Joel Jackson and family enjoy the Kimberley swag life on epic WA trip raising funds for Telethon

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Tom ZaunmayrBroome Advertiser
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Darwin resident Shaun Pearce, Joel Jackson, Roebuck Riders' Andy Bubb and Weston Jackson at the Roebuck Roadhouse near Broome.
Camera IconDarwin resident Shaun Pearce, Joel Jackson, Roebuck Riders' Andy Bubb and Weston Jackson at the Roebuck Roadhouse near Broome. Credit: Broome Advertiser

It has been a good 15 years since Joel Jackson has rolled out a swag with his family under the North West’s vast night skies.

Those trips are fond memories for Joel and, as evidenced by the “candlelight and camp kitchen” setup stowed away in the back of his mum’s car in Broome on Sunday, little appears to have changed.

The Karratha-raised actor, his father Millars Well Primary School principal Weston Jackson, and mum, long-serving educator Lauren Jackson, have been travelling the North West for the past three weeks on a trip to raise money for Telethon.

“The beautiful thing about the Kimberley is you go to bed with one view and wake up with another — you have the swag’s mesh down and are just looking at the best scene in the world,” Joel said.

“(My parents) are both in the their 60s... and they are sleeping in swags every night, getting up at 5.30am, on the road by 6.30, driving 400km and never complaining.

“I really lucked out with my family.”

The Jacksons last week hit the halfway mark of their epic 45-day, 10,000km WA road trip dubbed The Lap; A Live Ride For Young Lives.

It has been a fruitful journey too — with the southern half of the State still to go The Lap has already raised more than $20,000 of its $25,000 goal.

Much of that has come from a huge $5400 bounty raised at a gig at Exmouth’s Froth Craft Brewery at the start of the trip, and another $5350 raised at Karratha’s North West Brewing Company.

Joel, who returns to Karratha this Friday for a community screening of H is for Happiness, said he had been blown away by the generosity of the communities he and his family have visited on the trip.

“The brightness of the people inside these venues — I have travelled and played around the world but this is second to none,” he said.

“Playing at Swinging Arm bar there were so many moments where I would look up at the stars and go ‘mate, I am at El Questro’.

“The amount of times I have tried to sit down at night and try do some journaling about the adventure, forget it — people always come up and say ‘what are you guys doing’ or ‘these are alright bikes’.”

You have the swag’s mesh down and are just looking at the best scene in the world

Joel Jackson

“Overnight when we camp we have exciting things to share, recall memories of the day, people we have bumped into — it is actually really nice,” he said.

“At quite a few of the gigs there have been families with little kids and to see them get up, dance, enjoy and be in the moment, that is really nice.

“I would love to do it again.”

The trio pulled into Broome on Sunday for a mini lap with the Roebuck Riders in the morning and a gig at Cable Beach Club in the evening.

Roebuck Riders member Andy Bubb said the Jacksons made a welcome addition to their morning breakfast run to Roebuck Roadhouse.

The Jacksons will be in Karratha this weekend before heading off to a last minute gig in Newman — organised through a chance meeting at El Questro — then down to the Goldfields where they will host events in Leonora, Kalgoorlie and Esperance.

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