A mother's walk to fight parent alienation

PARENT RIGHTS: Founder and organiser of One Step Closer Mel McCann is joined by friends and family in Goulburn on her journey to see her children. Photo: Mariam Koslay.

PARENT RIGHTS: Founder and organiser of One Step Closer Mel McCann is joined by friends and family in Goulburn on her journey to see her children. Photo: Mariam Koslay.

Mel McCann has forgotten what her two daughters look like. Michael Weaver has never helped his teenage son with his homework.

Both share the same story: frustrated parents who were misunderstood by the court system and separated from their children. But now both parents want to make a difference.  

In August Ms McCann put her ideas into action and created One Step Closer to raise awareness on the effects of parental alienation. 

With the dream of reuniting with her children, Ms McCann organised a 300km walk from Sydney to Canberra, where her daughters now live.  

“I had this idea six years ago and people thought I was mad but the reality is that there wasn’t a home without my kids,” she said. 

More than 20 people have participated throughout the walk for One Step Closer between Sydney and Canberra. For every pit stop Ms McCann has chalked a yellow heart with a pink border, a personal message from mother to daughters to highlight her love. 

Co-organiser Mr Weaver, who mainly communicates with his son via Facebook, describes the walk as a metaphor for the time spent away from his children. He called for politicians to change the laws surrounding allegations between parents in family court. 

“We haven’t done anything wrong. It should be more punishable for parents to be alienated from their kids for no reason,” he said. “What about the manipulation in court and the psychology behind what is happening?”

Both Ms McCann and Mr Weaver have spent two days in Goulburn with locals Keith and Lahnee Cleary and will arrive in Canberra on October 19 with the hopes of finally meeting her children. 

“It’s been a tough road but I made it happen,” she said. “This walk is no where near as long enough for the pain and time I’ve missed out with my kids.”

To follow Mel’s journey head to the One Step Closer Facebook page

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