After his 8,500 kilometre journey, Gooreng Gooreng and Wakka Wakka man Alywin Doolan hoped in good faith that he would pass on his message sticks to Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Unfortunately, his open invitation for the PM to meet with him was declined.
For 12 months, Alwyn Doolan walked from Cape York in Queensland to Parliament House in Canberra, with the intention to deliver a message to the federal government on reconciliation.
Today marks the end of Mr Doolan's stopover in the nation's capital and he will now continue on the next leg of his Message Stick Walk.
In a statement, Mr Doolan said “It’s disappointing the Prime Minister is all talk about us walking together, towards reconciliation, towards equal opportunities."
"When it came down to a meeting he wasn’t keen to hear what the communities I walked through had to say.”
Mr Doolan will move onto Woorabinda, walking another 1,500km with three message sticks still in tow.
They represent the creation, colonisation and healing of Australia - which he had hoped could represent a new partnership between the federal government and Indigenous people.
Mr Doolan said he wanted those message sticks to deepen discussions on Indigenous recognition, including the shape of a possible Voice to Parliament - as recommended by 250 Aboriginal delegates in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Story still heard by multiple politicians
Despite not meeting with the PM, the story of the Message Walker was still heard by the nation's representatives.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is currently in the Pacific nation of Tuvalu for this year's Pacific Islands Forum, with climate crisis the focus of the agenda.
- This article was updated on 21 August to include the response from the PM's office and provide clarity around the timing of the PMs decision not to meet with Mr Doolan