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

Walkatjurra Walkabout: Heading out next week

Header 2Hi everyone..

With the Walkatjurra Walkabout starting in a week we are on a mad mission buying food and equipment for this years walk..  Everything is coming together well and lots of people will begin arriving next week from across Australia and around the world..

While the Walkatjurra Walkabout is out on Country we will be watching for the EPA recommendations on the Yeelirrie uranium mine proposal, the Wiluna uranium mine extension proposal and the Mulga Rock uranium mine. These could come at any time and when they do we will be calling on you to lodge appeals to any approvals. So please stay posted with pens and keyboards at the ready.

Thanks to Mia Pepper and CCWA the Walkatjurra Walkabout has a page on Chuffed where you can now make tax deductible donations..

We are trying to reach $4,000 this year and only have 2 weeks 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.

Join us tomorrow night (Saturday)

Collisions – Private screening and special event
30th July – 5pm – 7pm
Kidogo Art Institute – Bathers Beach Fremantle
Tickets available here

Collusion

This event is a fundraiser for the Australia Nuclear Free Alliance.

Join us for an evening of music, food, drink, art, film, and a very special speaker – OA Tilman Ruff. The event is a fundraiser for the Australia Nuclear Free Alliance national gathering in Kalgoorlie, and a great opportunity to preview the virtual reality film Collisions and find out all the latest news on abolishing nuclear weapons with Tilman Ruff who has just returned from the Vienna conference on nuclear disarmament.

Special private screening of the virtual reality film Collisions by artist/ filmaker Lynette Wallworth
Presentation from OA Professor Tilman Ruff – Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Nobel Peace Prize 1985); and is founding Chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
Music from the fabulous local blues artist – Lois Olney
Art sale includes pieces from Julie Dowling, Zhou Xiaoping and up and coming local artists
Food by Mama Pacha
Drinks from Gage Road Brewery and local wineries

ANFA

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

Peace & Solidarity
Walkatjurra Walkabout crew

Walkatjurra Walkabout, Karlamilyi Walk, Elections and more..

Hi everyone..

We are back from an epic week adventure in the Karlamilyi National park with Martu elders and people from across the country. The experience was out of this world – the group was so strong and amazing, the country spectacular. The threat of the Kintyre uranium mine to the ecosystem, the intricate network of water sources is immense. A massive thank you to all of you who donated, supported, came along, shared or followed this walk. There is nothing like being out on country to understand the enormity of the threat. You can check out photo’s here.  

Also some media links here:

Artist Anohni completes outback trek in fight with Martu people against WA uranium mine
Oscar-nominated transgender musician Anohni has described the proponents of a uranium mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara as “desolate souls” after taking part in a protest march to the site of the proposed project.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-13/anohni-joins-martu-people-on-march-against-pilbara-uranium-mine/7488188

Martu people to march 140km in protest against Pilbara uranium mine
The Martu people from Indigenous communities in WA’s Pilbara region are setting off on a week-long March to protest against a proposed uranium mine.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-04/martu-people-in-the-pilbara-protest-a-uranium-mine/7476440

 

Come and join BUMP at 6pm tomorrow night, Tuesday 21st, at Clancys Fish Pub in Fremantle. Join us for a drink, post walk catch up and an insight into whats coming up in the Anti Uranium mining campaign here in W.A. Love to see all your faces again!

For those of you inspired by the pics and articles from the Karlamilyi Walk come and join us for this years Walkatjurra Walkabout…

Walkatjurra Walkabout

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

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.

Its just over a week until the end of the financial year so if you are looking for a great cause to donate too then please consider the Walkatjurra Walkabout.

All donations are Tax Deductible: Donate Here

 

FEDERAL ELECTION IN TWO WEEKS

We have two very great anti nuclear campaigners running in the senate this election, and we would love your support to help them get elected.

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To help Kado Muir Ngalia man and anti nuclear campaigner / running for a Senate seat with the Nationals
– e-mail: Jamie.forsyth@nationalswa.com or enter your details online http://www.nationalswa.com/volunteer or call (08) 9322 7856

Scott
To help Scott Ludlam – nuclear issues spokesperson / running for a Senate seat with the Greens –
e-mail: office@wa.greens.org.au or enter your details online http://greens.org.au/volunteer or call (08) 63652131


Walking for Country documentary:
Denmark July 23rd and Origin Centre (Dates soon!!!)
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Watch the Trailer here

We are currently organizing for a screening of the Walking for Country doco in Denmark on the 23rd of July..

Venue to be announced soon….

Anyone wishing to help please contact Marcus on 0400505765 or Lucy on 0405456863
ANFA
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:
Make a tax deductible donation here

Peace & Solidarity
Walkatjurra Walkabout crew

Karlamilyi Walk and Film update

Hi everyone..

