A Poem from Benjamin

To My Friends Sandra, Richard, Jeanette, Geoffrey, and Lizzy

Where the red earth meets the blue bridal veil
bequeathed with dried leaves and desert flowers,
there she sits in her company of endless hours
weaving narrow channels beside lizard trails

As she gathers her maroon and black dress
into her arms, one dried by winter sun,
the other soaked in water young,
a great wind sweeps through the cracked wood.

And we sit quietly, breathless as we were born,
gasping, words lost in the long trail of her hair
shining with the light of myriad stars snared
in the dark canvass where death and life form.

We gift her our open eyes and sand-cracked feet—
an offering to a wedding each day repeats.

8/10/16
Benjamin Scott

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Week 3 on the road to a uranium free WA

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At Jones creek we had a couple of rest days, and Kado Muir took us for a walk up to the range, pointing out various plants and explaining their uses along the way. We reached a permanent water source and dug a soak, and Aunty Shirley showed us an old grinding stone. It was really valuable to see the land through the eyes of the people who know it, and to learn some of the Dreaming stories of that area.

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From Jones creek, we strode into somewhat inclement weather. We also encountered some very kind and well mannered Watpac goldmine workers who invited us to their gold mine (adjacent to the Wanjarri Nature Reserve) for a cup of joe (or else tea), where we exchanged cordialities and I took a photo of their Indigenous Policy. The land around was flowering and birdsong accompanied our sludgy footsteps. Hail fell on us and the wind tugged at our apparel. Our trusty support crew were there for us as ever, as our small band continued our sure march to Leonora.

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Aunty Jeanette and Vicky made us feel welcome and reminded us to acknowledge the ancestors and the spirit of the land. Mira from Germany serenaded us with her beautiful old folk songs, telling the tale of a time when humanity lived a more peaceful existence in greater harmony with nature. It was mighty frosty that night and I was grateful for the extra sleeping bag I’d been lent.

The next day Hannah, Zaquisha and the other kids gathered calgula (the silky pear) for us, which were bittersweet and nourishing. Another stunning starry night followed the telling of my tale and how I came to be part of this walk. Chats around the fires brought us closer together, building mutual understanding and respect.

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Vicky shared with us the dreaming sites of her mother and grandmother by Lake Miranda, and we observed a minute’s silence looking out over the lake toward one of the sacred hills. There was a thin layer of water in one part of the lake, a dead emu by the side of the road, and K.A. mentioned that it looks different every year. I took a lot of snaps. I’m sure those with real cameras would have captured a lot more of the depth and beauty out there.

Everyone is pitching in quite well to get everything done; there are plenty of chats and laughs, and whittling of mulga spoons, sporks and hair forks. We are doing really well with food, making some hearty, healthy and tasty treats including souffle and beef stew, which was to die for (well, that’s  what the cow said).

Today we had a debrief on the nuclear waste dump proposals for South Australia which detailed the intractable problems and ramrod illegitimacy of it all. Afterward, a number of us got together for a heart-to-heart, passing the talking stone around and spilling beans and tears.

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For the people, for the land,

Warri (and the other walkers) on Walkatjura Walkabout.

Week 2 on the road

From Yeelirrie to Jones Creek by Lucy, Jim and Bilbo:

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Walking Day one
Leaving Yeelirrie we said goodbye to Little Kev, Mrs Kev and small Kev (Karen, Cass and Toshi), and K-A. The wind picked up and the temperature dropped, and blew us west down the Albion Downs -Yeelirrie road. The children had fun dodging the Willy Willys, while the rest of us hunkered down once we reached camp in record time. At some point in the night, we woke up with the thought: this it, this where we take off … hang on, we are already in Oz….

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Walking Day two:
The wind still prevailed at the walkers backs, pushing them east to the next camp at Albion Downs station. The one good thing about the wind is that it blew all the flies to Alice Springs…. We left the last of the spinifex country we will see for awhile. Around sunset, the wind finally died down, and the walkers gathered round the fire to hear the story of how Marcus came to be walking and campaigning. It was a beautiful camp, looking east to the Barr Smith Range. The full moon made an epic entrance rising over the range into a clear and starry evening….

