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My husband and I had our first child-free Sunday in eight and a half years! With a very beautiful and cheerful two-seater Porsche Boxter Style Edition on the driveway coinciding with the second Drive Against Depression (DAD) SE Queensland event taking place in our local area of the Sunshine Coast, hubby and I went along for the drive and a visit to Bowden's Own's very special car collection.

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Porsche Boxster Style Edition

Drive Against Depression (DAD) is a wonderful Australia-wide charity whose mission statement is โ€œsupporting mental wellness through the freedom of driving” and it is not just for the dads, as you may have assumed from the acronym. It's for everyone, and lots of families come along, too. We took our kids to the previous Queensland event, and they loved it.

DAD organises car-themed events that are designed to raise awareness and provide a place for connecting with others, no matter where you are in your mental health journey, and steer people in need of help toward the relevant services.

The car can be the perfect place for difficult conversations because when you are driving along you have no direct eye contact, so feel less threatened. What's said in the car stays in the car. Child health workers I know take kids for a “drive through Maccas” to have a chat with them as they open up in the car because they feel safe and more relaxed. It's now a place where I have difficult conversations with my kids. The times when my daughter was being bullied, she would often open up in the car, having clammed up at home. Try it next time you need to talk with your child about something difficult.

In hindsight, it's something I used to do as a teenager. I'd say, “I'm going for a drive,” pick up my friend and go for a country drive. I knew whatever teenage angst I was going through would be worked through from one end of the journey to the other, and I would return home to my parents in a much better mood.

On with the Drive in the Porsche Boxster Style Edition!

We drop our kids off at some very kind friends early Sunday morning and drive the Porsche Boxter to the Caboolture Services off the M1, looking for the Drive Against Depression Flag. A few people are gathering with various cars. One thing DAD stipulates is you do not have to have a fancy or interesting car to join in; all kinds of cars arrive, from regular family SUVs to Polestars, Porsches and Lotuses. Equally, you don't really have to be into cars, either. You may just come along for the enjoyable drive and conversation. However, be warned, cars are infectious!

Porsche Boxster Style Edition

With everyone gathered, there is an introduction from Sarah who runs DAD. Sarah is wife to Adam Davis, who started the charity in 2017. I know Adam from the automotive industry, where he works in PR. He started DAD after going through tough times himself and finally finding help during a conversation with a friend on a drive.

Sarah is grounding, asking everyone to thank themselves for making the effort to get there today. Some people may have had to make special arrangements to be there, and some may have been looking forward to this event and the connection and conversation for some time. Everyone there may be at different stages of their mental health journey; some may be here to listen, and others to ask for help.

The aim is to be open and honest in our conversations about how we really feel, not just to pretend we're okay.

We were introduced to Leah, formerly Luke, who gave us a very open and honest account of her life journey and battle with mental illness. She described how she had experienced depression and mental health issues in three ways: as a spectator and witness, as a sufferer herself and as a support to others. Her vulnerability was incredible, and I'm very grateful for her example of how conversations around this subject could be normalised. This is not the type of conversation I have ever heard shared so frankly, and I can see how this can give courage and a platform to those who need to talk about their own journey and feel safe to do so.

We receive a quick briefing on the drive: today's drive route will take us through SE Queensland's beautiful countryside. From Caboolture Services Northbound, we will head towards Kilcoy, passing stunning winding, tree-lined country roads to Woodford, passing Peachester, Maleny and Buderim, and ending at renowned Australian family-owned car care company Bowden's Own and its amazing historic racing car collection.

While we are gathered, I look around at the variety of people: young, old, male, female, families, people on their own, couples, car enthusiasts, car journalists and people just along for a Sunday drive. It shows DAD really is for everyone. As a car lover, the variety of cars is wonderful to look at! There is a Ford Mustang Mach-E, Ford F-150, ย Isuzu D-Max, Polestar 2, Lotus, Hyundai i30 Fastback N, etc. Lots of people are drawn to the Porsche Boxster Style Edition. It has to be the happiest-looking car we could have brought along today. During the week we have driven it, everyone has smiled when they see it ๐Ÿ™‚

Porsche Boxster Style Edition

Driving my eldest daughter to school with her cello sticking out of the roof is going down in our family's memory!

Porsche Boxster Style Edition

And there is nothing like seeing a sparkly tutu and a kindy bag in the boot of a Porsche Boxster!

Porsche Boxster Style Edition

So, driving it today amongst the DAD crew is a privilege, and I hope it brings a smile to someone's face who needs it! Even the keyfob makes us smile ๐Ÿ™‚

Porsche Boxster Style Edition

As we hit the road, you can't help but think of the brave stories others just shared and your own journey and touch points with mental illness.

Porsche Boxster Style Edition

Until I had children, depression was something I had only ever been a witness to, and I had tried to be a support to others with it. However, since having children (as joyous and wonderful as it is) parenting can take you on some extreme highs and extreme lows. It puts strain on you physically, mentally, financially, emotionally and on your relationships. I don't know any parent who has come through it without any mental health scars, and if you have, you may know others who haven't. Either way, opening up the conversation for those who need help is important.

