Message Stick Walker Arrives in Canberra, Ngunnawal

Alwyn Doolan, The Message Stick Walker, arrived in Canberra, Ngunnawal country, on the weekend, after a trek of over 8,500 kms from Bamaga in far north Queensland. His historic 12-month walk travelled through over 50 first nations, gathering and imparting knowledge along the way.

Alwyn is a Gooreng Gooreng Wakka Wakka man and Yunyiddee (Aboriginal Messenger), inspiring cultural connection and connection to land amongst his people, as well as healing for broader Australia. He carries with him three message sticks, “that represent the three stages of Australia’s story - creation, colonisation and healing”. A statement by Alwyn Doolan can be found here.

His arrival to the outskirts of Canberra on Saturday was met with a Ngunnawal Welcome to Country smoking ceremony and a group of family members and supporters, some of whom have accompanied part of the trek along the route and others who have followed Alwyn’s journey on Facebook. After the smoking, the contingent walked through Canberra’s CBD to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, located in front of Old Parliament House. The group was escorted over the last few kilometres by the Indigenous (motorcyle) Riders Club and cheered in to the Embassy by Aboriginal elders and other supporters.

The following day, after a yarning circle at the Embassy, Alwyn collapsed - a result of the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual toll of his epic journey. He was nursed back to health that day and recovered after a night’s sleep.

The next morning, Monday, Alwyn, his family and supporters marched from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, up to the doors of Parliament House proper, to present a Statement of Intention to the Australian Government. The statement was read on the forecourt of Parliament House.

Alwyn plans to present the message sticks and tribal law notice to the new, incoming Australian Government, once sworn in, after which, his journey will continue.

Donations to the Message Stick Walk can be made here.

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