‘One step closer’ walk for families

ONE STEP CLOSER: Mel McCann and Michael Weaver are walking from Sydney to Canberra. Photo: Claire Fenwicke

ONE STEP CLOSER: Mel McCann and Michael Weaver are walking from Sydney to Canberra. Photo: Claire Fenwicke

IF you saw a neon yellow heart surrounded by a pink border, it means Michael and Mel have walked past.

The pair are walking from Sydney to Canberra to raise awareness about parental alienation.

Mel McCann said she had not seen her two children, aged 10 and 12, in nearly six years.

“My kids don’t even know what I look like anymore,” she said.

Parental alienation is the act of a parent or person coaching or convincing children to ‘break away’ from the other parent by way of brainwashing children into thinking badly of the targeted parent.

Michael Weaver said his ex-partner made it difficult for him to stay in contact with his children, aged 14 and 16, after their divorce.

“It’s the simple things you battle, like my son and I can only communicate through Facebook as his mother doesn’t like us talking on the phone,” he said.

“Just because parents fall out of love doesn’t mean the children should fall out of love with each parent as well.”

The walkers said it was “just incredible” how many people they had met on their journey who are experiencing the same thing.

“We just want to make some positive noise about this issue,” Michael said.

“It has been considered a form of child abuse and we would love to see some laws changed.”

Mel said she hoped the walk would raise awareness of the issue and let others know “you are not alone”.

“”No matter how big the day feels, you’re always one step closer,” she said.

“I’d like the courts to do psychological tests for manipulation.”

Michael and Mel walked from Moss Vale to Penrose, down the Old Hume Highway through Bundanoon, on October 14. 

Everywhere they walk, Mel draws the heart on the sidewalk with chalk.

“Yellow is one of my daughter’s favourite colours, and pink is the favourite of the other,” she said.

“It’s like I’m walking the path towards my heart, which are my girls.”

Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/events/291605404535571/. 

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