7 September 2023

AFL legend Michael Long to walk through Wagga spreading the 'Yes' message

| Jarryd Rowley
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AFL legend and Yes vote campaigner Michael Long will be completing his Wagga leg of his Long Walk this Friday. Photo: Riverina for Yes

AFL legend and Yes vote campaigner Michael Long will be completing his Wagga leg of his walk this Friday. Photo: Riverina for Yes.

AFL legend and Anmatyerre, Maranunggu and Tiwi Aboriginal leader Michael Long will be completing the Wagga leg of his 2023 Long Walk on Friday (8 September), to promote the ‘Yes’ vote for the upcoming Voice referendum.

The First Nations spokesperson and former Essendon Bombers player is over halfway through his 650 km walk from Melbourne to Canberra, replicating a similar walk he completed in 2004.

Local First Nations elder and Yes vote supporter Uncle Hewitt Whyman said it was important in the lead-up to the referendum truth-telling about the experiences of Indigenous people and the Stolen Generations became a focus, and that Michael Long was a leader in spreading that truth.

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“Michael is a Yes supporter and Yes campaigner, we’re looking forward to him arriving in Wagga Wagga,” Uncle Huey said.

“Here in Wagga, we are a big Australian Rules Football region, I’m sure he will feel at home here during his stop on his journey and people from the region will make him feel welcome.”

Mr Long will be arriving in Wagga on Friday afternoon and will be making a stop at the CSU Playhouse, where he and a number of other First Nations leaders and elders will be telling their stories and sharing their opinions on the Yes campaign.

“I’m inviting a lot of people to come along; there will be plenty of seating, plenty of vacancies but it is filling up fast,” Uncle Huey said.

Riverina for Yes co-captain Nick Spragg and First Nations elder Uncle Hewitt Whyman

Riverina for Yes co-captain Nick Spragg and First Nations elder Uncle Hewitt Whyman are encouraging locals to attend a special Yes vote event at the CSU Playhouse on Friday 8 September. Photo: Jarryd Rowley.

“Michael is a truth-teller, he is a person of high integrity and well recognised and acknowledged in Australia. He is taking the journey as he did almost 20 years ago; this time he’s walking for truth-telling and spreading the message of the Yes vote.

“He is encouraging people to think about the vote and telling people, ‘You have an opportunity here, history is calling’.”

Co-captain of Riverina for Yes Nick Spragg said he encouraged people who were on the voting fence to go to town hall on Friday night to listen with an open heart and mind.

“Michael will be speaking about why it is a great opportunity for the country to vote Yes for this referendum,” Mr Spragg said.

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“We really want people to come down on Friday night at 8 pm, at the CSU Playhouse, and listen to respected elders on why it is important to vote.”

Mr Long will also be attending the Farrar League Grand Final at Robertson Oval on Saturday.

“The grand final will be a great opportunity for people to meet Michael, ask questions and have a chat,” Mr Spragg said.

Following the final siren, Mr Long will continue his walk to Gundagai.

To book your spot at ‘The Long Walk: Understanding the Voice with Michael Long’, on Friday (8 September), click here.

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