On a foggy and chilly morning in late August, 50 people were up early to join in this year’s Highways and Byways Yarck to Yea event.
The annual event raises funds to support the programs of Highways and Byways, the mission entity of the Missionary Sisters of Service (MSS).
Participants joined together in solidarity and friendship, walking and riding along the Great Victorian Rail Trail starting at various points between Yarck and Yea. Some journeyed the entire 27km length of trail from Yarck, and others completed 17km, 9km or 5km events.
A further forty locals joined the walkers, runners and riders at the Old Yea Railway Station for a celebratory post-event barbecue lunch provided by the local Sacred Heart parish community.
Highways and Byways Executive Officer Jane Collopy said that Yea is a location of historical significance to Highways and Byways as the birthplace of the MSS founder Father John Wallis. “Highways and Byways has a special connection with Yea, and the Yea parish community supports and welcomes us each year”.
She added that the support of the event from both locals and participants who come from Melbourne and other parts of the State, strengthens the work of Highways and Byways.
“Highways and Byways supports rural and regional communities across Australia to undertake projects to address disadvantage and exclusion through our annual grants program and longer-term partnership programs. We have funded a diverse range of organisations and projects, many with an emphasis on healing country and people through land and environmental restoration, local leadership and sharing knowledge and skills across generations”.
IMAGES: (MAIN): Stancea Vichie MSS and Bernadette Hogan along the trail.
(BOTTOM, L to R): Members of the Victorian Catholic Bushwalking Group; Bernadette Wallis MSS setting off on the walk at Yea; Yea local John Brick works the barbecue.
Images courtesy of Fiona Basile, MSS.