Our Story

Di Westaway’s Mid-Wife Crisis

Twenty years ago, Di Westaway was fatigued, fed up and seriously unfit. With nothing but an impending 40th birthday and bottomless washing basket to look forward to, she started wondering: is this all there is?

Then, out of the blue, an acquaintance invited her on a hiking expedition to remote South America. It wasn’t just any old hike… it was climbing Mt Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere. Impulsively, surprising even herself, she said yes. She was a former athlete, how hard could it be?

Di and kids

A Big, Fat, Fail

The mountain climb was a big, fat, fail. They didn’t get to the top.

But the experience transformed Di’s life. She realised there was more to fitness than sweaty, soul-destroying gyms or pounding the pavement.

Di Aconcagua resting

OMG, Fitness Can Be Fun

Di discovered that fitness allows you to get to places most people can’t go. When you’re hike fit, you can enjoy a cuppa tea on a remote mountain top, plunge naked into a glacial lake surrounded by squealing friends, jump off a waterfall in the shadow of an active volcano or scale a jagged rock tower in time for the sunrise.

Di skilled up and started ‘Trek Training’ for women in her local national park. She trained coaches and clients, and together they travelled the world hiking iconic trails such as Mt Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu.

Develop Resilience… And Find Real Joy

When you’ve been on the side of a mountain, thinking you might die, things like whining teenagers and impending divorce are a mere trifle. You’ve faced far tougher challenges before sunrise, and you see the world through a different lens. One that says: Don’t f**k with me. 

But it was more than that. Di had discovered something that made her really, really, ridiculously, annoyingly happy. Even at 6am. She’d found that ‘something to look forward to’ she’d been missing, and it turned her world technicolour.

Wild Women Coaches and Everest

We Need A Goal For Everyone

The thing is, we can’t all jet off overseas to climb mountains. But Di knew she’d discovered something magical and she wanted to shout it from the mountaintops! 

Di wanted the exhilaration she felt to be accessible to all women, so she developed an event that took the best bits of her adventures (Views! Giggles! Friends! Chocolate! Champagne!) and crammed them into one epic hike along the coastline of Sydney. Coastrek was born!

Coastrek 2010

Where Coastrek Is Today

Coastrek is now Australia’s premier charity hiking challenge for women. You can choose to trek 60km or hike 30km along Australia’s most spectacular coastlines to get fit with friends and raise funds for mental health.

Together, our community has walked over 2 million kilometers and raised over $36 million for charity.

Coastrek 2021

2000 It starts with a big fat fail

Di fails to reach the top of Mt Aconcagua but has a life changing adventure. She returns home and tells her astonished children she’s starting a fitness business.

2001 A movement is born

Di bakes some roast almond and chocolate chip cookies, puts two kids and a baby to bed, dusts off her coaches cap and grabs a head torch to train a small group of women in the dark in Sydney Harbour National Park.

2004 Di picks a name

Wild Women On Top is registered and, over a glass of bubbles at a sunset Christmas picnic at Clontarf, ten wild women decide they should attempt to climb the highest mountain on every continent and raise money for the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Hospital.

2005 - 2008 Seven Summits Season

Wild Women climb Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Elbrus, Mt Kosciuszko, Mt Aconcagua, Mt Fansipan and Denali in partnership with World Expeditions. Mum-teen teams climb Mt Rinjani and Mt Kinabalu and raise funds for The Fred Hollows Foundation.

2009 The first Sydney Coastrek

Starting at La Perouse at twilight, 40 wild women armed with photocopied maps and track notes, veggie wraps, chocolate and vaseline, attempt to trek 126km in teams of four. They survive midnight storms, blisters and exhaustion to arrive at Palm Beach 30 hours later. They raise $200 for Fred Hollows.

2010 We’re famous... sort of!

Comedians and radio presenters Adam Spencer and Julie Mcrossin become Coastrek Ambassadors and support us to get our message out there!

2012 Coastrek raises first $1 mil

Sh*t gets real! Over 1300 Coastrekkers, including Olympian Susie O’Neil, hike 50km or 100km from Palm Beach to Balmoral or Coogee. Together we raise over $1 million to restore sight. Di does the world’s highest handstand on Mt Ama Dablam in the Everest region of Nepal. We do cartwheels… literally and figuratively!

2014-2018 Trek Training grows

Our Wild Women On Top community expands! We partner with World Expeditions and take Wild Women on iconic hikes such as Machu Picchu, Patagonia, Iceland, Mongolia and Mustang.

