Shorten: Systemic Racism An Obstacle To Indigenous Reconciliation

“Right now, there is no fundamental agreement about how the country was taken from Aboriginal people."

28/05/2016 8:49 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:53 PM AEST
The Federal Opposition Leader has called for action on Indigenous reconciliation

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has said the prevalence of systemic racism and discrimination in Australia is one of the main barriers to Indigenous reconciliation.

Speaking for National Reconciliation Week in Melbourne on Friday, Shorten argued an agreement to acknowledge how the country was taken from the Aboriginal people would be a step towards strengthening Indigenous affairs.

"The insidious nature of stubborn racism is still a reality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals regardless of the status and stature they achieve in our society," he said.

"Every generation of Aboriginal athlete, from Doug Nicholls to Nicky Winmar to Michael Long to Adam Goodes has known this."

The call comes as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Shorten will put aside their political differences to join together in a walk for reconciliation with AFL great Michael Long ahead of the clash between Essendon and Richmond at the MCG on Saturday.

The walk will stretch from Federation Square in Melbourne to the stadium and commemorates Long's 2004 trek from Melbourne to Canberra to lobby then Prime Minister John Howard to include Indigenous issues in the national political agenda.

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