2023 Australian Indigenous Voice Referendum/ My Ideas on the Referendum

Essay by Luke Foster

“We should consider asking our fellow Australians something as simple as ‘Do you support an alteration to the constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?’” Albanese said in a landmark speech at the Garma Festival in Arnhem Land on Saturday.

I feel its one thing to change the constitution to give Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders a voice in parliament, but I also feel that such a thing if passed shall need the follow up of more aboriginal elders both man and women in Canberra as politicians making decisions for their own people. Also men and women of different ages and different walks of life to represent their own issues in Canberra and all corners of Australia.

Aunty Ruth Dunn grew up on a mission and said:

“We need a Voice to represent our people and our culture and our nation. Being First Nations people, we’re the last to be heard, the last to be counted. We don’t want to be the last anymore; we want to be equal to all the other cultures in the world and even to white Australians.”

For Ashley Dalton, a 30-year-old Gunaikurnai woman from Morwell in Victoria, it’s all about giving a voice to the next generation. “My concern is about my children and their future. I think it’s important for us to have a voice there, so I would say to all our mob to vote.”

Barry Smith, 51, a Noongar-Ballardong man from Midland, Western Australia, said: “I come from a country town where we don’t really have a say in much. I would really like to have someone who is representing us.”

If Barack Obama can become president in America and Condoleezza Rice can become Secretary of State, there then perhaps a Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander can become prime minister in Australia one day.

 “It’s important for us to also understand that the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this vulnerability.” – Barack Obama

However, these are just my views and the beauty of a referendum on important issues is that it’s the best aspects of democracy where everyone has their say to choose their views on important issues.

Anthony Albanese at the opening ceremony. Photograph: Carly Earl/The Guardian