Journey to Recognition

Walk members Claire Toepfer, Rodney Gibbins, Shannan Dodson and Kaylene O Brien at the Ararat RSL.
Walk members Claire Toepfer, Rodney Gibbins, Shannan Dodson and Kaylene O Brien at the Ararat RSL.

ARARAT - The Ararat community showed plenty of support to three dedicated campaigners who past through town as part of Australia's Journey to Recognition, a marathon walk across the country to raise support for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Kaylene O'Brien, Shannan Dodson and Claire Toepfer were escorted into town by Senior Sergeant Damian Ferrari from Ararat Police.

The group was greeted at the Ararat RSL by about 25 locals all interested by the cause, including councillor Gary Hull representing the mayor and Colleen White from Ararat Rural City Council representing the CEO.

Ms Dodson and Tasmanian Aboriginal man Rodney Gibbins addressed the crowd about the significance of the walk.

"We spoke about every Ararat local and attendee having the job of spreading the message and sharing the notion that the first Australians need to be formally and officially recognised in our founding document; our nation's history," Ms Dodson said.

"The response from the public was encouraging and we got the sense that Ararat locals are very supportive of this movement."

The following morning six locals including Colleen White, Brady Curran and Rose Rowe met the walking trio and set off on foot for about eight kilometres towards Stawell together.

Ms Dodson said she was very grateful for the response the campaigners received while in the region.

"Having that support in and out of towns is amazing and Ararat really lifted our spirits to see these people taking the time to walk with us," she said.