Guest Speaker Bill Layton August 11th 2015

 

"The Making of the Twin Gorges Walk in Fitzroy Crossing, Kimberley, WA."

Bill is developing a walking trail in the Fitzroy Valley in the Kimberley. This project is being carried out to create a sustainable enterprise for local aboriginal native title holder group – the Bunuba People. The walk covers two 400 million year old gorge systems and part of the biggest river in the Kimberley (in Australia when flowing) – the Fitzroy River. It covers some rugged and remarkably beautiful country and includes some amazing rock art, amazing bird life and bush. It will be guided by the Bunuba ranger group and will be vehicle assisted to suit patrons’ walking ability. Ultimately it will part of an eco-tourism venture based in Fitzroy Crossing and employing mainly aboriginal people. There are many challenges ahead including government approvals, station owner approvals, clan group issues, finance and training. This is an exciting venture and has great support from all who have been involved in it to date. It is still a big challenge to convert this idea into reality.

Bill is an engineer (almost retired) and has spent most of his working life in mining projects in regional and remote Australia including north west WA. About 7 years ago he was introduced to a remarkable aboriginal woman and her friends. June Oscar AO, Pat Davies (country singer) and Emily Carter have since become Bill’s great friends and his trips up there have become longer and more frequent. This year he spent two months in Fitzroy Crossing mapping out this walk and undertaking a pro-bono building project. He has developed a love for that country and its people. Apart from its amazing natural beauty, it still is a frontier and has all the excitement and freedom that would be frontier country.
Bill holds a commercial pilot’s licence/instrument rating. He has strong views on man-made climate change and the need for strong and decisive action if we are to head of a world wide disaster.