sky with its myriad stars.

Photos of these have been posted as I have walked. I try to share each day in real time with you, but have missed a day or two as I had my first day at my sister's home yesterday for five months which was beyond exciting - a roast chicken Sunday lunch to celebrate the next stage of our COVID life.

Cry Freedom!

Dear Heart Heroes, my name for you, my most generous of supporters.


Cry Freedom!

Here in beautiful Sydney, we are mere days away from our locked down lives being able to move beyond a 5km radius from home. 

It’s been a joyful week to see our parks full of socially distanced groups of families and friends of all ages enjoying picnics. 🧺🧺

Who knew such things could be popular again.


The scenes at Maroubra yesterday were the stuff of 1920s paintings in the Art Gallery of NSW. It was a glorious end to a long weekend.


A weekend where my only goal was to honour your investment and trust in me.


It’s exciting to be outside. With enough 🦠😷🦠😷masks around to feel the safest I have for weeks.


For me COVID has been an indoor experience, with five months of isolation from April last year, relying on my sister, my beautiful neighbour and her son, and a lady I have never met to look after me. The kindness of strangers really is the standout of this pandemic.


But I see that kindness 🙏🙏🙏 and selflessness everywhere. Every day.


I am an Ambassador for Crisis Heroes 🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️, a free community platform where you can offer or seek help. You can log on if you need help with shopping, supplies, food, mail, business or emotional support. Across Australia we have had more than 10,000 people volunteering to help strangers in their local areas. Amazing.


Living in the Bondi* Cluster epicentre, a lady is still doing my shopping for urgent things and has during the last lockdown. (*technically the Bondi Junction Cluster, but of course more suited in the media’s mind to be associate with the hipster Bondi brand!)


Happily, I am now fully vaccinated 💉💉 plus three weeks, and in the past three weeks my neighbourhood’s numbers have dropped so low, it’s allowed me to start doing my own careful shopping.


Most importantly, it has enabled me to do this 🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️marathon. Which I could not have achieved had I been relying on my 12 steps wide home in which I wore out my carpet last year.


I started walking so I would be in my best condition if I had to go to hospital with COVID. It’s pretty simple when seen through that lens.


I then thought how can I use that walking to help other people’s lives? Can this walking do anything for anyone else?


It seems from your generous support you all see research into heart disease as important. I also know heart 💕💕💕 issues have affected many of your lives quite dramatically. It is an honour to be able to work with you to raise these funds.


Today, after knocking over my first ultra marathon, I wanted to say thank you to everyone.

And for you to know who each other is as you are my Heart Heroes, on Team VG, or VAG Squad (depending how well you know me to appreciate that name).


I love that people from every part of my life are here. Lifelong school friends from Bathurst, my lovely and amazing sister, cousins and an aunt, dear caring neighbours, work colleagues who have become friends, long-time friends from jobs in the distant past, new playmates and adventurers, clients, arts friends, fellow volunteers on boards and committees, and others I shan’t attempt to categorise but are important in my life.


Thank you Evonne Atallah, Nicholas Wright, Genevieve Spence, Derryn and Yosi Tal, Angela Kwan, Lachlan Astle, Li Lydia Feng, Marg Hombsch, Anne Seve, Nicole Jorgensen, Louise Humphries, Paige Livingston and Thomas, Ziggy, Dex and Chewie; Anne Frankenberg; Sara Bold, Bridget Fair, Anna Schibrowski, Lalita Mathias, Shevaun David, Abdou Hachini, Margie Cook AO, Tim Storer, Jenny Buckland, Kristin Bengtsson, Rebecca Davies AO, Michaela Conomos and Cooper Conomos, Margot Bain and family, Katharine Rogers, Mary Jane McKerihan, Anita McKerihan, Kathy Murray, Nicky Cummins and the Alexander family, Leisa and Kenny and the Croker family, Jenny Gordon, Rob Antulov, Joanne Motta, Matt Jones, Susan Wyndham, Penny Gordon, Nola Gordon, Rosemary Noonan and my secret supporters.


Now enough from me.


Time to get back to work (thank you former Premier Berejiklian for making my worklife more intense) and time to rest up for tomorrow’s dawn effort on marathon 2.


Wish me luck as you wave 👋👋 me goodbye.


Cheerio, here I go, on my way.