Well its less than a month now until the Karlamilyi walk heads off.. We have been getting lots of support with food donations and massive thanks to everyone who has made a contribution to the walk through the chuffed donation site..

If you have a few spare dollars to donate it would be greatly appreciated..

Funds raised will go to support Martu joining the walk from surrounding communities.
Donations are tax deductible.   DONATE HERE

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The Parnngurr Community was set up in the 1980’s during the homelands movement, as a protest camp against uranium exploration. The community here and other Martu communities are now faced with the renewed threat of uranium mining by Cameco and Mitsubishi. The community has called for a walk from their community to the proposed uranium mine through the stunning Karlamilyi National Park.

Join the Facebook Page to keep up to date

Walking for Country documentary

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Watch the Trailer here
The first International screening will happen during the last week of May at the International Uranium Film Festival in Brazil.

We have also just heard back from the G2 Green Earth Film Festival in Venice, California that Walking for Country has been selected as a semi finalist for their August 5 – 7 event.

We are waiting to hear back from a lot more film festivals and will keep posting info on our facebook page and to this list.. Hopefully it will be screening near you soon 😉

Come and join us for this years Walkatjurra Walkabout…

Walkatjurra Walkabout 2016
August 7th – September 7th 2016
REGISTER HERE

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.

more info at www.walkingforcountry.com

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Peace & Solidarity
Walkatjurra Walkabout crew

Yeelirrie Update: Cameco seeks OK from State Government for uranium mine at Yeelirrie

Hi everyone..

Just wanted to update you all on the situation at Yeelirrie and a few things with the Walkatjurra Walkabout..

First of all we have just been trying to get everything in order financially since the Walkatjurra Walkabout finished in September.  We were pretty close to breaking even on the walk, even with all the new equipment that we brought.. So a massive thanks to everyone who contributed.

Over the last couple of weeks we have had to pay for the registration on the kitchen truck that was $700 and then on the way back from the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance meeting in South Australia the water pump on the Bardi bus broke and we had to replace it costing $500..

We have come up about $1,000 short to cover this and are asking everyone if they could possibly make a tax deductible donation to the walk to help us out..

Any support is greatly appreciated
Donation
Hopefully early next year we will be screening a documentary on the Walkatjurra Walkabout that is being made by Rez at the moment.

You can check out a sneak preview here

YEELIRRIE UPDATE

Right now the world’s largest uranium company – Cameco of Canada – is seeking the State government’s all clear to mine WA’s biggest uranium deposit at Yeelirrie in the northern Goldfields.

You can help by letting the EPA know that uranium mining is unnecessary, unsafe and unwelcome.

Please send your comments on the Yeelirrie Public Environment Review to the EPA now.

The Yeelirrie uranium mine in the Northern Goldfields, has been fought against for over 40 years. Hundreds of people have walked through Yeelirrie over the last five years to protest against the planned mine. They have walked side by side with Yeelirrie’s Traditional Owners and with pastoralists. The country is beautiful with valleys, spinifex plains, bush foods and flowers and it holds many important traditional stories and sites.

Koara elder Richard Evans said these words and we share his view. There is no reason or right to mess with uranium or to increase radioactive risks.
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Stand together with Yeelirrie Traditional Owners in opposition to the Yeelirrie uranium mine. Send your message as a submission to the EPA process.

Also check out the short film “Yeelirrie Place of Death” by Rez Nez films.

Peace & Solidarity
Walkatjurra Walkabout crew

Walkatjurra Walkabout: The end of another year

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IMG_3017Thanks so much to everyone who came and supported the Walkatjurra Walkabout this year..

We have finished doing all the finances and we have come up $1,000 short.. (which is actually better than we expected) We also have the kitchen truck registration that is due at the end of October that is another $650..

We have a tax deductible donation site at https://ccwa.nationbuilder.com/walkatjurra

If you could write a personal message to friends and family about your experience and post on facebook or by email with the link to the tax deductible donation site it would be greatly appreciated.. lots of people donating small amounts soon add up 😉

Donation

The last week of the walk saw us leaving Poison creek after two well deserved rest days and some bathing and washing. There was a small billabong at Poison creek that the cows had fowled, so Aunty Lizzy a local traditional owned showed us all how to dig for water in the creek bed. We dug three waterholes, two for washing clothes and ourselves and one that was pure water for drinking, its amazing the knowledge that Aboriginal people have gathered over thousands of years and is still alive today.

