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Climbing for a Cause

Here at Splunk, it’s no secret that we love to get behind a good cause! Through Splunk’s charitable arm Splunk4Good and the Splunk Pledge initiative, we get to show our dedication to giving back where it matters. Our 10-year commitment is to give back $100 million to non-profits and educational institutions around the world.

During a trip to the U.S. last year, I had the pleasure of meeting legendary Australian wheelchair athlete John Maclean at a conference. We talked about the John Maclean Foundation (JMF), a charity he started that is purely devoted to changing the lives of young Australians who use wheelchairs. JMF is a non-profit organisation created to provide financial assistance that will improve the quality of lives of young Australian children through surgery, new wheelchairs, vehicle and house modifications.

For those of you not familiar with John’s story, it's an absolute inspiration. John was a promising sportsman in his youth, who was left a paraplegic from being hit by an 8-tonne truck as he trained for his next triathlon. He was told he would never leave his wheelchair again.

Over the next 29 years, he has redefined possibilities with a series of incredible achievements. Some of his achievements include becoming the first person to compete in the grueling Hawaii Iron Man triathlon in a wheelchair, the first wheelchair athlete to swim the English Channel, and competing on the track and the marathon in the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

When John reached out to me earlier this year about his next challenge in climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge in support of the JMF and the opportunity for Splunk to join him, we were excited and honoured to be involved!

Splunk Australia sponsored a team of ten Splunkers to join John on his latest adventure on 4th August.

We were off to a bright and early start on a sunny but chilly morning to support John’s expedition to conquer the BridgeClimb. Major Australian TV network Channel Nine were on site to cover John’s latest feat which was to be featured on The Today Show. After finishing his pre-climb interview, John led the way, taking his first steps towards achieving the impossible. The atmosphere was incredible, with the Splunk team cheering him on every bit of the way.

 

The Splunk team made a steady 40-minute climb to the top, taking the opportunity to admire the stunning architecture of the bridge along the way. We arrived to iconic views of Sydney at the top, spectacular beyond our wildest expectations. If you love engineering and history, the BridgeClimb has to be on your bucket list.

John and Channel Nine started the filming for the morning show, with the Splunk team and 60 more supporters cheering in the background. It’s pretty surreal to see a TV crew with huge cameras and heavy equipment on top of the Harbour Bridge.

 

All that climbing certainly leaves you hungry! We made our descent to join John for a big breakfast at the Shangri-La Hotel, where we had the opportunity to meet some of the children and families the JMF is supporting. Their stories were all equally inspiring and the whole Splunk team was only too proud that we could do our small part for this remarkable cause.

An impressive total of AU$90,000 was raised on the day, which will contribute greatly towards making a difference to the lives of young Australians in wheelchairs. It was a true honour to have been a part of the achievement and we are so proud to be able to fly the Splunk4Good flag high!

Simon Eid
Posted by Simon Eid

Managing Splunk’s business across Australia and New Zealand, Simon is tasked with owning the sales strategy, culture, leadership and people management of the sales operation. He has more than 25 years of experience in IT sales and business management. Prior to working at Splunk, Simon held sales and management positions at a variety of enterprise technology organisations, including Dell EMC and Symantec. Simon is based in Melbourne, Australia.

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