His search for justice is taking him 5,500km through the Australian outback
Aboriginal protest walker Clinton Pryor inspired by Christian grandmother
Indigenous activist Clinton Pryor yesterday reached the 3500km mark on his Walk for Justice from Perth to Canberra, which was inspired by the Christian witness of his grandmother.
Speaking to Eternity yesterday from Port Augusta, where he marched across Joy Baluch Bridge with a group of chanting supporters, Clinton said it was her example of looking after vulnerable people that made him want to march for justice and change.
“The walk began because when I was a little kid she told me a story about how when she was young she used to ride a horse with a trailer behind. She used to go out of her way to visit sick people in a nearby tribal area because the townspeople wouldn’t go out there.
“She’d take food, water and medicine and make sure they were all right. That put inside me that I should look after other people and try to make a difference,” he said.
“I just wanted to make a change for people in this world, that’s why I decided to do this walk for justice to make a difference for people all across Australia.”
Clinton began his walk to Parliament House to confront Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about the forced closures of Indigenous communities in Western Australia but his campaign has since expanded to include justice for non-Aboriginal Australians too.
“It’s gone from being about foreclosures of communities and turned into something big, trying to make a difference and speak out about what can be done to make things better for the Australian people, all different communities,” he said.
“If you want to make a difference, you have to chase that dream and push yourself.” – Clinton Pryor
“I just want things to get better for everyone. This country’s got so much wealth and they’re spending it on the wrong things that people don’t want instead of homelessness. I just want to see things being done now instead of being about politics all the time.”
Along the way he’s spent time in Aboriginal communities, meeting with elders, hearing their stories, talking with school kids and community groups.
“At each station I walk to they tell me what’s frustrating them and what do they want,” he said.
Clinton said the hot conditions in the harsh West Australian desert had sometimes made him want to give up.
“I just think about the country, its future, my family, my friends, my people, just normal human beings who are struggling in every culture and how things are not being done right for everyone,” he said.
“If you want to make a difference, you have to chase that dream and push yourself.”
Clinton marches next to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and finally Canberra.