Dawn of a new day

🎶🎶 Woah, we're [more than]half way there
Woah, livin' on a prayer
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Woah, livin' on a prayer
Livin' on a prayer 🎶🎶

5:42am AEDT and 3kms 🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️under my belt.

See you at the end of the day where I hope to have completed the marathon!!!!! 

My first ever!!!

Thank you for being with me my dear Heart 💓💓💓Heroes 

5am and the sky is blue

A sliver of moon and a dawn chorus of bird song.

Wish me luck for day 2.

The calm after the storm.


Long have I been a fláneur. I have regularly walked but not at pace, as I take happy snaps looking for small moments of beauty, the unseen, the whimsy, the beauty of nature and call of the urban as it jostles up against history.


I was out the door this morning at 630am to kick start this marathon. It is daunting,  but as one of you, my generous heart heroes, just said on our 830am call "you've got it". And I have.


To know Bondi Junction is to love it, to hate it, or to dismiss it, but often to not value it.


Waverley Council several years ago invited the community to contribute to a branding campaign to show it some love.


I put forward "The Heart of the East" as my campaign sentiment and was delighted to be chosen. A $200 Westfield voucher to thank me, far cheaper than the usual 5 figure sum of branding campaigns with which I have been involved. I was so proud to see my campaign on flags throughout the council area and hoped people felt some pride in their local area.


I feel the heart of the Junction comes from the diverse mix of people. From the families affected by the Holocaust, others from war torn countries over the decades, the locals whose families have lived here forever, the working class families who have kept the city alive, the small business owners working long hours - through to the modern day backpackers who fill the Tea Gardens Hotel in their hi vis every Saturday. Known as Dublin by the Sea as their magical language and never-ending conversations try to calm the police who regularly suggest it's time for them to leave.


You can trip over movie stars and international models any week at Westfield, whilst bumping up against the poorest people in a very disadvantaged community for whom the $2 shops are their Westfield.


It's a neighbourhood that just works and the unexpectedness of it all has a charm to be considered.


Underfoot we have what are quite profound contemplations of our own stories. Public Art makes a huge contribution to what is to the first-time observer a wasteland, but if you walk and look down when you do the rewards are rich. 


In Oxford Street Mall, the memory of the historic tram tracks has been included as paving inlays. Through a combination of cast and engraved text, using Indigenous and non-indigenous words and pictorial elements, the inlays are poetic imagery of divergent and shared experiences of "land", "home", and "place". 

The device of the cartographic grid of 18th and 19th century mapmakers is used to plot connections between related words and concepts in differing languages.


The work is called  Mural, Sand, Dust and Dry Earth.


It utilises the journal entries of Lieutenant William Dawes, a First Fleet officer and astronomer, whose journals were the earliest European attempt to systematically record the local language of the Eora people. The work employs his handwritten records of conversation between himself and a young Indigenous woman and cultural ambassador for the Eora, Patyegarang whom he befriended. 

They are perhaps the earliest records of intimate, personal relations between Europeans and Indigenous people.


It is profound and I spent some time this morning considering it so I could share it with you here.


I am 5km into the marathon which I commenced today. Being a wet grey day, that’s not too shabby a launch.

Thank you for encouraging and support me.

Where do your generous donations go?

Where do the funds go? 

When I signed up for MyMarathon and asked friends and family to sponsor me, I knew it will be making a meaningful difference to my own heart health, as well as the hearts of others.

Your funds will help support:

  • lifesaving heart research that could transform heart disease diagnosis and treatment
  • health professionals who prevent and treat heart disease
  • programs, resources and professional advice for people at risk of heart disease. 
Thank you for supporting this critically important work.

Thank you for walking with me.

When I signed up for MyMarathon and asked my friends and family to sponsor me, I am making a meaningful difference to my own heart health, as well as the hearts of others.

Your funds will help support:

  • lifesaving heart research that could transform heart disease diagnosis and treatment
  • health professionals who prevent and treat heart disease
  • programs, resources and professional advice for people at risk of heart disease. 
Thank you 💓💓💓👏👏👏

🎶🎶Don’t Know Why, There’s No Sun Up In The Sky 🎶🎶🎶

Meteorologists warn an approaching weather system will bring potential thunderstorms on Wednesday, lasting at least three days and reaching from southern Queensland through New South Wales and into northern Victoria. 

