As part the College Social Justice Program, a group of students from St Aloysius College attended The Long Walk last Saturday, 21st May. Coinciding with National Reconciliation Week, the objective of The Long Walk is to raise awareness of, provoke conversation and promote reconciliation with the Indigenous people of this land.

The history of the Long Walk began in Melbourne in 2004, inspired by Michael Long’s walk to Canberra to get the lives of indigenous people on the national agenda. The Long Walk has now grown to encompass a flagship education program, Walk the Talk:

"We want to get Walk the Talk into every classroom across the country and empower teachers to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education in their classrooms. Education builds understand and empathy which is the key to achieving genuine change and reconciliation."

Donations to The Long Walk and Walk the Talk can be made here.

On Saturday, the Walk included performances by some the most prominent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent, presented at Federation Square with stalls surrounding.

St Aloysius students from the Year 8 cohort created a banner in support which was carried by student members of the College's Social Justice Program on the walk from Federation square to the MCG. Photos and some of their reflections below.

There were hundreds of people gathered at Federation square for the Long Walk, the Dreamtime game and the concerts and performances. There were tents set up by the football teams and lots of activities for children and people who were there, such as face painting and activities involving AFL. There were Aboriginal performances for entertainment, and a welcome to the country, as well as speeches by members of the Essendon Football Club and people who participated in the organisation of the Long Walk. The Long Walk itself was very crowded, and a lot of people participated. It made a very big sense of community and we met many people who were interested in supporting the same things as we were.
- Polly, Year 8
The long walk was an amazing opportunity to hear and learn more about indigenous culture and how important they are to the history of Australia. It was a great way to see how indigenous people are united and tell their stories through music and dance.
- Angela, Year 12
The long walk is a walk that happens before the football game between Richmond and Essendon. It is to raise awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights. Before the walk there are performances by Aboriginal singers and dance groups as well as some inspirational talks from people who have faced discrimination or hatred because of who they are. The entire of the day was very memorable and informative and a great opportunity to learn more about Indigenous rights. An unforgettable speech was from Michael Long who started this initiative by walking to Canberra to raise awareness of Indigenous rights. He spoke about what this charity meant to him and the impact it has had through so many individual people and companies combining to stand together for an important cause. This was such a great opportunity to go to this event and I think we all learnt a lot about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s rights.
- Ruby, Year 8