A Travellerspoint blog

April 2007

Irish Echo - Harvey on front page

article by Markham Nolan

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Harvey appearing on the front page.

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To be Frank, this peace walk's on the wild side

Dubliner Frank Muldowney will march into Melbourne on April 22nd, two-thirds of the way through a peace-inspiring 6,000km journey, on foot from Perth to Byron Bay.
If all goes to plan, Mr Muldowney 41, will walk down Swanston Street flanked by police and supporters, just as he did when he walked into Adelaide.
The walk has seen him cross the Nullarbor Plain, and has earned Mr Muldowney a nomination for the inaugural Irish-Australian Achiever of the year award.
The East Wall resident is a charity walker of 16 years' experience, having completed charity treks in Peru, France and Spain in the past.
He circumambulanted Ireland in 1993 and received a special accolade from Taoiseach Bertie Ahern for his charity work. But crossing Australia, pushing an empty orange wheelchair that reresents his hope for peace and "a perfect society" is his greatest challenge yet.

Mr Muldowney plods along during the daytime, covering 20km approx. per day, and so far he has covered more than 3,500km. "Actually it's 3,700, with 2,300 more to go, give or take a few hundred either way" he told the Echo. "I'm taking the longest way possible across Australia so that I can see as many towns as possible," he said.

Reflecting on the journey so far, the Nullarbor Plain sticks out as the toughest physical and mental challenge. Mr Muldowney suffers from epilepsy, sparked by a serious brain haemorrhage when he was 19, and his condition worsened as he crossed the plain, hospitalising him for a time. The pace took its toll, and Mr Muldowney's epilepsy kicked in, necessitating a trip to Ireland for treatment. When he finally resumed his walk, he slowed down to 20km a day, but began hearing voices as he struggled across the outback.

"That was the toughest," he said, "the two months of nothingness. It's a combination of nature, living as it is, and truck drivers." The voices he was hearing belonged to truckers on CB radios, drawing "the wheelchair guy" into their banter.

"They started talking to me on the walkie-talkie that I had with the wheelchair, and I never felt lonely. They made it easier for me and would give me more of the width of the road when they passed, which I took as a mark of respect."

Mr Muldowney's trans-Australian odyssey was conceived during a moment of clarity in a backpacker's hostel. "The idea came to me when I was in the Greenhouse Backpackers' in Melbourne. I was sitting there reading about Martin Luther King's speech 'I have a dream..' and there were 12 people sitting around the table, all different nationalities, trying to communicate with one another and sharing their plates. I realised that this is what Martin Luther King was talking about, all people being equal regardless of colour or race. It was the perfect society, there, in a hostel."

Like Dr Luther King, Mr Muldowney says had a dream, but rather than keep it as such, he decided to turn it into a reality. He dreamt of changing attitudes, one person at a time, and has embarked, like a latter-day preacher, to urge people to face life with a peaceful, positive attitude, and consider following their own dreams. "When I ask people I meet: 'What is your dream?', most people say it just never happened for one reason or another. I tell them it's still there. I met a 12-year-old who lives his life in a wheelchair whose dream is to be in the AFL. You can see his parents' heads drop when he said that, they knew he'd never play footy. I asked him had he ever thought of writing to newspapers or magazines with his ideas for tactics, or even working in commentary, and you could see his eyes light up at the idea that he could be part of it. You can't always do what it is you want to do, but you can do something close to it."

Although Mr Muldowney never had to use one, he pushes a wheelchair to symbolise the obstacles that everyone, even the apparently successful, have to overcome. "We all have problems," he said. "Everyone has their own wheelchair."

Posted by fmuldowney 19:58 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Who is Harvey ?

-17 °C

WHO IS HARVEY?

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"Harvey" is my imaginary character in the orange wheelchair. He is a person or spirit who is 'the' dream for peace. I created Harvey because I thought there must be a person who can identify to everyone, of any race, religion or creed. He has no date of birth, therefore no date of death. Harvey is male, femail, healthy, disabled, white, black, brown and asian. He is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddist and any other religion you know of. Harvey is the figure you can create for yourself, who you can feel comfortable with as he stands for peace, kindness and respect like most of us do. I believe everyone have the same dream for peace and equality. Perhaps we all need an imaginary leader to speak for all of us, rather than a living one. I now have my own imaginary leader for peace and now I am creating the peaceful imaginary world to match it, the one everyone dreams for"

"Harvey is the most important person in the world. Harvey is you and your own dream." Frank Muldowney

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Bob and Bono, the Irish visionaries who see and believe the end of poverty.