Large hail, damaging wind gusts and potential flash flooding are forecast.

It might take a few days longer for me to knock this marathon out of the waterlogged park my friends!!

I could have walked to my beautiful home town of Bathurst

Given the number of kms I have walked 🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️ in training this month I could have walked from Sydney to Bathurst!! Wow!! 😱

It would have been a slow walk - much like droving cattle along a stock route. Used to love seeing this and stopping for the cattle and sheep to move across the roads.

"In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy

Gone a-droving 'down the Cooper' where the Western drovers go;

As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,

For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know."

Banjo Patterson, 1889, ‘Clancy of the Overflow’

Here in Sydney the sun rises just before 530am and it feels as is summer is a second away.

It is a glorious time of the year. This Bathurst girl prefers the fresh air and a bit of a chill so my dawn walking in training is my sweet spot.

I looked at the kms I have done - not bad for someone who doesn’t walk or find it easy. Motivated by YOU and by the thought of helping save lives - which I know we together will do with our generous donations.

Today a family I am close to have come on board to support me. A beautiful family who know about heart ♥️♥️💜 challenges and have seen first hand what amazing support can be found.

If my walking helps one more family live a beautiful long life then that is a gift.

Café life - mere weeks away

One of the great things about my training program for this marathon is planning my daily route. 

I have YOU in mind as I don't want you bored with the roots of the Moreton Bay Figs, the powerful owls or the waves at Clovelly.

In recent weekends I have lapped the city (the limit of my 5km border crossing cuts through Martin Place!). 

Approaching it down Oxford Street from the Junction to Hyde Park then back through Darlinghurst.

I thought it was time to show you Surry Hills, particularly given so many of my generous supporters are in the country or interstate. Some in heavy lockdown in Melbs, others in what looks to be the most beautiful cave in Australia at the moment - WA!

Surry Hills is full of boutiques, hipsters with dogs, and a huge young population. 

Walking through it at 8am it is hard to judge if people are just out of bed, homeless or impossibly fashion forward.

More coffee shops than I have had breakfasts along Crown Street, all extremely COVID safe.

Bills is one of them. A place we have visited when it opened in Darlinghurst in 1993. Bill Granger is one of life's nicest guys and we love his success which sees him now with restaurants in Seoul, Tokyo and London, alongside his Sydney businesses.

The key feature of the first was the communal table. A thing of joy for conversation, adorned with his gorgeous flowers, sun spilling across it. Known for his ricotta hotcakes and honeycomb butter. To Die For.

Try it this weekend:

Bills in Surry Hills was next door to one of the film and tv industry's peak bodies, so many many work meetings of mine over the past decade have been held there. You will trip over filmmakers and stars on many visits. 

But the point of this story is to show you Bills during lockdown preparing for our new COVID safe life. The ugly cement barricades down Crown Street are adorned with commissioned public art, bringing colour and interest and engagement. They take the footpath dining to the street in a socially distanced way. Outdoor eating with safety.

The city has changed for ever and I will share some more photos of George Street as it prepares to be "boulevarded" with cycle ways. COVID has given this mighty city a chance to reconsider itself and our life in it. That has to be a good thing.

My final consideration in terms of key risk factors for heart disease links back to why I am talking about cafes. Ha ha - you were wondering weren't you!



Unhealthy diet is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease in Australia. Australians of all ages generally do not eat enough of the five food groups and eat too many junk foods high in salt, fat and sugar.  

What you eat and drink impacts on several heart disease risk factors such as your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. 

  • Ninety-two percent of Australian adults do not meet the recommended intake for vegetables (5+ servings of vegetables a day), with this proportion increasing over the past two decades. 

  • The average Australian adult eats 2.4 serves of vegetables per day, which is less than half the recommended amount. 

  • Improving vegetable intake to meet the recommended five serves per day is estimated to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 16%. 

I'll drink to that!

This week I learnt the word de-alcohised. 

Not just me, but the wine. 

This use of the English language is enough to drive one to drink don't you think!

Now it is COVID safe for me to "browse" (something we have not been allowed to do since June) and to visit Harris Farm in Westfield (Westfield the epicentre of the so-called Bondi Cluster), I found Carl Jung waiting for me.

