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September 28, 2023

Voice referendum

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Review on remote Indigenous Australians sheds light on the Voice to Parliament

As a white man living on Bundjalung Country, I acknowledge that it is not easy to make the cross-cultural shift from a Western paradigm lens to comprehend and appreciate the rich diversity and complexity of 65,000 years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ sociocultural and spiritual history.

As a casual observer of the coming referendum, I hadn’t formed a strong opinion for either the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ case. Maybe it’s because I’m an older white guy and hardly the demographic whose life will be affected by the outcome? 

I mostly tune out when it’s debated and am not interested in the petty politicking. 

But then I saw the question that at some stage later this year, we’ll be asked: ‘Do you approve the proposed alteration of the Constitution to recognise the first peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice?’

It seems pretty simple to me. Put the political sideshow aside and just answer the question. If Australia voted ‘No’, it would forever be seen as a mean-spirited rejection of reconciliation. As for those voting ‘No’ because they want something more radical, learn your history. If this doesn’t get up, nothing will and your motives will soon be forgotten. All that will be remembered is that Australia said ‘No’ to the constitutional recognition for the first peoples of this continent. 

Remember that our collective answer to this question will be noted by the rest of the world and for generations to come. Australia is a great country, but has a fault line from our history in relation to how some peoples were displaced by others. According to many people who’d know a lot more about it than me, there’s a chance things could get better if we approve this alteration, but the way I see it is that there’s no chance anything will improve if we reject it. This is most likely the only chance in a generation for reconciliation in our Constitution. It may not solve all problems, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. Let’s take a step forward rather than backwards. 

Simon Alderton, Murwillumbah 

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  1. Simon, you need to read the full import of this permanent Constitutional change before you vote.
    (Quote) ‘Maybe it’s because I’m an older white guy and hardly the demographic whose life will be affected by the outcome? ‘
    No Simon – this will affect you.
    Perhaps you should read the full details/implications before you cast your vote?

      • It was submitted to the government as a 26 page, contiguous document, submitted as complete and correct, under penalty of perjury. If you don’t want to count the 25-page body of the document that tells you what they are really up to with this referendum, you can, but still tells you what they are really up too.

    • Christian more of the disinformation campaign against, The Voice
      The Uluru Statement form the Heart is only O N E page and here it is for you –

      “We, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the
      southern sky, make this statement from the heart:
      Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the
      Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs.
      This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according
      to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years
      This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’,
      and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain
      attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is
      the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or
      extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.
      How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred
      link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years?
      With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient
      sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.
      Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately
      criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This
      cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene
      numbers. They should be our hope for the future.
      These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the
      torment of our powerlessness.
      We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own
      country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in
      two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.
      We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.
      Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures
      our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better
      future for our children based on justice and self-determination.
      We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between
      governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.
      In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek
      across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people
      for a better future.”

      Educate yourself and have a good read.

    • Rod, put your hand in this box. I promise it won’t hurt you. The only way you will ever be sure is to do what I tell you too. What could possibly go wrong? 😉

        • No matter how many emails the Nigerian Prince sends you, he will never tell you what’s really going to happen once you transfer the money into his account. The trick is to realise that Nigeria has never had a royal family. Go look up what the activist architects of this thing have said publicly before the voice was thought up. Just their general thought about stuff, and particularly, what they feel towards non-Aboriginals. Then you will get the gist of what’s in that box.

          • More way out irrelevant comments Christian. So your saying the likes of price, Abbott and Mundine aren’t activists and elites( what a crappy term), and what has Nigeria to do with this referendum except for the proven false premise that from the heart some how came from Nigeria. How about not worrying about what you are missing out on like indigenous life expectancy about a decade least than the rest of the population but realise what opportunity the voice offers.

          • You mean some of them dislike us? Harbour some resentment? Why ever would they do that?

            I think the extreme anti-indigenous position is only going to breed more of that. I think you’ll see that momentous reactions in history generally happen in response to momentous intransigence. Negotiating a peace is my preferred option.

            It wouldn’t be Thomas Mayo you are referring to would it? He developed much of his thought on collective action from his time in the MUA, I believe. Someone like that can’t be on the wrong track!

          • Rod – Africans aren’t some big blob of black. It was a ruling by an International Court of Justice judge, who happened to be from Zaire. Men have shorter life expectancy than Women.

