Monday, April 14, 2014

One door closes, another one opens

Its been a long time coming but things have started to move past the "ready, steady ..." to the "go" for our Trail!

We have been frustrated by long delays from certain quarters, but following some "intervention" this appears to have been resolved and we have now established great cooperation with that entity and are hopeful of completion in access agreements in the next couple of weeks.

On the flip side, access to the CAC in Bindoon has been withdrawn by the new operating authority the Edmund Rice Education Authority. This comes after four years of fantastic understanding with the school principals, the farm manager and staff at the College, and the PTF thanks the College Community for their past enthusiasm. However, the powers that be have decided that we can no longer use that route so an alternative has been sought .... and found ... and found to be EVEN BETTER!

We are very excited about the new route as it does away with the need for prior permissions to cross private land. It also extends the walk by about another 15 to 20 km making it an even greater walk than before!

We are currently in the process of exploring the route, marking it and photographing it too.

Finally: in the next few weeks we will be moving to our new Webpage which is currently being built. So keep an eye out for
its going to be fantastic.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Pilgrims Trailhead launch

Pilgrims Trailhead launch

This report is from Lynne Ward from the City of Subiaco who was kind enough to pen it for me as I have been overseas for some weeks. 

"The launch of the Pilgrims Trail trailhead, the starting point of the new heritage walking trail between Subiaco and New Norcia, was officially launched by the Mayor of Subiaco, Heather Henderson on Sunday 8 December 2013. The trail now stretches some 170 kilometres from Subiaco to the monastery town of New Norcia in the north-eastern wheat belt. 

The marked trail has been initiated and developed by the Pilgrims Trail Foundation and takes its inspiration from the extraordinary life of Benedictine monk Dom Rosendo Salvado, the founder of the New Norcia Benedictine monastery, who walked between Subiaco and New Norcia on many occasions during his 54 years at New Norcia.
A QR code etched on a small plaque located at the trailhead links to the Pilgrim Trail Foundation blogsite.

The trailhead for this walk was developed by the Pilgrims Trail Foundation in partnership with the City of Subiaco and St Joseph’s Subiaco and is located in the newly named Piazza Salvado forecourt at St Joseph’s Subiaco, 3 Salvado Road, Subiaco". 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

New Trail Head and New Community Partnership

It looks like we have a site for a Trail Head in Subiaco. After discussions with the City of Subiaco and St Josephs Church, site was found in the newly re-developed area at the front of the Church, that has now be re-named Piazza Salvado.

Domenic at Granite & Marble Expo in Osbourne Park, was fantastic with his help in sourcing and supplying a suitable piece of Granite and then getting it engraved. We owe him a huge vote of thanks.

The official blessing is on Sunday 8th December at the 10.00am Mass, so please come along and join the fun!

My colleague Colin Ingram and I had a very good meeting with the Head of the Department of Parks and Wildlife, Western Australia where we discussed the idea of forming a Community Partnership in all things related to the Trail and the significant areas that it runs through. Fingers crossed that all goes well because that would be a huge fillip to our future growth.

We have tenders out now for an Official Web Page which we hope to post early in the new year. All ideas and suggestions will be gratefully received.

An idea is germinating that we organize a "Big Event" on the trail for 2014 - so if any sports or sponsors are reading this, we'd love to cooperate on a big event.

More soon.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Trail Head

It's been a busy time gearing up for the two Camino Salvados from Subiaco to New Norcia and Clive, our intrepid trail marker has managed to put up some of the markers along the way. This is a bigger challenge that one would anticipate as each "territory"we move through has it's own ideas of how to to it ... and a plethora of rules to abide by too. But in the vast majority of cases everyone involved has been kind and helpful.
We also had a great meeting with the head of the newly formed Department of Parks WA - DPWA - and are hoping to develop some great initiatives with them in the future.
I also had a wonderful meeting with the organizer of the Black Swan Arts Award who suggested that next year we take a group of artists along the trail and then ask them to interpret their experience in the visual art of their choice. Then we would hold an exhibition to showcase their talents ... and the Trail of course!
Herbert Smith Freehills - the law firm - have been extraordinarily generous with their help on the legal side of things and we own them a huge vote of thanks for all their work.
Finally, we caught up with the walkers on this years walk up in the Chittering Valley and delivered some goodies to keep their energy levels up. Their spirits need no boosting: they are having a WONDERFUL experience despite the frequent deluges of rain that have failed to dampen their enthusiasm. May their happy memories last a lifetime.