It did get me thinking about the other Jung and his work on introverts and extroverts, something which is worth consideration during COVID where people's normal sense of self has been challenged, confirmed or defined. 

Perhaps I have too much time to think when I am out walking!!!

Alcohol is the social lubricant of our lives. Always at my happiest drinking dry martinis in the good old days with Frank Moorhouse at the Bayswater Brasserie.  Enjoying bubbles with friends and board colleagues at The Women's Club. Picnicking at Nielsen Park watching the sun set with a smart riesling.

I do love that picnics have become THE outing people did not know they needed and the secret is out.

Queens Park has changed from being a petri dish of the Maskless Unvaccinated to being a place of joy. Little girls kicking soccer balls with their dads whilst the mums kick back on their lovely materials on the grass. Boy teenagers who have books as if they are studying together mid week picnicking as they read out loud and discuss things.

Alcohol is of course a condition of heart disease, but one I think we move to the bottom of the list when we consider things to remove. Heaven knows we have removed a lot of pleasure from our lives during COVID, albeit replacing it with new and more nourishing experiences.

Thank you, each of you, and your families, for your generous support of my big marathon and for supporting much needed heart disease research.

Alcohol Consumption

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australian guidelines recommend healthy adults should drink no more than ten standard drinks a week, or a maximum of four standard drinks on any one day to reduce the risk of alcohol-related disease or injury. 

  • More than three million adults exceed alcohol consumption guidelines, with men being twice as likely as women to exceed these guidelines. 

  • Despite high rates of excessive alcohol consumption by adult males, this has been decreasing over time. 

  • Males aged 55 to 64 years and females aged 35-44 are most likely to exceed alcohol guidelines. 

  • Just one in ten Australian adults believe that alcohol consumption is a key risk factor to heart disease. 


Unhealthy diet is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease in Australia. Australians of all ages generally do not eat enough of the five food groups and eat too many junk foods high in salt, fat and sugar.  

What you eat and drink impacts on several heart disease risk factors such as your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. 

  • Ninety-two percent of Australian adults do not meet the recommended intake for vegetables (5+ servings of vegetables a day)⁵, with this proportion increasing over the past two decades. 

  • The average Australian adult eats 2.4 serves of vegetables per day, which is less than half the recommended amount. 

  • Improving vegetable intake to meet the recommended five serves per day is estimated to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 16%. 

Learning a little more about why your generous support is needed

Whilst the 5kms and increasing COVID numbers around me are narrowing my walking options, the joy of visiting Clovelly along the cliff tops is nourishing. Invigorating!

I want to thank Leisa and Kenny Croker, Margie Cook, Mary Jane McKerihan and Anita McKerihan who have so generously come on board and supported my marathon for heart disease research.

Joining a wonderful team - or do I say squad!!

One thing about all the media and health advice on COVID is people are starting to realise that about 20% of the Australian population has one or more underlying health issues and of course several of the more common ones are heart related.

There are many different risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing a cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease.  

Key risk factors that contribute to heart conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, are largely preventable.

 Unfortunately, most people do not associate these key risk factors with their heart health. 

Explore the latest statistics relating to cardiovascular disease risk factors below: 

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (or hypertension) is a common condition of the circulatory system and is widely recognised as the leading risk factor for CVD. 

  • One third of Australian adults have high blood pressure (33.7%), with almost 1.2 times as many males living with hypertension than females (36.2% compared to 31.3%). 

  • Prevalence of high blood pressure increases with age, with almost four out of five adults living with hypertension by the age of 75 years. 

  • Despite high prevalence, just 5% of adults nominate high blood pressure as a key risk factor for heart disease. 

What each of us can do to prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Things we all know of course but sometimes good to reconsider them.

Let's learn a little more about heart disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an umbrella term that includes heart, stroke and blood vessel diseases, and is one of Australia’s largest health problems. 

It accounts for one in four of all deaths, claiming the life of one person every 12 minutes. 

Explore the latest statistics relating to cardiovascular disease (CVD) in this quick summary infographic.

Take a deep breath

It's a funny time to be attempting this marathon thing. 

Avoiding some suburbs where I used to walk on weekends due to rising COVID numbers in the inner city.  Also, as we prepare for the summer, the bushfire back burning makes other days a little trickier.

