Introduction by Croakey: Doctors for the Environment Australia urges its members, other health professionals and supporters to vote yes in the upcoming referendum to constitutionally enshrine an Indigenous voice to parliament.
“We believe [a Voice] will improve the health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It will also help heal our nation,” DEA wrote in a statement last week.
“The Voice will empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have a say on policies, laws and decisions that affect them, and this will contribute to better healthcare and better health outcomes.”
Meanwhile, many tens of thousands united over the weekend across Australia to walk in support of the Voice to Parliament, with the countdown to the 14 October referendum now under four weeks away.
Below, Croakey editor Alison Barrett reports from the first of the #WalkForYes events, held on Kaurna Country on Saturday, followed by many tweets and photos from other events across Australia.
Alison Barrett writes:
The #WalkForYes weekend kicked off on Kaurna Country/Adelaide on Saturday morning with a Welcome to Country performed by Kaurna woman Jakirah Telfer, one of the coordinators of South Australia’s yes campaign.
Kaurna Country is the land of the red kangaroo, Telfer told attendees. “That kangaroo never goes backwards, only forwards,” she said.
The well-attended walk was followed by speeches from Director of the Yes Campaign Dean Parkin, Director of Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition Tanya Hosch, Strategic Advisor of the Uluru Dialogue Kirstie Parker, Attorney General and Minister for Indigenous Affairs for South Australia Kyam Maher, Senators Penny Wong and Barbara Pocock and powerful performances by musicians Marlon Motlop, Emma Donovan and Paul Kelly.
Wong called for everyone to “choose hope not fear, come together. The day after [the referendum], let us wake up in a country that has come together. Let us wake up in a country that has listened respectfully”.
Health sector support
As well as members of the general public, media and politicians, many members of the health and community sectors joined in #WalkForYes, including Lowitja Institute, First People’s Disability Network, Public Health Advocacy Institute, Public Health Association of Australia, cohealth, Jesuit Social Services, ACOSS and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation.
#WalkForYes events were well attended outside of the capital cities.
Boorloo / Perth
Mparntwe and Larrakia
Naarm / Melbourne
Acknowledgements for photos to Marie McInerney (Naarm), Melissa Sweet and Mitchell Ward (nipaluna), Lesley Russell (Eora), Jennifer Doggett and Alison Verhoeven (Ngunnawal and Ngambri), Cate Carrigan (Yuin), Sarah Collie (Meanjin); and to all who tweeted from their local #WalkForYes event.
See Croakey’s extensive coverage of the Voice.