Into the Forest

February 17, 2016

I’m writing this blog while I sit on a camping chair and hunch over the laptop screen and keyboard. There are bugs crawling all over the screen and in my hair and I think I’ve accidentally squashed a few in between my fingers and the keys as I type. Apart from the light coming from the screen, it’s pitch black. I can’t even see the moon through the trees.


There are a million things running through my head.


I’m feeling honoured and humbled by the support I’ve received to help me get this far. I’m here, 77kms from Canberra and all around the country there are people sending their signed petitions through, some people who I’ve stayed with and met along the way are preparing to come to Canberra for my arrival. At my school, there are teachers who are covering for me, one in particular, who has been taking my classes. The students there have learned about what I’m doing. My Drama class have been making tableaus of “Things Ms Hackett might find on her walk!” A couple of ladies in Melbourne have been holding a petitions booth outside St Paul’s this whole week to collect signatures. We have been working with Mr Broadbent’s office to get the event ready on the 23rd in Canberra. You have been reading my blogs and have most likely signed the petition.


I still think about that girl. The one who has kept me awake, the one who inspired me to take this journey in the first place.


I’ve told this story before, so I’ll give you the brief version. Sometimes I’d lay awake at night in my nice cosy bed and think that there’s someone else, just like me and she’s lying in her beg right now and going through hell. When my alarm goes off to start the day, I have a life full of choice and ease. What would hers be like, this girl, who has just spent her 400th night in a detention centre in my own backyard?

I hope that one day she can see the wonderful kindness I have seen. I hope that as I write this, right now, she can feel some of the warmth I feel from all of you.


I don’t know what’s going to happen at the end of this journey. From our leaders, I can’t hope for too much. Many people have said to me that it’s not about the destination and I agree. I can honestly say that this venture has made a difference in more ways than one and this is as much a credit to all of you as it is to me. We have done something. Small or large, we have done something to show that we care.


If I could ask anything of anyone in this country, it would be to go to bed and imagine another you, alone and going through hell. What would you want?


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Jessica Hackett

0408 513 353

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