But today I wanted to say to you, my Heart Heroes, YOU have your own achievement. Together you have my fundraising ranked at 

18 OUT OF 4,053 participants in 2021

YOU  deserve applause as well as my thanks.

The average amount each marathoner raises is around $200 so we have well and truly exceeded that. These are some of the things you have funded:

Your $40 could pay for a researcher to isolate blood cells, which can then be used to study blood clots. Understanding blood clots and how these clots can be removed or prevented, is key to treating heart attack and stroke.


Your $50 could pay for nutrient solution needed by researchers to help grow heart cells.


Your $100 could pay for a DNA test to help pinpoint genetic factors for heart disease.


The winds are delicious here in the East today.  The region where I grew up is receiving snow and I can always tell the snow off the wind when it reaches Sydney.

A Bathurst girl through and through, I find these days exhilirating. An incentive to start work early, plough through everything and pop out for a quick brisk lunch time walk.

May your days be fresh and exhilirating - and maybe even a little surprising.

Ask and you shall receive

You may think I am (mis) quoting Matthew 7:7-8 and you may be right. The nuns would be proud of me! And a little amazed. 

We did what seemed to be an all day walk through the bush - possibly to the Vale Creek? - in high school to raise funds for the audio-visual equipment to make films and stock the library with state of the art equipment. It took soooo long to walk and I thought I was in one of Dante's levels of eternal suffering. Oh how things have changed my friends!

What I do know is in asking for support for my walk for heart disease research, I was genuinely blown away by the immediate support. Such generosity.

Thank you Mary Jane McKerihan, Anita McKerihan, Kathy Murray, the lovely Alexander family (Nicky, Bob, Zac, Lily, Charlie and Oli), my sister Jenny, Rob Antulov, Joanne Motta, Tim Storer, Margot Bain and your beautiful family, Katharine Rogers, Matt Jones, Susan Wyndham, Cousin Penny Gordon, Aunty Nola Gordon, Jenny Buckland, Kristin Bengtsson, Rebecca Davies, Michaela and Cooper Conomos, Rosemary Noonan and my secret supporters.

Heart disease is Australia's biggest killer.

Your support helps the Heart Foundation to have a maximum impact by enabling them to: 

  • fund world-leading research 
  • develop care guidelines for health professionals 
  • support high quality care for people living with heart disease 
  • help Australians to live healthier lifestyles 
  • advocate to government and industry across initiatives to improve heart health 
You may wish to find out more about your own risk:

Waking the labyrinth

Not every walk has to be a strong one. Or a big one. Or a tough one.

All walks have benefits. The Sydney Labyrinth is in Centennial Parklands. It is seven years ago since it was shared with the people and I was pleased to be a very modest donor that helped make it possible.

During COVID I haven't been able to walk it as it's been so popular - which is so exciting that families and individuals of all ages are walking it. 

The meditative qualities of the labyrinth are profound. I shall leave you with these thoughts from the Sydney Labyrinth website as I again thank each and every one of you for your trust in me. Your generous support of heart disease research.

A place of refuge and sanctuary in complicated times. Use it as a contemplative tool to walk your way into the bigger picture, releasing anxieties on the way in, aligning with what truly matters as you pause in the centre, like a tuning fork between earth and sky, then following the path back out into the world, weaving into your awareness any insights or metaphors you may have noticed along the way. Walking meditation helps us accept whatever is going on in our lives and that what’s in the way, usually is the way.

May you be well and happy.
May you walk in peace
and know yourself
to be beloved on the earth,
held and blessed by all that is.

YOU are the fundraising legends!

Yesterday I was blown away. Yes by the breeze which was absolutely exhilarating for this Bathurst girl who thrives on the cold. Yes by even more generosity from you.

Thanks to you our fundraising efforts place me 17 out of 3560 fellow Australians walking 🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️or running 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️a marathon for heart 💕💕research.  Pretty amazing.

You spurred me on and out when working from home and working from bed had more appeal!

We headed back to Clovelly yesterday as we knew the waves would be wonderful. 

It is also super Covid safe, my number one priority.

A day of gentle walking along the cliff top and the pool edge, we then had lunch from Cat and Cow - our fab zero waste local - before walking in Centennial Park. Off the track on the grass. The powerful owlets are sooo fluffy and so alive, which makes them a joy to visit.

