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There’s Something To Be Said Of The Australian Spirit To Persevere…

Over the weekend our Green Machine powered through the far reaches of country New South Wales and made his way into the town centre of Wagga Wagga. The road from Mildura through to Hay and then Wagga Wagga was made easier for Bernie, knowing that he had his support crew, friends, and family waiting for him a few hundred kilometres up the road. Another few restless nights and exhaustion were relieved by a visit from his Neighbourhood Watch Australasia support crew. Gifted with new bike tyres and tubes, uniform, warm clothing, and some extra sunscreen for while Bernie is out on the road. lifted everyone’s spirits.

Following Bernie along the road into Hay was a small mob of emus, basking in the sun and playing on the roadside as they darted in and around Bernie and his bike. Clearly, they got the message about Bernie’s Ride To Connect! As one of Australia’s national animals, it’s beautiful to see native fauna running free in the great Australian bush. The emu also represents an omen for Bernie’s ride – they are one of very few animals in the world that cannot walk backwards, which is one of the reason’s the emu and kangaroo are represented on the Australian Coat of Arms. As they cannot walk backwards, they are forever moving forwards, pushing through barriers to reach their goals (or end destination) no matter what. For Bernie out on the road, seeing emus was just another incentive to keep pedalling east onto Wagga Wagga and eventually Bondi Beach.

After meeting with Neighbourhood Watch Australasia CEO, Ingrid Stonhill for his health, welfare and safety check, Bernie was reflective of his time on the road so far. Albeit exhausting, hot, windy, and overwhelming at times, Bernie is still determined to see this journey through right until the end at Bondi. Bernie spoke about his nervousness at the beginning this massive trek across Australia, and how it quickly disappeared as he continued to cycle. A sense of relief overcame him at every new milestone reached.

Bernie has been humbled by the generosity and support of a growing support network stretching nationwide. From old friends to wish him well from Scarborough beach, to new acquaintances he has met along the road, Bernie has had nothing but kind words to say about all those he has met. “This trip has restored my faith in mankind” has been a line Bernie has dropped on numerous occasions now – but suddenly, as he nears closer to his final destination, it has never rung truer.

His journey from Scarborough to Wagga Wagga is a phenomenal effort! From everyone at Neighbourhood Watch Australasia and community groups nationwide, we cannot wait to share in the excitement with you in the coming days as you venture into Sydney and Bondi Beach. If you are lucky enough to see Bernie out on the road between Wagga Wagga, Canberra, and Bondi be sure to wave, say hello, or give him a toot from your car as you drive past – there is comfort to be had from a simple friendly greeting. After all, isn’t that the Australian way?

As Bernie continues his ride to Bondi Beach he grows more and more dedicated to connect communities, meet new people, share stories, and celebrate in the Australian spirit. Show Bernie your support no matter where you are in Australia or overseas! Follow along with Bernie via the NHWA Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter – share stories with #journeywithbernie #ridetoconnect2017 #nhwkeepingyousafe

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NHWA Journal September 2021
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