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Belinda arrives at Parliament House accompanied by 300 supporters

Seventy days, 3,500 kms, four pairs of shoes and thousands of signatures later, Belinda Teh has completed her walk across Australia in support of Western Australia introducing Voluntary Assisted Dying laws. 

Her journey began from the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne on 28 May, culminating at the steps Perth’s Parliament House on Tuesday in a journey to raise support for voluntary assisted dying.

"I wanted to take the message of the compassionate VAD legislation that has been recently introduced in Victoria, and bring that back to WA," she said.

The 27-year-old, who grew up in Perth’s southern suburbs, carried a white rose every step of her journey in memory of her mum Mareia who died in agony from aggressive breast cancer in 2016, and was refused assisted dying after two requests to doctors as a patient in a specialist palliative care facility.

"This is a once-in-generation chance to change the law in WA so that what happened to my mum doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Belinda said.

Her final day of walking began at Murdoch Hospital where 30 nurses turned out to support her as she departed for Parliament.

Belinda called for Western Australians to join her on the final leg of her journey from Kings Park to Parliament with more than 300 turning out to join her in an emotional trek that included high profile supporters Andrew Denton and Adam Gilchrist.

At Parliament House, Belinda was welcomed by the Premier Mark McGowan, Deputy Premier Roger Cook, Opposition leader Liza Harvey, Alana McTiernan, Amber-Jane Sanderson and other MPs who will soon vote on WA’s Voluntary Assisted Dying bill that was presented to Parliament on Tuesday.

Belinda presented a basket of white roses to the Premier, who added his rose to acknowledge his support.

Parliamentary debate on the bill will begin at the end of the month.

“This is a bill that would give dying Western Australians the option of avoiding unnecessary pain and suffering. And I expect it is a law that would have helped my mum,” Belinda said in her speech outside Parliament House.

"My message to WA politicians is this: the next few months will define the future of voluntary assisted dying in this country, and what happens next is up to you. This is your chance to make Australia a more compassionate place.

“To my fellow West Australians in particular, my message is this: be brave. Change is possible, but we have to be brave enough to speak up. The single most powerful thing you can do is to talk to each other, and to your local politician who represents you. Don’t do it for me - do it for the people in our community who can’t,” she said.

Belinda said people must make their voice heard if they want this choice not to suffer, and urges them to take action.

"There are real indications that MPs are not listening to the 86% of people who want this law or the evidence supporting the urgent need, heard by the 18-month parliamentary inquiry,” she warned.

Belinda completed her 70-day journey as an ‘assisted walk’ – where she had a support vehicle and called on help from supporters along the way.

She walked through many towns in western Victoria and South Australia, crossing into Western Australia at Eucla on 22 June. She passed through regional WA locations in the Great Southern, Goldfields, South West and Peel region on her way to Perth, meeting supporters and collecting signatures for her petition along the way.

Belinda said memories of her mother and words of encouragement from supporters had helped her stay focused over the past 70 days, along with several pairs of new shoes.

“Along my journey I met so many people with similar stories. Their willingness to share their experiences continued to inspire me and give me the strength to walk to the end to bring this important message to the West Australian Parliament,” said Belinda.

For more information visit at BelindasBraveWalk.org.au and the @Belindasbravewalk Facebook page.

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Media contacts

Natalie Cameron – WA Publicist 0411 740 570  natalie@nrccommunications.com

Steve Offner – GGA Communications Manager 0426 283 865 media@gogentleaustralia.org.au

Download images of the journey, arrival and footage HERE

Additional information: Belinda’s Walking Trail from Melbourne to Perth

28-May Depart Melbourne -Parliament House, Spring St

28-May                  Melton South via Footscray

29-May                  Ballan

30-May                  Ballarat

31-May                  Beaufort

1-Jun                     Warrak

3-Jun                     Stawell

5-Jun                     Horsham

8-Jun                     Kaniva

9-Jun                     Bordertown

11-Jun                   Keith

12-Jun                   Tintinara

13-Jun                   Coonalpyn

15-Jun                   Tailem Bend

17-Jun                   Mylor

18-Jun                 Parliament House, Adelaide

20-Jun                  Port Augusta

22-Jun                  Eucla

24-Jun                  Norseman

26-Jun                  Higginsville

27-Jun                  Widgiemooltha

28-Jun                  Kambalda West

29-Jun                  Somerville

30-Jun                  Kalgoorlie

2-Jul                      Esperance

3-Jul                       Dalyup

4-Jul                       Ravensthorpe

5-Jul                       Hopetoun

6-Jul                       South Coast Highway

7-Jul                       Ravensthorpe

8-Jul                       South Coast Highway

9-Jul                       Jerramungup

10-Jul                    Bremer Bay

11-Jul                    Cheynes Beach

12-Jul                    Albany

13-Jul                    Denmark

14-Jul                    Denmark

15-Jul                    Bow Bridge

16-Jul                    Walpole

17-Jul                    Northcliffe

18-Jul                    Pemberton

19-Jul                    Manjimup

20-Jul                    Nannup

21-Jul                    Brockman Highway stop

22-Jul                    Augusta

23-Jul                    Margaret River  

24-Jul                    Margaret River

25-Jul                    Dunsborough

26-Jul                    Busselton

27-Jul                    Peppermint Grove Beach

28-Jul                    Bunbury

29 Jul                    Bunbury

30-Jul                    Harvey

31-Jul                    Waroona

1-Aug                     Mandurah

2-Aug                     Rockingham

3-Aug                     Armadale

4-Aug                     Fremantle

5-Aug                     Murdoch Hospital

6-Aug                    Parliament House, Perth