The Long Walk
Michael Long addresses the crowd before beginning The Long Walk from the banks of the Yarra to the centre of the MCG
Northern Land Council Chief Executive Mr Kim Hill was privileged to be part of “The Long Walk” into the MCG on Saturday night which aims to ensure Indigenous issues remain in the forefront of the minds of Australian people.
The walk, which was somewhat shorter than the inaugural 2004 version, started on the banks of the Yarra River in Melbourne and ended in the middle of the MCG for a celebration ahead of the AFL’s annual Dreamtime at the G match between Richmond and Essendon.
The Long Walk is a charity headed up by Territory and Essendon Bombers legend Michael Long. In November 2004, the dual premiership star and 1993 Brownlow medallist attracted nation-wide attention when he decided to walk from his home in Melbourne all the way to Canberra, in the hope of meeting with then Prime Minister John Howard to discuss his concerns about the policies affecting this country’s First Peoples.
Mr Hill was also part of that walk.
“Events like these are important for generating national interest in the plight of Aboriginal people,” Mr Hill said.
“It’s encouraging to see not only Aboriginal peoples, but people from a variety of backgrounds coming together to show their support for the Aboriginal cause.
“In 2004 it was a historic journey all the way to Canberra and we certainly had some interesting experiences along the way. Saturday night was a much shorter walk but when it’s associated with a football game that attracts 80,000 people to the MCG and hundreds of thousands more watching on television from home – our messages can have just as much impact.”
While thousands gathered to be part of the Melbourne march, many came together in Darwin for the Top End’s own Long Walk. The Darwin walk finished at TIO Stadium ahead of the AFL fixture between the Western Bulldogs and the Gold Coast Suns.