Walkatjurra Walkabout.. Week one on the road

‘Walkatjurra Walkabout – Walking for Country’

is a celebration of Wangkatja country, a testament to the strength of the community who have fought to stop uranium mining at Yeelirrie for over forty years, and a chance to come together to continue share our commitment to a sustainable future without nuclear.  It is a chance to reconnect with the land, and to revive the tradition of walking for country.

An update from the first week walking on the special red-earth country of the Northern Goldfields.

Early on a fresh Sunday morning people gathered together at East Perth Train Station, identifying fellow walkers by their sturdy boots, smiles and swags. In 2015, and every year since 2011, a community have come together to raise awareness of the impacts of uranium mining and to walk in solidarity with Aboriginal people on whose land uranium mining is proposed. Walking the country slows us down and creates space for those stories to be told and properly heard. In 2015 the Walk is returning to the beginning of the 2011 route, from Wiluna to Lenora.

After two long days of travel the convoy finally arrived into a campsite north of remote Wiluna. The journey included an important stop-over in Kalgoorlie, camping out at the Wongutha Birni Cultural Centre, picking up some last minute supplies and listening to stories from Traditional Owner Geoffrey Stokes and his wife Christine.

The first few days were spent in preparation for walking; this included resting from the road trip ☺ and enjoying being free from the distractions of our everyday lives. We also organised into affinity groups, made rosters for camp operations and started to meet our fellow walkers. The group this year includes traditional custodians on whose country we will walk through, families, photographers and documenters, people from all over Australia, and international guests from Taiwan, France, Iran, Japan, United States, UK and New Zealand. This was also an opportunity to hear from the traditional custodians who would be guiding our walk.

Covering 90 km in 5 days the first stretch of walking took us from Wiluna to the gates of Yeelirrie, a proposed uranium mine owned by Cameco. In the first few days we walked past Toro Energy’s Lake Way proposed uranium mine and turned west onto a dirt road toward Yeelirrie.

Once off the main road we could really take the time to appreciate the constantly changing landscape, and the plant and animal life. These walking days were filled with the daily rhythm ~ rising with the sun, taking down camp, morning circle, walking with our toes in the desert sand – stopping every now and again to appreciate a new Grevillia species or sand track, yummy dinners at camp, and ending with stories by the camping fire under the shining desert stars and a growing moon.

On the fifth day we arrived to Yeelirrie and were joined by Federal Senators, State members of Parliament, journalists and a Buddhist Nun from Japan. Some of the group went on a tour of Toro’s Lake Way proposed mine site, a lucky or unlucky opportunity depending on your idea of fun especially given the long relaxing yoga class in the sun enjoyed by the rest of the group. In the afternoon and into the evening we listened to stories from traditional custodians, local pastoralists, politicians and International Walkers about culture and country, the impacts of uranium mining and the current state of the uranium industry and proposed mines.

It is with these stories that we share and grow our understanding of the threats from the nuclear industry to our health, the environment, Indigenous people and culture around the globe; and strengthen our resolve to never allow digging up the uranium in the first place.
The first week has been both challenging and empowering, stimulating us to ask more questions and open our minds and hearts to the possibility of a nuclear free future.

The Walk brings together inspiring people from all backgrounds for a common purpose, and anything can happen.

Some walkers have come from a long way away at their own personal expense.. We would like to help cover there food costs while on the walk..

CAN YOU HELP SPONSER A WALKER..

$50 sponsors one walker for 5 days.
$100 for 10 days..
$300 entire walk for one person

All donations are tax deductible..

Make a tax deductible donation just CLICK HERE
         
Looking forward to seeing many of you in the next few weeks and for those who can’t make it this year make sure you follow us on facebook or via the webpage 😉


Always remember to tune in to Understorey –   and the Radioactive Show this week for all the latest nuclear and peace news.  

If you have any questions then please feel free to call or email..

Marcus Atkinson: 0400 505 765   email: walk4country@gmail.com

Peace & Solidarity
Walkatjurra Walkabout Crew

Walkatjurra Walkabout: Art Exhibition opens tonight and walk leaves Sunday.. Come and Celebrate

‘Walkatjurra Walkabout – Walking for Country’

is a celebration of Wangkatja country, a testament to the strength of the community who have fought to stop uranium mining at Yeelirrie for over forty years, and a chance to come together to continue share our commitment to a sustainable future without nuclear.  It is a chance to reconnect with the land, and to revive the tradition of walking for country.

