AFL legend to Scott Morrison: Unite us, PM

AFL star Michael Long has joined Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the annual Long Walk To Dreamtime.
AFL star Michael Long has joined Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the annual Long Walk To Dreamtime.

Rain could not dampen the spirit of the prime minister, Victorian premier and the thousands who joined them in walking with AFL champion Michael Long to the MCG on Saturday evening.

Scott Morrison and Daniel Andrews took to a stage in Federation Square which also included the federal treasurer, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan, Essendon icon Kevin Sheedy, Olympian and former senator Nova Peris, Aboriginal elders and other leading politicians.

But it was the man from Tiwi who received a hero's welcome.

The emcee rattled off Mr Long's achievements: dual Essendon premiership player, best afield in a grand final, All Australian, fearless campaigner against racism.

While a punter in the crowd summed it up with a word.

"Legend," the man said.

The annual Long Walk To Dreamtime at the MCG this year marked 15 years since the Mr Long walked from Melbourne to Canberra to raise the plight of Indigenous Australians.

Addressing a crowd of hundreds in Federation Square on Saturday, Mr Morrison described that trek as "a walk of faith in Australia and Australians".

"I've spoken many times about the promise of Australia over the last five or so weeks, having access to that fair go if you have a go," he said.

"Like Michael, I believe in that promise."

Earlier the prime minister was heckled as he made his way through the crowd.

"Hey ScoMo, where's our treaty?", one Indigenous man asked repeatedly.

It was a theme continued by the premier, who said he was proud Victoria had taken "profound steps towards Australia's first treaty with Aboriginal people".

"Treaty is important because without treaty there can be no reconciliation, there can be no recognition, there can be no justice and no self determination," Mr Andrews said to applause from the crowd.

But from the man of the hour came a call for unity, with Mr Long imploring Mr Morrison to become captain of an Australian team which would put end to Aboriginal disadvantage.

"A captain we can believe in, a captain that will lead us into the future, a captain that will bring us all together," he said.

As Mr Long spoke, Mr Morrison put his arm around the former footballer's shoulder and the two then shook hands and embraced.

"How good's Michael Long?", called a voice in the crowd.

Australian Associated Press