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Daily updates from the Walk

All the most up to date news and events from the Walk, every step of the way.

Daily diary updates

  • See how Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton and The Police Association of Victoria Secretary Wayne Gatt are tracking on the final stretch of the Head to Head Walk. We also meet police veteran Narelle Fraser who speaks of her experience with a mental illness and explains what the Head to Head Walk means to her.

  • 22 October 2018

    Let’s Go Motorhomes would like to congratulate the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Graham Ashton and TPAV Secretary, Wayne Gatt for their fantastic effort walking a combined 1,000 kms. This achievement has enabled them to reach their fundraising target of $500,000 for support of police mental health. Let’s Go are proud to have supplied six motorhomes to the hardworking support crew for this important community initiative.

    Jeff Sharp, General Manager, Let’s Go Motorhomes

    www.letsgomotorhomes.com.au

  • October 21 2018

    It was a pleasure to be joined by Tessa Barrat from beyondblue, Mark Sims, Damian Peppler, and Jim McLaughlin from our Association leadership today as we walked 30km to Broken Creek. The landscape turned from fruit trees to open woodlands, as we talked about the job and some of the great work that beyondblue is doing to support the community and police by raising awareness of mental health.

    Over the walk, we have tried not to stop too much, as we worked out early in the piece that it is better for the body to keep moving but there was one stop that we simply had to make today. We paused at the gravesite of Constable Damian Eyre who was murdered in Walsh street 30 years ago. The anniversary of his death was remembered during this walk. It was fitting that we paid our respects at this time. Damian’s father, a police veteran worked in the region for many years and we were happy to speak with him too.

    We walked on and were joined by Emergency Management Victoria Commissioner Andrew Crisp. Andrew is a former police Deputy Commissioner who, like many, served for 40 years.  His support and company walking with us was very much appreciated and his commitment, even after having left Victoria Police to see the right thing done by our current and veteran members is inspiring. Our daily support team, John and Pete walked with me again throughout the day. I am starting to feel the last three weeks of walking now and the support of our team has been exactly what I have needed to get up and go each day.

    Tonight, we are camping at a bush campsite arranged by detectives from Benalla. We could not be made to feel more welcome than we have by members like this, who go all out to make sure we are comfortable and have everything we need as we walk through their area.

    Tomorrow we should make the town of Benalla.

  • October 202018

    Km’s travelled: 25.5km 

    Weather: Drizzle, 21 degrees 

    Today was the first time we really had to contend with wet weather on the Head to Head walk. Departing from Porepunkah, we ventured along the rail trail for the entire duration of today’s 25.5km leg. Joining along the way were Emergency Services Commissioner Andrew Crisp, RPSO Greg Dallas as well as a  number of current and former members.

    The morning’s rain didn’t dampen spirits, however, as the entire walking party maintained the enthusiasm enjoyed since starting in Mallacoota 20 days ago. We passed the 450km milestone late in the day, leaving us with under 50km until our goal of reaching  Wangaratta. Our destination today was the Myrtleford police station,  where we led a convoy of SES volunteers through to a nearby community event. Where once again, we enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of another these regional community. The purpose of this walk is clearly resonating with people from all walks of life. Tomorrow is our final rest day ahead of the home stretch.

    We’ll use the opportunity to do a bit more recovery before we set our sights on arriving into Wangaratta on Tuesday. I’m excited to meet up with Wayne Gatt and his team to compare stories from our journeys. 

    We are nearly at our target goal of raising $500,000 for veteran members and I’m very proud of what we have all been able to achieve so far. 

  • 20 October 2018

    We battled rain off and on for the Day as we made our way towards Shepparton. The weather app showed 14 degrees and `feels like’ 4.3, quite the change from the start of our walk in Mildura. I was walking with the Hon Edward O’Donohue Shadow Minister for Police and Sergeant Mark Sims from the Associations Executive.

