5 Lands Walk exceeds all expectations

Walkers enroute from MacMasters Beach and (inset) Swimsuit sculpture by Avoca artist Wilhelmina Vilar

Walkers enroute from MacMasters Beach and (inset) Swimsuit sculpture by Avoca artist Wilhelmina Vilar

Over 17,000 locals and visitors participated in the 5 Lands Walk held on Saturday, June 21.

The 5 Lands Walk, a scenic 10km walk from MacMasters Beach to Terrigal, saw a passing parade of whales and a busy art and entertainment programme. Participants came from across the Coast, the State and as far as Canada to be part of this special community event. Many stayed overnight to enjoy Sunday’s Taste of Avoca Festival and the Copacabana Festival. High on the list of positive participant comments included the ease of participation, the diverse programme of entertainment and cultural performances, the quality of the art exhibition and beach installations, the educational nature of the workshops and discussions, the `Welcome to Country’ and Smoking Ceremonies, the carrying of the Message Stick, the sightings of whales, and the ready availability of assistance from the enthusiastic volunteers.

“Stunning Winter Solstice weather, migrating whales, greater out of area participation and fabulous community involvement and support all combined to ensure 5 Lands Walk 2014 was the greatest yet,” said 5 Lands Walk Committee president Con Ryan. “Participation numbers were in excess of 17,000, far beyond last year’s tally of 13,000 and included a stunning 80% increase in out of area registrations. “Importantly the numbers of volunteers to assist with the diverse and complex logistics of the event were also up, making for a great day for all concerned. “My thanks go to the ethnic and local communities, arts and school groups, all of whom gave freely of their time to help make this such a wonderful community event.

“So too, to the local, State and Federal Governments, sponsors, media colleagues and organising committee members, whose support for the event has been amazing and whose ongoing commitment to this amazing event makes it possible.” Member for Robertson Ms Lucy Wicks spoke in Parliament on Monday, June 23, and praised the event. “The 5 Lands is about a celebration of all it means to be Australian, and along each of the 5 Lands, people were treated to a wonderful cultural mix of Indigenous dance, and Greek, Chinese, African, Irish and Latino festivities,” said Ms Wicks. “There’s a real sense of connection cultivated by this annual walk, which is all about connecting people to people and people to place. “I’ve done the Walk several times, and I’ve got many fond memories, memories that will last a lifetime.

“This year, the Opening Ceremony at Mac Masters Beach Surf Life Saving Club was again disrupted as we turned mid-speeches to watch a whale breach the surface of the water. “It was a breathtaking sight. “The 5 Lands Walk is rightly becoming one of the biggest tourism events of the year on the Central Coast. “One of reasons the 5 Lands Walk is so successful is because it is run by a dedicated and passionate team of volunteers and today I rise to honour and thank them for their commitment and vision, especially Executive Committee members including President Con Ryan, Tony Powell, Pauline Wright and Lindsay Cunningham, as well as the many sponsors, surf clubs and around 500 volunteers that have made the 5 Lands Walk such a unique and memorable event on the Central Coast calendar,” said Ms Wicks.

Media release, 24 Jun 2014
David Fellows, 5 Lands Walk
Media release, 23 Jun 2014
Tim Sowden,
office of Lucy Wicks MP