ALWYN Doolan walked more than 3000 kilometres to be in Tamworth.
But his journey has barely begun.
Mr Doolan marched into Tamworth on Sunday morning with an Aboriginal flag on his back and a message stick in his hand.
He has walked from Bamaga, at the tip of Cape York, to Tamworth en route to Canberra where he will hand over a form of notice to the Australian government calling for treaty.
On his trek, Mr Doolan has met with Indigenous communities with a hope to inspire lockstep support for Aboriginal rights, self-determination and treaty.
He met with Gomeroi elders and community in Tamworth on Sunday morning.
He hoped the walk would send a message to younger generations of Indigenous Australians which would inspire and lift awareness and desire for reconciliation.
Mr Doolan will spend a few days in Tamworth before heading to Muswellbrook, but his time in each town is spent finding out what is happening in Indigenous communities at a grassroots levels.
His findings will shape his submission to the federal government later this year.
While he said treaty had “to come from us”, he said non-Indigenous Australians had a huge role in healing and reconciliation.
“The message stick walk is inclusive because the non-Indigenous people play a great deal in the healing, because it’s not about us going back to pre-settlement, this is about how we move forward together,” he said.
While in Tamworth, Mr Doolan said having a national treaty would lead to better outcomes for Indigenous people.
“It means we can have decision making by our own people in the community, not policies that are made such as closing the gap,” he said.
“They just don’t work in our communities because they’re structural forms of a foreign mind.”
He said education was key in fostering reconciliation.
“It’s all of these rumours and ideas come out in society of who we are as people and you only get a small amount of that put across to our non-Indigenous people.” he said.
“If we started a basis of the truth and worked from there maybe we could have more of an understanding and compassion towards each other.”
After he delivers his submission to the government at the end of May, Mr Doolan said he would walk from Canberra to Uluru where he plans to hold a First Nations yarning circle.
“[It’s] where we can talk amongst ourselves and no government voices are in place and we can come up with our goal and what is going to work best for this treaty as a nation.”