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Shitbox Rally departs Melbourne

On Saturday 19th October 2019, 550 passionate fundraisers in teams of two will leave Manheim Auctions, Altona North driving crazy cars worth less than $1,000 (aka Shitboxes). They are taking part in the largest independent fundraiser for Cancer Council nationally – Shitbox Rally 2019 Spring!

With over $21 million raised for cancer research since the rallies began in 2009, the $2 million fundraising target for the Spring Rally 2019 is well in sight with current fundraising totals already over $1.9 million.

Before they start their engines, teams must raise a minimum of $5,000 and source their own shitbox, with many choosing a theme and decorating their car accordingly. The creativity of the cars is legendary with paint jobs and quirky, humorous mechanical additions aplenty.

The 275 decorated vehicles will drive 3,614kms via Birdsville finishing in Townsville seven days later, on Friday October 25 2019. Past rallies show that approximately 10% of cars simply won’t make it to the finish line!


James Freeman who founded Box Rallies (Shitbox and Mystery Box Rally) after losing both of his parents to cancer within 12 months of each other said: “Our Spring rally is the second Shitbox Rally in our 10th year, so will be the final celebration rally of this year (2019). The rally will travel through Western NSW and QLD, an area ravaged by drought. The route was decided upon for this reason so we can help the local communities where possible with additional revenue into the townships and to help to inject some humour and smiles to help with morale. Our Autumn rally broke all fundraising records and with this Spring rally we are on the way to do the same.” said James.

Shitbox Rally is not a race, rather a challenge to achieve the unthinkable… To drive cars worth just $1,000 across Australia via some of its most formidable roads, all in the name of charity.


Shitbox Rally was founded by James Freeman after he lost both of his parents to cancer 12 months apart.

James and his brother nursed their parents through the last stages of their lives. When his Dad passed away, he was devastated. It was a dark time, and James needed something to excite him and help him to make a difference.

Shitbox Rally has always been about having fun, and not taking the serious task of raising money for cancer research too seriously. He spent months working out how the rally would work, and how to make the experience a real challenge for participants. He knew he’d need support to grow awareness of and participation in the rally organically… The more ridiculous the concept was, the better.


Shitbox Rally has grown to a total of 275 teams, plus support teams, taking their cars on the road as part of the fundraising effort, and all the money raised goes to the Cancer Council. Our teams all agree that it’s a hugely rewarding event to be a part of.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is the pinnacle for vital funding for ground-breaking cancer research projects, but their budget only goes so far. The cancer researchers who miss out, get another chance at funding via Cancer Council grants. The impact of these projects has been felt right across Australia with many of the grants made possible by Box Rallies funding.

Previously, Box Rallies was able to fund multi-state research projects via Cancer Council grants. In 2019, Box Rallies & Cancer Council have taken a new approach – one that means Box Rallies will fund the most outstanding cancer research projects nationally.

Box Rallies will fund the next highest ranked grants after the NHMRC. This means that Box Rallies will fund some of the most exciting cancer research projects across the country – with the highest potential to significantly impact those affected by cancer.

The grants assessed during the 2019 application process will be awarded in March 2020 with the Cancer Council continuing to manage the overall funding process.

Box Rallies have contributed to many research projects including:

· Professor Susan Clark – The Kay Stubbs Project Grant: Exploring and Exploiting the Epigenetic Basis of Endocrine Resistant Breast Cancer

· Dr Mustafa Khasraw – VERTU – Veliparib, Radiotherapy and Temozolomide trial in Unmethylated MGMT Glioblastoma

· Professor Finlay Macrae – CAPP3: a randomized dose finding non inferiority study of aspirin to prevent cancer in Lynch Syndrome

· Associate Professor Manish Patel – Developing a Patient-Reported Symptom Index for Non-muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

Source: Shitbox Rally

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