Walking far for others to walk tall

A former school captain is walking from Perth to Newcastle to raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Sven Wright reports.

A man leaning on a cart speaking to a woman. A man leaning on a cart speaking to a woman.
Image: Former Callaghan College Waratah Campus captain Bailey Myers stopped off at his old school with his pushcart to speak to students, some providing handprints for the cart, before embarking on his Perth to Newcastle charity walk.

Bailey Myers is living out his leadership potential with an epic cross-Australia walk he is hoping will raise $20,000 for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Bailey, who was captain of Newcastle’s Callaghan College Waratah Technology Campus in 2017 and the College’s Jesmond Campus in 2019, says the Foundation is a perfect fit for the walk.

“The values of the Foundation align with my values,” said Bailey.

“They are elevating our future Indigenous leaders. They are providing pathways for those leaders and inspiring confidence through education as a whole, as well as through greater connection to cultures.”

The Foundation encourages a love of reading from an early age, with a stated purpose of investing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander remote communities to provide the tools and resources they require to shape the direction of their children’s literacy future.

While Bailey has done some 50-100km walks in the Hunter, he has never tackled anything remotely trans-continental. He expects the journey to take at least six months.

His preparation has included contact with Terra Roam, the first woman to walk all 17,000km around Australia, and reading up on other adventurers like Jessica Watson.

Bailey’s essential equipment ranges from simple to sophisticated. He has a hat, for when it’s hot, as well as a satellite tracker and communicator, for when he’s out of mobile range.

All his gear and supplies will be stored in a three-wheel pushcart.

Urban Steel provided the materials for the cart and a family friend did the welding.

The contents of the cart include up to 70L of water, a tent, sleeping bag, camp kitchen, maintenance tools and fasteners, electronics - including solar panels - a radio, batteries and lighting, and the luxuries of a chair and umbrella.

Bailey hopes to share his message of Indigenous endeavour along the way.

“I’m aiming to speak to children at schools and local Aboriginal communities, with Elders’ permission, as I go,” he said.

“Literacy’s the basis of education, and education’s the basis for opportunity and success in life.

“That’s why the work of the Foundation is so important, and why I’m so keen to do what I can to support it.”

About $2000 was raised before the start of the trek on Friday 1 March, and donations can be made through:

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