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Saturday 24th September 2017

During the week I met with the Hon Mick Murray, Minister for Sports and Recreation, where we discussed the future of The Pilgrim Trail. The Minister was very receptive to the idea of working with The Pilgrim Trail Foundation about improving the facilities along the track. Naturally, there will need to be substantial discussions with several groups before any decisions can be made, but it was exciting to meet with someone within Government who apparently sees the great potential that the Pilgrim Trail has for the individual, the community, the State and for tourism to WA in general.

We have some wonderful stories to tell. West Australians have been walking along Trails for 40,000 years so we have a lot of things to share with the rest of the world.

The Hon MIck Murray

 

Tuesday 8th August 2017

Col Ingram, Roger Walsh, Elise Taylor, Maggie Jefferson, Ean James, Duncan Jefferson

Last evening the PTF Board welcomed Elise Taylor, Director of Business Development at Sonic Clinical Services who has kindly helped develop our Business Plan for the next five years. Elise, based in the Sydney CBD of Sonic Clinical Services, has done a remarkable job developing the plan for the Pilgrim Trail from the other side of our incredible continent! The Board wish to publicly thank her for the enormous amount of work she has put in, and for the comprehensive document she has created for us.

Two things to take home from the meeting and the Plan:

  1. The Pilgrim Trail is a West Australian experience created for the benefit the people who walk the trail, the locals who will help and shelter the walkers and those who wish to showcase the cultural, spiritual and historical treasures that are unique to this part of the world.
  2. We have designated March 1st, each year, to be Pilgrim Trail Day. It will be a day to have fun, dress up, tell  stories, share blistered feet jokes, sing, dance and remember/plan your Pilgrim trail experience. It will also be our major fundraiser for maintaining and improving the facilities along the trail. We encourage everyone – individuals, groups and school communities –  to organise your local Pilgrim Trail event and donate the funds raised to the Pilgrim Trail Foundation – a Not For Profit registered Charity.

There’s much more that we intend to do, but more on that later.

This is your trail, the People’s trail – with your support and your help we can made it an incredible experience for generations to come.

Happy walking!

Wednesday 2nd August 2017

It’s been one of the wettest Julys here in Perth for a number of years. The farmers love it, the townies moan about it because of the bad traffic and you’d think that the walkers would hate it too – but no!!

In fact there’s been a lot of activity out on the trail. Word on the grapevine tells me that a group of parents from Holy Cross College in Ellenbrook walked a section recently – great work team! This morning saw a group of students from All Saints College head out to walk a couple of sections  around the “Buffer Zone” to Bulimar Road. The weather was crisp and cool as they headed off to Bindoon,  rain for forecast for tomorrow but the buzz of excitement was palpable.

Recently, Chelle Fisher – Guide / Adventurer / Entrepreneur – and her group walked the whole trail and camped out most of the way too. Here’s what she had to say:

We did it. 185km Subiaco to New Norcia. Challenging but definitely life changing. We got wet 6 out of the 8 days, camped 5 out of the 7 nights & were lucky to spend the last 2 nights at Carrah Farm, a beautiful home which allowed us time to rest, recover & recharge. 
Thankfully no blisters but very sore feet. We actually had a chance to read your book Duncan at Carrah Farm & had to laugh when we read about the Pilgrim Shuffle. Oh boy did we laugh.
I’m still in awe of the experience, looking forward to writing about it.
I am keeping the campaign open over the weekend so we can get some more donations in & the next week I will be able to advise how much we have raised for yourselves & the Womens Health Service.
​Chelle is a bit of an inspiration!
But maybe there’s a challenge in there for other groups too. The Foundation (a registered charity and NFP) is always in need of donations to improve and upgrade the Pilgrim Trail experience. Perhaps your group could combine a life changing experience with some fundraising for YOUR Trail too.

 July 7th 2017

 

The Board of The Pilgrim Trail Foundation has been reviewing our progress over the past few years. The results of those deliberations have resulted in the development of a Draft Business Plan drawn up with the wonderful support of the volunteer team at Sonic Healthcare under the auspices of the multi-talented Elise Taylor.

That plan has not only highlighted the progress made on such limited resources, but also the glaring areas of need which we have.

Here are a few extracts:

Our Vision, objects and purpose

Among other objectives, the vision of the founders of the Pilgrims Trail is to encourage as many people as possible to experience the benefits and delights of using the trail and ensure it is among the best known and utilised trails in Australia if not globally.  Walkers choose to undertake the Pilgrim Trail journey for many reasons  and the outcomes and benefits for each individual are likely to be different, significant and largely unquantifiable.

Complementary outcomes of the promotion of an individual’s use of the trail are aimed to include:

    • Increased tourism generally in the region and in WA, with resulting economic benefits for local commercial operations
    • Fostering and improving cultural awareness in respect of indigenous Australians
    • Fostering community and co-operation between local bodies
    • Fostering communication between government stakeholders, commercial operators and trail users

Weaknessesl

  • Limited access to funding and resource support
  • Limited access to marketing and development pathways
  • Inability to further develop without consistent funding sources and committed resources 

Opportunities

  • Embedding the management and development of the Pilgrim Trail with enduring government responsibility
  • Establishing private partnerships and structures to support this endeavor
  • Significant infrastructure upgrades assuming funding and management resources can be accessed

The Pilgrim Trail is a West Australian Trail – you own it! But we need your help to make it a GREAT trail. Please contact us if you would like to become a “Friend of the Pilgrim Trail”. Professor Fiona Woods is often quoted as saying that sometimes she feels that the work she does is just a “Drop in the ocean …..” then she adds: “but that’s what an ocean is!” So don’t just leave your footprints out on the trail, leave your mark on the future of the Pilgrim Trail by becoming a friend of the trail.

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