The Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF) is a health promotion charity established in 2013 by world marathon champion and 1983 Australian of the Year, Robert de Castella AO MBE.

The Indigenous Marathon Project, the flagship program of IMF, annually selects a squad of 12 young Indigenous Australians, aged 18-30, to train for the world’s most iconic running event, the New York City Marathon. By the time they cross the finish line, their lives have changed forever.

IMP showcases and celebrates our Indigenous culture and people in a powerful way, creating inspirational role models and heroes, who come back from New York inspired, as qualified coaches and fitness leaders, and with a purpose to take others on a journey of self-empowerment.

IMF’s approach is to believe one person can change the world. The ripple created by our graduates and Deadly Runners spreads quickly across and around the nation.


The IMF has witnessed incredible success and life-changing stories since 2010. We need your help to continue providing and expanding our programs into the future. Funds raised from the de Castella Run will enable IMF to deliver programs specifically designed to target the mental health issues many Indigenous people face, and equip our young leaders with the skills to tackle the big issues and drive change in their families and communities.



These young leaders demonstrate first-hand the impact and outcomes being achieved by IMP.

Charlie Maher, first Indigenous Australian to run the New York City Marathon in 2010

IMP has had a great effect on my family, which really makes me feel so proud. I work so hard for events and train hard because I want to inspire them. I have a big family back home in Alice Springs, and when they see me in the newspaper, on TV or the internet, they all feel proud that they are related to me. They start to change their lives to be active and healthier and their kids see this and see that this is the right way to live. I’m so very proud that I not only have a huge impact on my family and community but everyone, and I couldn’t do this without the support of IMP. It has given me wonderful opportunities and for that I’m truly grateful.

Nadine Hunt, previous and first IMP graduate to be employed by IMF

Now I am stable, successful, courageous, strong, and most importantly, confident. Confident to lead, and set positive examples for those watching. Without IMP I wouldn’t have the life basics, I would not have stability, I would not have travelled the world to run in international marathons, I would not have the skills to help my community through running.

Elsie Seriat, second from left with her two sisters, mother and Rob de Castella at the 2016 Thursday Island Running Festival

IMP means family and opportunities. It’s like being given a second chance to believe and achieve greater things. I love the whole concept of this project and what it does with Graduates in community, spreading a positive message to people by using running as a tool for health promotion.

Click here to read more about Elsie Seriat in IMF Graduate Stories.

Indigenous Marathon Graduate, Lovett-Murray, 30, is one of 12 women in the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, which aims to help women overcome feelings that stop them from being active, including judgement, intimidation and embarrassment.

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Thank you for supporting the Indigenous Marathon Project. For more information on IMF please visit

For further information about sponsorship and fundraising, please contact IMF Fundraising and Partnerships Manager Peta MacKinnon at