We also visited the cygnets who are now confidently moving on land and on water.

Cuteness overload and a wonderful way to clock up some casual kms preparing for October.

It is the anniversary of the labyrinth in Centennial Park - the vision of the amazing Emily Simpson. Her partner was one of life’s great people who used to work with us at the ABC and I walked it in his memory.

Even the greyer days are full of happiness

Sydney was stormy yesterday. Winds off the snow and very bleak.

A day if not a working day where one would stay curled up in bed. 

My loungeroom is 12 steps long, so to achieve my walking goal took great focus and the carpet will soon be a worn walking track.

I walked 3kms. 

My reward was this rainbow which stayed for ten minutes and could be seen along the coast line by family and friends in Coogee.

May it bring you some joy.

I'll let you into a little secret ....

Walking does not come naturally to me!

It became much more important to me several years ago when I injured my back, necessitating a year on bed rest and a year and a half of recovery. 

I remember as if yesterday learning how to walk again. My first goal that I was given was to walk one quarter of my block.

This took some time.  Even when I could walk half a block, I could not cross the road to get into my beautiful park. I looked at it every day with such longing - with no way of crossing the road by myself.

In time I was able to sit down in a car and my friend Yosi Tal took me for slow little walks in Centennial Park which was such a joy.

I think about this every Tuesday when I have my physio session and review my progress each week. 

I celebrate every day I can walk several kms and every day I can help raise funds in doing so is a good day. 

This is the first time I have ever done a physical challenge to raise funds. Each of you have given me such encouragement by your generous donation. Thank you. I shall call you the Heart Heroes!

I try to share the best photos from my walks, but this one just captures Sydney during lockdown. Not every day is sunny. A man is scavenging in the bin on an otherwise empty footpath.

It is the windy wasteland known as Whitlam Square. A modest and unprepossessing intersection for someone who served our country as Prime Minister.

A misty morning

Good morning from a misty Queens Park. 

I was up so early to start my walking for heart research I beat the gym junkies!

It is a miracle in the East!!

I am honouring your generous donation by walking today and preparing for my October marathon.

My goal is to walk 10kms.

Wherever you are stay well, stay safe and stay connected.

Walking the cliff tops

Mid week is the time to make the most of lockdown. Yesterday was a smallish walk of 5kms as we were seduced by the large waves rolling across to Gordon’s Bay.

Healthy body healthy mind is my motto and nothing clears the mind of work more immediately than the fresh air off the ocean. 🌊☀️🌊☀️🌊☀️🌊💨💨💨💨💨💨


Clovelly has a wonderful view across to Wylie’s Baths, Gordon’s Bay and Coogee.

I hope your lockdowns 😷💉🤛💉🦠😷💉🦠 are providing beautiful escapes.

Thank you 🙏🙏 Jenny Buckland and my sister Jenny 🥰🥰for joining me on this marathon of marathons. 

Your generous support has spurred me on.

Today my goal is to reach 84.4 kms in total in this fortnight - which means I have walked 🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️the equivalent of two marathons in two weeks! 

I am well and truly in the zone for success in October!!! 

Thank you ALL for believing I can do it👏👏🥳🥳😷😷😷🤛🤛🤛

Walking during COVID

At the time of writing, we expect to be allowed out from 13 October. Those who are double vaccinated, to a number of venues, socially distanced.

Walking in training for the marathon, I find the city on weekends to be a very safe place, venturing in last weekend to explore a city I have been missing.

Unlike the beautiful busy  part of the world in which I live, the city is absolutely deserted. The footpaths are empty, everyone wears a mask and the parks are almost empty. Just a couple playing shuttlecock, another woman with her iphone strapped to her arm doing strength training, a sense of calm and no COVID helicopter patrols overhead.

Sydney's public art has always brought me joy. This piece is a reminder for us in our busy lives to contemplate the moment.

“Modern society is fast paced. Time is precious and often neglected. We need to slow down, take it all in and start living in the moment. This mural will inspire onlookers to challenge their perspective about how precious life’s moments are.”

Created by artist Elliott ‘Numskull‘ Routledge, this work is one of Sydney’s largest murals.

Where ever I walk, I walk on Aboriginal Land. Always was. Always will be. Never ceded.

