Much love to those already voting YES but this is for the folks still grappling with the choice presented by this upcoming referendum. Some might fear that voting "YES" could inadvertently divide our nation further, while others may be uncertain of its implications. We want to share why voting "YES" isn't just the decent option, but indeed a unifying and empowering choice for all Australians.
Think with us for a moment about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, their 65,000+ years of history, culture, and wisdom. Now, juxtapose that against the past few centuries, marked by policies that, more often than not, ignored or actively harmed these communities. These are our fellow Australians, their voices muted, their rights repeatedly compromised.
When we vote "YES," it's more than rectifying past mistakes. We're collectively acknowledging our growth as a nation and ensuring that past wrongs don't dictate our shared future. We're expressing trust in the insights and expertise of our First Nations people and emphasising the value of their voices.
Some might wonder, "Why the constitution? Why not just introduce regular policies or programs?" Remember our shared history? The policies that came and went, many inconsistent and even detrimental? By placing the Voice in our constitution, we're giving it the weight and permanence it merits. We're committing, as one united front, to a foundational and enduring recognition.
Now, let's address concerns of division. Unity isn’t about uniformity. It's about embracing and celebrating our diverse cultures and experiences. Recognising the Voice doesn't separate us; it bridges gaps and fosters understanding. It’s an opportunity to draw closer as one Australian family, enriched by its diverse history and cultures.
By saying "YES," we're advocating for more informed governance. We're emphasising the importance of heeding advice from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, ensuring that decisions that affect them resonate with their lived experiences.
When we value local knowledge and truly listen, the outcomes are better. It's undeniable that Indigenous Australians face distinct challenges, evidenced by stark disparities in health, education, housing, and more. Yet, despite the billions spent by politicians on programs, meaningful improvements remain elusive. The request from Indigenous communities is straightforward: listen to us, understand our issues, and let us be part of crafting the solutions.
By embedding the Voice in our constitution, we safeguard it from the fickle nature of politics and bureaucracy, ensuring its integrity and the authenticity of its advice.
It's worth noting that this isn't a hastily made proposal. Over 80% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community back this initiative. This proposal is the culmination of countless dialogues, consultations, and agreements among Indigenous leaders spanning decades. This is a collective call for recognition, respect, and reform. Let's heed it.
Voting "YES" is about strengthening our collective identity and shifting past mistakes so that they become lessons for a brighter, more inclusive tomorrow.
So, if you are still pondering or inclined towards "NO," we urge you: Let's embrace this moment as one. Let’s show our Indigenous communities, and indeed the world, that Australia stands for unity, understanding, and progress. Together, let’s vote "YES" for a shared, brighter future.