Bek and Steff's
China Challenge
2 - 14 Dec 06

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mobile phone scam

Ok, this isn't exactly Oxfam Challenge related, but in the interests of helping people avoid unnecessary mobile phone calls I am putting this info on the web. I figure that this will also show on Google if you search for the number...

This morning my phone rang once and I received a missed call from the following number:
02 84042293

I'm not in the habit of returning missed calls where I don't recognise the number so I didn't. Then this morning I read the following article that made me glad I didn't!

I have done a Google search on 84042293 and apparently it is related to a mobile phone scam.

Scammers target mobile phone users
From: AAP
June 20, 2006

A MOBILE phone scam is sending missed call messages to unsuspecting users, urging them to dial premium rate phone lines, an industry watchdog has warned.

Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) chief executive Chris Althaus urged mobile phone users not to call back any phone numbers they did not recognise.

The scheme involves companies dialling random numbers and terminating the calls before consumers have time to answer, he said. Those who call back are directed to phone a premium 190 number to collect free mobile content and a chance to win a prize. It could take time to connect and more time and further steps, such as sending an SMS to another premium line, to collect the prize, he said.

"It is important to check the cost before dialling a premium voice number (beginning with 190) or a premium text number (beginning with 19)," Mr Althaus said.

"They are both premium rate services and people will be charged at a higher rate.

"The industry's strong advice on these sorts of schemes is to be very wary of missed calls unless they are from numbers that customers recognise.

"If you receive an offer that's too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of `free' offers. Are they free or are you paying for them elsewhere?"

A guide to protect your mobile phone from unwanted voice and text messages is available on the AMTA website –,10117,19530356-421,00.html

This other article provides more info:

Moral of the story?
Don't respond to missed numbers you don't recognise, the same way you wouldn't respond to an email address you didn't recognise!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

World No Tobacco Day

31 May 2006 is World No Tobacco Day

Do yourself a favour - QUIT

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

This Bek person sure sounds crazy...

This Bek person sure sounds crazy...oh, actually I think Steff is referring to me!

Walking 100km in bushland north of Sydney (Trailwalker) and followed up by a 500km bike ride through southern China (China Challenge) does sound a bit nuts, but taking on challenges and having adventures where I also make a positive contribution is what makes these trips worthwhile. And Oxfam is a great organisation to support because they work locally with communities in trying to effect global change.

And let's not forget that for motivation to stay fit and healthy these adventures are heaps better than just trudging on the treadmill at the gym!!

So, any more takers for Trailwalker in August...?

Support Bek in Oxfam Trailwalker

Okay, so if you haven't decided whether or not Bek is slightly crazy, let me give you more proof...

Oxfam Trailwalker

Bek is planning to walk 100km in a 48 hour period over the weekend of the 25 - 27 August as part of the Oxfam Trailwalker in Sydney.

Support her team by making a donation. You can make a secure donation through the Oxfam website here.
- her team name is: Linebreakers
- team number: 146
- full name of walker:

The route will be through beautiful bushland near the area I grew up in, so I'm a little envious of the opportunity...may be next year I'll do it!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Steff & Bek

Steff (on left) and Bek are two lawyers who decided in 2005 that it was time to become more socially responsible, and a bit more active. So, they (with a third, Marty) participated in the Vietnam-Cambodia Oxfam Challenge and succeeded in raising $19,732.79 - and loved doing it. They also cycled 500km from Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam) to Siam Reap (Cambodia).

Because of the fun and achievement of last year, in 2006 Steff and Bek have decided to continue the fundraising for the fantastic charity that is Oxfam. So, they are cycling again - this time in China, from Hong Kong to Guilin and hoping to raise $12,000. As this is the "Reunion Challenge" open only to people who have already participated in a Challenge, they are told it will be more physically demanding.

Are they crazy? Possibly....

Bek eating spider

Steff the statue

Monday, May 15, 2006


The Oxfam Challenge raises money for Oxfam Australia (previously known as Oxfam Community Aid Abroad).

Oxfam Australia is an independent, not-for-profit, secular, community-based aid and development organisation. Oxfam's vision is of a fair world in which people control their own lives, their basic rights are achieved and the environment is sustained. Across 31 countries, Oxfam Australia works in partnership with local communities to overcome poverty and injustice.Even a small donation can make a big difference. For example:

  • $10 can buy a bush knife for a young person in the Solomon Islands to use to build fences and chicken coops to start up a small-scale project to help them grow more food;
  • $20 can pay for five household gardens to be set up in Cambodia. The vegetable gardens help families to have a more diverse diet and decrease the chances of malnutrition;
  • $30 can buy a personal washing kit for a family in Sudan, including body soaps, clothes soaps, a jerry can, sleeping mats and wash basins;
  • $50 can pay for Mozambican women living with HIV to undertake specialised sewing skills training, enabling them to develop skills to negotiate for further contracts;
  • $100 can be used to start a vegetable garden to provide nutritious food for families in need in South Africa. The vegetable gardens ensure that families who do not have the financial means to buy groceries are able to feed their families; and
  • $6,000 can pay for the plans, materials and a contractor to build a three-roomed school in rural Asia.

More information about Oxfam Australia is available here.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Bek & Steff's next adventure...

Bek and Steff (sadly minus Marty) are planning their next big adventure with Oxfam to a country that is :

1. a large country with a rich culture and 'red' history;
2. one of the most populated countries on earth;
3. one of Australia's largest trade partners; and
4. has a large wall through it

Have those clues helped you to guess yet?

Yes, it's China! So, stay tuned for more information about Bek and Steff's China Challenge...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Recycled Runners

Found this great non-profit organisation that collects old & discarded running shoes from Australian runners and passes them on to needy runners (+ others) in the Australia and Pacific region. Check out the website and do what you can - stop your old runners being part of landfill and give them a new life by donating them to Recycled Runners

And, if you're replacing your runners mail Oxfam a copy of the receipt with a note saying that you wish you could buy clothes and shoes made under decent conditions. They use this evidence of consumer concern to pressure the brands to respect workers' rights by delivering these receipts to sports brands:

Oxfam Australia
PO Box 1711
Strawberry Hills NSW 2012

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