The End of The Beginning

 We continue to walk with the people of Haasts Bluff to empower their vision, their creativity, their hope ... This update brings you up to date with this inspiring journey ....

We continue to walk with the people of Haasts Bluff to empower their vision, their creativity, their hope ... This update brings you up to date with this inspiring journey ....

Last weekend I watched the recently released film about Winston Churchill called The Darkest Hour. This inspiring film charts his journey at the start of the Second War and paints a picture of courage, leadership and conviction in the face of challenge. 

Churchill whilst imperfect, had many sayings that can encourage us, and encouragement is what we need as we continue to engage in a struggle to secure real and sustainable change for the communities we are called to work with.

We’ve titled this newsletter “The End of The Beginning” as there is a sense we are now at a watershed in our journey, a real turning point. It was Churchill who said….

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But perhaps it is the end of the beginning”.

So here's our news and our challenge as we venture into the next step of this life changing Walk A While journey. We need your help more than ever at this stage as we push forward to complete some important milestones that we know many of you have been walking with us to achieve for many years ....

 Traditional Owners and some of the young people whose lives are being changed, in front of the proposed Creative Technology Centre.

Traditional Owners and some of the young people whose lives are being changed, in front of the proposed Creative Technology Centre.

Our Conviction

As every week passes we see more hopelessness and tragically more young people taking their lives in remote communities. Government and community leaders are looking for a new way, and we know that we can and do help. 

Our conviction is that by truly empowering the gifts, vision and hope of people we can bring meaning and change. To do this we know it's all about people and not programs, about relationship not regulation, and we've got proof in the story of Shane we share later in this newsletter.

Shane

On our recent visit we were so inspired by the creative gifts of Shane (pictured left above), a local we've known since he was quite young. He's in the group picture too. Shane like all of us has gifts, but without people to encourage and envision us, those gifts don't emerge. We've walked with Shane for a long time and today his compositions are an inspiring sound. One day when the centre is ready we'll be able to record and share them with you.

The second group photo was from the early days of Walk A While. Shane is in this picture, third from the left at the back. Inspired by something he'd never seen, he is now able to create music that no one else has ever heard. Walk A While works because we're committed for the long term.

The Cross

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We have now completed the track to the top and are ready to finish this amazing project. Local people are keen for it to be completed and to see people visit and social enterprise grow, which will in turn bring transformation to so many.

We could be as close as 6 months away from finishing the work now if we can raise the final funds needed. We are in a position now to complete the foundations, but funding is still needed for the final stages and to make ready for visitors from near and far.

The impact of this project is significant with global interest that will bring hope both to visitors and to the community whose vision it is. Over coming months there'll be even more news to keep you informed of when you too can visit, and how the good news of this completed project will be shared around the world.

Our Courage

Both the Creative Technology Centre and The Cross Project are now close to completion, however both have encountered more obstacles than we could have ever anticipated.

We have now completed the geotechnical survey for The Cross and are in the final stages of lease agreements for the Creative Technologies Centre. 

The Cross

Both the Creative Technology Centre and The Cross Project are now close to completion, however both have encountered more obstacles than we could have ever anticipated.

We have now completed the geotechnical survey for The Cross and are in the final stages of lease agreements for the Creative Technologies Centre. 

We have learnt a lot about the complexity of negotiations with multiple agencies who are involved with remote communities. This complexity is much like the challenge of building on heavitree quartzite which is exactly what we have to do to build The Cross!

These factors mean that we do need more funds to complete The Cross and to bring the creative Technology Centre on line. The Cross itself needs a further $290,000, and to enable visitors to come we need a further $100,000 for some basic amenities, water supply and shelter from the sun. 

Your Help

Both The Cross and The Creative Technology Centre are interconnected and empower the culture, faith, creativity and sustainability of the people of this inspiring area. This is a truly radical and unique initiative given its long term approach.

We have walked for more than fifteen years with our friends out here and we really need your support now to help us help them  see this critical stage of their vision realised. When we do, the eyes of the world will be upon even more success stories like Shane.

In total our new fundraising target to complete this critical phase is $500,000. This will enable us to establish and staff an excellent Creative Technologies Centre and complete The Cross. It also includes funds that will enable us to continue our work to see sustainable social enterprise emerge and long term change arise. Will you help?

Please remember all donations are tax deductible. Your donation is an investment in sustainable change and in sending a message to the world of the good news that hope and real change is indeed possible!

And Finally ...

If you'd like to share your support for Walk A While and in particular our project to support the vision of local people to raise a cross on Memory Mountain, these acrylic desktop blocks make a great gift or talking point. They're available on our website, just click the link below.

 These are so good for any desk top and great reminder of this inspiring project ...

These are so good for any desk top and great reminder of this inspiring project ...

Thanks so much for your support and for reading our latest news. If you need any more info please don't hesitate to contact us. We love receiving your comments and support.

Cheers & God Bless,

Tim Morris-Smith
On behalf of the Walk A While Foundation Board and the Ikuntji community of Haasts Bluff.