A few of the "happy campers" enjoying a well deserved break.

It's going to be inlaid into the forecourt at the front of St Josephs Church, Salvado Road, Subiaco - so hopefully I'll post a picture of it in my next posting.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

August 2013 - Recent Board Meeting


At our last Board Meeting it was resolved that we appoint a commercial operator to run walking groups for the PTF. The successful candidate was Inspiration Outdoors, a husband and wife team who are committed to the idea, telling it's story and protecting the environment all at the same time!
Their link appears on the right hand side.
We also asked Clive McIntyre to go ahead and order the Logo signs of the trail and mark the trail before this years first Camino Salvado which happens in a couple of weeks.

Projects for the next few months and for next year include:

Upgrading the Webpage to reflect the greater demands of more walkers.
Applying for funding to provide "cross-over" stiles in fence lines where appropriate.
Develop plans for celebrating the Bicentenary of Bishop Rosenda Slavado which occur in 2014.

We have also decided to support the development of the "Piazza Salvado" at the front of St Josephs Church in Subiaco where we will erect a suitable, temporary symbol of the trail head for the Pilgrim Trail. Our expectations are that in the next 5 to 10 years we may need to find a more suitable site nearby that will be able to accommodate the increasing numbers, and not clash with the activities of an already very busy Parish. The City of Subiaco have been excellent partners in our development and we look forward to building on that relationship as the local Councils merge in the next 12 months.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Cultural and Heritage Magic

Yesterday I gave a presentation to the Metro Trails Forum here in Perth and highlighted the history and current development of the Trail:

This is the year that the Trail will be marked and our Board Member Clive McIntyre is progressing this for the group.

Next year is the Bicentenary of Dom Rosendo Salvado the founder of New Norcia and our inspiration for starting the Trail in the first place. We are working with New Norcia, the Cities of Subiaco and Perth, the Whadjuk peoples and local Theatre and music groups to make sure that it is a very special occasion and the start of a deepening our understanding of our rich cultural heritage.

We are also hoping to create a series of Podcasts that will reflect each day of the journey: and this is being done with the help of Richard Offen of Heritage Perth.

Finally, we are looking for a Sponsor(s) so that we can offer a prize for a piece of Visual Arts to represent the ethos of the trail, so please check your bank balances and see if you've got any spare cash you can contribute ;)

I look forward to sharing some of the concrete reality that this coming year promises.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cultural explosion

Over the past few months quiet work has gone on with discussions to mark the trail in readiness for this year 5th anniversary of the Camino Salvado. But next year should be even bigger with the Bi-Centenary of Bishop Rosendo Salvado.

During this time we've been talking about creating cultural components to complement the Trail so that those who may never be able to experience it can get some of the spiritual elements from music and theatre- and this has been met with unbridled enthusiasm led by the team at the City of Subiaco, and we thank them tremendously for their facilitating meetings and introductions.

We are also planing minor alterations to the trail so that the Great Northern highway is totally avoided. This will add some extra kilometers, but by then the legs will be strong and the Spirit burnished bright!

There's still hours more talking to do and application forms to fill our so any offers of help would be gratefully received.

Looking forward to passing on more good news as it happens!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The first Camino for 2012 completed

And I think that it went very well although feedback has highlighted the fact that the trail lacks any distinctive markers and navigational "aids". So although we have a route, we still have to achieve "Trail" status. That means we urgently need to source funds to complete the job that began nearly 4 years ago!

Ean, Maggie and I had a very informative meeting with the Whadjuk group from SWALSC last week. I found it extremely rewarding to hear the stories that they told and their obvious comfort with the concept of the Trail passing through Walyunga National Park which is of great importance to them. They offered some really creative suggestions and ones that we will seriously try to incorporate into our Trail Experience. One phrase that was used by one of the Board Members lingers with me, and that was that Walyunga is a "Happy Place". I hope you get to experience that for yourself one day!

I am meeting with CAC to discuss our proposed access agreement with them next week - we both want to "make it happen", but we need to get it right.

