Listening to and reading the stories it is clear that this walk has been an amazing catalyst bringing together so many different groups and individuals around this vision that ‘ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE’. A world without nuclear weapons and with a sustainable future is a vision that so many Australians already hold dear and want to share with wider and wider circles of people, sparking their imaginations too.
As we walked along the road, carrying our Flags and banner, so many trucks, cars and passers-by honked their horns , gave peace signs and yelled out ‘good on ya’! People even stopped to ask us what it was all about, genuinely interested in the issues. So we talked to them, and gave out flyers, drew attention to the website and the fact that the NPT [Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty] review was currently happening in New York. People even ran after us to give donations they were so supportive of what we were doing.
I only joined the walk at Ourimbah just north of Gosford on the NSW Central Coast, a part of the walk into Sydney that I had offered to coordinate. I was very moved by the ‘welcome to country’ in Aboriginal language by Peta on behalf of a local elder, and by hearing June tell the story of the message stick they are taking to Kevin Rudd. The walk into Gosford swelled as locals joined us on our way to the reception at the council chambers. This wonderful occasion and all the Central Coast activities were organised by Glenys and her local contacts and greatly appreciated by all. The Gosford Mayor was a member of Mayors for Peace and really supportive of the walkers, presenting them with a cheque! Local press took photos and interviews. We were also taken to the beautiful local peace park and art gallery and accommodated that might by lovely Liz who having walked for a couple of weeks over Easter also walked with us all the way down to Sydney.
The next day we walked to Patonga and had the great pleasure of a boat trip across the spectacular Hawkesbury river to the other side. We walked back to Mooney Mooney where we spent the night camped on the floor at the old school there. The walkers were treated to a lovely dinner by the local Mooney Mooney workers club and celebrated with local supporters organised again by Glenys. The next day we walked down the old Pacific hwy which was narrow and hairy in some places where the rock walls leave very little shoulder to walk on. We walked on to Warrawee, a total of around 27km where very comfortable accommodation in real beds had been arranged by the Waitara Social Justice group and our kind and welcoming host Joan. The group all arrived with a wonderful selection of home cooked food and joined us for a sumptuous and fun filled dinner together.
The next day was a 20km walk down the busy Pacific Hwy and Military road to join the 95th Birthday Celebrations of WILPF http://www.wilpf.org.au/ in Mosman where June was invited to be one of the speakers along with well known anti nuclear activist Helen Caldicott. From there we rushed on to a meeting with the Mayor of Ashfield organised by Fiona who coordinated arrangements for the walk south of Sydney. She set up a special Town Hall reception on Sun May 9th arranged by Clover More and the City of Sydney council. June again addressed the assembled guests, along with councillors and NSW Greens Lee Rhiannon. It was great to see such recognition, support, and encouragement for the wonderful dedication of June and Cassie and the other walkers. That evening at the Petersham Town Hall Fiona had arranged a meeting where June and Cassie told their stories followed by a showing David Bradbury’s film ‘A Hard Rain’ . This movie documents many of the horrors and ramifications of the nuclear cycle which all beginning with the mining of uranium - here in Australia we have 40% of the world’s uranium!
For all of us whose lives have been ‘touched’ by this walk - what a wonderful experience and opportunity to learn, share and encourage one another as we work, each in our own way, for a nuclear free and sustainable world!
Love and blessings of peace to all