I call it a big, crazy idea.
And it is.
I’m walking across Australia to honour my mum and draw attention to the urgent need for Voluntary Assisted Dying laws in Western Australia.
I am leaving Melbourne on Tuesday 28 May and will journey 4,500 kilometres to Perth.
My aim is to mobilise support along the way from the 90% of Australians who are in favour of assisted dying − and most importantly to encourage Western Australians to contact their local MPs to urge them to act.
To succeed I need your support. If you’re in Melbourne or nearby, I’d love you to be at Parliament House to see me off. If not, I can also meet you along the way to hear your stories and share my experiences.
Click here to register and find out when I will be in your area.
For my mum
My mum Mareia was a patient with terminal breast cancer in Perth in 2016. She twice requested help to die on her own terms, but was refused.
Her request was denied because this kind of medical assistance is illegal in Western Australia. She went on to die in a way that she did not want to: devoid of dignity.
It was a horrific death that even the best of modern medicine and caring specialists could not save her from. I don’t want her suffering to be in vain.
Roses were Mum’s favourite flower. I will complete the walk holding a white rose. It’s my way of taking mum with me on the journey.
A big issue requires a big response
I need your help. Nothing is going to change in Western Australia regarding assisted dying unless people like you and me communicate to our politicians, emphatically, that we won’t stand for the status quo any longer.
I’m setting off from Melbourne because Victoria is the only state where assisted dying is soon to be legal (the state’s Voluntary Assisted Dying law comes into effect on 19 June this year).
I will arrive in Perth ahead of a vote in the Western Australian parliament on an assisted dying bill.
I hope my walk inspires people in Western Australia to take action and let their MPs know there is huge community support for this change.
I’ll keep you updated on my progress. If you want to know if I’ll be in your local area, please update your details with your postcode.
Your backing will help convince MPs that terminally ill Western Australians want access to a safe and workable Voluntary Assisted Dying law.
- Belinda Teh