With four walking days and 88km’s to cover to Kuthanaru camp we set off for the first day of walking to cover 20km’s, with the temperature soaring to 35 degrees Celsius. The day was long and hot with little shade, but the walkers walked with high spirits to our camp on the side of the road near the Sinclair mine turn off. It was also blowing a gale with dust storms and small willy-willy’s dissecting the road, we arrived tired but in good spirits.

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Marcus and I had to do a water run to Leonora that took five hours and 170km so we had enough water for the rest of the walk. We arrived back to camp at 9pm, to the sounds of birds, the flicker of campfires and snoring. It was surreal, as usually people would be up laughing around the communal fire, but I guess not unexpected after the days walk.

The next day we awoke tired and sore, but still in good spirits, for an early start, another 20km day with temperatures again in the 30’s. Marcus and I decided to drop the km’s down from 23km’s to 20km due to the previous days walk and the temperature, but also so we could camp at Doyle’s well.

Doyle’s well is a massive creek system with eight creek crossings, gum trees and an oasis of green grass, it also has allot of bullocks and cows, which have been a constant during the walk. Just near our camp is the ruin of the old settlement at Doyle’s, where there was a thriving community. Not much exists there now except the ruins of buildings and the old swimming pool, with some old Bougainvillea vines that house a colony of Kangaroo rats, we didn’t see them but there where plenty of tracks.

We have never camped at Doyle’s before but it was one of the best camps on the walk. The dry arid conditions that we had become accustomed to seemed to be held at bay by the grass and gum trees that provided a respite from the sun and wind and rejuvenated our spirits.

The next two days saw the temperature drop to a comfortable degree which was good as we had two long days of 24km’s until our final rest day. It also saw the arrival of Uncle Glen Cook, a local senior traditional owner who has been a part of the walks every year since we started in Wiluna in 2011.

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Uncle Glen has been a constant opponent of the Uranium mines in the region often at odds with some people in his own community that are willing to negotiate with the mining companies. Uncle Glen had been delayed due to community commitments and deaths in his family, funerals and deaths in Aboriginal communities are far too frequent and the commitments of Aboriginal people to their communities, families and nations is a foreign concept to most non-indigenous people, but I hope to some degree that the participants on the walk gain a better understanding of what its like for Aboriginal people and the things that have to deal with on a daily basis.

The first thing Uncle Glen did when he got out of the car and started to walk with us was to stop at a Mulga tree and talk about it. For us we might just see a tree, but to him he sees boomerangs, spears, tools and food he sees life. He sees the past, the present and the future; he sees a continuation of knowledge and survival. It’s a rare gift to be included so openly in his knowledge but that’s the kind of man he is, open, generous and willing to share his love for country.

That night we camped near an old gnarled peppercorn tree, in a rocky quarts camp, gold country. it was a change from the previous camp at Doyle’s, back to the stark beauty of the desert. We also had a night of wind and showers to wash away the dust as people quickly charged their phones to talk to loved ones in the outside world, its a rare patch of mobile reception out here.

One more day of walking to our base camp, Kuthanaru, saw the walk cover another 24km, leaving only a 12km day to Leonora. It’s a place that feels like home to most of us who have been walking for the last few years, and a significant part of the local Aboriginal history. Kado Muir’s mother and father set up the camp so that the last of the elders in the community who had lived and grown up in the bush could live out their last years in peace, surrounded by the country that is so ingrained in their souls and traditions, and has become the spiritual home of the walk. There are many old traditional camps and ceremony grounds on the site so we always pay special attention to camp set up, flagging off areas we cannot go into due to cultural sensitivities.

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This would be our home for the next three days and four nights, an opportunity to regroup, wash and welcome the Aboriginal community from Leonora for the last push into town. We where met there by local elders Richard and Sandra Evans and rejoined by Aunty Shirley and about a million kids. It is always a great last few days where we get to meet all the people from the local Aboriginal community who cannot attend the walk due to work and other commitments.

On the evening of the first rest day, the day before we walk into Leonora, Uncle Glen organized some dancers to perform an Emu corroboree. Uncle Richard, described the dance and what it means, “Emu’s when they mate, the female lays the eggs and the male sits on the nest and raises the children. It’s a lesson to us males to look after or children like the Emu does.” The dance was performed by Troy a local Aboriginal man with the kids performing the role of the young Emu chicks and with Uncle Glen singing in language accompanied by Marcus on didgeridoo.

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The final day walk into Leonora is a short day, only about 12km but it’s an opportunity for all the walkers and the Aboriginal community (many of whom couldn’t make it to the walk) to show a united and strong voice against the proposed uranium mines. Walkers where met at the Leonora town boundary for the walk into the local park where we all settled into for a long lunch and BBQ. After the lunch the bus whisked some of the walkers off to Malcolm dam, a local swimming spot for an afternoons swimming and relaxation before heading back to camp for dinner of Emu, damper and sing-along’s at the fire.