    We walked to the Mooroopna McDonalds where we were joined by Inspector Troy Hargadon and members from the Shepparton Police Station.  It was great to have a cross-section of members from the area to walk the 5km into the town of Shepparton. Members braved the rain in shirt sleeves for the cause as we talked about life at the busy regional station. All agreed that police are starting to talk more about their mental health and one explained how it was nice to recently get a text from a colleague after he had been to a nasty job simply asking how he was going after it.

    Welfare checks don’t have to be formal, recorded or done by supervisors – the best ones are done by mates. We had a BBQ lunch in the Maude Street Mall and I had a chat with two police veterans who have PTSD. They came along to say hello, show support but both need more help. The Retired Peer Support Program will do that.  The Hon Wendy Lovell (member for Northern Victoria) and Kim O’Keeffe Mayor of Shepparton joined us and our members to talk about Head to Head.

    After the BBQ, Peter Abbey and I walked on through the town to Shepparton East, where the landscape changed to include rows of fruit trees until we reached Pine Lodge. We have three big days of walking to get to the finish line – here’s hoping we get better weather for a long days walking tomorrow.

  • 19 October 2018

    Km travelled: 27km 

    Weather: Sunny, 25 degrees 

    After several days of hard challenging terrain, day 19 consisted of a mostly flat and scenic walk along the Great Alpine Road. Senior command and local representatives joined us for today’s leg, starting just outside of Bright. 

    We passed the 400km milestone early in the day, which provided extra motivation for the walking group. The Bright police station welcomed us into town by hosting a function at their brand new station. It felt like the entire Bright  P-12 College turned us too, with heaps of children waving the Head to Head flags. A special thanks need to go out to the Rotary Club of Bright, who made a generous donation this afternoon to our fundraising effort. 

    It was also great to meet the local member and check out their terrific new station. We are getting very close to our goal of reaching  $500,000 for veterans network. With people continually stopping us during the walk to contribute to the cause.

    We finished today by walking the rail trail through to Porepunkah, leaving us now with just under 80km remaining in this leg of the  Head to Head walk. Day 20 will start along the Great Alpine Road and will see us walk into Myrtleford. 

  • 19 October 2018

    I strode out from Tongala alone today but it wasn’t long before I was joined by a member from Kyabram Acting Senior Sergeant Justin McAuley who was waiting for me at the roadside on the outskirts of the town.

    Together we had a good hour or so to chat as we walked to his station. It was the first time Justin had walked between the two stations.

    I’m not surprised, but there is a first time for everything I suppose. Justin explained to me how he took a career break during his service and how that had given him time away from policing to do other things. It also provided perspective about the job that he draws on now that he is back.

    As we walked down the main street of Kyabram towards the police station, the community greeted us with a warm welcome. The station itself was filled with local police, community and veterans. We heard from Narelle Fraser who left Victoria Police because of a psychological injury in 2012.  She candidly spoke of her struggle and explained that she felt good being back at the station among friends. It’s good to see members past and present supporting each other and to know that this walk is playing a part in doing that.

    We were presented with a donation from the local P-12 school captains and its school chaplain. A representation of senior police members from Western Region took the time to bring down a donation that they raised in Ballarat and Geelong. Chris, Karl, John, Peter and Julie presented the cheque and walked with us until we pulled up for the day. It was a great effort and the support from the members from these locations was fantastic.

    One of our walking party had a very close encounter with a small snake as it crossed the road between his feet. While we have been moving fairly quickly on our side of the walk, I’m not ashamed to say we all picked up the tempo just a little bit more for a few steps after that…

  • Gallagher Bassett (GB) is proud to be sponsoring the Head to Head Walk and welcomes the opportunity to show our support for Victoria Police and The Police Association Victoria. For over 14 years GB has managed workers’ compensation claims for police officers, assisting them when they suffer from an illness or injury (physical or mental). We’re emotionally invested in the health and wellbeing of current and past serving police officers as we’re directly engaged in supporting them through their challenges and hardships.

