Australia stands on the brink of a transformative moment. On October 14, all citizens will have the power to reshape the nation’s foundational document and recognise its First Peoples in a manner that holds the promise of justice, inclusion, and unity. Seniors First, as a leading force in the over 60’s community in Australia, strongly supports the “Yes” vote in The Voice referendum. Here’s an insight into why.
Formal Recognition of Indigenous Peoples
The Australian Constitution, which has been our guiding document since the inception of the federation, is devoid of any mention of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the continent’s original inhabitants. Voting ‘Yes’ in the referendum would correct this oversight, giving these communities the formal recognition and respect they deserve.
Collaborative Policy Making
The proposed Voice is not just symbolic; it’s about ensuring that Indigenous perspectives are heard and factored into the nation’s policies. By having a dedicated advisory body, the chances of drafting better-informed policies that genuinely cater to the needs and aspirations of Indigenous communities will significantly increase.
Improved Outcomes for Senior Indigenous Communities
The driving force behind the Yes campaign is the hope for better outcomes in health, education, employment, and housing for Indigenous Australians – particularly older members of the community. By having a platform that can directly advise the parliament and executive government, the unique challenges faced by these communities can be addressed more effectively.
Strong Backing from Multiple Quarters
This isn’t a partisan cause. The Labor Party, Greens, select Liberals, and multiple other political entities back the Yes case. The corporate sector, including giants like Qantas and Telstra, sporting bodies from the AFL to netball, and various community organisations, have all rallied behind the cause, signifying its importance to the broader Australian community.
Amplifying the Uluru Statement from the Heart
The Voice referendum is deeply rooted in the aspirations of the mainstream Indigenous community of Australia. The Uluru Statement is a testament to this. Resulting from extensive consultations involving over 1200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives, it echoes the collective sentiment of coming together after a struggle.
The Power of Listening
One of the core tenets of effective human communication is understanding, and listening. The Voice is a platform for Indigenous perspectives, ensuring that their invaluable insights guide government decisions, resulting in more comprehensive and effective policies.
The Precise Nature of the Vote
Voters are not venturing into the unknown. The referendum question is clear-cut, asking Australians if they approve of the establishment of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. If the majority votes ‘Yes’, the Constitution will be amended, making provisions for this new body.
The Voice represents an opportunity for Australia to listen, recognise, and evolve.
It is not taking anything away, from anyone.
It simply empowers First Nations people to better advise the government on issues affecting their communities.
Supporting the “Yes” referendum aligns with the Seniors First ethos of inclusivity, progress, empathy, and respect for elders.
We urge our community to seize this chance, casting a “Yes” vote for a united and inclusive Australia.
PS: John Farnham lends his iconic song to the ‘Yes’ campaign
Finally, just yesterday it was announced that Australian music legend John Farnham has licensed his iconic song ‘You’re the Voice’ to the yes campaign.
You can watch the full advertisement here: