Long trek to honour aunt

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph

Rowan Dann is about to walk from Port Hedland to South Hedland to raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention.

It is the second time the Hedland Senior High student has taken on the quest, known as Rowan’s Walk, which he devised as a way to remember and honour his 34-year-old aunt, Geraldine Petula Maher, who took her own life two years ago.

The walk takes place on Wednesday, beginning at the Redbank Bridge rest area and ending at Hedland Senior High School in South Hedland.

Mr Dann said he wanted the day to be positive, and for people to be able to talk during the walk.

He said the event was about bringing the best out in people. “If people do end up speaking, I don’t want it to be forced, but I’ll be there if they want to,” he said.

Mr Dann said he wants the walk to grow beyond being focused on him.

“I’m hoping the walk keeps going, and that it’s not just Rowan’s Walk but becomes The Walk,” he said.

“Everyone’s doing it for me, but I want it to be for everyone.”

Clontarf Academy director Clint Ernst said the walk was supported by community groups and businesses including FMG and the Town of Port Hedland. “Kids in our academy look up to Rowan and as a Year 12 graduate doing these type of things, he has a bright future,” he said.

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