The team successfully started the mission from Australia in June-July 2010. We left for Australia on 28th June 2010 and climbed the tallest mountain in Australia, Mt Kosciuszko/Targangil on 7th July 2010. Nepal Mountaineering Association was the major supporter for this leg of the mission. The trip was also supported by Government of Nepal, The North Face, Nepal Airlines, Veg Climate Alliance, The Crossing Land Education Trust, Outdoor Education Group, Supreme Master TV, ICIMOD, Non-Residential Nepalis and Nepal Tourism Board.
7th July, 2010 was a perfect weather day with clear blue sky. Alpine Scientist Ken Green from the national park along with photographer Vonna Keller, cameraperson Nigel Mueke and other supporters joined the climb. Coordinator Shailee Basnet was interviewed by ABC Southeast radio on the way up. We took a scenic route up the mountain and spent about 45 minutes on the summit.
On 13th July the team presented a statue of Lord Buddha originally handed by the Prime Minister of Nepal Mr Madhav Kumar Nepal to Mr David Holly, Assistant Secretary, South and Central Asia Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The team made a presentation emphasizing the friendly relations between Nepal and Australia and urging the Australian government to consider the impact of climate change in the Himalayas.
On 14th July EW7S team was hosted at Brigitte Muir’s residence in Natimuk, Victoria. She is the first Australian woman to climb Mt Everest and first Australian to climb all seven summits. The team hiked up Mt Arapiles with her next day and met another seven summiteer Steve Bell later in the day. The team got wonderful opportunity to learn from the experiences of the two climbers. Brigitte Muir, David Spratt, co-author of Climate Code Red were the featured speakers at an event organized in Melbourne.
The team made 18 presentations at various avenues including schools, communities, fundraising dinner and other interactions. Audiences were mesmerized to see pictures of the Himalayan giants and inspired by the team’s story.
Cameraperson from Supreme Master TV filmed the team right from arrival in Australia till departure. EW7SEA members were also interviewed by ABC Southeast Radio, SBS Radio, Melbourne Chautari, The Herald Sun and were featured in Narooma News, Monaro Post including various online posts. The team also received wide media coverage in Nepal before and after the climb.
Our hosts were amazing and we kept meeting wonderful Australians along the way. After the trip we like to tell everyone ‘if you want to make friends visit Australia’. Kosciuszko was very important for us because this was a beginning.
Many people told us that this must have been a walk in the park for us. We like to borrow Neil Armstrong’s words and say, ‘It was not a big climb but a giant leap for a team of young women all the way from Nepal to make this happen.’ Thanks to our supporters Australia was a great start!