    GB has had the privilege of championing many health initiatives with Victoria Police including research to inform prevention programs, sponsoring mental health conferences for first responders, contributing to the Innovation Fund, facilitating networking forums throughout regional Victoria on managing psychological injuries, and teaming up for the Corporate Global Challenge. We’ve also worked together to assist children who have experienced trauma through our Gentle Bear Program.

    Participating in the Head to Head Walk is a continuation of GB’s investment in our valued relationship with Victoria Police.

    John McNamara, GB Australia’s CEO, is one of 13 GB team members who will be participating in the walk. “GB recognises the vital role that police officers undertake in our community,” John said. “We’re honoured to be supporting such a worthwhile event and to help raise awareness of the unique challenges faced by emergency workers, particularly the mental health battles that they may experience.”

    At GB we’re passionate about supporting Victorian police officers and their families and appreciate the significant contribution and sacrifices that they make. We’re committed to continually improving our prevention, claims management and return to work services so that we can be of service to police officers as they serve us all.

    The team from GB.

  • 18 October 2018

    Weather: 17 degrees

    Distance travelled: 28.5km total

    The day started in heavy fog as the group negotiated the wind and snow that makes the Razorback track such a challenge. The hike summits Mt Feathertop and is the second highest mountain in Victoria. As a grade three hike; we knew we would have our work cut out for us.

    As we made our way from the Cross on Mount Hotham, I was grateful for our rest day on Wednesday. The slope coupled with the elements, made it all the more challenging on the legs.

    Thankfully, I was joined by 26 enthusiastic walkers, including Assistant Commissioners Stephen Leane, Russell Barrett, Luke Cornelius , Deb Abbott and Executive Director Alison Creighton.

    Another notable addition to the day 18 walk was South Australian Commissioner Grant Stevens. To receive support from a fellow police commissioner was gratifying. All police veterans deserve our respect and support and Commissioner Steven’s commitment to joining me on the walk speaks volumes.

    After 23.5km, I said goodbye to my walkers and trekked the last 5km solo finishing the day on the Great Alpine Road. Today we’ll hit the 400km mark as we go through Bright towards Porepunkah. With only five sleeps left, I can finally see Wangaratta on the horizon.

  • 19 October 2018

    “As part of our ongoing commitment to support the Victorian community, we are proud to sponsor the Victorian Police Head to Head Walk, raising much-needed funds for police officers living with mental health issues. We’re honoured to be able to help out the forces and raise money for such a worthy cause. We wish Chief Commissioner Ashton, Sergeant Gatt and the team all the best on their endeavour.”

    Antoni Martinez, Market Director McDonald’s Australia

  • 16 October 2018

    Thunder clouds loomed as our walking party lined up to walk into Echuca.  Our group today was one of the best cross sections from the police family you could imagine. 

    We were joined by wellbeing staff and representatives of the Police Association, John Laird, Mick Downes and Tim Peck,  Acting Deputy Commissioner Bob Hill and his staff officer Inspector Dee Dummett, police Veterans, the CEO and representatives of Bank Vic, and serving officers DSC Glenn Holland and Det. Senior Sergeant Jeff Cocks both members who have been strong advocates for the mental health of members in their own way.  A good friend of TPAV’s Paul Thompson, from Creative Works who has helped the Association campaign for over a decade about the wellbeing of members also came to lend his support.  

    As we prepared to step off I reflected on the people standing around us and spoke to our group, one that to me was truly reflective of the only way that we can improve the mental health outcomes for police and PSO’s – together. 

    The sense of comradery on the days walk was amazing, our largest walking group yet and as we walked and talked, police and community partners shared experiences.  We all learned something from each other.  It is what we need to do more of to highlight the need for change and to better support our members.  Everyone has an idea.  Sharing experiences also helps individuals recognise that this challenge is one that impacts us all. 

    As walked into the Port of Echuca, a group of school children welcomed us in before we took a short trip on the MV Mary Ann supplied by Moama RSL to speak about what the walk is doing for police and PSO’s and how it was raising awareness in the community.  The paddle steamer was full of local officers and community members who attended too.  

