"My Dad worked in the transport industry and his aim became to see as much of Australia through his work as he could. So much so that given the choice he took the job that sent him in a direction he had never been, on roads he had never driven.
For years a map held its place on a wall at home, each time he returned, he would trace the line of any new roads while I looked on with admiration.
Ten years later and in a devastating fashion, it was this line of work that served to remind everyone of the risks. On July 22nd, 2003 my Father was travelling South on the Newell Highway bound for Melbourne. At 10.20pm that evening he rounded a bend near the town of Moree, in that same moment, two trucks, the one travelling in front and another travelling North collided. Together they were out of control and left Dad with nowhere to go, he died instantly.
I’ve had the image of that map in my mind for years now and consequently it has become my aim to complete it, to join the bold lines and travel to those parts of Australia he so longed to see."
Click 'read more' to discover how this story came together for stage 1:
Bridget’s article was published in Australian Traveller back in 2011.
"It was the character of this little outback pub that had me enthralled. The walls, a patchwork
of stapled bank notes and business cards, fans circulated the warm air creating a scene
reminiscent of ‘washing-day’ as the underwear that hung from the rafters blew in the breeze.
Through the door came an endless stream of cheerful travellers, sunlight illuminating the trail
of red dust that followed them in. Truck drivers dined on large steaks, backpackers manned
the barbeques and grey nomads looked over their glasses, smiling with youthful approval as
children played and parents relished their meals. There was something about the place, a
comforting familiarity that made you want to stay.
At the Daly Waters Pub in Australia’s Northern Territory I sat among this good-natured lot
wondering what Dad had thought of the place. He was the reason I was there after all.
Nearby, a Father unfolded a road map and laid it out on the grass, his wife and children
listened intently as he spoke with passion and gestured avidly. His wife smiled at his
enthusiasm and his children’s faces were awash with excitement in anticipation of the
A road map is a powerful tool. The one I have once belonged to my Dad, while old now, its visible imperfections could transport you back in time.
As a child my imagination became entwined with Dad’s stories, his desire to see the country in his truck and those meticulously drawn lines that marked the roads he travelled. As I got older the reality of sitting high above the road left me in awe of the passing surrounds and delighted, as seemingly fictional characters came to life. The maps unspoken promise of adventure sustained me into adulthood but it was the tragic loss of my Dad in a road accident that inspired me to continue his journey.
Leaving behind the comforting familiarity, I set off along a road that would have been new to both of us, for it was where those bold lines on the map ended, that mine would begin."
B.C Mahony – March 2012