Ballarat | Mildura | Canberra |Warrnambool | Kalgoorlie | 

Darwin | Alice Springs | Yulara | 

We encourage all walkers to ‘wear their colours’, throw on your uniform’ to display a united front in tackling depression and PTSD head on!


2020 Challenge dates being confirmed 

Walking Off The War Within is held in memory of Nathan Shanahan, a returned solider and firefighter, and other fallen Service Men and Women who have taken their own lives after battling mental health issues. The Walk is for Emergency Service Personnel, Defence Force Personnel and members of the public to come together to share the burden and march as one.

Nathan was a advocate for mental health and PTSD; sadly, Nathan lost his battle in December 2016. Nathan started Walking Off The War Within, he created the image of a soldier with a shadow on his back and the walks that happen around Australian now are a way that Nathan’s legacy continues.

The walks replicates the walk Nathan completed in April 2015 from Mildura to Adelaide, when he walked over 400 kilometres with a 20+ kilogram pack to raise awareness and funds for PTSD and depression. This was his Walking Off The War Within.

Walking Off The War Within has transformed from one man’s movement to a series of events, where people of all ages and fitness levels get together and walk and talk about ending the stigma that is often associated with mental health. We hope that each year, the walk continues to grow so that more people are encouraged to have a conversation about mental health, depression and suicide.

Be part of this movement and help raise awareness of mental health, it’s a simple way to let those suffering know that there is support and that they are not alone!

We encourage all participants to ‘wear their colours or uniform’ to display a united front in tackling depression and PTSD head on!

In 2020, there will be Walking Off The War Within events in Ballarat, Mildura, Canberra, Kalgoorlie, Warrnambool, Darwin, Yulara and Alice Springs.  

Are you up for the Challenge in 2020? People all across Australia are you ready to take on the challenge for mental health… 

Community walks will be held in a range of locations. Take on 20km with 20kg or walk as much as you can, with or without a pack, on your own or with a mate. We challenge you – your mates, family, colleagues and friends – to throw on your walking boots, grab your pack and march as one; everyone welcome.

Help us fight depression and PTSD and let return service people and our emergency service personnel know they are not alone.

These events are great family events –  On the day of the Challenge, families and children come together to shine a light on mental health. In many locations there were activities, community education displays, emergency and defense force vehicle and equipment displays, face painting and jumping castles for people to enjoy.

Walk Off The War Within Challenge is open to everyone, of all abilities and ages including those Emergency Service and Defence Force personnel and members of the general public.

We encourage you, your group or business / organisation to take in 2020 and help raise awareness for PTSD and depression.


Friday October, 18 2019

Be inspired by Derrick as he shares his story of determination, human durability and hope. Derrick draws on his inspirational history as a former sniper, diver and counter-terrorist operative with the elite SA Police Special Tasks and Rescue (STAR) Group. During a high-risk arrest, he was shot 14 times with a high-powered rifle in less than 5 seconds. He was lying on the ground for 3 hours before he could be rescued. The first doctor to reach him thought he was already dead and later said “I actually don’t know how he survived, he’s an incredible human being.”


Derrick amazed everyone including the doctors by surviving and then again by thriving after the shooting.

Make a donation

You can make a donation to support the work of the Walking Off The War Within team. We raise funds through donations, ticket sales, sponsorship and grants. Funds are used to deliver family friendly inclusive community walks across Australia, our walks shine a light on mental health and are one way to shaking off the stigma associated with mental health. Our walks are making a difference and in some cases, saving lives. Our events allow people living with mental health issues to know that they are not alone and that together, the burden of depression and PTSI can be shared. Importantly our community walks enable people to talk about suicide. The work that this not-for-profit group, run almost entirely on people-power,  is saving lives.

We also make donations to local service providers who are working directly with people living with mental health.

Bank Details

Account Name: Walking Off The War Within

BSB: 083-532 | Account Number: 31-349-6633

Reference: Please include your surname in payment description where possible

Email: Send an email to to let us know a donation has been made


Tees and caps will be available at each event and can be PURCHASED on the day.

Trucker Hats

$10 | Colours – black, camouflage | sizes – one size fits most

Tee Shirts

$20 | Colours – black, red

Sizes – S / M / L / XL / XXL

Merchandise Order Form

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 Help Agencies & Sponsors

Event Contacts

Victorian Event Contact

Carlee Grant


Northern Territory Event Contact

Danielle Eveleigh


The Man in the Glass (Poem)

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

It isn’t your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

Some people might think you’re a straight-shooting chum
And call you a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.