March across the Nullarbor

Linked with our presentations of Stanislavka Zajovic – Serbia and (now independent) Montenegro, and of Women in Black, and of , and of WLUML – A Different Kind Of Power Is Possible.
Many miles ahead for Women in Black planning a march across the Nullarbor, 13 July, 2006, by Adam Gartrell, NATIONAL Indigenous Times:

Three elderly Perth women will walk a 200km stretch of the Nullarbor Plain as part of a mammoth cross-country journey to highlight racism against Aboriginal people.

Pam Morris, 74, Jane Paterson, 70, and Kathryn Newmar, 62, members of the international peace network Women in Black, began their month-long trip from Perth yesterday (Wednesday).

The three, who are not Aboriginal, will travel in a campervan through a handful of West Australian communities, talking to local people about racism and urging them to sign petitions they will deliver to the federal government.

The women will arrive at the border of WA and South Australia on July 17, when they will begin their arduous 200km trek to the Nullarbor Roadhouse.

“We’re not there to prove what great walkers we are – so if perchance we find that we’re absolutely exhausted, we’ll take a day off,” Ms Morris said last week.

After completing their walk, they will continue in the campervan to Canberra, arriving in the first week of August to seek an audience with Prime Minister John Howard and Minister of Indigenous Affairs Mal Brough.

The trio aim to urge the government to “curb entrenched racism in Australian society” and move towards reconciliation with Aboriginal people.

“We haven’t got an appointment with them yet. I think they’re considering it,” Ms Morris said.

“I very much doubt that that will happen, but still it’s a hope.”

Ms Morris, a retired nurse, said she was concerned the federal government was not doing enough to help Aboriginal people, especially considering details of shocking abuse in some Aboriginal communities.

“I personally feel that the government doesn’t really have the will to deal with this in an appropriate way, and regards the issue of Aboriginals’ low quality of life as a problem they just want to go away.

“I don’t think they approach it with any sort of compassion or understanding.” – AAP

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