• Alwyn Doolan will visit parliament house each day until he receives a response from the Prime Minister. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
For 12 months, Alwyn Doolan has been walking from the tip of Queensland to Canberra to deliver a message to the federal government.
By
Ella Archibald-Binge

Source:
NITV News
22 May 2019 - 2:36 PM  UPDATED 22 May 2019 - 2:36 PM

After a year trekking the expanse of Australia's east coast, Alwyn Doolan arrived in Canberra this week, calling on the newly re-elected Morrison government to reset the relationship with First Nations people. 

The Gooreng Gooreng and Wakka Wakka man walked almost 9,000 kilometres from Bamaga in Cape York through Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania on what he calls the Message Stick Walk

Message sticks are an ancient communication tool in Aboriginal culture, used to relay messages around trade, sorry business and partnerships between tribes. 

Mr Doolan - carrying three message sticks representing the creation, colonisation and healing of Australia - says he hopes to foster a new partnership between the federal government and Indigenous people.

He was welcomed in Canberra by Ngunnawal Traditional Owners, before delivering a statement to supporters outside parliament house. 

"By receiving these message sticks, the government will agree they have a duty of care to commit to working with me in the healing of First Nations People across Australia," he said. 

"This healing plays a vital role in our country – not only for us as First Nations people, but for fellow Australians."

But so far, the 29-year-old has received no response from the Prime Minister.

He told NITV News he would sit outside parliament house every day until his message was received: "I'm not going nowhere. I'm not giving up."

Mr Doolan then plans to walk to Uluru to hold a First Nations summit in June 2020. 

He says the historic Uluru convention in 2017, which produced the Statement from the Heart and called for an Indigenous voice to parliament, neglected sections of the community. 

"I think it was still lacking the voices of grassroots," he said. 

"I’ve read that statement quite a few times… it’s still asking us to overturn our sovereignty.

"It’s something that perhaps could be tweaked, but it has to come from the grassroots."

Organisers of the 2017 convention claim the event, and the community dialogues preceding it, represented "the most comprehensive consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about what they want from constitutional reform".

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