Centennial Parklands sits on Freshwater Country which has been home to a diverse and complex kinship system of many Aboriginal communities including the Bidjigal, Gadigal, D’harawal, Darug, Eora, Gaimaragal, Gundungarra and Guringai peoples.
Centennial Parklands’ Guriwal Trail recognises the long history of Aboriginal people on this land, and their connection to its diverse plant and animal life.  This place of learning was created by the Guriwal Aboriginal Corporation in 1998 and has been looked after by Centennial Parklands' volunteers ever since. 

The word Guriwal means whale, coming from the Gari Gurad (Saltwater Country) of La Perouse.
In 2000 Dharawal woman, Debbie Lennis, was employed by Centennial Parklands to further develop the Trail and to create interpretation artworks.

It's a richly rewarding immersion and will help you see your environment with new eyes. Plants for your food, your health, your well-being.

This was part of my walk on Friday. A calm escape.

Thank you Aunty Nola and Cousin Penny for generously supporting me - and joining the wonderful other supporters: Michaela and Cooper, Margot and her beautiful family, Rebecca, Timmy, Kristin, You Know Who (who I think I know who you are!!) and my surprise secret supporters.

Happy Friday - spring has sprung

Sydney’s glorious weather made today’s walk so enjoyable.

Centennial Parklands full of babies and we returned to visit the powerful owls and their large white fluffy babies.

Walking is tricky as the main walking tracks are full of maskless sweaty joggers so we ventured into the indigenous walk, full of insights into the healing power of plants.

I hope you had a great week and are staying well, safe and connected.

Thank you for pushing me harder to honour your support. 

$50 could pay for nutrient solution needed by researchers to help grow heart cells.

Walking through Sydney during lockdown

Your support motivated me to walk more each day of the final week of winter. Together we are making a huge difference to heart research.

$40 could pay for a researcher to isolate blood cells, which can then be used to study blood clots. Understanding blood clots and how these clots can be removed or prevented, is key to treating heart attack and stroke.

Thank you Kris, Michaela, Cooper, Rebecca, Timmy, Margot and your family - and my secret supporters. 

You are the Heart Heroes!

YOU are so generous!

I am so motivated by you. Your donations have really intensified my focus on walking this marathon and raising funds for heart research.

Doing this during lockdown has enormous challenges for me. With underlying health issues I remain COVID Careful. My beautiful Queens Park is a happy place, full of dogs and chilled people. 

However, it is also full of the great Unmasked Hordes of the Eastern Suburbs. The personal trainers who never wear them, with their clients who barely raise a sweat - who despite having the whole park work out on top of the walking track. Book a trainer and get COVID free.

So I have headed off in new directions and have taken some photos of my walk on the weekend.

With Randwick likely to be locked down with increasing infections, I have decided to make the most of it before my world is scaled back. 

The Randwick Racecourse sits empty and no longer do we enjoy the early morning training.  

The monorail pulled up and was completely empty. So a spontaneous visit to walk around the deserted city. Empty except for the odd walker and the stationed police cars.

If you would like more photos from my various walks let me know. Photos and new vistas make the walking so enjoyable.

My initial goal for October was the distance of a marathon 42.2 kms, but your support has inspired me to aim for 50kms !!!!

Thank you again for supporting me so generously.

$100 could pay for a DNA test to help pinpoint genetic factors for heart disease.

I’m doing my personal best for Australian hearts.

This October, I’ll be doing my personal best to raise funds for Australian hearts.  

I’m going to complete a marathon (42.2 kilometres) - walking to raise funds for lifesaving heart disease research.  

I’ve signed up for MyMarathon because I want to show my support for the thousands of men and women living with heart disease in Australia. 

Thank you 🙏🙏🙏 for backing me in supporting Aussie hearts 💓💓💓 by making such a generous donation.

Together, we can win the race against heart 💓💓💓 disease. 

My Achievements

Team Crew

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First Donation Received

Halfway to $ Goal

Reached $ Goal

Thank you to my sponsors


Roxy Kavanagh

Fantastic Virginia - an inspiration to us all 🙌❤️



Dear cousin, What a mighty effort! Thank you for your altruism🥰


Sarah Bold

All power to you, V. A solid way to help others. And Thanks also for sharing the beauty and quirks of this fair town during lockdown. X


Rob Antulov

Wonderful city (and parks) to walk around - keep the photos coming!


