6 April 2023

Huw's 3000-kilometre journey from heart to heart in support of the Voice

| Edwina Mason
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Snowy Mountains adventurer Huw Kingston

Snowy Mountains adventurer Huw Kingston plans to walk the 3000 kilometres from Uluru to Parliament House in support of the Voice referendum. Image: Huw Kingston.

The man who walked from Melbourne across the chilly rooftop of Australia’s alps to Thredbo in the winter of 2022 is preparing to take a warmer, equally arduous route to Canberra this year.

Snowy Mountains adventurer Huw Kingston is literally taking The Uluru Statement from the Heart to heart, and will walk some 3000 kilometres southeast from Uluru to Parliament House in Canberra in support of the Voice referendum.

In late 2023 the people of Australia will have an opportunity to vote in the referendum to change the constitution of Australia to improve the representation of Indigenous Australians.

Huw plans to arrive at Parliament House in Canberra on the day of the referendum, a journey that will take around 100 days.

Invoking the concluding line in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, “We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.” Huw says he’s taking up the challenge under the banner ‘Take Heart’.

READ ALSO Huw’s 50-day alpine odyssey a ‘journey about passion’

The trek will take him through 22 traditional lands, five states and territories. Huw will traverse at least three deserts and the catchments of Australia’s largest rivers.

For more than half of its distance, Take Heart will navigate some of Australia’s most remote and arid country.

Huw says walking 600 kilometres across the 1000 dunes of the Simpson Desert – the world’s largest parallel sand desert – towing a cart with 150 kilograms of water and supplies will be a major challenge in itself, “an expedition within an expedition”.

Along the way he will visit a handful of remote, tiny communities such as Finke, Birdsville and Innamincka.

“I am taking the message of the Uluru Statement from the Heart of Australia, engaging with people enroute, hearing their views, listening, understanding, yarning and I invite my fellow Australians to join me along the way, for an hour perhaps, a day, or more,” Huw said.

Trek map

The route Huw will follow will take him through some of the most remote parts of Australia. Image: Huw Kingston.

He’ll progress through more populated country – towns such as Tibooburra and White Cliffs – before crossing the Barka/Darling River at Wilcannia and onward to Ivanhoe, then down through the Riverina, to Cootamundra before reaching the Murrumbidgee River and the final leg to Parliament House in Canberra.

The 60-year-old multi-award winning adventurer, writer and environmentalist – an ambassador for Save the Children and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society – has a reputation for the arduous and rather formidable challenges he takes up.

Some of his more recent journeys with a purpose include a 13,000-kilometre, 17-country, year-long circumnavigation around the Mediterranean Sea from Gallipoli back to Gallipoli. This project, by sea kayak, foot, ocean rowboat and bike, raised funds for the children impacted by the Syrian civil war.

He has previously walked, paddled and ridden 25,000 kilometres around Australia.

“Take Heart will undoubtedly challenge me – physically and psychologically,” he said. “Every long journey I have done always has.

READ ALSO Adventurer reprises alpine odyssey for a good cause

“But this is nothing like the challenges our First Nations people have endured nor indeed the challenge of getting a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum.”

Huw’s Alpine Odyssey in 2022 raised $65,000 for Our Yarning, an Indigenous literacy project.

“In the winter of 2022 I skied and walked the 700-kilometre length of the Australian Alps as a major fundraiser for Our Yarning,” he said.

“Literacy is one of the many measures where the Voice can help close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

From the heights of Australia last winter, to the heart of Australia this winter, he hopes Take Heart will amplify the message to encourage a positive result in the Voice referendum.

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