Tag Archives: Heritage Trail

Cultural and Heritage Magic

Yesterday I gave a presentation to the Metro Trails Forum here in Perth and highlighted the history and current development of the Trail:

This is the year that the Trail will be marked and our Board Member Clive McIntyre is progressing this for the group.

Next year is the Bicentenary of Dom Rosendo Salvado the founder of New Norcia and our inspiration for starting the Trail in the first place. We are working with New Norcia, the Cities of Subiaco and Perth, the Whadjuk peoples and local Theatre and music groups to make sure that it is a very special occasion and the start of a deepening our understanding of our rich cultural heritage.

We are also hoping to create a series of Podcasts that will reflect each day of the journey: and this is being done with the help of Richard Offen of Heritage Perth.

Finally, we are looking for a Sponsor(s) so that we can offer a prize for a piece of Visual Arts to represent the ethos of the trail, so please check your bank balances and see if you’ve got any spare cash you can contribute 😉

I look forward to sharing some of the concrete reality that this coming year promises.

Cultural explosion

Over the past few months quiet work has gone on with discussions to mark the trail in readiness for this year 5th anniversary of the Camino Salvado. But next year should be even bigger with the Bi-Centenary of Bishop Rosendo Salvado.

During this time we’ve been talking about creating cultural components to complement the Trail so that those who may never be able to experience it can get some of the spiritual elements from music and theatre- and this has been met with unbridled enthusiasm led by the team at the City of Subiaco, and we thank them tremendously for their facilitating meetings and introductions.

We are also planing minor alterations to the trail so that the Great Northern highway is totally avoided. This will add some extra kilometers, but by then the legs will be strong and the Spirit burnished bright!

There’s still hours more talking to do and application forms to fill our so any offers of help would be gratefully received.

Looking forward to passing on more good news as it happens!

The first Camino for 2012 completed

And I think that it went very well although feedback has highlighted the fact that the trail lacks any distinctive markers and navigational “aids”. So although we have a route, we still have to achieve “Trail” status. That means we urgently need to source funds to complete the job that began nearly 4 years ago!

Ean, Maggie and I had a very informative meeting with the Whadjuk group from SWALSC last week. I found it extremely rewarding to hear the stories that they told and their obvious comfort with the concept of the Trail passing through Walyunga National Park which is of great importance to them. They offered some really creative suggestions and ones that we will seriously try to incorporate into our Trail Experience. One phrase that was used by one of the Board Members lingers with me, and that was that Walyunga is a “Happy Place”. I hope you get to experience that for yourself one day!

I am meeting with CAC to discuss our proposed access agreement with them next week – we both want to “make it happen”, but we need to get it right.

After 8 months, several phone calls and emails, we still have to hear back from a Government Department about one small section of the Trail – does everyone run into challenges like this with Government Departments?

Hopefully my next post will be able to report progress.

It’s been a long time

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The young bride and I have been on extended Sabaticcal in Versailles, France and returned to Oz only a few weeks ago: but that doesn’t mean that work on the Trail has stopped! Thanks to some great work by Col Ingram, Ean James, Clive McIntyre, Greg Clune and Roger Walsh, the PTF has continued to meet and make progress.

Also, as I write, the first Camino Salvado of 2012 is wneding it’s way through blustery showers in the lower Chittering Valley to complete day 3 of the Camino. We hope and pray that as well as showers of rain there will be showers of blessings for them too!

The Draft Strategic Plan is now finalized and in the near future I’ll add a copy of it to this Blog. The alignment is almost settled with one private landholder having signed an agreement, one other has indicated their intent to sign and a Government Department that has taken over 8 months to say they haven’t got all the information that they need at this stage!

At this point we’re looking to the long term management of the Pilgrim Trail and we need your feedback. The Trail is already there and so there are no significant ongoing management issues: in fact if we can learn from the Spanish Camino, everyone organizes themselves privately, the regional authorities manage their sections of the trail and the local entrepreneurs service the Pilgrims that use the route – and it’s very successful. I have no doubt that in 10 to 20 years, thousands of people will be using the Trail every year and it will be a “Jewel in the Crown” of WA tourism. We need to plan for that and we need your ideas.

This week I am making a presentation to the Whadjuk people who are the traditional owners of a section of the Trail in Walyunga National Park: I am honoured and excited to be able to do that.

We also have some great news Maps for the Camino that I will also add to the site – courtesy of Clive McIntyre.

Stakeholders Meeting

Pilgrims

On the 11th November we held a very successful Stakeholders Meeting at St Josephs Parish Centre, with about 18 people in attendance. A slide show and information was presented on the history and current status of the Trail, and then Colin Ingram presented his Draft Strategic Plan followed by general questions.

My feeling is that it was all very well received and now leaves us in position to start work on the actualization of the plan: in other words, bringing it to life!

We have also been fortunate to secure the services of Freehills law firm to help us with the legal aspects of establishing the trail.

What we now need is business skills and sourcing funding for establishing the physical reality of the trail with signs, information boards, maps etc. And for this WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Please contact me if you think you can be of any help with the creation of an Australian Icon.

Board Meeting Thursday 22nd September

A difficult, but good and necessary Board was held last evening, where we made a philosophical change to our Strategic Plan. It was felt that the big point of difference of the Pilgrims Trail from all other walking trails in Australia is that it does have a Spiritual element: and that isn’t necessarily limited to religious thinking.

So we have decided to promote group walks along the Trail that will entail more orderly use until such time as the infrastructure is there to cope with the more casual walker/camper. This decision was made because of the success of the 3 years of Camino Salvados that have been held with over 120 people now having experienced the trail. The average walker on these event walks has been a woman in her early 60’s: and one who likes to know that she has somewhere to sleep at night!

The other major challenge is now to develop a business plan to help achieve our goals and we are very thankful to Bank West, and to Craig Stevens who has been so helpful with time and ideas.

The final challenge is to get some funding. We were unsuccessful with 2 or our 3 applications to state bodies: we are now looking for a Benefactor” who is inspired by the idea of the Pilgrims Trail to help us bring it to reality. Please let me know if you know that person!!

Grant Applications

Unfortunately we were unsuccessful with our applications to DEC and Royalties for Regions. Although this is unfortunate, it has had the opposite effect in galvanizing us to try harder to get to the next level of funding.

We will succeed.

The feedback from our two event walks has been outstanding and the new northern section of the Trail has made it even better than before.

Please help us to deliver on our desire to make this an Iconic experience for all Australians: this is not our trial – it’s YOUR TRAIL!

The Northern Section: an outstanding success

Last week the first group of event walkers used the new northern section of the Pilgrim Trail: I can only say that it was a fantastic success. The group were wonderful and enjoyed the stunning scenery with creeks running full, wildflowers just coming into their best, and the fields either a glorious green or buttercup yellow with vast swathes of Canola in bloom.

CS 2011 blog pik

We received great support from the CAC at Bindoon, Mr & Mrs Kelly, and Callum the farm manager at Mr & Mrs Sadler’s property, as well as the local Shire and businesses at Bindoon itself. The walkers were received with great warmth at New Norcia, which was the spiritual focus for many of those who made it all the way, and many a teary eye was noted as the Abbott graciously received them at the Tomb of Dom Salvado.

That there is still much to be done is made lighter by the fact that each group, with participants form all around Australia, who have experienced the walk take home with them, and to their families and friends, such great memories.