Facebook Walking Campaign @ Aussie Heart FB Page
New walk on now (March, 2018) please visit the facebook page for all new details!
Adam Richards and his 13 year old son Ned are walking to Canberra to present a petition to Parliament to close Manus and Nauru detention centres. However, from the start, Adam has maintained that it is not his walk, it is ours. This is a national issue, and ordinary Australians are taking it back. Locking up people in torturous conditions is unaustralian. It is not what we are about. This is a humanitarian issue that goes beyond politics. Asylum seekers can be processed onshore, and humanely, so that Australia remains a welcoming country of safety for all who seek refuge here.
Not everyone can join Adam and Ned on the road, although groups and individuals are welcome to journey to meet up with them as and when you are able. Many have expressed support and a sense of being behind them or with them in spirit. Well, we now have the opportunity to add our own kilometres to theirs, to be a part of journeying to Canberra.
Here’s the plan: anyone and everyone can take on some of the distance between where Adam and Ned are now (2/1/17) (just near Blanchtown) and Canberra.
Let’s all assist the team in getting to Canberra! We can do this from home, or go to a place which has personal meaning – the beach, North Terrace in front of Parliament House, a walking trail near where refugees you know live, a church carpark, your local park or national park, a school or sports oval, or literally your own street or backyard! Take on a certain distance, and walk it, and we’ll count it towards the total distance. This way, people right across Australia can take part and can demonstrate to Parliament, that this movement is far bigger than one father and son team who are prepared to walk from one capital city to Canberra.
To participate, just follow the steps below:
1) Sign up by uploading a before and after photo of your walk to the Aussie Heart FB Page, please have some form of a boat in the after photo and put #walktocanberra2017 in your post along with your nominee and distance walked, your post will be showed on the website and through other sources if it contains #walktocanberra2017. If the person you are representing is an asylum seeker or refugee, please do not name them for security reasons. You could simply state that you are walking for a 16 year old boy from Iran, for example. Or for friends in Manus or Nauru. Or for yourself or your family because you refuse to participate in what our Government is doing in offshore detention centres.
2) Before you begin your walk, take a photo or video of yourself about to begin. We encourage you to make a sign or tshirt or hat or something with #walktoCanberra2017 on it. Then, go on your walk. Once you have completed it, please take another photo or video of yourself as you finish, with a sign stating the distance completed and the date or dates walked, along with our hashtag. Please include a boat in this photo, as a symbol of support for boat Regatta of Hope which will be held in Canberra on 4 February. You might want to make a cardboard boat, or hold a toy or paper boat, or take a photo of yourself next to a real boat!
3) Please post your photos on our Aussie Heart FB Page as a record of the kilometres completed. We will keep a running tally of the kilometres to see how far we, as a nation, have walked in order to get our team to Canberra!
4) When you have completed your kilometres, nominate friends to take on the challenge, and tag them in your completion post (akin to the facebook icebucket challenge for ALS research in 2016). Let’s send this thing viral.
5) It is crucial that we have as many signatures on our petition as possible when we present it to Parliament. Whether you walk or not, please sign the online petition http://aussieheart.iopol.org/petition – or download a paper copy, collect signatures, then scan it and email it to Adam to be collated with the hard copy petition. Please share this and encourage everyone you know to sign it too.
6) If you are able to, please donate to the walk. There is a gofundme site on which you can contribute. This project is not for profit. Nor is it to raise money for the Aussie Heart party. Once travelling costs are covered, all money raised will go to the Gifts for Manus and Nauru campaign to purchase much needed items.
Our aim in adding this facebook component to the #walktoCanberra2017 is that Adam and Ned will not be walking alone, and will not have to walk the whole distance themselves. We will bear some of the load. Adam and Ned will walk the kilometres that we do not. This will assist Ned in the first instance, to finish early and get back in time for the start of the school year. We will then attempt to walk the distance to Canberra through this virtual campaign, before Adam arrives in Canberra. The distance saved will assist Adam to recover from his injured toe, and to campaign and collect signatures on the petition along the way.
Finally, please participate no matter how short the distance is that you are walking! Every metre counts. There is no minimum distance. You can also walk it by increments, if you do not want to walk a long distance in one go. I will be doing that, as I will be walking 5 kms on crutches. We have until the end of January. There is plenty of time and I for one will need it! You might want to walk once a week. Walk in the cool of the evening, walk in the morning, walk in the shade. We all have far more options than Adam and Ned do, on the road, and far more freedom to do so than those people held in Manus and Nauru.
We ask that you do so with as much publicity as possible. Tell everyone you plan to walk. Ask others to come too. Carry signs. Collect signatures. The concern that ordinary Australians feel over this issue is becoming more and more apparent every day due to multiple campaigns nationally. Let’s add to that momentum and make it impossible for the Australian Government not to #bringthemhere.
Jenny Richards for the #walktoCanberra2017 Team.
We go there, to bring them here.