    Attending representatives from the RSL told me about how they once had to fight for recognition and support of service men and women.  “Your members are the same”, one told me – “they need looking after too”. 

    In the evening, Club 41 hosted a fundraising event in Echuca that raised twenty thousand dollars toward the walk.  An amazing effort and great generosity by leaders in our community who you could tell genuinely cared about their police.  

    We will soon hit the road again as we travel toward Shepparton and then on to Wangaratta.  We have walked 390km so far and having heard from so many members our focus on getting to the end has never been stronger.

  • 16 October 2018

    In his latest video diary, The Chief Commissioner speaks of feelings of achievement from the top of Mt Hotham. Only 140kms to go until the finish line in Wangaratta.

  • With only 6 days to go and almost $459,080 in the kitty, we are well on our way to hitting our fundraising goal of $500,000.

    It’s only fitting that we give a shout out to our incredible sponsors. Without their overwhelming support and donations, this journey would not have been possible. We have been inspired by their generosity and are grateful that they have been able to help us raise awareness and much-needed funds to support police veterans affected by mental health issues. Here’s to you…

    2XU

    BankVic

    Evans Evans

    Exotic Graphix

    Gallagher Bassett

    Jayco

    McDonald’s Australia

    Melbourne Victory

    Mercedes-Benz Australia

    Neo

    Phillip Island Nature Parks

    Police Health

    Qantas

    S8 Products Group

    Seek

    Scentre Group

    Woodside

  • 15 October 2018

    Today our party walked a solid 30km with our sights set on Echuca.  We were joined by Tim Peck, The Associations Wellbeing Manager and Senior Sergeant Jeff Cocks a member from North West Metro who travelled up to join us for the next day or two. 

    Tim is accustomed to dealing with our members, sadly, often when they are in crisis, but he also spends much time teaching members different ways to stay well.

    Jeff could tell you a thing or two about the challenges facing our members these days working in a patch where his members regularly deal with all manner of serious crime.  They do a great job, but its confronting, to say the least. 

    As I walked with Jeff he told me how he firmly believes that outside interests make for healthy minds at work and in retirement.  I agree.  While police work can and often does consume you being involved in other things is important too.

    We stopped walking today short of Echuca but all things being equal we will get there by tomorrow.   

  • 14 October 2018

    Today we walked to Leitchville with our support crew and Alex O’Toole, an Association representative who drove up from Melbourne to join me for the past two days.

    The road was long and straight.  Not a single change of direction made for a hard walk which was a little uninspiring, to be honest.  For the first 5km I walked by myself, the first time I have done this on the walk so far.  The solitude made the walking different.  We all noticed that.

    Having company makes the time pass by and helps you walk on especially when it gets hard.  Imagine how it feels for police veterans that don’t have colleagues to talk to anymore?  Peer support counts and most members don’t realise how important this is until it is gone.

  • 14 October 2018

    Weather: 24 and sunny  

    Distance travelled: 26  

    We passed the 300km mark in the Head to Head walk yesterday. We reached the milestone early in the morning, which allowed the rest of the day to be dedicated to negotiating the hilly terrain into Omeo. 

    Thank you to Assistant Commissioner Steve Fontana and Executive Director Andrew Loader for joining me on this leg. They certainly have picked one of the most scenic spots to participate in the walk.  

    The day ended with the steep ascent to the Mount Kosciuszko outlook. Everyone’s legs were heavy as we reached the summit, but the view was a spectacular reward for our efforts. The landscape of today is a sign of things to come, as we now begin our trek to Mount Hotham. 

    I would also like to express my gratitude to the Omeo Lions Club for hosting an afternoon tea for us yesterday. We have been extremely fortunate to enjoy strong support and warm hospitality at every stop so far. Now we have a couple of days of hills ahead of us, as we continue forward to our final destination in Wangaratta.  

  • 13 October 2018

    Despite this tragic incident being more than a decade ago, it is unsurprising that scene is remembered by police today.  Even those that were not here at the time talked about the impact it had on others.