The final rest day before we head off to Kalgoorlie and then Perth is hardly a rest day. It a frantic day of cleaning the truck and buss, stocktaking, packing bags, dealing with lost property and the last closing circle.

The closing circle is always an emotional time, its an opportunity for us the walk organizers to hear about peoples experiences, the good the bad and what needs improvement, but also a somber moment where walkers can speak from their heart about their experiences and the eventual reintegration to the outside world. We have all spent the last month in a moving community, living side by side, sharing food, walking country, talking, singing, cooking cleaning and learning to love the flies, dust and each other, its hard to let go of all that, to readjust to the outside world, that for a brief moment in our life didn’t exist.

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I was honored to hear about every ones thoughts and stories and to see the great changes in peoples lives since we started, the personal growth that was expressed by many is for me, as an organizer, one of the best aspects of doing walks like this. Its an emotional circle, a closure and a beginning, and I hope that the walkers continue to create change both inside themselves and around them drawing on the experience and connection they have gained on country.

The next two days are days of driving, covering almost 900km back to Perth with a one night stop in Kalgoorlie at Wongath Bini cultural center where we stayed on the way up. We where joined by Libby and Debby Carmody, who had to leave the walk due to the sudden death of their father, Uncle Geoffrey and Christine Stokes, and Auntie Marcia and her husband Trevor and their family as well as many others from Kalgoorlie.

It was great having all of these people back together for one last night, it felt as if the walk had come full circle. It was especially great to see Libby and her family again after the great shock of the death of her father, another time to reconnect, reflect and share. The night was filled with gospel music, guitar jams and of course Ruben on his saxophone, the city lights seemed to fade under the glow of our campfire and the noise of the mining town drifted off as the voices of singing and music filled the air. It was a great last night before the long drive to Perth and the craziness of the city and the end of the journey.

The long drive back was grueling, and as we broached the hills to see the city in the distance it filled me with a sense of confusion, on the one hand clean clothes and showers awaited, but on the other hand, the serenity and bush would soon disappear under tar and cement. Luckily we landed in Fremantle at Lian, Claire, Olivia and Lucy’s house, greeted by a camp fire in the back yard, a yummy diner and the local community, it was a nice homecoming and a gentile way to reenter the city, thanks to all those who opened their homes and brought food and great conversation. We also got to see a sneak peek at Rez’s film about the walk; it was amazing, his film style and footage was inspiring.

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Well that’s another year of the Walkatjurra Walkabout, for me it was a really inspiring group of people and one of the best walks. But it is far more that just walking, so I would like to take this time to thank the too numerous to mention, people who donated, time, money and energy to the walk. To all those who read the updates and posted online, to those who came from Australia and overseas, to the Aboriginal people of the region and through out Australia and the world who are striving for a future free from the nuclear industry and to all the walkers be they there for a day or a month, I would like to extend my deepest respect and love. We will continue to walk for a nuclear free world, one step at a time, and one story at a time, together we can create the change.

Yours in peace and solidarity,
Bilbo Taylor.

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P.S. AND THAT’S HOW MARCUS RUINED MY LIFE!

Replacing our beloved Kitchen Truck

Hi everyone..

The Walkatjurra Walkabout is all set to take off in the bus from Perth on the 16th of August..

We have had quite a few people registered already but there is still room left for more..

Please register here if you are planing on coming so as we have an idea of numbers..

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We are sadly saying farewell to our beloved Kitchen Truck

It is with great sorrow that we say goodbye to our amazing kitchen truck that has been so loved and appreciated by the Walkatjurra Walkabout and before us the Great Walk Network.

We are now desperately in need of a replacement kitchen truck and have been looking around for something that is up to the task.. Today we think we have found a truck that would be a great replacement.. It has shelving already installed and a solar set along with a water tank.

The only problem is that it is out of our price range…

But.. When we told the owners what we wanted it for they reduced the price from $6,500 to $5,000.. This seems like a great offer and all we need to do now is raise another $3,000

We have set up a Pozible fundraiser to help us get the money, so if you have a few spare dollars and would like to help it would be greatly appreciated..

http://www.pozible.com/project/197204

This will be our 5th year out in the Goldfields for the Walkatjurra Walkabout and it continues to grow in that area and Internationally..

We are expecting people this year from the UK, USA and Japan to join us on the Walk..

We will send out more of an update over the next week or two about the truck situation and also more on the Walk..

Please share the Pozible with your friends and family through Facebook or emails..

Your continued support is what makes these walks possible…

Hope to see you on the Walk..

Walkatjurra Walkabout Crew