Join us TONIGHT August 14th for a WANFA fundraiser and
5th year celebration of Walkatjurra Walkabout

Come along to Yellowcake Country, a night of fun fundraising for Wanfa and celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Walkatjurra Walkabout. This art exhibition and auction will be held from mid-August until the end of the month, and the opening night will include a performance by Embers of Loretta, talks from WA Nuclear Free Alliance reps and auctioning 10 of the best art work by our own Jo Vallentine!

Sunday morning the WAlkatjurra Walkabout hits the road!!!

If you are coming then pack some warm gear as it is cold at nights!!..

Marcus and Bilbo just returned from taking the new food truck up to Leonora and it was around 4 degree’s at night, but beautiful mid 20’s during the day..  There has been quite a bit of rain latley and if the sun stays out over the next few weeks then we may be in for a real treat of desert wild flowers!!

The new food truck had a bit of a break down in Kalgoorlie and needed a new starter motor!!  Bit of a bummer but way better to happen now and in Kalgoorlie than during the walk.. So we are looking at this as a blessing in disguise!!

We pick up the new water tank and trailer tomorrow and things are getting really exciting as people begin to fly in from all around the Country and the World this week  😉

Would you or a friend be able to sponsor a walker ?

Do you know anyone who could help cover the costs for two Aboriginal people to attend the Walkatjurra Walkabout ?

We are also looking to helpassist 2 people from Taiwan who are buying their own plane tickets but need some help with the $10 a day for food..

ALSO !! A Japanese Buddhist nun who has been walking through Fukushima has just got her plane ticket to join us on the Walkatjurra Walkabout but we would like to sponsor her the $10 a day for food…

$50 sponsors one walker for 5 days.
$100 for 10 days..
$300 entire walk for one person

All donations are tax deductible..

Make a tax deductible donation just CLICK HERE

If you are still thinking about coming on the walk NOW is the time to make a commitment.

The bus is looking full so if you have not registered then you may need to find your own way to get to the walk or we can put you on a growing waiting list if someone can not go at the last minute!!
1. Make sure you register! If you are coming on the walk, we need to know. We have  started stocking up on food, sorting equipment, and getting the super exciting new kitchen truck set up. Many thanks to all walkers who have already paid a donation towards food and support costs, we couldn’t start the process without it.

2. There are only 4-5 places left on the bus out to the start of the walk. Get in quick if you need a ride. Email Marcus on marcus@footprintsforpeace.org to secure a seat.

3. Start getting all your camping and walking gear ready. Make sure you have a had a read of the Information for participants. Be prepared for all sorts of weather – warm during the day and cold at night, with possibility of big rain. Have you got a tent or swag? A bed roll? Good shoes? Footwear is very important – might be worth going on a few longer walks beforehand to get fit and break them in.

4. Tell all your friends! Are you talking to everyone you know about the walk? It’s a pretty big deal, apart from walking long distances in a stunning landscape, supporting community development projects with an awesome indigenous ranger group and learning new skills out on country, we are building strong, resilient community based Resistance to stop the proposed mines in Northern Goldfields and keeping WA uranium mining free.

Have you thought about contacting your local paper to see if they are interested in running a story about your trip? Or having a potluck in your community to develop a bit of local support? The more people who know about it, the better 🙂

5. Get your best outfit ready for the Yellowcake country” exhibition opening. We are making a night of it and celebrating the 5th anniversary of the walks and hosting a fund raising art auction for WANFA too. It’s going to be a great night for all on Friday 14th August at 6:30pm at the Moores Gallery in Fremantle.

Looking forward to seeing many of you in the next few weeks and for those who can’t make it this year make sure you follow us on facebook or via the webpage 😉

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
Always remember to tune in to Understorey –   and the Radioactive Show this week for all the latest nuclear and peace news.  

If you have any questions then please feel free to call or email..

Marcus Atkinson: 0400 505 765   email: walk4country@gmail.com


Peace & Solidarity
Walkatjurra Walkabout Crew