Walkatjurra Walkabout 2014 begins!!

Walkatjurra Walkabout 2014This is my first time on the walk, and my first time to Western Australia. When I read about the walk, the spirit and intention of the walk really resonated with me. I came with little expectation as to how it would be when here, but with a belief that I needed to come and that it would be an important journey. We are a bit over a week into the walk, and I feel so blessed to be here. From the beginning, the crew organising this event have been so welcoming, opening up their home to me when I arrived from Melbourne.

Meeting everyone in Perth on the first morning, there was a sense of excitement as people gathered from all walks of life. The group bond began forming as we started the long drive across this red land. By the time we arrived at the community centre in Kalgoorlie, I already felt part of a community. We received a warm welcome from the Kalgoorlie community that night. Geoffrey Stokes shared with us the film Utopia, which was an important foundation for beginning the journey, to acknowledge the pain that needs to be healed by respecting the first people and this land.

Kalgoorlie The next day, we drove through Leonora, meeting some of the community there. As we drove on to Yeeliree, the landscape flashed by in minutes what will take us hours to walk, and I am looking forward to being able to properly appreciate all the changes in this landscape.

Arriving in Yeeliree that evening and being welcomed to country by Vicky was very heart warming and special. Where we camped was so beautiful, clear stretching skies and red dirt, mulga trees all around. We had a chance to camp for a couple of days, settling into the new pace and vibration of the land, breathing in the fresh clean air. Marcus shared with us some of the history of amazing walks such as this, which have happened across the world. I felt connected to all people and their struggle for a safe future. We learnt more about uranium mining and nuclear energy, bombs and waste, and the insane cost we all have to pay.

Yeelirrie Working as a team, we started the first day of the walk with a strong spirit and sense of why we are here. As we walk this land together, the vibration of our footsteps will echo throughout our lives. When Kado arrived, it was very special to hear the creation story of this land and the sacred places, which really brings everything alive.

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Setting up camp, cooking and cleaning together, we are learning to work as a big family. When some of us have struggled or fallen sick, the tribe has come together to take care of each other. It feels so powerful to be part of a strong community, something that I personally lack in my day-to-day life.

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Now we are having a few rest days at Jones Creek, where we can have some quiet time to reflect on this first amazing week. I look forward to learning more about this country and culture, and understanding more each day.

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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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