After almost a year and 5580kms, Clinton's Walk for Justice is reaching its final destination. He will soon be welcomed in Canberra to speak with the Governor General and share the messages he has received from communities along his journey.
On Thursday he was cheered on as a huge crowd gathered to watch his arrival at Eveleigh Street in Sydney’s suburb of Redfern, the heartland of the Black Power movement.
More than 300 people gathered in front of the Redfern Community Centre to acknowledge, shake hands and hug Mr Pryor as he walked into town with his iconic stick and followed by an array of flags representing Australia, Eureka, Land Rights and Torres Strait Islanders, speaking about his long journey across the country.
“Deaths in custody, removal of children, corruption in mining, everything that blackfellas have been fighting for the last hundreds of years. The system is completely corrupt and it’s collapsed that’s why we need to fix the problem and get all our people back on their feet again,” Mr Pryor said.
Last year in September, Mr Pryor set off from Perth to Canberra's Parliament house in a bid to tell Australia's Prime Minister about the injustices Aboriginal Australians are facing across the nation.
“The injustice happening in this country is in front of our eyes and we see it on a daily basis."
The atmosphere at Redfern's famous block was surreal with a sea of people clapping, cheering and praising Mr Pryor for his efforts. The community was alive with support, power and pride, NITV reporter, Ryan Liddle said it was a very special occassion to be celebrated.
"There was certainly plenty of anticipation. He's travelled such a long way and NITV have been following his story ever since he left Herron Island. He was pretty estatic to make it into Redfern and to see so many people," he said.
"I asked him how it all felt once he arrived and if this is how he pictured it when he first set out on the journey 12 months ago and he was surprised at how much it had snowballed and overwhelmed with all the support he has recieved."
Aboriginal social justice advocate and well respected Redfern local, Jenny Munroe welcomed Mr Pryor and spoke about his journey, which began last year on 8 September where he set out from Perth.
“We’re a proud community, a strong community but most of all a defiant community – we’ve told the government to go shove it and we’ll tell them again to go put it where the sun don’t shine,” Ms Munroe said.
“Clinton with your walk you proved something to this country and to the world, your walk is for a just cause my brother, for all of us.”
Mr Pryor, a Wajuk, Balardung, Kija and a Yulparitja man from Western Australia addressed the crowd giving thanks to the ‘support vehicles’ who helped guide him along the way. This consisted of a driver, a bike rider carrying water, administrative workers who organise funding and selling merchandise, as well as Rosey, the walk for justice dog, who represents support for animal rights.
The spirit walker described Redfern as ‘the frontline for fighting for human rights’ as he paid his respects to the traditional owners of the land.
“The injustice happening in this country is in front of our eyes and we see it on a daily basis,” he said.
“I’m trying to aim for the future so we don’t have this mess again. It’s not the people who are living here’s fault, it’s the people who are running this country.”
Mr Pryor recounted the moment he decided to venture on this long walk and shared it with the crowd, describing his journey as ‘the hardest thing he’s ever had to do’ and also told everyone he did it ‘proper blackfella way’.
Setting off from Perth, he first walked to Kalgoorlie, where he attend the funeral of Elijah Doughty, the 14-year-old boy who died from being hit by a ute in Western Australia's Goldfields. One of Elijah's relatives, Auntie Bronwen, accompanied him to Redfern and Mr Pryor thanked her for her support. Auntie Bronwen and elders from Kalgoorlie will also be present at Parliament house to inform the Prime Minister of the injustices discussed during his walk across Australia
Also among the Redfern crowd was Dylan Voller, the young Northern Territorian whose appearances in a spit hood tied and brutal abuse from juvenile detention correctional staff shocked the nation, resulting into a Royal Commission into youth detention.
The spirit walker will spend five days in Redfern exploring and meeting locals, then he will march to Parliament House in the Australian Capital Territory, to confront Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the issues he has encountered.
"The best way to get justice is when we come together as one."
Mr Pryor will head to Newcastle before turning south for the home walk to Canberra next month and urged all people to be part of rallies and be part of the change for the future.
"We as human beings have the right to protest and the best way to get justice is when we come together as one," he said.
"It's about time we start getting justice and it's about time to start making things right for everybody and moving this country forward."