Walk happening right now! (march, 2018)
Website: Aussie Hearts Website
Facebook Page: Aussie Hearts FB Page
Please Join us to make tomorrow a better place.
____________________________________________________________DAY ONE 2018 SYDNEY TO CANBERRA REFUGEE REGATTA
Day one down! 21 Ks done – first blister up. Started by getting ourselves kicked off the opera house steps because you're not supposed to hold up signs protesting the miss treatment of refugees when singing the National anthem apparently. Personally, shocked that anyone could interrupt anybody else singing National anthem but it seems not.start walking with a group of friends from the town hall and then stopped off briefly in Chinatown for lunch – photos attached – now sitting down to an amazing dumpling new like that – that's my Australia- one enriched by other cultures and celebrating it!... Sydney is just amazing there are large communities of people from the Lebanon Afghanistan from Vietnam China etc The security guard at the town council was actually a refugee from Iran who one of the people that were seeing a soffit actually worked with in refugee camps here – Now working & paying taxes and contributing. Since when did we get we get so afraid of strangers that we could lock the children out for five years I'm not hanging heads in shame? # Bring them here. Doing the next 20 cays from punchbowl 730 tomorrow morning. Ned doing disgustingly well damn him. Anyone wanting a slightly used teenager –let me know, he'll be going cheap. Now ...Off to sleep.DAY TWO – Canberra walk for freedom.
Got going today and after a few hours of blistered walking I checked in with our great friends Naomi and Zoran who have been putting us up for the last two nights. The most generous and welcoming of hosts it helps somewhat that Zoran is a masterbuilder and was able to modify my walking shoes – some footage attached.Shoes now let in in more water but by my great Aunts garters they're more comfortable! Yet another thing I have to thank Naomi and Zoran for. Amazing people.Ned is simply fantastic and was damn impressive today on the walk in the rain. We walked till soaked and He just kept going for hours. Bit worried because there is some pain in the right knee for him but will see how it goes tomorrow. Tough kid. Rained all day literally – Two drowned rats finished after 630pm - tired now. P S - I'm trying to raise funds by walking on refugee rations 800 - 1000 calories daily, partly because I want to see what it would be like to try and do what these people do - walk long distances- on 1000 cal or less but more because I'm hoping to get at least 100 sponsors at a dollar a day over the 14 days of the walk. All money raised by this "fast"will be going to support the incredible Ali Murdoch and Chrissie Ellenberg in their work supporting refugees on Manus Island and Nauru.DAY THREE - CANBERRA WALK FOR REFUGEES.
Rain and more rain. Turns out it's the wettest day in Sydney for the last two years. Half our luck.feeling very tired and wet. Got a chance to thank Tim the owner of the Campbelltown Colonial Motor Inn who has put us up at no cost because he supports the cause. The kindness of People constantly amazes me.need to stay is playing up so you rest half the day today and decided to go swimming in the rain. Skiptech photo. Quite mad really. 20 ks tomorrow and we should be on the outskirts of Sydney....more then.PS – dodge the spiders!
DAY FOUR - CANBERRA WALK FOR REFUGEES
- The 2018 regatta.
Early start in order to get the kilometres done as quickly as possible. Feeling tired. This thousand calories a day businesses is no fun at all. Finally started to see the outskirts of Sydney and we are beginning to move into the country. Now easier on the feet as footpath's make for hard walking. Grass and even gravel is much softer! Ned is resting today because his right knee has been injured but is planning on going coming back on the road tomorrow.DAY FIVE - CANBERRA WALK FOR REFUGEES
- The 2018 Regatta...What a day! Sunshine warm weather, be- yootiful NSW and yes we made Picton! Meanwhile I spent the afternoon celebrating the sun by skilfully getting dehydrated and thus currently feel like a large, rotund prune, a groaning,all over aching feeling very sorry for itself prune. On the brighter side Ned is back on the road and his knee is doing well thanks to our dear friend Ly Nguyen who came by to say hello today with a knee brace, vitamin C , blueberries ( amongst other goodies) and cheer.DAY SIX CANBERRA WALK FOR REFUGEES
- The 2018 Refugee Regatta. After leaving Picton we headed closer to Mittagong to continue walking. It's a bit odd but we're not allowed to walk on the motorway so we have to do a case off on the old Hume Highway and were actually well ahead of where we've been staying at night. We keep pulling 22 km a day roughly. Feet not too bad only a few little blisters. Ned is doing fine. Big hi to Gia Sophie and Emma. PS 1000 calories a day seriously sucks. All you do all the time is think about food.Whinge sulk sniffle.DAY SEVEN - CANBERRA WALK FOR REFUGEES
- The 2018 regatta. Big day walking- Big thanks also to mine hosts Tahmoor Inn for the lovely stay and what is it about NSW drivers and their horn fixation? Everyone beeps everyone else all the time! New South Wales people are so friendly and hospitable but you guys are so mean to each other on the roads – ah well ...go figure! Ned was dying to go and see the Bradman Museum at Bowral sooo..Since we have to walk so many Ks off the main road it didn't make much difference whether we did the walking in the afternoon around Bowral or not and so that's what we did.
On 28th December 2016 Adam Richards and his son Ned aged 13 years will be walking from Adelaide all the way to Canberra.
