Broken Hill was baked in sunshine on Wednesday for the beginning of the marathon walk to Wellington which will continue west for 18 days through Wilcannia, Cobar Nyngan, Trangie, Narromine. Dubbo and then to its destination.
The group of three walkers and support crew were waved off by locals and Broken Hill mayor Wincen Cuy who walked with the women to the outskirts of the city.
“I really do wish you well on your journey for this wonderful cause,’’ the Broken Hill mayor told Aimy Thorne, the mother of an autistic child, walking to raise awareness of the crippling disease.
“We feel good and it’s a perfect day,’’ Ms Thorne said as she thanked the city for supporting the endurance walk.
The walk began in the cool of the morning and her daughter Claudia joined Ms Thorne together with her mother Valerie Newall and Michelle Gianisis.
The journey, on its first leg, was to the small village of Little Tapor, 70kms west of Broken Hill, a truck stop for many semi-trailers on their journey to South Australia and to the west.
‘’My little boy doesn’t really understand how passionate we are about getting facilities for children like him from Broken Hill to Bathurst but he believes mum is trying to do something special for him,’’ Ms Thorne said.
Schools in Wilcannia and Cobar will meet the walking group and the support crew and at one stage a small village has organised a Christmas in July with a local singer who has come from thousands of kilometres away just to be there.
“The support, especially from the smaller towns along the way, is inspiring,’’ Ms Thorne said.
Her mother, full of energy, said her daughter was determined to give autism the publicity it needed for facilities to be brought to the central and far west.
“I hope our hard work for autism pays off,’’ she said as she began the steep uphill climb into Broken Hill’s wide out reaches with the iconic images of the mining city’s long history in the background.