The Australia Today editorial board has decided to support the Yes vote in the upcoming referendum for a First Nations Voice to Parliament.
The question to be put to the Australian people at the 2023 referendum will be:
“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?”
And we at The Australia Today request you to support this proposed alteration with a ‘yes’ vote.
This referendum brings us to a historic movement to stand for a First Nations Voice in Parliament.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said, “As Australians, we have an extraordinary privilege. We share this great island continent with the world’s oldest continuous culture. Our nation’s birth certificate should recognise this and be proud of it.”
“People who have loved and cared for this country for 65,000 years and more. In countless ways, we embrace that as a source of great pride – and we should recognise it, we should recognise it,”added PM Albanese
This referendum will provide a sensible and practical proposition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should have a say in the decisions and policies that affect their lives.
We at The Australia today editorial board request our Indian, Nepali, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, Afghan and Fiji Australian readers to vote ‘yes’ in the referendum for Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with Australia’s Indigenous communities.”
Following are the design principles of the Voice to Parliament agreed by the First Nations Referendum Working Group:
A. The Voice will give independent advice to the Parliament and Government.
B. It will be chosen by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people based on the wishes of local communities.
C. It will be representative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, gender-balanced and include youth.
D. It will be empowering, community-led, inclusive, respectful, and culturally informed.
E. It will be accountable and transparent.
F. It will work alongside existing organisations and traditional structures.
G. It will not have a program delivery function.
H. It will not have veto power.
The Referendum Working Group encourages everybody, everybody that has an interest in this process, to pay close attention to the design principles.
The Australia Today uses the tagline “Multicultural Voice” to explain what we stand for and now it is important for us to educate and empower our readers to recognise the pain and sufferings of hundreds of thousands of First Nation Australians.
Indian, Nepali, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, Afghan and Fiji Australians, all have faced racism and bigotry in many forms in their journey in Australia. However, the extreme racism, pain, suffering and trauma Indigenous Australians have gone through for generations are just unimaginable.
As members of multicultural communities from the Indian subcontinent, we know that our ancestors had a deep connection with Australian indigenous communities for almost 30,000 years.
Be it First Nations people in Western Australia, South Australia or far north Queensland all have visible similarities with the natives of the Indian subcontinent.
The Australia Today editorial team believes that almost one and a half million people from the Indian Subcontinent who are more than eight per cent of the Australian population have this responsibility to enshrine the voice of First Nations in our Parliament.
We have been actively telling the stories of Indigenous Australians and are committed to playing our part in this historic movement of recognising the voice.
Your support in recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution will be a simple, but powerful act. It will move Australia forward for everyone.
It will give First Nation people a say in the matters that affect them so better policies can be made.
We have featured stories on the work being done by Indigenous leaders and their collaborations with Indian subcontinent Australians and those who promote reconciliation and recognition.
In the last two years, The Australia Today has supported the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which was issued in 2017, and called for a Makarrata Commission to oversee a process of agreement-making between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
In the coming weeks and months, The Australia Today will actively participate in education campaigns via articles, Op-eds, interviews and videos to do our bit to help create a more inclusive society in which First Nations Australians have equal voices.
In case you want to support this campaign in any which way please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org we will publish all campaign details to proudly support the movement for reconciliation and recognition of Indigenous Australians.
Together we can and will bring change.