For the past 11 months, Clinton Pryor has walked across the country relying on the generosity of others to keep him going.
The 27-year-old decided to make the journey from Perth to Canberra in protest of the forced closures of Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.
He has spoken with more than 100 Aboriginal communities along the way- an experience which has been both emotionally draining and uplifting.
“When you listen to all the sad stories and all the issues, some of them are very horrendous and mentally it hits you very hard,” he said.
“The love and the support from, so many different people here [is amazing]. I don’t know them but they know who I am and they support what I’m doing and that ‘s the amazing thing, seeing communities coming together.”
Clinton visited the Wingecarribee as part of his Walk for Justice on August 21.
He was welcomed by a large crowd at the Aboriginal Cultural and Community Centre in Mittagong.
Here he was presented with the honour of being the first person to wear the community’s possum skin cloak.
Aunty Val officially welcomed Clinton to the Wingecarribee Shire.
“Clint’s got to remember if you’ve got a dream in life or a vision, he has to keep it. your vision in life has to be longer than reality,” she said.
Rather than ride or drive across country, Clinton said he chose to walk to inspire others.
“i needed to do it in a way that it touched the people.”
Clinton will finish his journey on September 3 in Canberra where he hopes to talk some of the country’s leaders and instigate change.
“I didn’t walk 5000 something kilometres to go there and just talk. I want to see action now.”
Now in the home stretch, he said walk had been difficult.
A 16 day walk through the desert was one of the most difficult times for Clinton and led him to question whether he could keep going.
Another trial was when he spent two days dehydrated.
“I sat under a tree and said why am I doing this? But then I thought about why I started to walk in the first place. That gave me the lift in my heart to continue walking,” he said.
“It was never an easy road. But you always think in your heart you said you were going to go on this journey and it’s a big responsibility and you must do the right thing with it.”
One very important message Clinton had was that in order to make change happen, everyone needed to work together.