Darwin to Adelaide – A Ride for Light
Sean Whelan is cycling across 3,000 kilometres of desert in the brutal heat of the Australian summer, battling 40+ degree heat and searing UV rays to raise awareness for the Smugglers of Light Foundation.
He will be departing Darwin on the 18th December and will arrive in Adelaide about 4 weeks later.
Sean explains why he is taking this courageous action…..
“In 2012-13, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 10 to 17 year-olds were 17 times more likely to have been under youth supervision than their non-indigenous peers” – 2015 AMA Report Card on Indigenous Health.
The situation for young indigenous people in Australia has recently been described as “even more distressing” than that of their elders. The 2015 AMA Report Card on Indigenous Health acknowledges prison and incarceration as “most definitely” being a cause for the shorter life expectancy and poorer overall health of indigenous Australians.
The Report Card also states that “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people comprise 27 per cent of all sentenced prisoners, and 29 per cent of people awaiting sentencing.” This is an unacceptable figure when we consider that Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders make up just 3 per cent of the overall population.
The worst part is, the incarceration and health gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians continue to grow. The AMA have addressed many issues in their Report Card on Indigenous Health since its conception in 2002, yet the situation for indigenous Australians continues to worsen.
Regardless of the fact that we live in a 1st world country, in the 21st century, it is obvious that there is an overwhelmingly large gap between the overall health of indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
So how do we as a nation go about rectifying such large scale social injustice and acknowledging the situation of indigenous Australians as not just a health issue, but a human rights issue?
The AMA have specified many potential measures for taking steps in a positive direction, and still little or no action is taken, causing the statistics to grow more absurd, and in turn widening the already alarming gaps between Australia’s indigenous and non-indigenous populations.
It’s because of continuous failures by the government to acknowledge and rectify the fact the Australia’s indigenous population is in dire straits, that I believe the solution must be sought first by alerting Australia’s population. By bringing about cultural awareness among all Australians, and eradicating the primitive mindset that our indigenous population always will be more likely to be imprisoned, always will have poorer health and always will live a shorter life, we may be able to instigate a way of thinking that will lead to a brighter future for indigenous Australians in generations to come.
The Smugglers of Light Foundation is a charitable organisation dedicated to engaging, inspiring and creating new opportunities for young indigenous Australians. They employ empowerment through education and storytelling using the mediums of music and film in order to provide assistance to young indigenous musicians and youth at risk. I believe they play a major role in helping to raise cultural awareness throughout Australia, and instil positivity and inspiration within all indigenous youth they come into contact with.
On the 18th of December 2015, I will be departing Darwin on my bicycle, in an attempt to traverse Australia’s Red Centre from North to South. I will be cycling over 3000kms from Darwin to Adelaide in an effort to aid the Smugglers of Light on their mission of creating cultural awareness among all Australians, and establishing a brighter future for indigenous youth.
Join me in supporting the Smugglers of Light Foundation by liking and sharing this page, and by making a tax deductable donation by Electronic Funds Transfer to the bank account below. Once you have made a donation, please email your name, EFT receipt and postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bank: National Australia Bank
Account Name: Smugglers of Light Foundation
Lots of love and many thanks,
Sean will be updating his FB page with daily accounts of his epic journey.