Forbes man Peter White is setting out to travel the 1400km length of the Lachlan River on his own, in a kayak.
On June 16, he’ll start his journey at Wyangala Dam, anticipating it will take him 35 days to travel to where the Lachlan meets the Murrumbidgee.
Mr White’s not anticipating the trek will be easy, but he’s on a mission: to prevent youth suicide by raising awareness as well as funds for seminars aimed at Central West high schools.
The seminars would be designed to create and foster discussions about mental health among high school students, he explained.
“If we can save one life, it was worth it,” Mr White said of his planned trip.
On the journey, he’ll be able to carry just a first aid kit, dehydrated foods, sleeping bag and tent along with his camera.
His kit has to be light enough to negotiate the 163 weirs along the way, or lift over fallen trees if necessary.
Mr White is expecting to reach Gooloogong on June 20 and stop in Forbes on June 22. From there he’s expecting to reach Condobolin on June 29, Hillston on July 13 or 14 and Booligal on June 22.
He won’t reach his destination until August 3.
All the way, Mr White will be carrying a Wiradjuri Message Stick.
In Aboriginal culture, Message Sticks are very symbolic and were often used to carry messages, identify the individuals carrying them and why they were travelling, he explained.
A Wiradjuri Message Stick travelled 2400km along the Murray River, carried by South Australian Kevin Cook on a similar journey in 2017.
There are further plans for a Murrumbidgee River Trek in 2019.
Mr White is partnering with the Australian Horizons Foundation, who will administer all funds raised. Donations over $2 are tax deductible.
For more information go to his Facebook page at 2018 Lachlan River Kayak.
To support the trek, SMS the word ‘Prevention’ to 0437 371 371 and follow the directions, or go online to https://fundraise.giveeasy.org/campaigns/2018-lachlan-river-kayak-trek/