Paige Livingston

Thanks so much for doing this Virginia. As you know, this is very close to our hearts!! ♥️ lots of love Paige Thomas Ziggy Dex and Chewie


Nicole Jorgensen

Thankyou for sharing your walks. They bring the kids and I lots of joy 😀


Rebecca Davies



Anna Schibrowski

Keep walking keep walking keep walking xx


Yosi And Derryn Tal


Lorin Muhlmann

A phenomenal distance for an important cause. Congratulations on this fine achievement!


Nick Wright

Well done, Vag! Remarkable achievement x


Matt Jones



Virginia Gordon Additional Donation To Thank All Of You!!


Adam Flynn

Can your extra steps help walk off all our COVID kilos Virginia? Well done on a brilliant achievement!


Thank You For Doing This Virginia


Anne Frankenberg

Good on you VG!


Evonne Atallah

I am so impressed Virginia!! Go girl xxx


Louise Humphreys

What an amazing job! You must be feeling soooooo good… physically and mentally!


Fiona Phillips

Great work, Virginia.


Marg Hombsch

You are truly an inspiration and your photos have been such a joy. Thank you for all you do to help others. Marg 😊🙏❤️


Virginia Gordon


Maryanne Carrick


Angela Kwan

Well done Virginia! Such a great cause and thanks for sharing your journey in such an engaging way! Stride on!



Thank you for continuing this journey with such quiet consideration and positivity


Jill Bryant

Good job, Virginia…keep walking!


Shevaun David

Wonderful cause, wonderful effort .


Tim Storer


Anne Cusick

Best wishes for a woman who has a big heart and shares big dreams to inspire those around her - well done Virginia


Anne Seve

Well done and congratulations


Anita Heiss


Susan Wyndham


Jennie Gordon

So proud of your mighty walk❤️ Great work Virginia


Samantha Fin

You’re amazing! ❤️


Lachlan Astle


Mary Jane Mckerihan

Well done!


Sandra Charlton

Amazing effort and I’ve been so enjoying your daily pics/song choices. Xx


Rosemary Noonan

Keep up the good work, I’m sure you’ll get a lot out of the precess, be it getting fit, knowing you’re helping a great cause or just getting to see places you haven’t seen for a while.


Kathy Murray

What a fantastic cause Virginia. Keep up that walking girl xx


Lalita Mathias

Well done. Five stars to you! X



Keep on walking!


Helena Dentrinos

Great effort!!


Alexander Family

Great cause Virginia xxx


Helen Bryson

Good on you Virginia, great cause


Bridget Fair

Well done Virginia, I’m in awe of your efforts. A worthy cause.


David Donaldson

Zowie. I'm puffed on slight grade now!


Michaela & Cooper

You go girl!


Jenny Buckland


Genevieve Spence


Jenny Gordon

Well done Virginia - great cause


Joanne Motta

Good luck Virginia!


Jamie Lehuray


Ron Ogden

Great work VG👍


Jill Colvin

Go Virginia!


Nola Gordon


Penny Gordon

Well done Virginia xx




Mark Mcintosh

A small donation to help you to keep wandering Virginia.


Virginia Gordon


Anita Mckerihan


Maryanne Steinman


Verna Trotter


Croker Family

Well done for a great cause!


Sally Sharpe

You are Amazing Virginia! SO proud of ALL the steps you have taken!


Li Lydia Feng

Cheering for you V xxx


Margot And Family

Good luck with achieving your goal Virginia. A great cause.


Rachele Schonberger


Katharine Rogers

Way to go Virginia! Congratulations on this great fundraising effort!


Virginia Gordon


Kristin Bengtsson

Enjoy your marathon Virginia



Awesome work!


Wow Vg


Go For A 4th Vg!!


Wishing You Well Virginia. We Are So Proud Of You.


Vg Supporters!


Awesome Effort Virginia


Matt Jones

Great progress for an excellent cause. Well done, VAG!


Abdou Hachani

Darling Cousin, This is a great initiative and I love reading your thoughts. Let’s make 2021 more positive than it looks!


You Know Who






Go Vg Happy To Make Your Goal


Keep Walking Vag


Onya Vag

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