My father, Tom, lived for the last 7 years of his life in a wheelchair suffering from Motor Neuron Disease. His life was hard, where mostly stress caused this horrific disease. But my Dad became a better person and a stronger one with that disease and lived with it complete dignity and grace. The wheelchair now is never empty to me, as my Dads spirit and dream if there under the name Harvey, who has his arms wide open to other pure thoughts and dreams which will never die.

The wheelchair is Harvey's, a symbol to remind us that the world is disabled by fear, racism and injustice. Harvey is just my name for my dream for peace, to keep myself inspired to follow my own dream. To me the entire world is in a wheelchair, no one is perfect. I have my own challenge and I must do something about it, to believe in myself to make a difference in my own way to create peace from one person to another. We all have a problem, a history, and we can overcome all these problems, and live a happier and content life, by believing in yourself and your own dreams.

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase" Martin Luther King

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Mohandas Gandhi, Terry Fox, Martin L. King, Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, courage, determination, love, wisdom, and all had a dream.

People in the past, like Mohandas Gandhi, Martin L. King, Mother Theresa, have inspired me and others to be a better person. These people have led to changes in our world which have dramatically inspired millions across the world. Their good work is recorded as part of history and no one could fill into the shoes of such a person. These people were human, and thus their lives have ended, but their dreams will never die as long they are remembered, and in the future a new person will carry on these dreams. Harvey's wheelchair carries these dreams, and I hope more living people will carry on more of these dreams again, that the world wide dream for peace will never die.

"Harvey is imaginary, so he can never die. In this way, he is an immortal symbol to live your dream for peace. By doing so, any thought of purity will grow, and will never deminish. In my heart I know this can the beginning of the end of wars and poverty through the power of our own thoughts our own imaginations our own dreams." - Frank Muldowney

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"If I can live better and smile and say hello to every person I can meet, I can improve myself and those around me by simple acts of kindness. If we can persuade others to do the same, does that mean we can change our streets, our towns, our cities, our nations by spreading a ripple effect of kindness? I wont know unless I try"

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To me there is an imbalance between good and bad being portayed in the media. I believe the vast majority of the world population are good hearted people who have a deep desire for peace and happiness. I hope this walk can create awareness about this imbalancein, to question that their is more good news than bad, and its immoral to report the reverse as it will affect the minds of our children. If you are a parent and an editor/producer, remember it's your own children will believe what you report, so are your potraying a true relection of life? Is what you portray more real than what Harvey stands for? Is their really more bad events than good? I think this walk can be a little spark by discussing this issue and perhaps change the level of negativity into positivity, if given a chance to be listened to. To me a fair balance of truth in the media is all is needed.

Frank Muldowney - December 2002

"Curiousity is one of the great secrets of happiness" Bryant H. McGill

Special thanks to -

Ann Kenny RIP
Elizabeth Muldowney
Tom Muldowney RIP
Michael Muldowney
Jim Blewitt RIP
Lorna Mitchell
Thessa Moolenaar
Eva Schatzle
Clare and Eugene Peelo
Shiera O Brien
James Sweetman
Michael McHugh
Amanda McHugh
Nick and Deb
Jacky Agosti
Dean and Linda
Nathan Sturdy

Posted by fmuldowney 19:11 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Walk for Peace - Interview with Francis Muldowney

Believing in Harvey - "The Walk for Peace"

Francis was walking just 11km past Horsham, now getting very close to Melbourne. A journalist Michelle Dryburgh drove past and stopped him and interviewed Francis for the Mail - Times newspaper. The photo was taken by Michael Rudolph.

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Francis believes in Peace

Irishman Francis Muldowney is on a 6,000-kilometre journey from Perth to Byron Bay. Journalist Michelle Dryburgh met Francis as he walked through the Wimmera this week...

Imagine abandoning the security of full-time employment and a comfortable home to push a bright orange wheelchair across Australia.
Francis Muldowney, 41, did just that; striving to make his dreams and those of the world come true.

His journey, 'The Walk for Peace', began in Perth on April 2nd last year. Almost a year later, he has walked 3,700 kilometres through three states and no doubt he will make it to Byron Bay.
Mr Muldowney admitted he must look peculiar as he walks beside the highway pushing what appears to be an empty wheelchair.

But he said his invisible friend 'Harvey' sat in the orange contraption.
"I had a brain haemorrhage when I was 19 and now I have permanent brain damage, epilepsy and I'm visually impaired," he said.
"I lived in my own little world for a while and the first thing I comprehended was a wheelchair. It looked like it was smiling at me."

