Will the PM become the captain to unite the country?
The former Essendon leader addressed a big crowd after his annual Long Walk to Dreamtime at the MCG on Saturday.
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews joined Mr Long on the walk to mark the start of Reconciliation Week, along with Olympian Nova Peris, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan, and former Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy.
Mr Long asked the Prime Minister to put an end to Aboriginal disadvantage and be the captain to unite the country.
“A captain we can believe in, a captain that will lead us into the future, a captain that will bring us all together,” he said.
Fifteen years ago, Mr Long walked from Melbourne to Canberra to raise awareness of Indigenous issues. Last year he battled a life-threatening illness.
“It was a wake-up call, with some quite scary moments,” he said.
“Not that 50 is old, but your health is number one. I have grandchildren, you have to tweak things.”
He had the full support of the crowd on the night.
“How good’s Michael Long?” one man shouted.
Mr Andrews used his microphone time to celebrate the fact that Victoria has taken the first steps to a treaty.
“Treaty is important because without treaty there can be no reconciliation, there can be no recognition, there can be no justice and no self-determination,” Mr Andrews said.
The crowd repeatedly called for Mr Morrison to be the leader to enact treaty, but he kept his comments broad.
“I’ve spoken many times about the promise of Australia over the last five or so weeks, having access to that fair go if you have a go,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr Long has announced plans for a second Long Walk from Melbourne to Canberra.
By Keiran Deck
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