Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

The Long Walk with Michael Long

I will join former AFL champion Michael Long today on The Long Walk from Federation Square to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

The Long Walk was initiated in November 2004 when Michael Long set out on foot from Melbourne to Canberra to speak to the then Prime Minister and raise awareness of the plight of Indigenous Australians.

The Long Walk is now an annual event to encourage cross-cultural understanding and build a commitment to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians. Funds raised support development programs in Indigenous communities.

The AFL has a great record of supporting young Indigenous football players as part of the process of reconciliation.

The AFL allows 1000 walkers to go on to the MCG for a lap of the ground in the lead up to the Dreamtime at the G match between Essendon and Richmond.

This annual fixture highlights the extraordinary contribution that Indigenous players have made to Australian football.

The Australian Government is proud to support The Long Walk and the Dreamtime at the G fixture.

The Government is committed to an evidence-based approach to closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Ambitious targets have been set by the Government in relation to life expectancy, infant mortality, access to early childhood education, educational achievement and employment outcomes.

The Long Walk provides an important reminder of the commitment required to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.