ESSENDON champions Michael Long and Gavin Wanganeen will lead the Long Walk ahead of Saturday night's Dreamtime in the West, bringing the iconic event to Perth for the first time.
After a day of planning between Essendon, the Western Australia Government, Optus Stadium and other stakeholders, the Bombers confirmed the Walk would go ahead, with formalities starting at 2.30pm AWST.
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The Walk will start at Victoria Gardens and proceed along the Swan River before crossing the Matagarup Bridge and arriving at Optus Stadium ahead of Essendon's clash against Richmond.
The Dreamtime in the West match will be the centrepiece of Sir Doug Nicholls Round, with the Long Walk an important event that aims to focus attention on driving improved Indigenous health outcomes.
"The Long Walk transcends football and I encourage those who can to head to Victoria Gardens in Perth on Saturday for this very moving event," Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell said.
"It’s a great privilege to bring The Long Walk to Western Australia … we look forward to seeing as many people there as possible on Saturday to show their support and unity."
The Long Walk is now in its 17th year and is a charity inspired by Long's walk from Melbourne to Canberra in 2004 to elevate the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Long, a two-time premiership Bomber and the 1993 Norm Smith medallist, set out to meet with then-Prime Minister John Howard and was joined on his trek by Australians from all walks of life.
"We continue to do this and work towards improved health and education outcomes through our iconic ‘Walks’, advocacy and education programs," general manager of The Long Walk and Indigenous affairs Leanne Brooke said.
"We are really excited and so very proud to be taking The Long Walk to Western Australia in 2021."
Formalities around the Dreamtime in the West match were still being finalised on Monday as authorities worked to ensure the event was COVID safe.
The iconic match, which is being played in Perth for the first time, has generated significant excitement in Western Australia and is expected to draw a large crowd, with tickets on sale from 5pm AWST on Tuesday.