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Activist’s long walk for justice

Clinton Pryor arrives in Ballarat after walking from Perth Picture: Kate Healy. Anybody who decides to walk across the entire continent is likely to have plenty of time to see things and thinkthings through.
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Clinton Pryor arrives in Ballarat after walking from Perth Picture: Kate Healy.

Which is one of the reasons Aboriginal rights activist, Clinton Pryor has walkedall the way from Perth to Ballarat on his Walk for Justice.

Mr Pryor, who arrived in Ballarat yesterday during Reconciliation Week, is on his way to Canberra and hopes to speak with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about issues concerning Indigenous people in Australia.

The 26-year-old said that he was inspired to raise awareness by the government’s announcement to close 150 Aboriginal communities in 2014.

“I was sitting there thinking about how do I keep voices up about forced closure of communities and the homeless,” he said. “I came up with an idea to do a big massive walk across Australia to find out the truth and to find out what’s going on.”

Mr Pryor is originally from Aboriginal community Mulan in East Kimberley, Western Australia. He set off on his walk in September 2016. Along the way, Mr Pryor has met with Indigenous elders and leaders to hear about the problems they are facingand what they feel might help.

“Fromwhat we have seen is there’s still a lot of work needs to be done,” he said.

RELATED CONTENT:Five days in Uluru: Australia’s first Indigenous constitutional conventionAll the questions you were too afraid to ask about Indigenous recognitionMr Pryor also gives talks at schools to warn children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Elder of Wadawurrung, Bryon Powell said that Pryor is an inspiration to young Indigenous people.

“I hope young people around the younger generation see him as a bit of a role model. Because we need more people, young ones to stand up, be counted and stand up for their community.It’s great that you’ve got young people that are so motivated that they will take on board issues such as this and then run with it. Well, walk actually.”

The City of Ballarat supported Mr Pryor on his journey. Mayor, Samantha McIntosh, was at Victoria Park to welcome Mr Pryor.

“What an amazing trek,” she said. “For this particular week, it’s just a superb time to be welcoming Clinton here.

“It’s really important to raise awareness and for people to remember the challenges of the past and make sure they embrace every opportunity and really embrace everyone’s culture into the future.”

More information about Clinton’s Walk for Justice can be found on his website:clintonswalkforjustice.org or on his Twitter: @ClintonsWalk.

The Courier, Ballarat