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Walking day three:
Waking to frost on the swags, the cold got the walkers moving into what was to be an exceedingly short walking day to camp, 8 kms down the road. This is one of our favourite camps and we look forward to stopping there every year. In a field of beautiful grass, nestled in the foothills of the Barr Smith Range. A white quartz hill looks over camp, part of the dreaming story for the area, and again that night the not-quite-full moon rose to stunning effect over the hill. A group spent the afternoon carving Mulga into what is hoped to be various cutlery, another group jammed the afternoon away with four guitars and a lot of home made percussion.

Walking day four:
Road graders were our wake up call at 6.15am ….. After the last three kms of the Albion Downs-Yeelirrie Road, and a right turn on the highway, the walk begins its southerly journey towards Leonora. Luckily its only a short walk of 11 or so kms on the highway dodging road trains, before the walkers turn off onto the old highway. Over grown, quiet and covered in wildflowers it takes us right into our rest day camp at Jones Creek. We shifted camp this year to the other side of the creek, to get away from the constant traffic of road trains in and out of the Kathleen Valley Goldmine. The mine has six more weeks until it moves into shut down and reveg, so next year perhaps we will be able to return to the Traditional Owners camp site. Kado and his daughter Ambigah joined us that afternoon for a couple of nights, and the evening we spent sharing stories around the fire.

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Rest Day:
Another frosty morning, the kind of morning where you watch the condensation inside the swag freeze in the sunlight as you sit up and take in the sunrise. After breakfast Kado told us the Dreaming story of the area, the white mining history and the Traditional Owners struggle to stop the Nickel and Goldmines nearby. Kado, Aunty Shirley and Jeanette then led us out into the hills for a walk to see a few sights associated with the stories he told earlier, and to a permanent soak that Irandia and the kids dug out for us. This soak would have been under a mountain of overburden from the Nickel mine had it gone ahead. We stopped to look at all sorts of plants and flowers, learning their medicinal or food properties. On the way home, Irandia gathered bush lollies for the walkers to try. Crystallised and chewy resin from a few different acacia bushes and trees. During the afternoon, the walkers were lucky enough to be invited to use the showers and washing facilities at nearby Yackabindi station. Over the years the station and its different managers have been generous to the walk, giving us water, fruit, and meat, letting us use the showers and washing machines and even having us camp on their front lawn last year. The evening wound up with chats around the fire and an epic beef stew cooked up by Jim, Marcus and Bilbo.

To make a donation to the Walkatjurra Walkabout you can direct deposit in to our Bendigo Bank account

Account Name: Fremantle Anti Nuclear Group
BSB: 633-000
Account Number: 137443347
Reference: Walkabout

First week on Walkatjurra Walkabout

Here we are on the 2016 Walkatjurra WalkaBout.

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This year the group consists of about 50 walkers who have travelled from all over the country and world to ‘walk away from uranium’.
We’re also blessed by the presence of traditional owners; Aunty Shirley, Aunty Lizzy, Richard and Sandra Evans, Uncle Glen Cooke, Kado Muir, Vicky, Jeanette and a big group of youth from Leonora who all share their knowledge and stories of the land on which we walk.

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Thanks to the subterranean underground fauna of stygofauna and troglofauna the EPA recommended the proposed uranium mine at Yeelirrie NOT be approved. From the walkers there are many stygofauna happy dances going on around camp and the area has been decorated with “we love stygofauna” stencils. However, it is still very sad that the EPA did not take in to account the wishes of the Traditional Owners and the many other issues.
Spirits are high as we walk along, knowing our time and energy has helped to protect this land and the world from the risks of uranium mining.

