The Long Walk launched its 2014 campaign today to celebrate the tenth anniversary since Michael Long and many others walked to see the Prime Minister in Canberra to get the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people back on the national agenda.
The Long Walk Trust will add a charity ‘Fun Walk’ to the celebrations which will be held on 31 May 2014.
The Long Walk ‘Fun Walk’ will raise valuable funds for the charity’s education and cultural exchange programs. It will be held in the Royal Botanical Gardens (around the ‘Tan’) and will be followed by a free concert celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing.
As an integral part of the Melbourne event calendar, The Long Walk precedes Dreamtime at the ‘G, an annual Australian Rules football match between AFL clubs Essendon and Richmond.
This is part of the AFL Indigenous Round, which celebrates the contribution of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players to the AFL, during National Reconciliation Week which will be observed 27 May- 3 June, 2014.
The Long Walk started in 2004 when former Essendon player Michael Long and others walked from Melbourne to Canberra to ask the Prime Minister to put the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people back on the national agenda.
“I have been reflecting on what we have achieved over the past ten years since I first felt the force of people power on the first Long Walk,” Michael said.
“We have raised awareness and bridged many gaps between people across Australia and we will continue to build understanding and respect. We urge people to join us and continue walking. ”
In the last ten years over 90,000 people have walked with Michael Long on The Long Walk events which have been held around Australia to show their support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Now an established charity, The Long Walk Trust aims to improve and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, wellbeing and life opportunities by raising awareness through fundraising activities, events and educational programs, such as Walk the Talk and The Long Walk Women’s Luncheon.
“Today The Long Walk holds a unique position in the reconciliation landscape and is proud of its ten year history. Our programs build understanding and break down barriers, bringing Australia’s First Peoples out from the nation’s fringes and into the hearts of everyday Australians,” Long Walk Trust Chairperson Noeleen Cox said.
The free wellbeing concert will feature Casey Donovan, Urthboy, Radical Son, Ellie Lovegrove, Maupower and the Bunjil Music Business Project Artists.
The Bunjil Music Business Project has been developed to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a passion for music the training and mentorship they need to pursue a career in the music industry.
Three artists from the Bunjil Music Business Project attended the launch and artist Dale MC Marsh performed his debut song “A Better Life” with Meriki Hood and Kyle Bamblett AKA Killah B.
Visit www.thelongwalk.com.au for more information.