Woman wanders west for mental wellness

Robert DoughertyBroome Advertiser

Modern day adventurers Tracey Humphreys and her loyal maltese canine, Dexter set to arrive in Broome on 6000km journey to raise funds for suicide awareness.

The pair of endurance specialists have walked solo from Byron Bay, New South Wales since September 29, 2015 to Broome as part of a circuit of the nation to raise $50,000 for the Black Dog Institute and remove the stigma of mental illness.

“It’s been amazing, absolutely the most amazing adventure - I live on the Gold Coast but I walked from Byron bay, around 6000kms and have raised $22,000 for the Institute,” said Humphreys.

“There were a number of suicides around 2013 and then my son, Jordan tried to take his life that year and there was no help around at the time – I couldn’t believe it one day I heard that the government had cut $50,000 of funding to the institute and I thought right I’m going to get that back.”

The pair are completely self-sufficient for two or three weeks at a time and travel around 25kms a day but often attract the generosity of locals they meet during the journey.

“I’ve walked solo but definitely not unassisted because Facebook has been my support vehicle, people have rallied to help,” she said.

“The Kimberley has been absolutely majestic, I was very reluctant to do this leg of the journey actually because it’s a bit remote between here and Katherine but it’s just been a highlight and the people have been amazing.”

Tracey and Dexter will stop in the Kimberley town for next week’s Mental Health Week before taking a short wet season break and continuing the task in mid-February.

“I’m hoping to do the whole lap around (Australia), I’ll go home from Broome and let the wet pass then come back and do the west coast,” she said.

“The whole point is to get the (mental health) conversation started and it’s so close, people think it’s something happening ‘out there’ but it’s so close to home.”

For more information visit Onewomanwandering on Facebook or online.

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