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Although Mr Muldowney never required a wheelchair, it was at that point he developed a fascination with the symboliism of the wheelchair and thus he created Harvey.
"The wheelchair never feels empty because it is always carrying someone else's dream," he said.
"Harvey is every good dream, he is hope peace and harmony. To me, the wheelchair is a symbol that each of us has a problem that needs assistance. Wether it be emotional, financial or physical, we all have problems but we can still make our dreams come true"

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Mohandas Gandhi, Terry Fox, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa,
the four figures who Francis believes their dreams are still alive, peace, kindness, and equality.

Mr Muldowney said he hoped to meet as many people as possible as he travelled with his band 'Believing in Harvey'. Couple Mick and Amanda McHugh and their daughter Kia travel alongside Mr Muldowney in a motor home. The group hope to inspire people to realise their own dreams and live as they would in a peaceful world.

Mr Muldowney's Walk for Peace has attracted the attention of hundreds of people including Jacky Agosti, his girlfriend whom he met while walking through Adelaide.
He said the walk was an enriching, albeit physically demanding experience.

"My dream came true when I took the first step in Perth," he said.
"That's what people forget. It's the start that's important, not the finish. You can talk about your dreams, but if you do the planning and take that first step, you've already made it happen."

Mr Muldowney walked 20 to 25 kilometres over six or seven hours a day for the first two months of the journey. But when he suffered an epileptic seizure in June, the walk came to a halt. He returned to Dublin for medical attention before the walk resumed in September.

"I've slowed down a bit to avoid that happening again. I walk 15 to 20 kilometres a day now," he said.
"I believe my speech, comprehension, epilepsy and overall health has improved since I've been out here. I've lost 10 kilograms since I started."

Written by Michelle Dryburgh
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The walk is paused at the moment awaiting for permission to walk through the main street of Melbourne, and requesting the Lord Mayor Mr John So for a brief meeting.

We will update you again until we have offical dates of the walk into Melbourne.

Enclosed the 5 minute trailer of the 9 hour documentary recorded so far on this journey. Enjoy

Published - Frank Muldowney

Posted by fmuldowney 14:29 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Harvey - Thinking of the final third of the journey.

6,000 km walk from Perth to Byron Bay 2006 - 2007

semi-overcast 19 °C

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Harvey, the catalyst to make friends.

It has been a very long journey, over a year now since I started the walk from Perth. It is a privilidge to push Harey, knowing how many peoples dreams are still alive, and I am living my own. A reminder how lucky I am to be here (or anywhere in fact). Mick and Amanda have made my dream possible from Perth to Melbourne, now their own dreams has started and it's their opportunity to follow their own journey, and watch their book and music to grow.

Since I reached Melbourne I have been overwhelmed by the support of so many people who either support the walk or joined in, by walking or by making calls, or passing the word around. These are the people who will make the real difference to make Harvey known, and others will talk about it. You know who you are, and you know what you did for me, and my own efforts on this walk I hope will give more in return in the future.

The day we walked through the main street of Melbourne, (Swanston Street), I then spoke to a person in Federational Square who genuinely didn't see anything inspiring in what I am doing, as it will not create peace, that it will not make any difference at a global sense. I just said 'perhaps you are right, in your life and your thoughts, but this walk has changed my life and others around me. This Walk for Peace is to create peace in one's heart, thats where it begins. The media only tells us what they know now, but never speak of the possibilities of peace in the future. I believe peace is inevitable so I like enjoying the feeling of peace now, and perhaps the dream for peace may happen even sooner by living it.'

The Start.JPEGThe day it all started, April 2nd 2006.

My rest in Melbourne has helped me to get ready again for the final third of the journey, and as there are more people now involved I hope this ripple of peace can expand one by one, and no one knows how far it can reach.

Living my own dream did wonders for myself, now I hope others can start following their own, as hard as it may be, it is worth it in the long term. I have met others who have already lived their dreams and those have that inner smile, which now I have in my heart.

My role now is to learn more about the media and public speaking, to find away to inspire even more people to follow their own journey, their own way to happiness and peace.

The journey continues.

Frank Muldowney 2nd May 2007 Day 394

Posted by fmuldowney 19:47 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Walk for World Peace by 2015

6,000km walk for peace, Perth to Byron Bay...and beyond

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An Irishman who suffered a brain haemorrhage, has taken on a walk for world peace across Australia and beyond. He is pushing an orange wheelchair carrying 'Harvey' the imaginary figure for peace and he believes we will have world peace by 2015.

Why and how?

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Walking through the Nullarbor

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase" Martin Luther King

I have been Frank Muldowney for 41 years...yes I am Irish. From a very young age I believed that each person is here for a reason and my own is to create a inspired way to peace, through one's thoughts and actions. I found my own path and solution 5 years ago in Melbourne, after 16 years of travelling, soul seeking and learning.

