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Belinda’s Brave Walk - 3 million steps to change a law

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Belinda’s Brave Walk - 3 million steps to change a law

* 27-year-old Western Australian woman Belinda Teh left Melbourne today (Tues 28 May) to walk to Perth to call for assisted dying laws in Western Australia.
* Supporters and Victorian MPs farewelled her on her journey at 10am (AEST) from the steps of Victoria’s parliament house.
* She will arrive in Perth on 6 August, ahead of a vote in the Western Australian parliament on assisted dying legislation.

Young Perth woman Belinda Teh set off from Melbourne today (Tuesday 28 May) on a trek across Australia to honour the memory of her mother and encourage Western Australians to lobby their politicians to vote for a voluntary assisted dying law.

She departed from the steps of Victoria’s Parliament House at 10am (AEST).

Belinda made the decision to embark on the 3-million-step 'assisted walk' after seeing her mother die from aggressive breast cancer in Perth in 2016.

The 27-year-old will carry a white rose in memory of her mum who, as a palliative care patient, twice asked for assistance to die but was denied.

“My beautiful mum Mareia experienced a horrific death which modern medicine and caring specialists could not save her from – and I don’t want her suffering to be in vain,” Belinda said.

“My mum’s amazing medical team provided her with the best that palliative care could offer. But there was a point where even optimal palliative care could not relieve the pain and suffering that she was experiencing.

“Terminally ill people need another option that is legal, transparent and compassionate to relieve their suffering, to acknowledge that people like my mum exist in the health system,” she said.

Belinda, who grew up in Perth’s southern suburbs, is determined the journey to WA will be an ‘assisted walk’ – in which she will draw on help from supporters along the way.

“The idea behind an ‘assisted walk’ is that when people ask for assisted dying, what they are actually asking for is help. It is OK to ask for and receive help, especially if the individual sincerely wants and needs it,” Belinda said.

“Later this year, WA’s parliamentarians will vote on whether they will give terminally ill Western Australians at the end stage of their life the option of dying on their own terms, without suffering.

“I want to send a message of hope to others in WA who have watched loved ones die, and had their hearts broken, that it is possible to pass a safe and workable assisted dying law.

“And I want to send a message of urgency to Western Australia’s politicians that people desperately need this law reform, and I know that because one of those people was my mum.

"This is a once-in-generation chance to change the law so that what happened to my mum doesn’t happen to anyone else.

"But, for the law to happen, I need people in Western Australia who support this to contact their local MP and tell them they want them to vote for the voluntary assisted dying bill. Phone your MP, email them, write them a letter. Go and see them,” Belinda said.

During the 70-day journey, Belinda will walk with assistance through western Victoria and South Australia, and cross into Western Australia at Eucla. She will then visit dozens of towns through regional WA on her way to Perth.

Her first stops will be in Footscray and Melton South (28 May); Ballan (29 May); Ballarat (30 May); Beaufort (31 May); Warrak (1 June); Stawell (3 June); and Horsham (5 June).

Supporters can register to meet Belinda along her route.

Follow her journey at www.belindasbravewalk.org.au

To support Belinda follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

When?

Tuesday, May 28 – Tuesday, August 06

Where?

Various locations
Western Australia

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