One Step at a Time

The morning I met Patrick Passfield in August 2014, he had just returned to Brisbane after a long journey walking to Melbourne and back.

Pat has clocked over 8,000km through his walks, yet has achieved this without venturing beyond Sinnamon Village and its surrounds. Pat’s walks are virtual.

Following brain surgery, Pat arrived at Wesley Mission Brisbane's Jacobs Court residential aged care facility in a wheelchair on 1 July 2012. Frustrated by his lack of independence, and with the support of Wesley Mission Brisbane staff, the 74 year old former national squash player was back on his feet by December that year.

Walking routes are planned, and daily progress tracked, using Google maps. Pat, however, draws on his personal memories to visualise the journey and has plenty of stories to share from his virtual adventures.

During the time I spent with Pat, we walked from Brisbane to Toowoomba and back. We visited the school Pat boarded at in Gatton, the church where he was an altar boy, the dance hall in Marburg, and enjoyed lunch at the Weiss restaurant in Toowoomba.