Michael Long’s beautiful family moment at the Dreamtime duel after announcing his walk to Canberra in support of Voice to Parliament

AFL legend Michael Long has called on Indigenous groups across Australia to vote ‘yes’ together for a vote in Parliament as he prepares to walk the 650km to Canberra.

The big Essendon will support the yes vote by making the arduous journey in the coming months – almost two decades since he first embarked on a historic trek from Melbourne to Canberra.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Michael Long’s beautiful family moment at the Dreamtime duel.

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Long, 53, a longtime tribal peoples activist, made headlines in 2004 when he led a protest march calling for a meeting with then Prime Minister John Howard.

“Two decades ago, I walked to ask the Prime Minister a simple question: Where is the love for my people?” Mr Long told the audience at the MCG ahead of Dreamtime at the G-Duel.

“Today I call on all Australians to show their love for Aboriginal people by lacing up their shoes and joining us.”

In an emotional speech, Mr Long urged indigenous groups across Australia to vote ‘yes’ in the voting referendum.

“Unite the Clans,” he said.

“Unite us – including the opposition. If we are truly Australians, we must start today because we must walk together. We will show this nation what a great nation it is.”

Michael Long goes to the MCG with one of his grandchildren in tow. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL photos/Getty Images

In a touching moment for Long and his family, two of his grandchildren became involved in the Dreamtime fight as they ran through the banner with Essendon players.

Long had found himself suddenly distracted during his pre-game live interview on Channel 7 as he explained why he had turned away to watch the Bombers.

“I hope they don’t knock anyone out,” Long joked.

“They were pretty happy, pretty excited as they ran. It’s awesome.”

Long’s grandchildren walk through the banner. Credit: 7AFL
Michael Long’s grandchildren High-Five Essendon veteran Dyson Heppell. Credit: channel 7

Long’s family grew three weeks ago when his son Jake, a former Essendon player, gave birth to a baby boy.

“It’s great. The family legacy continues to build. It’s fantastic,” said Long.

Meanwhile, the Essendon Hall of Fame player said his trip would support the “Yes” campaign for one vote in Parliament and mark the 20th anniversary of his first walk as he set out to bring indigenous affairs back to national level to set the agenda.

Long had completed 200 miles of his planned 400-mile journey in 2004 when Mr Howard called for the trek to end and agreed to a meeting.

Long planned to take a walk to Canberra. Credit: AAP
He met Prime Minister John Howard at Parliament House in Canberra. Credit: AAP

Three years later, the Australian government issued an apology to the “stolen generations” – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children forcibly removed from their families and communities by successive governments – which included both of Mr Long’s parents .

This year, Mr. Long hopes to continue his commitment and highlight the importance of the voice to the country’s future.

“Without a voice, there is no vision for Indigenous Australia,” he said.

Linda Burney, Secretary of State for Indigenous Australia, said the forthcoming referendum was “not the politicians’ plaything”.

“It’s yours, the Australian people, and you will determine how we move forward as a nation,” she said.

“We want you to join us on our journey towards a united nation and a nation that recognizes our history in the Constitution – a nation that can hold its head up and say we are ready to speak the truth.” .”

Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles urged Australians to vote “yes” and called the passage of the referendum a historic moment.

“Our First Nations are not recognized on our country’s birth certificate,” he said of joining the AFL Great on Saturday.

“The notion that our Aborigines today are at a deep rooted disadvantage simply by being born in this country goes against the most fundamental principle of the Australian idea of ​​a fair life.”

“At its core, it (a ‘yes’) will bring our country a new day of justice.”

– with 7NEWS

The Kangaroos presented Sydney with the win on a tray.

The Kangaroos presented Sydney with the win on a tray.

James Brien

James Brien is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: jamesbrien@24ssports.com.

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