SUBJECT: Dreamtime match in Darwin; Reconciliation.

MEL LITTLE, HOST: Joining me now, Luke Gosling.


HOST: It’s nice to have you on my friend. You look tired, just like I look tired. You know I think it’s what feels like a massive 2020 that started in the 80s and now as we head towards a huge weekend here in the Northern Territory we’re all going to need nanna naps next week.

GOSLING: I know, it could not get any bigger, could it.

HOST: You know we’ve got not one, but two rounds of AFL footy. We’ve got the Supercars out at Hidden Valley, we’ve got an election tomorrow. I’m a wee bit bushed.

GOSLING: Yeah it’s been a busy time. A lot of people working hard to make it all happen. So yeah I think everyone is going to need a bit of a bit of a breather, bit of a nanna nap.

HOST: We’re going to need something that’s for sure. Will you be hitting any of the footy games?

GOSLING: Yes Saturday I’ll be going along to the Dreamtime game, taking my nephew along. He’s an Essendon tragic.

HOST: Oh that’s a shame. What do you reckon about this whole Indigenous flag debacle? You’ve got the Prime Minister’s phone number. Could you give him a quick call and say bro can you sort this out? Because that flag belongs to the people, it doesn’t belong to a clothing brand.

GOSLING: Yes I caught up with Michael Long and Nova Paris yesterday for ‘The Little Long Walk’ at Jingili Primary School and was talking to them about this issue. I’ll be taking some Aboriginal flags along to the game on Saturday because it’s going to be amazing and it really is a celebration of our First Nations people and their contribution to our nation and to AFL.

HOST: Yes, and to have it here in the Northern Territory, it’s truly something special. We don’t thank the COVID pandemic for much but you know, ta!

GOSLING: Now we just need to try and keep it here!

HOST: Keep it here! That’s right. We should start a tradition. Now, you said you were out at Jingili Primary. Now tell us about the original Long Walk.

GOSLING: So the original Long Walk was in 2004 and a lot of your listeners will remember it; when Michael Long, champion AFL football player, Aboriginal leader, Territorian just heard about another funeral up here. He was down south at the time and fortunately for me I was down visiting my mum and dad in Melbourne and Mum’s just gone, “Luke, Michael Long’s on the radio, he’s walking to Canberra to sit down with John Howard.” Longy wanted to get Indigenous issues back on the national agenda because there’s just too many early deaths and the wellbeing of Aboriginal people, it was just not being given the attention that it should. So I just thought it was brilliant. He had a really simple message which was, ‘where is the love?’. If all Australians are equal, all Australians are valued, where is the love? This is well before the National Apology, before the Closing the Gap initiative. So he was just being a great leader. So I went up joined him on the side of the Hume Highway and we just walked and every day that we walked, more people joined and we were able to get a really strong message to the government by the time we got to Canberra.

HOST: Yeah, incredible.

GOSLING: And then every year we’ve continued that tradition and it’s linked up with the Dreamtime at the ‘G game.

HOST: How are we marking The Long Walk this year?

GOSLING: So we had what we called a ‘Little Long Walk’, where with Longy and Nova Peris we were joined by some really amazing young Aboriginal women who are leaders in their own right, in footy and in schools. They joined us at Jingili Primary School and we did a walk around the oval and bit of a Q&A with the kids and they had some really great questions about that original walk and the work since then to keep that message of national unity there in the in the national discussion and in the local discussion so that kids grow up not seeing colour. Because kids are born not to see colour and looking at that Jingili Primary School class, there was every colour and the kids don’t see it. So we’ve just got to redouble our efforts and just really keep sending that message that this isn’t about Aboriginal Territorians or Aboriginal Australians and non-Aboriginal Australians, it’s about Australians. So it’s a simple message, but a good one.

HOST: And we can learn a lot from those kids who just get along and love each other and have a good time. You know like we can learn a lot from them. I think unfortunately the bias and the racism stuff, it’s a learned behaviour. It’s a taught thing and we’ve got to stop.

GOSLING: We’ve got to realize that kids are sponges. So we can be good mentors and model good behaviours and bring them up well to respect other people.

HOST: Good on you Goz. Thanks for coming down for a chat this morning mate. Enjoy the rest of your day. Big weekend. Try and keep up. We might catch up next week.

GOSLING: Yes I’ll be in Canberra.

HOST: We’ll phone and see what’s happening in the big smoke, the big house. Good stuff Luke Gosling.

GOSLING: Thanks Mel.