Walkatjurra Walkabout heads out

Booklet

The 4th of May 2013 saw the East Perth Train Station farewell about 50 excited Anti-Nuke and Sovereignty activists, bound for the gates of Toro’s proposed first Western Australian Uranium Mine  – ‘Lakeway’ near Wiluna in the Western Desert.

The Aboriginal Peoples of this area have for decades lead much successful and determined resistance to industry and mining and they are once again determined to stop this mine.  People from all around the world have come in support.

And so the convoy stopped for the first night in Kalgoorlie at Wongatha Birni, Aboriginal Cultural Centre, and there met Geoffrey Stokes – Wongai man and inspirational community leader and activist.  KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Another day of traveling and we arrived at the gates of Toro Energy’s proposed mine site – the Lakeway Uranium deposit.  Another proposed first step of the Nuclear chain – the pinnacle of Colonialism’s Ecocidal legacy.

Toro KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

That night we joined with those already at Yeelerrie (‘Place of Death’ in local Language) and the group numbers doubled, with Leonora and Wiluna locals welcoming all to a happy and comfortable camp.  Kado Muir (Wongai man, Traditional Owner of Yeelerrie area and head of WANFA, the Western Australian Nuclear Free Association), and his lovely family officially welcomed us to Country.  This gentle and amazing man has lead his people and so many others in the movement for sanity for so long.

Kado

Also present was Richard Evans, another Traditional Owner of Yeelerrie area from Leonora, another dedicated long-time leader and many other Elders.  Vicky McCabe, Wongai Woman and Senior Walkatjurra Ranger also met us, again kindly agreeing to lead us through her Country.

Vicky

A flock of children and dogs flew about laughing and barking and everyone found a spot for swags under a beautiful sky.

The morning brought realisation of the wonderful Country we find ourselves camping and walking through and how lucky we all to be here.

Desert Circle

The group swelled again on Tuesday with the arrival of a flight full of more campaigners including Scott Ludlum, Greens Senator; Jo Vallentine of ANAWA (Anti-Nuclear Alliance of WA); Dave Sweeny from ACF (Australian Conservation Foundation); Piers Verstegen ,Director of CCWA (Conservation Council Western Australia) and other international guests and journalists who had come for the day.

Big Mob

An inspirational meeting was held with a strong message of unity and resistance to the push for Uranium mining from Geoffrey, Kado, Richard and others. Colourful footage was filmed for media release.

Meeting

Wednesday was the much anticipated first day of our long-distance Songline walk and the weather was cool and breezy for a 20km stroll down the road at good pace.  That night though tested the tents with a downpour.  More people arrived from Perth during the rain including Winiata Puru, Aboriginal Rights and Environmental activist who brought wishes from the Tent Embassy.

Healing spirit

Thursday the weather cleared and camp that night was particularly spectacular, another 20kms down the road.  We are lucky enough to hear as we walk, the stories and songs of the Land from Kado and Vicky and others.

Della

Another 20kms and Friday we arrive at Jones’ Creek, or Ngarlu Wuri Wuri, our rest-day campsite.  The creek is full and we are full of fun and food and music around the campfires.

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 Walkatjurra Walkabout heads out

  1. Andi J says:

    WANTI Uranium leave it in the ground.Solidarity with you wonderful walkers for country.
    I am with you in spirit and wish I could be there again with you. All the best and STOP ThE BULL.regards from Qld Andi Jaemjamrat .

  2. Glenys Davies says:

    So inspiring and wonderful to be able to share the walk in this way with you all.

    Very best wishes to everyone

    Glenys Davies

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