"Peace begins with a smile" Mother Theresa

I now have walked over 8 million steps for something I believe in, that peace is here, in our hearts. I can feel it, it's the dream that is in everyone's soul, and that is the only proof that I need to say that peace is inevitable. With that in mind, Harvey - The immortal Peacemaker has announced, we will have World Peace by 2015, and by saying it, and acting on it, the dream will become a reality. The question to me is, are we all prepared for world peace? I believe it is time to start thinking this way, as the visions of peace can only become a reality, when the human mind allows it to be so. It is up to us.

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"Imagine is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited, imagination encircles the entire world" Albert Einstein

I created Harvey, an imaginary leader for peace and kindness, who you can only see by the presence of his orange wheelchair. Harvey is the peacemaker who can be a member of any race, religion or creed. Harvey is whatever you want him to be, as he is your own dream for peace. The wheelchair symbolises a world disabled by fear, racism and injustice, and this now comes to an end as everyone can participate to end fear and war by simple acts of kindness.

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Harvey and me on the road

MY HISTORY
I suffered from a life threatening brain haemorrhage when I was 19, in 1985. It was a blessing in disguise as I seized a second chance of life to awaken a more enlightened set of life priorities. It took me 16 years of learning from charity walking (France, Spain, Peru, Ireland), working and listening to the wisdom of my family when I knew what was ahead of me. In 2002 I took my own health and life in my own hands, and set on a new journey to inspire as many people I can meet with my own philosophy of peace, that it is here. I have proof that ones imagination is more powerful than what we know now, as I have improved my health already by believing in my own thoughts that I will get better, and I have.

I now wish to walk millions of steps, and each one is a small gesture of persuasion. My journey has no ending, as I know each step of peace I make is part of a pilgrimage of peace, which will stamp out each inch of hate and war where there is no room for it anymore. The Walk for Peace started in April 2nd in Australia 2006 - and I believe that by 2015, it will be a Walk of Celebration.

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The inspirational figures of my past - Dalai Lama, Mohandas Gandhi, Terry Fox, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa.

I am privileged to be in this position to have a small role in ending the evils of this beautiful earth. It is an honour to push this wheelchair carrying an everlasting figure for peace, who will never die, as human imaginations will keep him alive for ever.

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Plans
I aim to get supported by known entrepreneur's, who care about the future for the next generation. The idea to me is simple, to promote Harvey as a figure who stands for peace everywhere through the walk, the arts and the media. Then give the public an official date for 'Peace across the World' and aim at the year 2015. Now, we all have a goal to go for.

The media is the most powerful weapon in the world, influentual enough to change the feelings and thoughts of the people across the globe. If we can create a belief and a goal for peace now, perhaps, we the public can change what is being portrayed in the media, replacing the barrage of negativity into positivity. If we can do that, it is truly possible to change the trapped mind set to a new, creative direction, a desire for global peace - a wave that is impossible to stop.

Walks ahead
- Perth to Byron Bay 6,000KM 2006 to 2007 set to end in September.
- Dublin to Belfast - Celebrate Peace in Ireland 2007
- Belfast to Edinburgh to Cardiff to London - Celebrate United walk for Peace - Ireland and Britain
- Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Tibet, USA. Awaiting response from the UN.

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The start at the Bell Tower in Perth 2006, and 14 months later crossing the lake to Capital Hill, Canberra.

I live with a smile. I believe respect, humour, love, and peace within, are the roots of a perfect world, this is Harvey, cannot be seen, but one can feel it. This is why I feel free to walk anywhere, as I do not believe in fear and war. I feel privileged now, to meet and make friends with the architects and participants of war, as I know they will never create happiness in themselves and their own children. I wish to show a much more happier way.

This 'Walk for Peace' is a challenge of my own belief that peace is here, and I am prepared to discuss it with anyone, who thinks we will not have peace. I believe it's what everyone wants.

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Prime Minister Bertie Ahern and I, reaching 3,300km in Adelaide.

I am distributing booklets of the Youth Human Rights International Organisation, to create awareness to the world leaders of the future. I hope the United Nations will promote what I am doing, and perhaps the governments of all nations should be doing the same through education. Some have abused their power by passing laws above the Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Some nations still do not have a bill of rights. I know this is wrong and Human Rights will be here to stay for people of all nations in the near future.

"Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere" - Martin Luther King

There is room for everyone to walk with the orange wheelchair, to share the meaning of Harvey and I am fully aware of how blessed I am to have the privilege of pushing Harvey to a more peaceful world.

"You must 'be' that change that you want to see in the World" - Mohandas Gandhi

CONTATCS
Frank Muldowney
Email - fmuldowney@yahoo.com
Mobile - 0407435196
website - www.believinginharvey.com

Posted by fmuldowney 23:20 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

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