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Byron Shire
May 20, 2024

Voice goes local

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Appeal to locate man missing from Mullumbimby

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a man missing from Mullumbimby.

Other News

Editorial – Just another unjust moment in history

Justice has been served and it’s a shit sandwich: whistleblower David McBride is now the first person to be sentenced to jail in Australia for reporting war crimes.

Bev knows how to make a boob of herself

Some women make you feel good about yourself right to your marrow. Bev Killick is one of those women. She’s not a cutesy storyteller, she’s our Phyllis Diller, a graduate of the bold and brassy school of stand-up, delivering a non-stop energetic set every time. As soon as she blasts her way on stage, you know you’re in for a treat.

Serious two-vehicle crash – Alstonville

A man is in a serious condition following a two-vehicle crash in Alstonville on Monday.

Baby, it’s chilly outside

Three Lords and the Byron Theatre are presenting a special performance of the 1983 classic film The Big Chill on Saturday, May 26. The show includes a concert performance of the soundtrack by The Byron Theatre Orchestra, along with food trucks, cocktails and perhaps the odd bit of audience participation.

North coast fire fighter honoured

It was a hot, smoky morning when Senior Deputy RFS Captain John Holmes and his comrades arrived at the Bean Creek fire, near Bonalbo.

Protect the beach and coast

The last time my late father visited Byron Bay, I saw a tear roll down his cheek as he...

I am a private person. I don’t have a cat or a dog, and dog parks are a foreign territory to me. Yet, last week, I put on my ‘Yes’ t-shirt, picked up my corflutes and flyers, and headed off to a popular local dog park to talk to strangers about the Voice referendum.

There were six of us in t-shirts, we set up our signs at one end of the oval and started to offer our flyers. Over the next hour, we talked to about 60 people while their dogs chased balls and played rambunctiously. 

‘Bend your knees’, said a dog owner when a mass of wrestling dogs writhed around me.

People and dogs were very friendly. Most people intended to vote ‘Yes’, many were thinking about it, and a few were definite ‘No’ votes.

From across the oval, I looked back at our little set-up – a handful of people and some corflutes. I saw that we were the face of the ‘Yes’ campaign in our community. 

Some of the people we met were quite relieved to see us there because they were worried that the ‘Yes’ campaign was lagging. They wanted someone to do something about it.

I, too, want a strong ‘Yes’ campaign because this referendum is really important to me. I live on a street that has been a pathway to the river for thousands of years. How many millions of sunsets have Aboriginal people seen from my home area over tens of thousands of years?

We all know that policies and programs work better when end users are consulted, yet Indigenous people are rarely consulted about the policies and programs that apply to them. The Uluru Statement from the Heart calls this ‘the torment of our powerlessness’.

I want to see an Indigenous consultative body that can advise on policies and programs. I prefer for it to be in the Constitution so that, if a future government disbands the consultative body of the day, then they will be obliged to replace it with something. 

This is the best chance we have of ‘closing the gap’ – at the moment only four out of the 19 targets are on track.

So, I have stepped up to be one of the faces of the ‘Yes’ campaign in my local community. A visible presence is a great encouragement to ‘Yes’ voters and gets people talking. 

We’ll be brave and talk to strangers to encourage them to vote ‘Yes’.

If things get a bit gnarly, I’ll remember the advice from the dog park, ‘bend your knees’, and I’ll lean into it.

Gillian King, Roseville


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Here is the problem.
    Indigenous people are Australians. The constitution is for ALL Australians, as is our elected government.
    Linda Burney knows the issues some Indigenous people face. (Closing the gap) As a minister why does she need a Voice to fix the issues?
    There are over 3200 Indigenous agencies given $30 Billion per annum for 3% of the population. They have the power and resources to make the changes now.
    What are they doing???

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Editorial – Just another unjust moment in history

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