Updated: Sep 19
We've been pummelled by a lot of false statements made by No campaigners during the lead up to the referendum to be held on October 14, and many social media and mainstream media stories would have us believe that the Nos will have their way ...
But I'm not so sure - judging by the spontaneous outpouring of support shown by 'YES' voters in marches in capital cities around our country.
There may be plenty of people still undecided. Depending on which poll you're looking at, the figures for undecided voters fluctuate. Polls have been wrong in the past as many people wait until close to voting before they think through the issues involved - and in this case YES will be a clear vote from the heart, for human rights, to show a sense of humanity and give Indigenous Australians what they should have received two hundred years ago. RESPECT.
It's little enough to ask that indigenous people have a voice to advise on indigenous policies which are being applied to their own people. Despite all the to-ing and fro-ing about what power their representatives would have, the fact is that all that is being proposed is that their previous habitation on this land be recognised in our Constitution. Just as indigenous people were recognised many years ago in New Zealand, the United States and Canada by similar means. Because it is a fact that this land was not Terra Nullius (i.e. land belonging to no one) but actually inhabited by people who had lived here for thousands of years - before invaders took the land by the force of guns.
It's not by any means an unlimited power of VOICE. It would simply enable their representatives to advise the parliamentary representatives - who we all elect - what their needs are and how their situation can be improved - for example, in the shocking and shameful record of 106 deaths of indigenous people in custody over the past year.
As Australians we pride ourselves on our athletes setting world records but we're lagging well behind other countries in recognising the facts of white settlement. We can't stay blind to these facts any longer ... the callous abuse, bloodshed, and mass killing of indigenous people by direct and indirect means.
Thousands of people marched today to demonstrate their intention to vote YES. You can vote YES too. There's nothing stopping you except bigotry and racism.
It should no longer be about US and THEM. 'It's Time!' Let's sing as we vote YES because 'We're all in this together!'
YOU'RE THE VOICE
We have the chance to turn the pages over We can write what we want to write We gotta make ends meet, before we get much older We're all someone's daughter We're all someone's son How long can we look at each other Down the barrel of a gun?
You're the voice, try and understand it Make a noise and make it clear.
Copyright text cv williams; song lyrics John Farnham; photos Shane Williams.