Back to Our Heroes You are reading: Inaugural cape2cape CEO Trek raises more than $280k
30th October 2023 | Read Time: 4 minutes

Inaugural cape2cape CEO Trek raises more than $280k

The inaugural cape2cape CEO Trek has raised more than $280,000 towards zero2hero’s youth mental health and suicide prevention programs.

Twenty prominent business leaders from a diverse range of industries took part in the 135km, five-day Trek from Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in Augusta to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, Dunsborough in early October.

Among the hikers were Australian cricketing legend Justin Langer AM, Centurion CEO Justin Cardaci, Ernst & Young Partner Frank Lenzo, and HealthEngine founder and respected medical professional Dr Marcus Tan.

Michael West, CFC Group General Manager – Family Office, said as a father of three he was always mindful of youth mental health, and was proud to support zero2hero in its mission to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people in Australia.

“I’ve had friends and family who have struggled with their mental health over time. I’ve got three young children myself, the eldest is 10, so youth mental health has always been an important focus for me,” Michael said.

“Going through school, I had a period of pretty intense bullying. It was horrible, but I was fortunate to have great family support. I had peers who I’ve seen go through similar experiences and how it impacted them and their mental wellbeing.”

A seasoned long distance runner, Michael completed general cross fitness and strength training as well as running to prepare for the gruelling trek.

“The Trek is brilliant. The scenery is incredible. The variety of terrains and that time of the year we had whales migrating with their calves, snakes darting off the track, the wildflowers were out,” he said.

“Everyone in our Trek group either has children or understands the issues around youth mental health and the tragedy of suicide in those younger age groups. Then you add on the personal challenge element and it’s a wonderful experience for a great cause.

“I would thoroughly encourage other people to do it. The great way zero2hero runs it, the conversations it encourages and the fact that you’re in nature – it ticks all the boxes.”

Paul Figliomeni, Managing Director at Wangara-based metal fabrication and steel processing company Unique Metals Laser, joined the trek with his wife, Jenene, motivated by the mental health challenges of one of their children.

“We have two children – 23 and 21 – and we see the challenges that young people are dealing with in today’s society and all the external pressures they face,” Paul said.

Paul said he had been encouraged to sign up for the challenge by Justin Langer, who is a close friend.

“For my wife and I, it seemed like a good thing to do to try and give back and understand the struggles from a young person’s perspective and also from our peers.”

Paul urged others to sign up to the personal fitness challenge and support the important work of zero2hero in the process.

“It’s a really good circuit breaker for your own mental health. It gets you out of the office, it takes you away from your emails, it gets you off the phone and you also get a chance to reflect and just chill,” he said.

“It makes you think about what’s really important. Regardless of whether you’re a CEO or not, I think everyone should take the time and reconnect with nature.”

zero2hero Chief Executive Officer Ashlee Harrison, who completed the Trek for her fifth time, said she had got just as much out of the week as the other Trekkers.

“Amidst the chaos of life where time is a scare commodity, I feel very grateful that these incredible heroes and accomplished business leaders chose to invest their time with us,” she said.

“The Trek is no easy feat and each and every one of our Trekkers dug deep and put their bodies on the line and trekked to help save lives.”

“I can’t thank them enough for their trust, laughter, support and the invaluable funds raised for youth mental health.”

In the past five years, almost 300 trekkers have raised $1.6 million through the cape2cape Trek to support zero2hero’s youth mental health programs.

It’s not too late to donate to the cape2cape CEO Trek. Donations close on November 13. Visit  to help make a difference and find out more about the Trek.