The 2nd Aussie Peace Walk

2022 Aussie Peace Walk

The 2nd Aussie Peace Walk. COVID-19 Restrictions were still in place and Only New Zealanders could enter the country.

A Sad Start to a Colourful Event

The 2022 event began on a somber note with the loss of Canberra Two-Day Walk founder Harry Berg in February, as we were preparing for the second Aussie Peace Walk.

At about the same time, Event Director Chris Edwards thought we should think about adding some colour and fun to the event.

Chris “grew up in a VW Kombi”, and to him, the Kombi is the embodiment of peace and a colourful, carefree youth.

On the 22 February, he purchased a 1974 Kombi Camper and set to work designing colourful 1970s style graphics for it. With only four weeks from start to finish, Chris had the Kombi ready and registered on the 24 March, just in time for its debut at the opening ceremony on the 25th.

Challenges

Unfortunately, COVID-19 lockdowns were still in place in Australia. The only international travelers permitted to enter the country were New Zealanders. We had one kiwi walker and a lady from the Netherlands who was already in Australia, otherwise only Australian participants could make it to Canberra.

We also had to deal with rolling protest marches around the city. The protestors had many mixed messages, but the principal theme appeared to be anti- vaccination and sundry COVID related issues.

Protestors planned to march past our start/finish area on the Saturday 26th. Fortunately, only a small group marched and didn’t cause any disruption to us. However, it wasted a lot of valuable time for the volunteer organising team in the lead-up to the event.t the opening ceremony on the 25th March 2022. 

Volodymyr Shalkivskyi, Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of Ukraine speaking at the opening ceremony

On the 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. The invasion is the biggest attack on a European country since World War II.

Our special guest at the Opening Ceremony of the Aussie Peak Walk, one month later, was Volodymyr Shalkivskyi, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of Ukraine.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd as he made an emotional connection between Ukraine and Australia’s ‘Stolen Generation’. Saying that Ukrainians are facing their Stolen Generation now, as Russian invaders are taking their children at this very moment.

Countries Represented

Ages of Two-Day Walkers

Amount Raised

Walkers in the enjoy a few laughs as they make their way around the lake near Commonwealth Park

New In 2022

Colourful New Designs

If ever there was a vehicle that could represent the Peace Walk, it would be the VW Kombi. 2022 was the year the Peace Kombi made its first appearance.

It was also the year we introduced we also designed new Aussie Peace Walk souvenir shirt, utilising the artwork of our signature Indigenous artwork of Canberra.

Give Every Child a Future Fundraising

For the second year, we raised funds and donated to support the Rotary Give Every Child a Future project to reduce child mortality in the Pacific Islands.

(Update November 2023: UNICEF and Rotary are now working together to deploy much needed support as the project has been fully funded.)

Improved Event Passport

We changed to a different event registration system that made registration easier. Based on feedback following the 2021 event, we also improved the design of the Event Passport to make it easier for volunteers and walkers to use.

We also designed a new ‘Meeting Place’ finisher’s medal with the addition of bars for each year. This design with year bars will last until 2025. Each bar has the year on one side and an illustration of a native Australian animal on the other.

Jess and scouts Moldavia

One of our volunteers with two scouts from xxx. The girl on  the left proudly wore the traditional clothing of Moldova where her mother is from.

The 21km and 24km walk combinations was a popular choice for Scouts seeking a challenge.

Welcoming our Interstate Participants

Most participants were from the ACT, NSW and Victoria, with one each from South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. (We have our fingers crossed for the International borders to be open in 2023!)

The Smoking Ceremony at the Rotary Aussie Peace Walk Opening Ceremony.

Opening Ceremony

Canberra embraced visitors with a heartwarming ‘Welcome to Country’ an’ and traditional smoking ceremony at the World Peace Bell.

Achillies volunteer with blind walker

Blind Walker

It was a pleasure to work with Achilles, who supplied two guides for a blind walker. One for his Saturday and one for Sunday walk.

walk finishers with their medals 2022

Challenge Accepted

The new medal design was well received, with many two-day walkers delighted to take home the 2022 Aussie Peace Walk keepsake.

The new ‘Meeting Place’ finisher’s medal design showing both sides.

The team of volunteers in Albert Hall take a moment to check that everything is progressing smoothly.

  • 7km Walkers 16.16% 16.16%
  • 11 & 12 km Walkers 40.17% 40.17%
  • 21km Walkers 27% 27%
  • 24km Walkers 38.4% 38.4%
  • Marathon Walkers 9.6% 9.6%
  • Walked on both days 78.17% 78.17%

Most Popular Walks

Because 2021 was listed as a Rotary Centenary Event, there were quite a few Rotarians who walked the 7km on Saturday but didn’t stay for the Sunday events.

This meant that we had fewer walkers overall than in 2021, but in 2022, we had a higher percentage of people walking on both days; up from 55% to 78%.

Rotary volunteers stamp event passports and hand out oranges at one of the checkpoints.

Volunteers walking on the 24km route to test the routes a few weeks before the 2022 Aussie Peace Walk. 

The 2022 Peace Walk In Pictures

Click the arrows to scroll through photos of the 2022 Rotary Aussie Peace Walk.

Since 2021: Event History

2023 Aussie Peace Walk

The 2023 Aussie Peace Walk welcomed many international walkers. It was t-pandemic event.

2024 Aussie Peace Walk

the 2024 Aussie Peace Walk y changes starting with the MarchMingle and Mingle Walk naming convention.

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