    We also talked about other things that make policing hard, like the constant accountability and criticism that members can face at times, the challenges of living and policing in the same place and the need to be constantly vigilant about your safety and never really off-duty.

    As we entered the township, I was joined by local Rotarians and the local Police Chaplain Phil Davey who walked us up to the station for a welcome with members and the community.  The police chaplain regularly visits police scenes to support our members.

    The work of police chaplains comes to the fore during and following major crisis. explained, simply helping police talk about things is something that helps manage mental health – something we are hoping to see our members do more of.

    The road is open, and we are moving into dairy country with so many cows looking on from the paddocks beside us.  For the first time, we feel safer on the road than on the verge!

  • Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton and his team have hit the halfway mark during the Head to Head Walk. Another 250km left to go until the finish line in Wangaratta. Keep it up team – you can do it!

  • 11 October 2018

    Weather: 18 and sunny

    Distance travelled: 28.5

    We reached the halfway mark of the Head to Head walk yesterday. It was a fantastic feeling to get the 250km mark and it was made even more special thanks to the majestic views along the Great Alpine Road. Unlike previous days, my legs were feeling heavy and tired due to the incline. Thank you to Executive Director Gabrielle Rielly who made the effort to come out and join me for day 11 of the walk. Together we climbed over 28km’s as we made our way towards Ensay. 

    With over half the walk completed, I have returned back to Melbourne to pay my respect for Constables Steven Tynan and Damian Eyre as we mark 30 years since their tragic deaths. Police are exposed to great risks both physically and mentally and despite the time that has passed, the ripple effects continue to impact the policing community. I am honoured to be able to return to pay my respects on this sombre day.

  • 11 October 2018

    Walking today I spent time with Greg Solomon who is a board member of the Police Provident Fund which will accept the donations from this walk for use by the Retired Peer Support Program.  I was also joined by a local police member Garry Hughes who has been struggling with his mental health after a very long career serving in Victoria Police.

    We all talked a lot about the sort of things that challenge police every day.  While the trauma takes its toll, it can be the little things too that have an effect on how you feel at work.

    It was genuinely a privilege for me to walk with someone who has served 40 plus years.  When I meet members like this, it makes my mind boggle to think about everything that they could have seen and experienced in such a long policing career.  As we walked the horns of passing cars honked away, each with a wave or a thumbs up.  When you’re walking with blokes like Garry those car horns are for him.

    As we approached Lake Charm we were greeted by an entire school of children waving flags.  Eight kids in total! The kids were excited to see us and we were very entertained by their very special greeting.  I have done a lot of things in the job, but this was the first time I did the hokey-pokey. Great fun and a good laugh for all of us.

  • In the spirit of #WorldMentalHealthDay we hear from a range of Victoria Police employees on what the Head to Head Walk means to them and the impact it has had on reducing the stigma around mental health issues. You’ll also see a sneak peek behind the scenes of the walk from days 5-7 and experience a few special milestones that the team hit along the way.

  • 10 October 2018

    It’s been a busy two days of racking up kilometres on the Head to Head walk.

    We left Orbost on Tuesday morning en route towards Bruthen for our last leg along the Princes Highway. We reached another milestone this day, as I clocked 200km on the road. It was a great feeling, and of course, I wouldn’t have been able to get this point without the support and encouragement of our guest walkers.

    Joining me for day nine of the walk, were Commander Mick Hermans and Acting Commander David Clayton. Together we travelled over 27km’s. Thanks to both for coming out and supporting the cause.

    After five days on the bitumen, it was back to dirt tracks for day ten.

    We went off roads travelling along the hills behind Bruthen as we made our way towards the Great Alpine Road. It was a harder walk than previous days as the overnight rain had softened the ground significantly.

    Once again, I wasn’t alone for the walk. I was joined by thirteen keen supporters who braved the cold and muddy conditions, including Chief Executive Officer Anthony De Fazio from Bank Vic, police veterans Eric Duffy, Mick Cummins and Christine Fryer from the Retired Peer Support Officer Program and representatives of the Morwell Neighbourhood Watch.

