Deadly Choices, The Long Walk, Brisbane Lions and AFL Queensland joined forces last Saturday, June 01 to host the Brisbane Long Walk.
The Brisbane occasion is a ‘sister’ event to the Melbourne Long Walk to Dreamtime at the MCG, which also celebrated its 15th anniversary last week with 20,000 walkers.
It commemorates Aboriginal AFL player Michael Long’s walk from Melbourne to Canberra in 2004, to protest racial injustice and put Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues back on the national agenda.
Today, the movement continues across the country as a mission of hope and reconciliation, with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians rallying together.
Leanne Brooke, General Manager of The Long Walk, said the bond of the four parties has allowed Long’s tradition to carry on in Queensland.
“It’s wonderful to be working with organisations who are also committed to promoting and celebrating Indigenous peoples and cultures.
“Beyond that we are all working to make a positive difference and improve Indigenous health and wellbeing. Just like Michael Long did, we are taking action and working together to drive social change,” Mrs. Brooke said.
Michael Long commended the Brisbane event saying, “It’s great to see such commitment to change by coming together with The Long Walk for The Brisbane Long Walk.
“Bringing all Australians on this journey is important so that we can move forward in the one direction to become the Australia we all want to be.”
The weekend featured a tributary afternoon walk with over 400 participants meeting at the Wheel of Brisbane, South Bank.
Special guests included former Olympian and politician Nova Peris, AFL greats Ash McGrath and Chris Johnson, and Olympic sprinter and Deadly Choices Ambassador Patrick Johnson.
The participants then walked through South Bank on their way to The Gabba in Woolloongabba. The walk was followed by an open community event at Lion Park, with entertainment by the Yerongpan Dancers, healthy tucker and family activities.
“Each year the event gets bigger and better and it was great to see another huge crowd walking into The Gabba on Saturday night,” Lions CEO, Greg Swann said.
“Our supports came together and celebrated the incredible contributions of our Indigenous players and fans and what they have done on and off the field.”
Lions players, Allen Christensen and Charlie Cameron, and Hawks player, Jarman Impey, also recently visited Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) Woolloongabba clinic to encourage community to get their 715 health checks.
“We’re role models and we’re trying to promote healthy living and the importance of health checks for Indigenous people,” Cameron said.
Adrian Carson, CEO of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, appreciates what this partnership has achieved for the health and wellbeing of the wider community.
“Through our preventative health program, Deadly Choices, we educate our people about healthy life style choices.
“With the combined efforts of all our organisations, we have an even greater platform to bring the community together and highlight the critical need for our people to take control of their health,” Mr. Carson said.
The partners hope to reunite again for the next Brisbane Long Walk.