• A man walking across the country for the rights of Indigenous Australians reaches New South Wales.
• More to come …
Closing In on the End of a Long Road
Meeting the prime minister might require some finagling, but one man is walking across Australia to try to do so. Clinton Pryor of Perth is heading toward Sydney on his way to Parliament in Canberra in a walk championing rights for Indigenous Australians.
“I want to tell the prime minister to give elders the full control over the community,” Mr. Pryor wrote on his website, where he describes himself as a “Wajuk, Balardung, Kija and a Yulparitja man from the West.”
Mr. Pryor, worried that government interference will lead to defunding of services for Indigenous Australian communities, wants to ask Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to “give us a treaty and let us live our life how we always have done.”
His crossing into New South Wales comes during a week in which indigenous issues are high on the political agenda. On Monday, a panel set up by the prime minister urged that a referendum be held to vote on whether to establish a body to represent Indigenous Australian interests.
The body would allow “the First Peoples of Australia to speak to the Parliament and to the nation about the laws and policies that concern them,” the panel said.
Although in line with calls from the Uluru Statement From the Heart to establish “a First Nations voice enshrined in the Constitution,” it did not address its broader requests.
Mr. Pryor began his journey at Heirisson Island in September and is about 4,700 kilometers, or more than 2,900 miles, into his walk. He has meticulously documented his journey online through maps and time sheets and, of course, on Twitter. Here are a few highlights.
Northern Territory, December
South Australia, January
South Australian coast, April
New South Wales, July