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AIRDATE: Documentary - 8 Days in the Desert

ProgrammingMedia Release

image source - Young Care

18 people trekking 250 kilometres across the Simpson Desert in 8 days.  Struggling through 40 degrees by day and open to the elements at night. They are isolated, exhausted and emotionally raw when their dignity is stripped back.

8 Days in the Desert is a test of endurance, spirit, grit and commitment. It’s also a walk of compassion, kindness, and empathy.

Nine’s cameras were there to capture every moment of this ultimate Australian adventure. Tears are shed, friendships formed, courtesies stretched, resolve questioned. Telling the story as the unrelenting trek unfolds, while linking back to the inspirational young people trekkers are toiling to support.

The trek provides a reflection of the challenges 7,000 young Australians living in aged care face on a daily basis. Young people often unseen by society, who live without control of the environment around them.

Among the trekkers is Melissa Downes, Channel Nine Newsreader, who volunteered to raise awareness for Youngcare, the charity she feels so strongly about.  The group also includes Katie Mattin, Nova morning radio host who recently revealed her own MS diagnosis, and lives with the fears she one day will need Youngcare’s support.  And Suncorp Insurance Executives Matt Kayrooz and Jane Stafford, who have been with the charity from its beginning, and do this trek for the many young people they have met over the years.

“Nine has proudly told the Youngcare story since its inception more than 10 years ago.  This is the compelling next chapter that tells the story of 18 people who put their lives on hold and risk their own health in the name of their fellow Australians,” said Executive Producer Geoff Cooper.  “The drama that unfolds is not surprising considering the trekkers walk more than a half-marathon per day in some of the harshest conditions Australia has to offer.”

An amazing adventure, a once in a lifetime experience, and an outstanding achievement, 8 Days in the Desert shows the Australian spirit at its best.


The documentary will air on the Nine Network at the following times:

Queensland: Saturday, May 28 at 4.00pm.

Sydney: Sunday May 29, 2.30pm

Melbourne: Sunday May 29, 2.00pm

Adelaide/Perth/Darwin:  Sunday May 29th, 1.30pm