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  • Writer's pictureTim Sanderson

The Voice Referendum

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

The referendum is scheduled for Saturday October 14th.

I will be voting Yes.Ethically and morally I do not see that there is any reason I should do otherwise. and I encourage you to also vote YES.

The request to the people of Australia is to recognise our nation's first peoples in our constitution. Aborigines were excluded from the constitution as a result of British imperialist chauvinism in the first place. It was not until 1967 that Aboriginal Australians were even counted in the census. Prior to 1901 and the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia, Aboriginal Australians and women already had the vote in South Australia. Both were disenfranchised by the adoption of the Constitution. Women were re-enfranchised not just in South Australia, but nationally from 1903. Aboriginal Australians in South Australia and nationally not until 1984, even though it was agreed in 1962.

Creator: Photo: Ross Bird | Credit: Andrew Wuttke/Casamento Photography Copyright: © Casamento Photography

This referendum is to acknowledge indigenous Australians in the Constitution in the form of The Voice. This is a direct request asked for by the First Nations people in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The Voice will be a permanent mechanism that provides advice to government about the needs of First Nations people constituted to assist the Parliament to make better provision to meet the needs of indigenous communities and so 'close the gap' in health outcomes, educational outcomes and life expectancy.

The referendum question to be voted on is as follows.

"A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this proposed alteration?"

The Voice will advise on those issues that affect indigenous people on issues such as housing, health care, education and employment. The parliament will decide the make up of The Voice, and by enshrining it in the Constitution indigenous Australians can never have their voice silenced again.

However, the psychological damage that has been done to indigenous leaders individually and as a community by the NO campaign is already an international outrage. The NO campaign proponents have engaged in one of the most racist and nasty political campaigns since Apartheid or the White Australia Policy. The shameful conduct has included lies, fabrications and racist attacks on leading Aboriginal Elders. The NO propagandists are using lies and misinformation and sowing confusion and doubt in the community. Ongoing research of the Murdoch media is showing that there is deliberate coercion being used to manipulate viewers into thinking that the NO propaganda being presented is actually factual and true, and Journalists even on the ABC are choosing not to call out the lies and deliberate misinformation and racist attacks.

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