            Liz – Even White Nationalists don’t have an ‘extreme anti-indigenous position’. Actual Aboriginal Nationalists get along with us just fine. We need no treaty, we are not at war. And unlike you lot, we don’t treat them like helpless, useless pets that need to be mothered. Go do your own research about the self-proclaimed communists behind the Voice that are using the name ‘Aboriginal’ as a weapon to gain power at everyone’s expense..

          • It’s nothing to do with male versus female it’s indigenous Australian lifespan versus rest of population, if you think that’s fair than I’m sorry for you. And what do rulings in Zaire have to do with this referendum.?

  2. This voice proposal will cost the Taxpayer’s
    100s of billions of dollars .. we just don’t
    Have that spare cash for reparations..
    It’s as simple as that..as Mr Lazarus suggests
    In another article..it’s time to pay the rent !
    Well all the supporters can start fund-raising
    Now .and if you feel that way inclined sell
    Your house or properties to pay the rent …including
    Mr Lazarus..you see Mr Lazarus government’s dont have any money..only what we provide them with..
    This will be a fair outcome for the supporters
    Of the Voice.. Prime Minister if this is such a
    Modest change the punters should vote
    Accordingly… and they will.. !! Mr Lazarus
    Also suggested that a yes vote will bring all
    The nationalities together as one !!
    So i ask you Mr Lazarus how will a yes vote
    Benefit the remaining 97% of the nation ?

    • Where has this figure come from? Reparations are not in the referendum so how about speaking truthfully and not letting your imagined feeling of suffering prejudice get the better of you. You do know the referendum is about don’t you? The voice is about advice and the structure will be determined by parliament, sondon’t add imaginary/ fantasy conspiracy theories.

          • Income tax, capital gains tax, business tax, negative gearing, etc, are all derived from a single, seemly innocuous line, in that very same constitution. Imagine what you could do with several lines!

          • Exactly, the details are fleshed out in legislation that must be passed by two Houses of Parliament and can be changed at any time.

          • Thus putting the voice in the constitution does not stop the next government defunding it and striping it of all rights, so the referendum is a pointless exercise? You can’t have it both ways.

          • No it’s you who’s backtracking here. It’s your lot suggesting that the question:

            “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 the proposed alteration to the constitution:
            “Chapter IX Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 129 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice
            In recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia:
            1: There shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice;
            2: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
            3: The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to matters relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, including its composition, functions, powers and procedures.”

            is infused with all sorts of immutable dire consequences. Of course it can be fiddled with but it is the wish of the First Nations authors of the Uluṟu statement to be recognised in the constitution and this at least requires that such an advisory body should exist.

            A government could decide to give this zero funding but this would be more bloody minded and less likely when thus
            enshrined. As for “rights” these would seem to be outlined in the proposed insertion “… may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s …”

            If it’s a pointless exercise it’s not worth the hysteria to be read on these pages.

  3. Hey Rod ..who is in denial mate ..?
    Not hard really…37 billion dollars annually
    Is put forward by taxpayers..not the government Rod ..!! To help Aboriginal people’s..it being sucked up by far left
    Sponge bobs ..and nose in the Trough
    Users ..with no accountability as to where
    The funds are going to ..now FACTS show
    Not make up prejudice as you suggest that
    ONLY 25% of that 37 billion annually is getting to the most vulnerable…Pay the rent
    Reparations as Christian has confirmed on pages 7 and 13 is real Rod.. we certainly need to look after our Aboriginal people’s 💯 percent ..however what has been put forward by the Voice proposal will only
    Divide this nation by race …truth telling
    Will indoctrinate our kids with how racist
    The most successful multicultural society
    On the planet..Reparations will send us broke..one Nation two races ..no thanks !

      • Liz, can you provide more details about the false equivalency you are trying to conjure from the aether? That way we can debunk it for you with citations. Thanks.

        • Sure – you’re right!

          The false equivalency is that the scare mongering about climate change is based on sound scientific observation while the scare mongering about the referendum is based on the successful scare campaign of a desperate opposition who, after the Aston byelection, had to do something – anything – to inflict damage on Labor, Albanese in particular.

          One is about data, the other is about politics.

  4. Great novels you write Joachim and Lizardbreath, shame neither of you can’t distinguish the difference between lefty idealism and good old common sense and common decency. You are both flogging a dead horse.


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