The groups experiences

The ‘Walkatjurra Walkabout’ mob is a diverse community of about 45 people currently, which includes 6 kids (who are very excited to be here!) and 3 dogs.  We are busy learning how to build and pack up camp everyday, and share skills that will enable us to support each other in our mobile community for the next three and a half weeks.

Many of the group have travelled a long way to participate -with people coming from Germany, Central Queensland, Darwin, Sydney, Canberra, Alice Springs, and many people from across Western Australia.   For some, it has been a particularly long journey, after travelling across the country to meet in Perth, we then have travelled as a group for two days north to reach Wiluna – where we are about to hold a community meeting.  From here, we head south to Yeelirrie, to start the walking component.

As we are beginning to get to know each other, one of the most inspiring things has been getting a glimpse of people’s journeys.  What is it that drew people to participate on this walk?  There are many different paths that people have followed, and varying levels of prior knowledge and experience of involvement in “activism” or the anti-nuclear campaign.  But one thing is clear – we want to learn from the traditional custodians of this land, walk some of this land, and support the custodianship of this land.  We are all looking forward to travelling slowly with our feet and getting a sense of place out here as we also learn about the history of this land.

As we are writing this we are on our way to a community meeting in Wiluna – a town marked out for Western Australia’s first uranium mine if Toro Energy and the State Government have their way.  Contrary to the line that Toro Energy has been feeding the community here however – this mine is far from a done deal.  There are many avenues to knock back this proposal which are currently being pursued, on legal, economic, and policy based terms.  The avenue which we all can influence (which in turn influences all the other factors), is the social licence to operate.  As a remote community, the only information that Wiluna has access to about uranium mining often comes from the mining companies themselves – “information” like telling people that bananas are more poisonous than the radiation that will be occurring with the operating uranium mine.  By travelling to Wiluna and meeting with the community, the Walkatjurra Walkabout aims to share solidarity with those in these communities who have been speaking out against this mine, and offer factual information to the community which is otherwise not provided to them about the proven risks of uranium mines.

It is exciting to know that it is starting – the Walkatjurra Walkabout is getting us out of our comfort zones and witnessing the country and meeting the people who will be affected by these uranium mines if they go ahead.  Looking forward to learning more and sharing information with the community tonight, and really excited to actually starting to walk through country soon!

 

 

 

About Marcus Atkinson

For over two decades I have been involved in Peace Walks that have covered many different issues. In 2003 I helped organize a 9 month walk from Roxby Downs, South Australia (home to one of the largest uranium mines in the world) to Hiroshima, Japan, (arriving on August 6th.) In 2005 I became a board member of Footprints for Peace and have acted as the International Coordinator in organizing walks through out the world for a Nuclear Free Future.
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2 Responses to The groups experiences

  1. grantdo says:

    Best wishes. Thanks for helping to keep WA nuclear free !

  2. Glenys Davies says:

    Great postings Marcus! Looking forward to armchair travelling with you all. Very best wishes Glenys Davies

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