Porsche Boxster Style Edition

We quickly come off the motorway and onto country roads through Wamuran towards Woodford. We have the roof down, and Queensland has graced us with a crisp, clear blue sky on this winter's day, perfect for a country drive! Quite affected by the openness of the people who had spoken, I enjoyed the drive but mulled over their stories and envied their bravery. I LOVE the greenery on the open road, and with the roof down, we can really enjoy the scenery. It's lovely to smell the trees and feel the wind in my hair without the sun toasting me like it does for so many months in Queensland.

Porsche Boxster Style Edition

Hubby and I have a fun country playlist that goes back to our drive around Australia twenty years ago in our bright blue Kombi, a similar colour to this Porsche and also had the engine behind us pushing us along, and we play that through the Porsche stereo and sing along. The Porsche Boxster Style Edition has the Sound Package Plus, which includes six loudspeakers in this little cabin and sounds fantastic! With the sound of the Porsche's engine rasping behind us we can't help but laugh at the comparison of the two vehicles and us twenty years apart.

Porsche Boxster Style Edition

We stop in Woodford, a lovely country town, for a quick brunch with friends who have joined us on the DAD drive in their Hyundai i30 Fastback N. After refuelling ourselves with food and our souls with good conversation, we hit the road, realising we should be arriving at the Bowden's Own collection at this time, and we're still an hour away! The conversation was too good!

Porsche Boxster Style Edition

When my first daughter was a baby, and I had the idea to start BabyDrive, I attended an eight-week course for mums starting their own businesses at a supportive co-working space for mums with an onsite nanny in the next room. I was deep in a world of no sleep, breastfeeding issues, my life changing unrecognisably and not really in a good place mentally. It took a lot for me to get there. I took my baby with me. She screamed in the car the whole way to Noosa; driving used to be my favourite thing and a release, but now it was one of the most stressful things I could do. I left my baby with the nanny at the co-working space, and even though I was in the room next door, I was so stressed leaving her. In the first session, there was a scale drawn on the whiteboard, and in a room of six strangers, we were asked to each go up and mark on the scale where we were mentally with post-natal depression! It was so confronting. I knew I was probably somewhere in the deep depths of it, but I did not want anyone in the room to know. I quickly put a line in the totally fine section and hoped we'd move on to something else. We did eventually, and although I'm sure I fooled no one, I managed to keep it to myself for longer. I wish there had been DAD then, and I'd had a space where I felt safe to talk.

The drive along Bald Knob Road (no chuckling at the back) toward Maleny is just incredible; it's a lot of fun normally, but in a topless Porsche Boxster, it's the best. My hubby commented that I was driving very conservatively. I know how well the Porsche Boxster Style Edition could handle the bends but I just wanted to enjoy the sound of the engine through the trees and savour every minute! As we reached the top, the view past the Glass House Mountains and out to the ocean on my right was incredible.

Porsche Boxster Style Edition

You realise for most parents, the mental health journey isn't over when you get your kids through the early years of sleepless nights and relentless daycare illnesses. There are all the other stresses in the years to come, when they get bullied at school, eating disorders, boyfriends, girlfriends, their mental illness, sports and exam pressures. They all take their toll on the kids as well as on you.

As we follow the track into Bowden's Own car collection, I see everyone else's car lined up and think we must be the last. Even our friends in the i30 Fastback N had beaten us here! But no, the guys in the Lotus had been enjoying the scenery even more than we had!

Porsche Boxster Style Edition

The Bowden's Own car collection is amazing! For those who love Australian racing history, it is heaven! We missed the start of the talk, but Mr Chris Bowden was very generous with his time and knowledge, telling us all about every single car there (as well as its often funny history and restoration process).

This includes the M1, the car that started BMW's M range of high-performance vehicles, like the BMW M240i coupe, which I particularly love!

Chris regaled us with entertaining stories of motoring history, including the famous Channel 9 car that Kerry Packer sponsored to drive in the race that Channel 7 had beaten him to broadcast. His knowledge and passion, and his ability to communicate both, were incredible.

There are so many famous racing cars here, each with their own story deep in Australian history.

The car I am drawn to the most, and I missed Mr Bowdens's talk about it, is the Porsche 356, nicknamed ‘Blu Bird' in the corner.

It is so elegant and timelessly beautiful. It is one of the few cars in this collection that has back seats, and interestingly, when I look in the back, there are what look like two top tether anchors, too! I love the idea of being able to take our little ones along for the ride in the classic Porsche too.

Another chance to chat with friends and familiar faces from the first DAD event while everyone discusses which is their favourite of the collection and how much they enjoyed the drive.

It's another successful DAD event, and I look forward to Drive Against Depression (DAD) SE Queensland event number three.

Porsche Boxster Style Edition

I thoroughly enjoyed the journey today as much as the destination. Driving the cheerful Porsche Boxster Style Edition through the stunning SE Queensland hinterland, I couldn't help but smile! It provided a time to reflect on the joyful journeys we've had and got to come.

Porsche Boxster Style Edition
Thanks to Iain curry https://www.iaincurry.com for the snaps of me with the Porsche!
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Mocka nursery furniture
Tace Clifford
About Tace Clifford
Tace Clifford founded BabyDrive in 2017 after discovering a huge information gap in mainstream car reviews that left new parents and expanding families in the dark when it came to one of the biggest purchasing decisions of their lives.

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