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Why is Phil Donato holding a lady's slip autographed by long distance runner Nedd Brockmann?

October 18, 2022

Phil Donato (left) and Nedd Brockmann, Supplied.

By Peter Holmes

State MP Phil Donato is acting as go-between in getting a prized piece of Nedd Brockmann memorabilia back to its rightful owner in the NSW Central West.

Former Kinross Wolaroi student Brockmann made his way into Bondi late on Monday afternoon after running from Perth to raise money for the homeless.

He averaged about 80km a day across 47 consecutive days to complete the epic, nearly 4000km journey.

About $1.5 million has so far been raised.

A crowd of several hundred was waiting at the finishing line for Brockman.

Orange MP Donato, who had been in rain-affected Forbes earlier in the day with prime minister Anthony Albanese and NSW premier Dominic Perrottet, was stuck in traffic driving from Parliament House on Macquarie Street in the Sydney CBD to Bondi when Brockmann completed his task.

However he was able to catch up with Brockmann at North Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club, where a gathering had been organised.

“He was mentally and physically exhausted, you could just see it in his face,” Donato told The Orange News Examiner.

“It’s the equivalent of about two marathons a day for the last 46, 47 days. He ran across the Nullarbor, up and down hills, got caught in inclement weather, headwinds, running 12-13 hours a day.

"And he had injuries he pushed through - it’s remarkable … to keep going day after day would’ve been hard work. He is an amazing young man.”

At the surf club function Brockmann signed a woman’s undergarment for Donato.

The clothing is not Donato’s, but belongs to man named Tim West, who works for Boys to the Bush, a not-for-profit organisation for disengaged young blokes.

West, a former school teacher, has known Nedd Brockmann since the latter was a boy.

“I’m from Forbes and I actually taught at B'bong Primary School when I was doing my teacher training," West told The Orange News Examiner. "They are family friends - his auntie is my godmother.”

“B’Bong” is local-speak for Bedgerabong Primary School, about 130km west of Orange.

Slipping into something comfortable. Tim West in the undergarment before it was signed. Supplied.

“He enjoyed sport," West recalled, "but you wouldn’t have said he’s going to turn into a young fella who runs across Australia."

So, to the ladies’ wear.

West was involved in a stall selling bacon and egg rolls to raise money for Brockmann’s endurance feat.

He promised that if more than $2,000 was raised he would wear the undergarment around Forbes.

“We got it from the local Vinnies,” West said. “We raised 2,620 bucks, so I jogged around town in - I don’t know what you’d call it? - an undergarment? A camisole?”

Asked how long he wore the apparel, he said: “Not too long. Only a lap of the CBD.”

Judging by the photo West sent us, he wore it very well.

The signed item is still with MP Donato, who is in Sydney this week for parliamentary sitting days. It will make its way back out west in the coming days.

West isn’t sure what he will do with the collectable item.

“We were thinking of maybe framing it up; maybe someone wants to buy it and the money can go to charity. It wouldn’t be worth much.”

Maybe not. But certainly worth more today than when it was hanging on the rack at Vinnies.

If you would like to make an offer on the autographed fashion wear let us know and we will put you in contact with Tim.

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