After 8 months, several phone calls and emails, we still have to hear back from a Government Department about one small section of the Trail - does everyone run into challenges like this with Government Departments?

Hopefully my next post will be able to report progress.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's been a long time!

Fountain at Versailles
The young bride and I have been on extended Sabaticcal in Versailles, France and returned to Oz only a few weeks ago: but that doesn't mean that work on the Trail has stopped! Thanks to some great work by Col Ingram, Ean James, Clive McIntyre, Greg Clune and Roger Walsh, the PTF has continued to meet and make progress.

Also, as I write, the first Camino Salvado of 2012 is wneding it's way through blustery showers in the lower Chittering Valley to complete day 3 of the Camino. We hope and pray that as well as showers of rain there will be showers of blessings for them too!

The Draft Strategic Plan is now finalized and in the near future I'll add a copy of it to this Blog. The alignment is almost settled with one private landholder having signed an agreement, one other has indicated their intent to sign and a Government Department that has taken over 8 months to say they haven't got all the information that they need at this stage!

At this point we're looking to the long term management of the Pilgrim Trail and we need your feedback. The Trail is already there and so there are no significant ongoing management issues: in fact if we can learn from the Spanish Camino, everyone organizes themselves privately, the regional authorities manage their sections of the trail and the local entrepreneurs service the Pilgrims that use the route - and it's very successful. I have no doubt that in 10 to 20 years, thousands of people will be using the Trail every year and it will be a "Jewel in the Crown" of WA tourism. We need to plan for that and we need your ideas.

This week I am making a presentation to the Whadjuk people who are the traditional owners of a section of the Trail in Walyunga National Park: I am honoured and excited to be able to do that.

We also have some great news Maps for the Camino that I will also add to the site - courtesy of Clive McIntyre.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Stakeholders Meeting

On the 11th November we held a very successful Stakeholders Meeting at St Josephs Parish Centre, with about 18 people in attendance. A slide show and information was presented on the history and current status of the Trail, and then Colin Ingram presented his Draft Strategic Plan followed by general questions.

My feeling is that it was all very well received and now leaves us in position to start work on the actualization of the plan: in other words, bringing it to life!

We have also been fortunate to secure the services of Freehills law firm to help us with the legal aspects of establishing the trail.

What we now need is business skills and sourcing funding for establishing the physical reality of the trail with signs, information boards, maps etc. And for this WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Please contact me if you think you can be of any help with the creation of an Australian Icon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stakeholders Presentation

On November 11th, that most propitious of days, at 2.00pm, we are holding a presentation for all Stakeholders in the Pilgrims Trail at St Josephs Parish Community Centre.

We hope to see you there.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Board Meeting Thursday 22nd September

A difficult, but good and necessary Board was held last evening, where we made a philosophical change to our Strategic Plan. It was felt that the big point of difference of the Pilgrims Trail from all other walking trails in Australia is that it does have a Spiritual element: and that isn't necessarily limited to religious thinking.

So we have decided to promote group walks along the Trail that will entail more orderly use until such time as the infrastructure is there to cope with the more casual walker/camper. This decision was made because of the success of the 3 years of Camino Salvados that have been held with over 120 people now having experienced the trail. The average walker on these event walks has been a woman in her early 60's: and one who likes to know that she has somewhere to sleep at night!

The other major challenge is now to develop a business plan to help achieve our goals and we are very thankful to Bank West, and to Craig Stevens who has been so helpful with time and ideas.

The final challenge is to get some funding. We were unsuccessful with 2 or our 3 applications to state bodies: we are now looking for a Benefactor" who is inspired by the idea of the Pilgrims Trail to help us bring it to reality. Please let me know if you know that person!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Follow this link to a recent article in the West Australian Travel Section on the Camino Salvado. This is the event walk from Subiaco that follows the Pilgrim Trail. More from this blog too by one of the walkers on this years Camino: Happy days......

Monday, September 5, 2011

Grant applications

Unfortunately we were unsuccessful with our applications to DEC and Royalties for Regions. Although this is unfortunate, it has had the opposite effect in galvanizing us to try harder to get to the next level of funding.

We will succeed.

The feedback from our two event walks has been outstanding and the new northern section of the Trail has made it even better than before.

Please help us to deliver on our desire to make this an Iconic experience for all Australians: this is not our trial - it's YOUR TRAIL!