In April 2006, 41 year old Irishman, Frank Muldowney, said goodbye to his homeland and his comfortable career to embark on a 6,000km walk across Australia, from Perth to Sydney, pushing a wheelchair containing his invisible friend “Harvey” to create a Pilgrimage for Peace. He dubbed this kickass walk ¨Believing in Harvey¨
Frank’s pilgrimage across the Australian continent was inspired by his own near-death experience. In 1985 at the age of 19, he suffered a brain haemorrhage (AVM), reported having intensive brain damage after 8 hours of brain surgery. For close to a year, he lived in his own world as he was unable to speak or comprehend correctly in society.
To take recovery in his own hands Frank started walking.
From 1989 to 1999, he completed 16 long distant walks for charity in Ireland, France, Spain and Peru, to improve himself and learn from the wisdom of others.
The concept of Harvey was inspired by the imaginary “friend” of James Stewart’s alcoholic character in the eponymous classic film of the fifties named Harvey.
As Frank explains: “The dream for peace is in everyone’s heart; you cannot see it, but you can feel it. This dream cannot die – this is Harvey, the imaginary peacemaker who lives in your own heart. Harvey’s wheelchair is a symbol for a world disabled by fear rascism and injustice. We are all disabled until we have peace.”
These things combined eventually culminated in the idea to walk across Australia carrying ‘Harvey’ the imaginary peace maker who, according to Frank, can unify people’s desire for peace.
After over a year both Frank and Harvey made it safely to Sydney.
Quite a nutter. And quite a journey indeed.