Australia 8 June: Nowra, NSW - Bungendore, NSW

Inside the ACT Legislative Assembly

We departed from Bomaderry Motor Inn where James, Angela and Mimi, their cat, had kindly given us accommodation for the night ...

After checking up on the latest from The Guardian News with their excellent report on our visit in Macksville earlier in the week, including video and extensive photo album, the boys team departed early for our starting point and commenced running by 7.15 am.

Our challenge was to do as many kilometres towards Bungendore as possible, while our girls team attended Nowra Hill School.

The road to Neriga was relatively quiet, and tree lined. Again we were blessed with some rain, which did limit visibility, especially for those who wear glasses.

Despite the weather the early morning stillness and beautiful Australian bush made the running an enjoyable experience.

Meanwhile our girls team, along with Abhinandan, were headed to our first school ...

... Nowra Public school.

The children enthusiastically joined in the World Harmony Run song.

Everyone enjoyed their opportunity to make their own wish for peace while holding the Peace Torch.

The boys team had started their running early to make inroads into the 140 km we needed to cover. After our engagement at Nowra Public School, our girls team drove to catch them up ...

As the morning had continued the rain receded and by lunch time the sky had cleared to an inspiring deep blue.

We leapfrogged ahead and our newest team member, Andrew, completed his longest day of running.

The girls team meanwhile had started our running on country roads through the beautiful and isolated bush towards Bungendore.

The peace up there fills the mind ...

... and the exotic bird calls ring like bells through the silence.

We had time for a quick snack at My Rainbow-Dreams, the vegetarian cafe in Dickson, Canberra which is run by our friends from the Sri Chinmoy Centre and is kindly feeding us for the next 4 days while we will be in and around Canberra ...

... before heading to the "Dreamer of Peace" statue of the Peace Run's founder, Sri Chinmoy at Yarralumla Bay ...

... where we enjoyed a restorative and strengthening few minutes of meditation.

We concluded our day at the ACT Legislative Assembly ...

... where our team was officially welcomed by the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health, Shane Rattenbury of the ACT Greens, along with Caroline Le Couteur MLA, also of the ACT Greens. Due to another engagement, Ms Le Couteur could not stay for the entire reception.

The team were treated to some delectable snacks.

After singing Sri Chinmoy's Peace Run song ...

Minister Rattenbury spoke of his long association with the Peace Run and other activities of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, and of the need for projects of peace and oneness at this time when there are people acting to divide and separate humanity.

We all stepped outside where Minister Rattenbury was joined by another Member of the Legislative Assembly, Assistant Speaker Elizabeth Lee of the Opposition Liberal Party for a spontaneous expression of bipartisan support for the Peace Run.

The full team with Elizabeth and Shane.

Since the ACT Legislative Assembly had concluded its sitting for this session, we were allowed the rare privilege of all coming inside and onto the floor of the Chamber.

Minister Rattenbury, himself a former Speaker of the Assembly, offered an illumining history and description of the functions of the ACT's governing body.

The Peace Torch on the floor of the ACT Legislative Assembly, with Minister Shane Rattenbury and the Team.