Industry-backed Variety Bash duo raise $10,550 in ‘Little Red Rocket’

Variety bash

Always up for an adventure, all in the name of a good cause, heavy vehicle pilot Milly MC jumped back behind the wheel again of her ’88 Holden Astra for another action-packed fundraiser for Variety – the Children’s Charity.

Teaming with new co-pilot Tina Hill, Milly joined 78 other teams for the 2023 Variety Bash, a 10-day, often bone-jarring jaunt from Toowoomba to Cairns to raise money for kids who are sick, disadvantaged or living with a disability.

It’s not supposed to be a race, but try telling that to Milly and her ace navigator, who ensured no wrong turns were ever made.

Within the first three days the Astra had been dubbed ‘Kenny – Little Red Rocket’, and the car did the duo proud as it copped a real beating on the dirt roads with lots of dips, uneven and broken terrain, and corrugation that just rattled the dash apart.

One of the highlights came just after the start on a bush track heading west towards Surat.

With Milly in the steering seat, foot flat to the floor in first gear, they narrowly missed obstacles, left, right and centre as they glided sideways through the sand.

“It was so much fun,” Milly said. “This is what the bash is all about, just having a good time.

“Unfortunately, in the second sandpit we came across we had to get towed out, but I took it as a good opportunity to jump out and capture the moment on my camera.”

By the second sandpit the pair had put their hand up for a tow.

By day four, however, the pair found themselves in a spot of bother.

Cruising along somewhere between Balcaldine and Jericho, overtaking other ‘bashes’ and leaving them in their dust (literally), they soon lost power.

“We just made it to the checkpoint before the car completely died. We were then put on the stiff bar and dragged for 100km on dirt.

By the end of the day, they ended up in Clermont looking like two orange “Oompa-Loompas”, but that still wasn’t enough to dampen their mood as they laughed and waved at passing bashers to come around them.

“We managed to then get the car to Mackay where the mechanics had a good look under the hood, and luckily it only ended up being a loose belt on the alternator and was an easy fix,” Milly added.

The little Holden Astra took a real beating this year on the rugged Queensland country.

After a two-day layover in Mackay, which included private marquee tickets to the NQ’s Rock’n Country Festival, featuring Morgan Evans and Shannon Noll, the pair pushed on to Cairns, via Port Douglas, spending the last few nights at The Rocks, Ingham and Mereeba.

Together, Milly and Tina, a safety assistant for a Gladstone engineering company, raised $10,550 with the help of their sponsors: Ace Haulage, Bowers Heavy Haulage, Salmon Earthmoving, Prestige Truck Sales, Hills Heavy Haulage, Pilbara Mining Power, Copy Southbound Podcast, MTS Trucking, Maher’s Heavy Haulage, SSS Road Transport, RMPS (Ron McNamara Pilot Services), Rocky Glen Hotel Gladstone (RG’S) and the RG’s Social Club. In total, Variety raised $1.6 million from the event.

The pair has also signed up to take part in the 2024 Variety Bash from Goondiwindi to the Gold Coast, via Lightning Ridge, from August 12.

To help them reach their fundraising goal of $20,000, visit or simply scan the QR link below.

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