Communities across Australia gathered on Sunday to support Indigenous recognition through a Voice to Parliament as part of the Yes 23 campaign.
Croakey editor Alison Barrett reports below from the ‘Adelaide Come Together for Yes’ day on Kaurna Country.
Tweets and photos from other events are at the end of the article.
Alison Barrett writes:
Impassioned calls were made for peace and solidarity in the journey towards the referendum to constitutionally enshrine an Indigenous Voice to Parliament at Sunday’s ‘Come Together for Yes’ day on Kaurna Country.
Coinciding with the first day of NAIDOC Week, events across the country were a celebration of First Nations’ culture and support for the yes campaign.
Use your voice
Dwayne Coulthard, a signatory to the Uluru Statement and member of the Referendum Council, thanked the audience for accepting the invitation to come on the journey for “substantive structural reform”.
“We know that our country is ready to make the step, to make that leap, to make sure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a mechanism to represent them and have a say on the laws that impact their lives, their communities, their cultures.”
Coulthard emphasised the importance of this weeks’ NAIDOC theme, For Our Elders – “we stand on the shoulders of giants…we know about the history and the legacy our old people have left for us”.
He urged supporters to keep conversations going – “we need you to use your voice to make sure that we have a Voice enshrined in the Constitution. This is our moment.”
Phil Saunders, CEO of the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, told Croakey that it was great to see “non-Indigenous brothers and sisters walking along with us side by side, shoulder to shoulder” at the Come Together for Yes event on Kaurna Country.
Saunders told Croakey the Voice is an opportunity and should be seen as a healing and unifying moment in our history.
“What a fabulous gift we bequeath to our children, our grandchildren.
“We need our non-Indigenous brothers and sisters to walk along with us and be part of the journey,” he said.
Professor Bronwyn Fredericks, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) at The University of Queensland (UQ) and Croakey board member, spent the day speaking to members of the community in the Lockyer Valley in Queensland about the Uluru Statement and forthcoming referendum.
See Croakey’s archive of articles on the Voice to Parliament.