    It was also heartening to be joined by such a large number of Victoria Police officers including Senior Constable Pat Daly, Leading Senior Constable Carmel Elliot, Leading Senior Constable Kim Kell, Sergeant Rod McDonald, Leading Senior Constable Sharon Blegg and newcomer Constable Alicia Martin who only graduated from the Academy in May.

    Their participation and enthusiasm is a solid reminder of why the Head to Head walk is so important. We want to create a culture that supports all officers, past and present, to come forward and seek support at any point.

    With 234km down at the end of day ten, it’ll be a matter of hours until we hit the mid-way point of the walk today. I hope to see some of you in Wangaratta for the final moments as we cross the finish line.

  • 8 October 2018

    It didn’t take long for the temperature to get to 30 degrees today so the walk was hot, especially once we left Wood Wood and hit the Mallee Highway. About an hour and a half into the walk we reached the 200km mark, a reason for celebration until we thought about the 300km left! Still – we were pleased to have made it this far and we are on track to complete the walk on time.

    I met a police veteran along the way today. He left the job unwell many years ago but still struggle with his health today. Hearing about how hard, what should be the best years of his life, was one of the saddest part of the walk for me yet. I hope that being surround by police for the first time in a little while (even if only for a short time) he felt the support he once would have in the job. We walk on with a sense of purpose knowing that these are the same veterans that will benefit from the money raised during the Head to Head walk.

    We ended the walk in Woorinen fairly happy to take the weight off our feet… Swan Hill next

  • 7 October 2018

    Weather day 5: 19, overcast

    Weather day 6: 21 sunny

    Weather day 7: 21 sunny

    Wildlife watch: snakes, a friendly echidna and a blue tongue lizard

    After a much-needed rest day on Thursday, we hit the road once again. With slightly cooler weather, we travelled from Cann River to Bellbird Creek, reaching the 100km mark along the way.

    Three guest walkers joined me for day six, Deputy Commissioner Wendy Steendam, Assistant Commissioner Kevin Casey and Police Custody Officer Virginia Donohue from Sale. The sun was out unlike the previous day. We’ve had to learn to deal with a bit of extra heat off the road.

    We’ve been getting plenty of support from locals and passing tourists along the way, many of them stopping to wave or shout out a few words of encouragement, including a local sitting on a tree stump waiting to take a snap with her iPad.

    We paused along the walk as we crossed the location where Detective Senior Sergeant Vic Kostuik lost his life in the Wall to Wall ride. While we were there, we placed some flowers and it was a very sombre moment. We also had a chance to talk to some of the solo riders who were on the ride and were there at the scene. They were also quite emotional as they recounted the events of that day. It was an honour to be there and lay the flowers for Vic who is already being sadly missed.

    With 147km’s down at the end of day six, we said goodbye to AC Casey and Virginia. Thanks to them both for coming along to support the walk. DC Steendam stayed on to walk the next leg with me.

    It was a big 31km’s for day seven. We passed through the Orbost Town Centre where we were warmly greeted by locals who were generous with their time and fundraising efforts. Quite a few former police officers also turned out for the event, including an older gentleman who joined in 1964 as a cadet and served in Victoria Police for 27 years. Both him and his wife spent time in the Victoria Police Hospital.

    With a 177km done, we’re looking forward to getting back out there this morning for another long day on the road. 

  • Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton and Police Association Secretary Wayne Gatt are well in to the 1000km Head to Head walk to raise awareness and money for police veterans experiencing mental health issues. This walk acknowledges the struggle that many police officers face every day and our commitment to help them.

  • 4 October 2018

    I was joined today by two members from our Search and Rescue Squad who took turns to support me along the walk.  It was interesting walking and talking about some of the challenges that specialist jobs like these can have on our members.  We reflected a little on how the work of people in specialist roles like this can be really rewarding but also quite confronting.  Not every search mission ends happily. All of these jobs fill your `mental bucket’ just a little more each shift. 

