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Back hoe forwards

By Riverine Herald

YOU WERE probably pretty frustrated if you were stuck behind a back hoe on Wednesday afternoon.

But this back hoe was no ordinary one.

It was part of a Guinness World Record attempt by Norm Bartie – and so much more.

Raising money, but most importantly awareness, Norm is travelling more than 5200km in slow motion for children who have been affected by loss and trauma.

For the former bodyguard and construction worker, the passion to help children started 16 years ago after attending a wellness retreat and radically changing his life. He began working with professional athletes and celebrities on these retreats before turning his attention to our most vulnerable children six years ago.

Norm has established not-for-profit It’s NOT Your Fault 4 Kids Incorporated to help children understand abuse they have seen is not their fault and to enable them to move forward.

“Children just need a safe place to work it out themselves,” Norm said when he was in town on Wednesday.

“I’m not in their shoes, I haven’t witnessed what they have or heard what they have. But I can provide a safe, secure and healthy environment for them to process, open up for a weekend and come to the conclusion it’s not their fault.”

Travelling throughout Australia at 30km/h in a back hoe may seem like a bizarre feat. But Norm is determined to reach Canberra on the first day of Parliament to send his message to the top.

“The core of this journey is to get the message out there and noticed – to get the children noticed,” he said.

“Mental health awareness has become massive around the world. But there’s a lack of services catering solely to children.

“I’m trying to make this a national program, aimed purely at kids and I hope one day this program can be run through schools.

“The World Record is just to reinforce the message even more.’’

If you would like to follow Norm’s journey, you can do so through facebook.com/itsnotyourfault4kids/. For more information about It’s NOT Your Fault 4 Kids Inc head to itsnotyourfault.com.au and donations in support of Norm and his team at the non-for-profit initiative can be made through gofundme.com/cchmn2-its-not-your-fault