Australia 19 June: Ballarat, Vic - Melbourne, Vic

Leaving the countryside

Our day started with a Breakfast Radio interview on local Ballarat radio. We were also able to catch up with some of the other online media from recent days: this photo album on the Greater Shepparton City Council's website and along with this excellent story by the Shepparton Interfaith Network. In Ballarat, The Courier carried a very nice piece, along with this announcement on Global Travel Media about our visit to Sovereign Hill.

This morning the Deputy Mayor of Ballarat, Cr Harris, CEO of Sovereign Hill Jeremy Johnson and the General Manager of the Hotel, Neil Robbins, came to meet the team for a light breakfast.

Our Ballarat regional Peace Run Coordinator, Mrinali Clarke, was also in attendance.

All of these men are runners in their own right, with Cr Harris having run a 3.30 marathon and Neil Robbins – having started running at 50, clocking a 4.07 marathon. We were impressed!

Cr Harris thanked us for coming and gave us some tips on the hills out of Ballarat … which was the section already planned for the girls team.

Jeremy asked that we take their message of joy with us as we continue on our journey.

Our waitress from our meal last night Elle – who is also a runner, was our breakfast server this morning, so we had to have a photo with her.

Just down the road at Canadian Lead Primary School was our first school visit for the day.

They had done a lot of preparing for our visit.

Allera Bee and Lilly Gourlay welcomed the team. A selection of students then came to read some of their thoughts on peace.

“Peace is a sign of friends living together in harmony.”
“Peace is respecting people for who they are and what they do.”

WIN News was there.

The students had also been working on a Peace Pledge piece of artwork. Ms Fiona Dodd, one of the teachers, inspired the students to write peace pledges, which were then placed inside hearts and on canvas.

These three canvases were shown to the school and one of them was presented to the Peace Run to take to Rome for the international art exhibition.

This was all done in the students’ break time over the course of a few weeks.

The three students who presented the artwork also received the Certificate of Appreciation: Tyler, Amarline and Bailey.

WIN TV came to finish their filming for this evening’s news and took some time to speak to a few of the Peace Runners and students before the team departed.

The girl’s team ran the first 20 km out of Ballarat over some lovely countryside along all the back roads.

The boys team meanwhile had driven ahead and were running the remaining distance to Ballan.

Ballan Primary School provided a warm greeting for our entire team.

The students had worked on the artwork for Rome and four pieces of artwork were selected to be sent to Rome. Congratulations to Avaline, Maxine, Riley and Sienna for having your artwork selected. And well done to all the students who created the wonderful art!

As the hall was so big we stayed inside to hold the Torch and also to run with everyone, making them all Peace Runners!

We were not long on the road again before our next engagement in Bacchus Marsh.

Our whole team arrived at St Bernard's Parish School just after their lunch break.

The team ran into the school hall with the entire assembly chanting their school chant.

The Principal, Emilio, greeted us warmly.

Monique and Hunter received the Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of their school.

With a few minutes left before the end of school for the day, we all passed the Torch around and had the chance for a quick run around the grounds.

Our team is very grateful to Altankhuu from Mongolia, who will be returning home in a few days. She has been a great team player in every way and will always be welcome on any Peace Run in Australia.

As we entered Melbourne ...

... the headlights came on as the dusk gently fell.

We are most grateful to Birches Serviced Apartments for kindly hosting two of our Peace Run team this evening.