Saturday 11th May
A well-deserved day of rest at Jones Creek after the group’s first 60 kilometres walking. Reaching a riverbed filled with gumtrees and water was like finding a Western Desert oasis. The camp shared a bbq lunch, followed by an optional walk led by Kado and the Walktatjura Rangers. They took the group to a nearby soak, which is of great significance to the local Indigenous people. They shared Dreamtime stories and those who went were touched by sharing what it means to have a spiritual connection to the land.
We had visits from Roxanne, Vera and their kids who came from nearby Wiluna, and Eduardo from the AMWU (Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.)
Eduardo mediated a meeting with the Indigenous Walkatjura Rangers, and later in the evening a meeting with the whole group. Through Eduardo’s quiet facilitation, the group opened up about why they were on the walk, sharing personal stories around the fire. Eduardo’s visit represented a growing relationship between the union and the anti-nuclear movement. Discussions were aimed at strengthening ties between Indigenous people from the area and folk from far and wide who’d like to be a part of the struggle not just for a nuclear-free Australia, but also moving towards Indigenous sovereignty.
Sunday 12th May
Mother’s Day! The group has chosen a theme to mediate apon as we walk each day. In honour of Mother’s Day, today the theme was family, and we shared our reflections, many of them raw and moving, around an evening fireside circle.
We walked 17 kilometres, passing the close to the family home in which Kado grew up. We passed the Xtstrata Nickel Mine which drains water from the region and affects the land. One of the young folk drove a car into a ditch, so a group of us bonded over de-bogging he vehicle, while others looked on as we ate class-A snacks including dates and dark chocolate. Nom.
Dinner was followed by an intense discussion led by Eduardo, asking all of us how we can keep the spirit of the walk and it’s aims alive once the walk has finished. The Walkatjura Rangers began to unravel the difficulties and complexities of life in Leonora.
Monday 13th May
We walked along the last stretch of bitumen – it’s all red dirt from here on in! We passed Lake Miranda, a large salt lake, and the surrounding hills. A few footsteps before reaching Lake Miranda, the group huddled around Kado who told us about the Carpet Snake Dreamtime story.
At dinner the group enjoyed a delicious pumpkin soup by Mika and company. The beginnings of a gastro bug began to take hold of camp, so a quiet evening ensued…