Indigenous elder accuses AFL boss Gillon McLachlan of rejecting her Welcome to Country ceremony at the pre-match function for the Dreamtime celebration at the MCG in emotional outburst
- Aunt Joy Murphy Wandin participated in the Dreamtime At The ‘G celebration
- She accused AFL boss Gillon McLachlan of not attending the event
- The Elder of Wurundjeri brought Welcome to Country at Marvel Stadium
Senior Wurundjeri eldest aunt Joy Murphy Wandin has reportedly accused AFL boss Gillon McLachlan of not attending Saturday night’s Dreamtime celebration at the MCG.
According to the Announce sunAunt Joy felt “disrespected” because neither the outgoing AFL CEO nor any AFL Commissioner attended the annual celebration of Indigenous culture.
Aunt Joy “got very emotional” and berated the AFL for disrespecting her.
But the Herald Sun reported that three AFL commissioners – Paul Bassat, Helen Milroy and Robin Bishop – and four members of the AFL executive were in attendance. The quartet included Andrew Dillon, who will replace McLachlan in the top job at the end of the season.
However, Dillon missed the pre-match ceremony as he completed the Michael Long Walk alongside Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles and Prime Minister Daniel Andrews.
Senior Wurundjeri eldest aunt Joy Murphy Wandin has accused AFL boss Gillon McLachlan of failing to attend Saturday night’s Dreamtime at The ‘G
The annual celebration of Indigenous culture was held before Richmond vs Essendon
Meanwhile, McLachlan was not at the MCG because he was attending an “important social event.”
Earlier on Saturday, Aunty Joy gave the traditional Welcome to Country at Marvel Stadium ahead of the game between North Melbourne and Sydney.
In March, the Wurundjeri Elder was controversially suspended from delivering a Welcome to Country during Barack Obama’s highly anticipated speeches in Melbourne.
Aunt Joy asked the organizers if she could bring a supporter and a cultural gift for Obama, but was removed from the event after being told by the organizers, the Growth Faculty, that she was “too difficult.”
“I am shocked and saddened by the way I have been treated by event organizers,” she said.
‘I am 78 years old. I have never been treated or addressed in this way in the past.
“I don’t want this to be a reflection of President Obama. I am a leader of the Wurundjeri Nation. I asked to be treated as an equal.’
Growth Faculty then apologized.
McLachlan was said to have been absent due to an ‘important social event’
Aunty Joy held the traditional Welcome to Country at Marvel Stadium ahead of the North Melbourne-Sydney clash
Nine years ago, Aunt Joy criticized the AFL at the MCG for not acknowledging traditional owners and elders in their inaugural reconciliation action plan.
“There’s one thing that’s negligent is not acknowledging traditional owners or elders or community,” Aunt Joy said in 2014.
“For me on National Sorry Day, it hit me really hard […] I just wanted to apologize on behalf of the Wurundjeri people to say I’m sure this was a mistake, not intended, not intended.
“But if you read the launch [document] please bear that in mind, especially for those of your family who have gone before us.’