The walk is conceived as a little persons protest against offshore mandatory detention - and as a way of giving voice to those majority of Australians who like us are disgusted about what’s going on offshore and shameful way our politicians from all parties are dealing with it.
That people are setting themselves alight in those camps is almost beyond belief. That women are raped, that children are attempting suicide and self harming – these are the reasons why we must walk to Canberra. We are Australian - and Aussies don’t do or tolerate those things. Period. Maybe our politicians will but we won’t and nor will we silently put up with it.
Before 1992 we Australians were world leaders in the treatment and processing of refugees – it was a time when we showed how it could be done, when we did the “righty” and when we could hold our head high on the international stage. Funnily, the world didn’t end – in fact we hardly noticed, our borders were not in imminent danger of collapse and the refugees arriving were assimilated to our social benefit.
In 1992 Paul Keating introduced mandatory detention and the slide into the cesspit of the current immigration detention regime began. At that time the policy was geared to slowing refugee intake that had – ironically - been at its highest under Malcolm Fraser’s Liberal government.
How low the Liberals have sunk since then! Things were taken to new depths by John Howard at the time of the Tampa crisis and 9/11. This was just before the 2001 election in which polls predicted he was going to lose comprehensively – he discovered then that the politics of fear and demonising target groups got votes. Arguably he learned that from Pauline Hanson ( remember her in 1996 - “We are in danger of being swamped by Asians...and now in 2016 “we are in danger of being swamped by Muslims”) - but the modern roots of that political approach go back to Adolf Hitler and the Jews he used for his horrid schemes.
Now all major parties - with the exception of the Australian Greens - have cashed in their souls for the votes that cruelty to refugees buys them. While doing this, they sell us the lie that somehow it’s necessary for our national protection and our security - as if a few thousand helpless refugees could compromise our national security. Ludicrous. Even relatively progressive politicians like Nick Xenophon are in on the act. And why? – Because it gets votes.
There was a time when being Australian stood for something in terms of fair treatment for all. There was a time that being “Aussie” meant something that was special. Back in the day, we had an immediate sense of pride in being identified as an Aussie. We were the cool guys on the international stage. Now we have arguably the world’s harshest refugee regime and are looked upon increasingly as a racist nation – like the old apartheid South Africa. My beautiful country! What in hell are they doing to others in our name!
Now we have politicians competing to see who can be cruellest to refugees. Vide Rudd V Abbott in September 2013. All to attract the votes of a small minority of Australians that the major parties want to swing in their efforts to cling onto and grasp at power. Our Pollys have thus been hijacked by the extreme right and in the process they have lost their moral bearings. Their resulting power comes at too high a price. They have lost their way and we intend to help them find it again.
We are walking to Canberra to reclaim our sense of pride in being an Australian. If need be we will walk alone - but If our politicians want to abuse men, women and God help them - even children - in these offshore prison camps then it is done neither in our name nor with our consent.
The plan is to travel the 1165 km between Parliament House Adelaide and Parliament House Canberra to arrive by early February (Sat 4th) in time for the opening of the 2017 Parliament.
The intention is to raise awareness on refugee issues and particularly the plight of those children, women and men in the offshore prison camps.
EVENTSAussie Heart Events
Petition - we will be gathering a petition along the way to hand to the new parliament. We hope people can collect petitions separately and either meet us in Canberra or get them to us by mail/Email..
Regatta - when we get to Canberra, on Sat 4th Feb at 1pm we intend to walk the last kilometre with a home-made milk carton “boat”. We are inspired by the Northern Territory’s famous milk carton regatta. Our politicians seem pathologically averse to boats - why should refugees who can fly in and then seek asylum be treated any differently? – why are our Pollys so scared of boats? – We figure that since a few refugees in boats can seemingly put the whole nation in peril, then chances are the mere sight of the two of us and our “boat” will scare the daylights out of them. Who knows? Maybe our Pollys will even start behaving like real humans? One can but pray and hope.
Embassy – Once our “boat” arrives at Parliament House we plan to set up an embassy there on behalf of the men, women and children who can’t do so in person – (Ned will represent the children) – to await the opening of parliament and to then deliver our petition.
Fundraising – we are looking for sponsors or to be joined on the walk – even for a day - by people who can get sponsors per kilometre walked and donate proceeds to the cause. We aim to do from 20-40km per day and will post a schedule as to where we’ll be from day to day. Monies raised will be divided - half to our next campaign and half to charities dealing directly with refugees eg - .If interested you can sponsor either Ned or Adam or both at 10c per km equals $116.40 for the 1164 km walk.
We hope others will join in collecting petition signatures, or even better - bring a “boat” along to Canberra for the regatta. As for the walk for Aussie pride, we’d love you to join us along the way – even for a day.
Along with raising awareness we are hoping to increase membership and we welcome membership enquiries. We are keen to offer an option for those who aren’t necessarily aligned with the Green party but nonetheless want to end what’s happening offshore.
Also we would be pleased to discuss with anyone the possibility of their standing for the next election as a candidate in their home state. We need two persons per state to run and our dream is to raise enough money to fund candidates running Australia wide in 2019.
If you can help with any of this we’d love to hear from you!