• The Recognise campaign supports changing our Constitution (AAP Image/Supplied by Recognise) (RECOGNISE)
The AFL is pushing to get more support behind the Recognise campaign ahead of the its Indigenous round that kicks off on Friday.
By
John Baldock

26 May 2015 - 2:11 PM  UPDATED 26 May 2015 - 3:18 PM

For the first time since its inception 20 years ago, AFL's Indigenous Round will start this Friday night in Sydney when the Swans meet Carlton at the SCG.  

The AFL is proud of its racial vilification policy but is hoping more clubs will sign up to support the Recognise Campaign.  

It's a movement aimed at having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders formally recognised in Australia’s Constitution.   

The Bangarra Dance group put on a special performance to mark the start of the AFL's Indigenous Round at its headquarters on Sydney Harbour.

Also at the launch was Michael Long, who was instrumental in the establishment of the AFL's racial vilification policy.  In 1995, Long, along with Michael McLean, Che Cockatoo Collins and Gilbert McAdam, took a stand against racism and led the discussion which paved the way for the sport to become the first mainstream code in this country to set up such a policy.

About 90,000 Indigenous children are currently part of various schemes around the country to help with education and playing AFL but despite this, only half of the clubs in the 18-team competition have signed up to support the Recognise Campaign for wider Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

For the second year running, the AFL has partnered with Recognise and told SBS online today that it was hopeful all the clubs will one day back the campaign. 

All teams - and for the first time referees - will wear Indigenous-themed guernseys this weekend to mark the AFL's ongoing support of it racial vilification policy.