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Lisa Dempster with Leah Kaminsky


Event Status

There’s walking, and then there’s walking. When Lisa Dempster set out to tackle the Shikoku Pilgrimage – a 1200km, 88 temple route through regional Japan – she was at a nadir of mental and physical health; desperate for something to bring major change to her life.

As she describes the gruelling journey, laid out in her travelogue Neon Pilgrim (2009; re-launching this August), it surprised her with unexpected spiritual encounters. Yet the sense of an inner shift was still elusive and intangible – and something which only later emerged through writing about the experience.

Walking Princes Park with doctor and author Leah Kaminsky, Dempster will recount the circumstances of her adventure, and how it’s impacted her life in the near-decade since.

How will this event work?

Each attendee will have their own pair of wireless headphones (volume adjustable!). Speakers will lead the group at a slow walking pace around Princes Park, fitted with microphones. Since this is a public park, we’ll be sharing the track with runners, dog walkers and other walkers. The headphones have a good range, so if you fall behind the group, fear not – you’ll still be able to hear the conversation up to ~150m away. Each event will run for 60 minutes, but depending on the group’s walking pace, may not complete a full circuit of Princes Park (which is 3.2km). We encourage participants to wear runners (and a raincoat if the weather is looking soggy), noting that some paths are sealed and some are sand.


Lisa Dempster

Lisa Dempster is Executive Manager of Public Participation at Yarra Plenty Regional Library. Lisa was previously Artistic Director/CEO of Melbourne Writers Festival. In 2017 she presented Jaipur Literature Festival Melbourne as part of AsiaTOPA. Prior to joining MWF, Lisa was Artistic Director/CEO o... Read more

Leah Kaminsky

Leah Kaminsky, physician and award-winning writer, is Poetry & Fiction Editor at the Medical Journal of Australia. Her debut novel is The Waiting Room won the Voss Literary Prize for the best novel of 2016. We’re all Going to Die has been described as ‘a joyful book about death’. She edite... Read more


Princes Park

200-590 Royal Parade Carlton North VIC 3054

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.