Sacred Life Walk - Update: Coober Pedy! 848kms walked - That's over half way
Sue and the walkers have made it to Coober Pedy are now well over half
way! That's 848kms of the 1500kms of the total distance to Uluru!
The country since leaving Port Augusta has been amazing. From the
beautiful wild flowers on red sandy plains, incredible rock formations
and crytalised salt lakes, every day brings new scenery and a new
dreaming story. We've continued to meet amazing people and
inspirational communities along the way and would like to thank all
those people who've come out and walked with Sue or supported us in
As we travel further up the Stuart highway we're starting to get a
much clearer picture of what the Howard Government's new legislation
means for indigenous communities. From massive funding cuts to
Aboriginal Councils and Health Organisations, "stealing" Aboriginal
assets only to be forced to rent them back, to the general outrage at
a lack of consultation with Community Leaders, we've not met anyone
cynical about what is happening. Many people feel there is a great
need to resolve the problems, but want to have a real debate about
partnerships and the future. So far the overwhelming sentiment is that
"social issues" are being used as a diversion to hide the destruction
of Aboriginal land rights and culture.
A Kookatha Woman told us "look at the housing price explosion and the
infrastructure and services in places like Roxby Downs and you soon
get an idea whose expert and professional advice is being followed -
China and Russia's! All these planned new mining and uranium
expansions show whose interests are really important to this
Government." She added "and it's not the local custodians who are
signing these mining agreements - we're all too worried about the
effects on water and the lands."
A wise indigenous saying we've heard goes as follows: "The water basin
is like the earth's radiator; if you take out the water, everything
overheats and you get a cracked head!"
Yes - the conversations around the campfire are very lively!
WHERE TO NEXT & JOINING THE WALK..
We've now had a good rest in Coober Pedy and after meeting members of
the community, doing a workshop at the school and being taken out to
some dreaming sites we're back on the road.
A big thanks to Umoona for putting us up and the Community Health
Service for the medical supplies.
The next stretch (Coober Pedy to Marla) will take about 12 days. We
are hoping to reach Marla in 12 days (Sat 22nd September) and will be
staying on Uncle Yamme Lester's property at Wallatina.
>From this point we are hoping to travel through Pitjantjara lands and
through the back way to Uluru. This depends on permission, weather
etc, and as we are down to one support vehicle (2WD), if there are
problems here we'll be heading along the main highway through Kulgera
Currently, we are unable to support any further walkers as we've got 9
people for one [overloaded] van & trailer. If people have their own
support vehicle and gear, they might want to consider meeting us at
Marla, but do contact us first as this depends on permits etc for the
Pitjantjara lands. Otherwise, check out the dates below and meet us at
pre 23rd Oct: Arrive and camping
*Tues 23rd Oct: Big BBQ at Mutitjulu with communities, then walk the
final steps together to Uluru.
*24th to 27th Oct: Workshops and discussion.
*Sat 28th Oct: Music Gig with presentations, speeches, special guests
and local music talent!
* We are trying frantically to get there on time and get things
confirmed, but do check the Website for updates/confirmation as this
is very difficult to organise everything from the road!
Remember that we are entirely grassroots funded and any financial
assistance goes a long way!
Our bank details are here: BSB: 803 226 A/C: 3558 (With Reference-
"Sacred Life Walk")
Otherwise, any food donations are greatly appreciated - think tinned
food and long lasting vegies (things are sooo expensive out here).
Call 0406868638 melb/0448104982 adel for donations of food to get sent
Thanks again to all the people who have shown us kindness and given us
such warm welcomes along the way!
~Sacred Life Walkers