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As the sun rises and the sky turns hyper pink over the rich red landscape, the walkers pack their swags and head to camp kitchen for an early breakfast by the fire.
After breakfast, we gather in circle to reunite. Messages are shared, then shoelaces tied and toes wriggle. Flags are held high to share the message from all our hearts and minds. ‘Wanti uranium, leave it in the ground’. Foot before foot we walk together.
The breeze gets us through the heat of the sun. We chat, get to know each other and before long we’ve arrived at our new camp. At camp we split into our organised affinity groups. Sometimes a group will cook, care for the elders, or clean up after a meal. When we’re not walking or taking care of duties, we rest. Rest days involve cloud gazing, clothes washing, diary entries, spoon carving and learning about bush tucker from the locals. The midday heat makes us lazy and slow but were content in the peace this vast country provides.
Like the wind blows the dirt, we’ll be swift out of here soon. Makin’ tracks for the next camp. We’re spreading these words; ‘wanti uranium, leave it in the ground’. Come walk with us through this beautiful country.

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Support us as we stop the destruction of uranium before it starts. ‘wanti uranium, leave it in the ground’.
After celebrating the Yeelirrie decision the last few weeks we were saddened on Monday to hear the Mulga Rocks proposed uranium by Vimy resources has just been recommended for approval by the EPA.
Please lodge an appeal or get involved in the campaign
More info on Mulga Rocks go to http://www.ccwa.org.au/mulga_rocks

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To make a donation to the Walkatjurra Walkabout you can direct deposit in to our Bendigo Bank account

Account Name: Fremantle Anti Nuclear Group
BSB: 633-000
Account Number: 137443347
Reference: Walkabout

EPA say NO to Yeelirrie uranium mine ;-)

Header 2Hi everyone..

Today the EPA made the recommendation NOT to approve the Yeelirrie uranium mine proposal, you can read the EPA response to submissions here and the EPA report here.

Congratulations to all those involved and all of you who lodged submissions. The local pastoralists and Traditional Owners are overjoyed.

The Walkatjurra Walkabout is getting ready to head out this weekend for our 6th annual walk
After the announcement today there is a feeling that this years walk will be a bit of a celebration of today’s decision, although we are also aware that Cameco will not give up that easy this is still a great announcement that we were not expecting…

We must also remember that this is something that the local community has been fighting against for over 40 years..

Here is a video from Kado Muir  https://www.facebook.com/138731262842572/videos/1052662928116063/

and some media from today…
https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/32224927/epa-opposes-yeelirrie-uranium-mine/#page1

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/was-environmental-protection-authority-says-no-to-cameco-australias-proposed-uranium-mine/news-story/258678ea8b12d96ac5771196a9fb6c50

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timtreadgold/2016/08/03/tiny-bugs-block-the-development-of-an-australian-uranium-mine/2/#311f36f478d1

Walkatjurra Fundraiser has 8 days left

We are trying to reach $4,000 this year and only have 8 days left.

If you could share this Chuffed page around on your facebook page with family and friends it would be greatly appreciated.

Massive thanks to everyone who continues to support the Walkatjurra Walkabout and all donations will go towards supporting Aboriginal people to come on the walk along with helping us to purchase some of the much needed equipment.

All donations are Tax Deductible: Donate Here

August 7th – September 7th 2016
REGISTER HERE  ( Limited spots left )

The bus will be leaving Perth on the 7th of August (Early in the morning!!)

We will be meeting in Kalgoorlie on the 7th of August if you want to join us there. We will be camping the night in Kalgoorlie at the Wongutha Birni Cultural Centre, and then driving up to Wiluna on the morning of the 8th of August. Our first walking day will be on the 11th August.


ANFA is being held in Kalgoorlie this year, and support financially is needed to cover travel costs, food and accommodation for the delegates. If you would like to support, and spread the word through your networks here is the link to the online fundraiser:

If you can’t make it but would like to support the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance you can make a tax deductible donation.

Make a tax deductible donation here

Please share this update with friends and family