    Despite this the supportive almost family environment at the squad is something both commented on as being one of the best things about the squad. Working in teams, sharing good and bad experiences helps.  Talking about them helps too!

    The route today was quite isolated, and I think only a handful of cars passed by as we walked along – I was grateful for the company!  Looking forward to meeting a few locals in Manangatang tomorrow. 

  • 3 October 2018

    Kms travelled: 26km

    Travelled since day one: 90km

    Weather: Cloudy, 19 degrees – starting to cool down

    Today was the first day walking on the bitumen. Thanks to the State Highway Patrol for their support in helping us get to our destination safely.

    As we arrived in Cann River, we were lucky enough to be greeted by the locals, including representatives from the different emergency service agencies. They’re support made the arrival all the more significant.

    It was a challenging but exciting day, made easier with some company from Acting Deputy Commissioner Bob Hill who walked alongside me for 26 kilometres.

    Your safety is number one and mental health is a key part of your safety. Hopefully, the Head to Head walk will raise awareness within the organisation about the importance of speaking out. Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved.

    Victoria Police has really come a long way in changing the culture and challenging stigmas around mental health. As a result, we’ve seen a 70% increase in police veterans seeking out support. It’s great progress and but more work needs to be done around raising awareness and recognition for our veteran police.

    The Retired Peer Support Officer program looks after around 700 veteran police but we know there are thousands more.

    We hope, that this walk will ignite discussion and hopefully, encourage more to come forward.

  • 3 October 2018

    We changed direction today and headed through a section of the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park.  I was joined by a journalist from the Herald Sun Keith Moor.  The park was fairly sandy open and dry, and the dirt track a pleasant change from the sealed roads.  The scenery and wildlife was a pleasant distraction too.  As we came out of the park we got back onto the roads to head towards Manangatang.

    Our support crew from the operations response crew did a fantastic job today and have been a great part of our team.  Nothing has been too much to ask and their support for me and other walkers has been nothing short of exceptional.

  • 2 October 2018

    Kms travelled: 27km

    Travelled since day one: 63km

    Wildlife watch: 1 snake and 1 goanna

    Weather: Overcast, warm, 22 degrees

    We had a lot of walkers with us yesterday, so to stay on schedule was a good effort. The support from the walkers was a great way to kick off the event, in particular having Sir Angus Houston there, who is head of our advisory board. He has a wealth of experience in mental health so we were really pleased to have him along for part of the walk.

    Mallacoota has really turned on the weather for us. While it might not stay this way, we’re enjoying it for the moment.

    We had a last-minute change to the route for today. Unfortunately, the initial track was too dangerous to walk through due to overgrown shrubs and grass. With the number of snakes in the area, we decided not to take the risk.

    We took upon another path and were able to get through another 27 kilometres. Despite the track change and a small disruption from a big black snake that jumped on the path, it’s been another successful day.

    With 63km down, we’re off to Cann River tomorrow where we’ll be met by a local welcome party. It should be a great way to end the first leg of the trip.

    And after a bit rest, we’ll be turning right and heading for the mountains.

  • 2 October 2018

    Following the walk from Mildura we hit the open road.  It was going to be a hot day for walking on sealed roads, so we made tracks early in the morning while it was relatively cool. Before we had completed the first 15km the sun was out in force which raised the temperature considerably.  We will certainly make every effort to get going early when we are expecting warm conditions as it makes for much better walking. 

    We have been really amazed at the number of passing motorists that have slowed to wish us well as we move forward, and some have pulled up ahead of the walking party to make donations.  The generosity of people in regional Victoria is amazing.    

    It was wonderful as we passed through one of the smaller towns today to see a young boy on his bicycle wave down the police escort vehicle and hand over his donation.  The police officer inside handed back one of our promotional show bags straight back at him. The look on his face told us he didn’t expect this but it was a great example of community and its police caring for each other. 

  • Yesterday, we caught up with Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton and The Police Association Victoria Secretary Wayne Gatt during the first day of their trek. How many kilometers did they clock? Watch the video to find out.

Reviewed 17 October 2019