2015 Melbourne gets moving

With the support of the Mornington Peninsula community and comedian and radio presenter Libbi Gorr, we launch Coastrek on the Melbourne Coastrek, hiking 30km or 60km from Cape Schanck to Point Napean.

2017 Coastrek hits 25,000 trekkers and $20 million raised

Olympian Libby Trickett joins CEO Di Westaway, to announce the inaugural Sunshine Coastrek, hiking from Caloundra to Noosa. We celebrate 25,000 trekkers and $20 million raised for charity.

2018 We join forces with Beyond Blue

We announce a new partnership with Australian mental health charity Beyond Blue. Former Prime Minister and Beyond Blue Chair Julia Gillard launches Adelaide Coastrek. Celebrated journalist Jennifer Byrne becomes our Patron. Coastrek turns 10!

2021 We smash our goals

After a challenging year of postponed events and COVID lockdowns, Coastrek events go ahead in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide (and Brisbane in July!). We raise over $5.5 million for Beyond Blue.
Di Westaway Headshot

Di Westaway

Founder and Chief Adventure Chick
Di Westaway OAM is a global leader and award-winning woman of influence who has inspired her team to create life changing adventures that get women walking in nature for good.
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Susannah Miall

Susannah Miall

General Manager
Susannah is our General Manager. Her favourite thing about the Wild Women Community is seeing women inspiring each other to lead lives that focus on health, wellbeing and thriving in nature.
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Sally Smith

Sally Smith

Event Director
Sally is our Event Director. She is super passionate about sport, and on the weekend you’ll find her watching or playing a game of footy with her mates!
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Sasha Reid

Marketing Director
Sasha is our Marketing Director. When she’s not in the office or kid wrangling, you’ll find Sasha enjoying the beautiful bush near her home. Hiking the Himalayas is at the top of her bucket list!
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Janine Knight

Janine Knight

Finance Manager
Janine is our Finance Manager. On a Sunday morning, you'll find her on an early morning cycle or mountain bike ride, then watching her son's AFL game. The best advice she's ever received is: "Live in the moment."
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Robby Gee

Robby Gee

Partnerships and Customer Service Manager
Robby is our Partnerships and Customer Service Manager. She’s a keen ocean swimmer, and the wildest adventure she's been on was swimming with humpback whales in Tonga.
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Yvette Peverall

Yvette Peverell

PR Manager
Yvette is our PR Manager. On a Sunday morning, you'll find her walking her dog Libby on one of the many stretches of coastline we are lucky enough to enjoy in Sydney.
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Bella Westaway

Brand and Content Manager
Bella is our Brand and Content Manager. On a Sunday morning, you'll find her at a yoga class, out on a hike with friends or snuggled up in bed with a coffee.
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Alana Taylor

Digital Specialist
Alana is our Digital Specialist. The best adventure she's ever had was backpacking around Europe on her own (twice!).
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Donna Freak

Donna Freak

Acquisition Marketing Specialist
Donna is our Acquisition Marketing Specialist and resident yogi. Currently on mat leave, Donna's taking on new wild adventure of the baby kind!
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Erika Bates

Erika Bates

Marketing Support and Projects
Eri works on Marketing Support and Projects. On the weekend you'll find her out camping, at the beach, or enjoying a quiet morning of arts and crafts with her kids at home.
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Lisa McLean

Lisa McLean

Marketing Specialist
Lisa is our Marketing Specialist. On the weekend you'll find Lisa surfing, hiking, camping or just being outside with her mates... always with a massive, sparkling smile on her face!
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Lisa Sestito

Customer Service Specialist
Lisa is our Customer Service Specialist. What she loves most about the Wild Women Community is the freedom to be herself, and the way bunches of women intuitively know what is needed to boost and support others to step outside their comfort zone and achieve greatness for themselves and all those around them.
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Lachie O'Donnell

Lachie O'Donnell

IT Systems and Data Analyst
Lachie is our IT Systems and Data Analyst. Whether he’s going on a hike with 20 wild women or trying canyoning for the first time, Lachie always brings a can-do attitude and a sense of adventure.
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Georgia

Georgia Miansarow

Event Production Coordinator
Georgia is our Event Production Coordinator. Her favourite thing about the Wild Women Community is everyone's passion for the outdoors, the supportive environment and willingness to give anything a go!
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Linnea Bowhill

Linnea Bowhill

Marketing Assistant
Linnea is our Marketing Assistant. The best adventure she's ever been on was hiking throughout Slovenia with a few of her best friends... minus the bedbugs she got along the way!
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