Quit Victoria and its Aboriginal Quitline service are once again partnering with The Long Walk to sponsor the ‘We Walk Together’ event on Saturday 2nd June 2018.
The event marks the 14th year since AFL champion Michael Long’s momentous journey from his home in Melbourne to the Prime Minister in Canberra to get the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people back on the national agenda.
Quit Victoria’s Aboriginal Tobacco Control Program Coordinator Jethro Pumirri Calma-Holt said: "Quit Victoria’s sponsorship of the event is in recognition of the work The Long Walk undertakes and our commitment to improving health outcomes of Aboriginal people."
The event begins at Federation Square from 2.00pm where 15,000 people, including Michael Long himself, will walk to the MCG together for the AFL’s annual Dreamtime at the ‘G’ clash between Essendon and Richmond.
General Manager of The Long Walk Leanne Brooke said: "It’s wonderful to have the support of Quit Victoria and Aboriginal Quitline for the fifth year running. Their important work to help Aboriginal people quit smoking is part of the reason that smoking rates are declining faster in Aboriginal communities than the general population in Australia*." Smoking rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are almost three times the national average of non-indigenous people, although the prevalence in Indigenous communities is falling steadily. In Victoria, 41% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population are smokers.** "Smoking contributes significantly to many of the health issues Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face, so raising awareness and supporting our people to quit is very important. I have witnessed the health benefits of quitting smoking within my own family," Ms Brooke said.
To help Aboriginal people, Quit Victoria provides the Aboriginal Quitline – a culturally-sensitive and free telephone coaching service staffed by highly-trained Quit Specialists who are also Indigenous.
"If you’re an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person in Victoria who is ready to quit smoking or just wants to have a yarn about it, give the Aboriginal Quitline a call. They can give you tips and advice to help make quitting a bit easier or just talk through issues about smoking," Mr Calma-Holt said.
Call 13 7848 and ask for an Aboriginal Quit Specialist to access the Aboriginal Quitline.
Quit Victoria is a partnership between VicHealth, the State Government of Victoria, Cancer Council Victoria and the Heart Foundation.
The Long Walk is a charity inspired by AFL champion Michael Long which raises awareness to improve and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, wellbeing and life opportunities.