Blak Trekkers Conquer Everest Base Camp, Didgeridoo in Hand

Blak Trekkers Conquer Everest Base Camp, Didgeridoo in Hand

In an awe-inspiring display of Indigenous pride and physical prowess, a group of Indigenous  Australians known as the Blak Trekkers recently conquered the challenging trek to Everest Base Camp. Among them was Jeremy Donovan, who made history by becoming the first Aboriginal person to play the didgeridoo at the mountain's South Base Camp.

But this journey was about more than just personal achievement. The Blak Trekkers used their trek as a fundraiser for the Black Dog Institute's First Nations Lived Experience Centre, which addresses the critical issue of mental health in Indigenous communities. Tragically, rates of suicide and self-harm are significantly higher among Aboriginal Australians compared to the general population.

For many of the trekkers, the journey held deep personal significance. Josh Creamer, who lost his brother to suicide last year, walked in his memory. Kristal Kinsela joined to help break down the cultural stigma that often prevents open discussions about mental health in Indigenous communities.

The trek itself was no easy feat. Months of preparation couldn't fully shield the group from the bitter cold, high altitude, and sheer physical exhaustion. But reaching Base Camp wasn't just a personal triumph – it became a moment of cultural exchange. The trekkers connected with local Nepalese through traditional music and dance, with Donovan and David Williams playing the didgeridoo.

This expedition showcased the incredible power of community and cultural connection. As Kinsela noted, the group's support was essential in overcoming the trek's many challenges. Their journey sends a powerful message: by coming together and embracing our cultural heritage, we can tackle even the steepest mountains in our path.

The Blak Trekkers' epic journey to Everest Base Camp is a testament to the resilience of the Indigenous Australian spirit. By raising funds and awareness for mental health, they've taken an important step towards healing their communities. And with the sound of the didgeridoo echoing through the Himalayas, they've shown the world the unifying power of culture and the strength we find in each other.

"These Blak Trekkers Hit Everest Base. They Played a Didgeridoo to Celebrate." SBS NITV. Accessed April 15, 2024.