Drive on to keep wave tra­di­tion on the road

Midwest Times - - OPINION - An­gela Ay­ers and Tom Zaun­mayr

Three out­back leg­ends have joined a cam­paign to get peo­ple wav­ing on WA’s coun­try roads as con­cerns mount about the fu­ture of the sim­ple yet iconic ges­ture.

In early Oc­to­ber, West Re­gional News un­der­took a study on a length of coun­try road be­tween Bun­bury and Man­jimup which found only five of 270 peo­ple re­turned the high­way sa­lute.

Spurred on by that video, Spirit Ra­dio pre­sen­ter An­gela Ay­ers started a cam­paign to bring back the wave, quickly re­cruit­ing jil­la­roo Jess (Ed­wards), Kasey Cham­bers and Tim Win­ton to her cause.

“Apart from the funny side of it, it is mak­ing peo­ple pay at­ten­tion on the roads, tak­ing no­tice of their sur­round­ings,” Ed­wards said.

Aus­tralian coun­try mu­sic star Kasey Cham­bers ad­mit­ted she was caught a lit­tle off guard by the sug­ges­tion, but was com­pletely on board.

“I can say I have been do­ing in­ter­views for about 30 years and I have never been asked that ques­tion,” she said. “I am rais­ing my kids to be wa­vers.

“Most peo­ple want them to be doc­tors, lawyers, what­ever.

“I just want them to be wa­vers.” Ac­claimed WA au­thor Tim Win­ton said while some were per­haps a lit­tle too en­thu­si­as­tic with the wave, it was a tra­di­tion worth hold­ing on to.

Ay­ers even man­aged to rope in a team of “re­searchers” to gather more data on the preva­lence of the high­way wave be­tween Perth and Kar­ratha.

They found only 2 per cent of peo­ple waved be­tween Perth and Ger­ald­ton, and 24 per cent be­tween Ger­ald­ton and Mon­key Mia.

Up to­wards Co­ral Bay that fig­ure was nearer 50 per cent, be­fore drop­ping back to 41 per cent from Co­ral Bay to Kar­ratha.

“In con­clu­sion, the wave is not dead, but you and I have some work to do,” Ay­ers said.

“When you are on the road to­day, do it, lift up that in­dex fin­ger and forge a con­nec­tion on a long dusty road that, while fleet­ing, says so much more about Aus­tralia than words can ex­press.”

So go forth WA, go forth and wave. Don’t let the wave wane.

Are we see­ing the end of the line for the high­way wave?

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