The inaugural Rotary Peace Walk
2021 Aussie Peace Walk
In 2021, The Canberra Two-Day Walk became the Rotary Aussie Peace Walk, signaling the start of an new chapter in community health.
After 29 years, the Canberra two-day walk was scheduled to fold in 2020. Participants were aging, and the volunteer numbers were diminishing. The challenge was to reinvigorate the event and try to encourage a broader audience to consider the many benefits of walking for better health.
A further challenge came in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overseas travel was effectively banned and many states were closing borders. Cities were put into lockdown to stop the spread of the virus.
We changed the name of the event from the Canberra Two-Day Walk to the Aussie Peace Walk and we chose to give all funds raised to the Rotary Give Every Child a Future vaccination project in the Pacific Islands. We also added several prizes for participants to add to the fun.
For COVID compliance, the start area was moved away from the finish area to help avoid too many people coming into proximity with each other. Another change was the introduction of staggered starting to further limit congestion.
Ages of Two-Day Walkers
At the Opening Ceremony
Winners of the team participation prize, the Wells Station Scout Team
Aussie Peace Walk Aims
The Aussie Peace Walk is an opportunity for people of all ages and nationalities to walk together in peace. To make new friends and get to understand more about the diversity of cultures that make up our society.
Walks from 7km to 42km
Over two days, we offer seven different walks, from 7km to 42km. To get the medal, you must complete one walk each day.
The Aussie Peace Walk is NOT a race. Whether you are walking by yourself or walking with friends, the idea is to chat with fellow walkers. Stop for a coffee or to take photos, but just get out and enjoy the day.
Aussie Peace Walk Dinner
In 2021, the dinner was held on Friday before the walks started, but in 2022, it will be on Saturday evening.
This is a terrific social night offering plenty of time to meet new friends and help us raise funds to support our major project.
The 2021 Rotary Aussie Peace Walk Centenary Dinner
Commemorating 100 + 30
2021 was a special year. We commemorated 100 years of Rotary service in Australia and the 30th year of the Canberra Two-Day Walk.
The weekend kicked off with an opening ceremony at the Canberra World Peace Bell attended by His Excellency, the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, a representative of the New Zealand High Commission and Past Rotary International President, Ian Riseley.
The Peace Dinner
A Centenary Peace Dinner and an indigenous art auction with guest speaker, Dr Brendan Nelson, followed the Opening Ceremony.
The attendance of the Pacific Islanders made for a very entertaining evening of music and dance.
The marathon started at 7 am on Saturday. This was followed by three walks, 21km, 12km and 7km, then three walks on Sunday, 24km, 12km and 7km.
To get the Aussie Peace Walk medal, participants were required to complete one walk each day.
The commemorative medal and marathon pin.
Young volunteers checking finishers back in
- 7km Walkers 32.5% 32.5%
- 12 km Walkers 30.2% 30.2%
- 21km Walkers 22.8% 22.8%
- 24km Walkers 29.1% 29.1%
- Marathon Walkers 6.7% 6.7%
- Walked on both days 55% 55%
Most Popular Walks
Wonderful to see that more than half of the participants completed walks on both days. Our aim is to encourage more people to challenge themselves and also walk on the second day.
All the walks on Saturday (except the marathon) go to the east of the lake and all the walks on Sunday head to the west.
Saturday walks are virtually all on paths and the Sunday walks all have some bush tracks. So even if you do the 7km on Saturday and the 7km Sunday, they are very different walks.
Enthusiastic walking representatives, Yvonne and Jamie, manned the IML desk. 14 new members joined the IML.
Walkers regroup at the last checkpoint on the Sunday 7 and 12km routes
And The Prize Winners Were…
In 2021 we introduced a number of prizes for participants. There were spot prizes throughout the weekend, plus an earlybird entry prize, a fundraising prize, a team prize, and photographic prizes.
EarlyBird Prize Winner
The Earlybird prize was two VIP tickets to the Rotary Peace Dinner on the Friday evening before the walks got underway.
Two tickets valued at over $300 went to lucky Earlybird marathon entrant Mark Schipp.
Fundraising Prize Winner
Valerie B. won the fundraising prize of a romantic weekend for two at the 5 star Realm Hotel valued at over $700.
To win, all entrants who raised over $1000 for Rotary Give Every Child a Future, went into a random draw in April.
The Team Prize
The team prize was won by the Wells Station Scout team.
To win, team members were judged on their spirit and enthusiasm. This team trained for months leading up to the event and completed both the 21km and 24km walks.
2021 Photography Prize Winners
Congratulations to our three winners of the 2021 Aussie Peace Walk photo competition.
Prizes were awarded for the best image taken on one of the walks.
Kristen Pratt won the ‘FUN’ category with her photo of a shadow of two walkers in the Finnish team. Valerie Birchard won the ‘LANDSCAPE’ category for her photo under the Commonwealth Bridge, and Mark Schipp won the ‘NATURE’ category with his photo of fungus on the base of a tree.
Thank you to all entrants. We look forward to seeing the wonderful images captured by walkers in the 2022 Aussie Peace Walk.
The 2021 Peace Walk In Pictures
Click the arrows to scroll through photos of the 2021 Rotary Aussie Peace Walk in celebration of 100 years of Rotary in Australia and New Zealand.