Day 8 was the dreaded day, it was the day we left Yulara. With a day filled with travelling ahead of us, we took the time to bring order back to our bags and have a slower start to the morning.

Pilgrims Abby and Kayla at dawn in Yulara.

Pilgrims Abby and Kayla at dawn in Yulara.

The day was jam packed with games, music and laughter. Our night in Mala was no different with games like ‘picture whispers’ and ‘play do communication’. It was a bit of a manic night where the laughter did not stop.

We took the opportunity to have an early night so we could set off early.

Day 9 was another long day on the Bus before we arrived back in Port Augusta. On the bus we watched ‘Charlie’s Country’ and grappled with the contemporary struggles that many Aboriginal people have. It was a reminder that the struggles are not just in the part, but are a current battle for many of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters.

After setting up camp and filling our stomach’s in Port Augusta, we were met by Adnyamathanha people Aunty Lavine and Dre. They shared with us about what life is like for them and more about some of the current struggles for their people.

Here’s what Kayla (16 years old) had to say:

“For me, Charlie’s Country showed the current struggles of Aboriginal people. It was not sugar coated, it’s the reality. Often we think of the past and don’t acknowledge the current struggles. That was hard to watch.

My biggest lesson today was with Aunty Lavine and Dre. They spoke to us about their own country and what it meant to visit a different country. Learing about Acknowledgement of Country helped me understand why we say it and the importance of respecting the community that owns that land.

I had heard Acknowledgement of country before, but I had never understood why it was said and how important it is that we do say it.

As a school captain, I want more information about Aboriginal people in our community to be shared and acknowledged at school. I want to see acknowledgements before every assembly.

I am so thankful for everything I have learnt so far, I feel I now understand more about where I live.”