Millions Against Malaria began as an idea between pilots Tim Pryse and Ken Evers. Both men had spent time in Papua New Guinea and had seen firsthand the horrors that are visited upon people who contract malaria. In April 2009, while attending a committee meeting at Bendigo Flying Club, Ken and Tim listened to two young ladies who were seeking sponsorship to raise awareness about breast cancer by competing in the Powder Puff Derby. A light bulb went off…malaria and aviation were intrinsically linked! The aeroplane has saved the lives of thousands suffering from malaria by bringing them from remote jungle locations to the medical assistance that would have been otherwise inaccessible. So, why not use aviation to highlight the issues malaria is causing around the planet by flying an aeroplane around the world!
One of the aeroplanes responsible for the lifesaving missions in countries plagued by malaria was the GA8 Airvan, and what more fitting aircraft for such a flight could there possibly be than this machine. It was then discovered during the organising of this flight that the Victa flown around the world by aviation legend, Cliff Tait, had been built in New Zealand…which meant that should Ken Evers and Tim Pryse successfully fly the GA8 Airvan around the world, then it would the first Australian designed and manufactured aircraft to every circumnavigate the globe! Once researchers and aviation historians confirmed this fact, the historicity of the flight along with its cause began to attract international attention. In January 2010, Mahindra Aerospace became the major sponsor of this world-first flight.
On 10 May 2010, the wheels of VH-BYI lifted off the tarmac in Bendigo, Australia and Millions Against Malaria was born. Visiting malaria-endemic countries during this historical flight, Ken and Tim captured on film the tremendous plight that some of these countries are facing due to this mosquito-borne disease. 62 days after take-off, the runway of Bendigo came back into view and the GA8-TC Airvan completed the circumnavigational flight and created world history.
But that was just the beginning…..
The sights seen and the messages heard by Tim and Ken could not allow them to remain idle upon their return to Australia. Friends and family gathered around these two as they continued their work in malaria awareness campaigning and fundraising for specific malaria issues in Papua New Guinea. Recognising the growth of Millions Against Malaria and appreciating the passion of those who had come along side them, Ken Evers and Tim Pryse stepped away from their two-man team and on 1 October 2013, Millions Against Malaria became a non-profit Incorporated Association.
The purpose of Millions Against Malaria Inc is quite simple. Working with local charities around the world, Millions Against Malaria seeks to target hotspots of malaria and provide those local charities with the necessary resources to fight against the disease. Working with the established charities in a malaria-affected community ensures the ongoing support of that established charity and avoids the misnomer that Millions Against Malaria became involved due to that charity neglecting the needs of those within its service area. In addition to this, when Millions Against Malaria works with various charities, it can expose those charities to perhaps a broader audience and thus gain further support for these crucial, life-saving organisations.
Millions Against Malaria Inc. Committee Members
- President / Secretary: Kenneth Evers
- Vice President: Timothy Pryse
- Treasurer: David Goode
- Daniel Connolly
- Kimberly Evers
- Nicole Kennon
- Kristy Roche
- Mouna Sogo
- Timothy Wilson
- Tracey Wilson