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Byron Shire
April 12, 2024

Editorial: Saying ‘Yes’ to the Voice

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The Voice is a matter of conscience, not division.

Australia was not ‘terra nullius’ when England claimed it 200 years ago. It held a rich tapestry of people and culture, language, lore and relationship to Country. 

This was not recognised by the invaders; rather it was the Indigenous Australians they sought to destroy as they claimed their lands and attacked their culture.

They did this in a multitude of ways, from displacing people from their lands, to massacres and taking away their children. The inevitable outcome is that today our First Australians continue to suffer from these injustices across the board in education, health, housing, lower life expectancy and over-representation in our prisons.

Closing the Gap 

The Closing the Gap agreement is one way that governments have sought to respond to these disadvantages yet, as the Productivity Commission recently made clear, the government continues to fail to partner with and consult with Indigenous communities.

The proposed Voice to Parliament is a way to move forward, as the outcome of the 2017 National Constitutional Convention that produced the Uluru Statement from the Heart. It was the ‘largest consensus of First Nations peoples on a proposal for substantive recognition in Australian history’ (ulurustatement.org).

It is an opportunity for representatives of First Australians to have an influence in the way the government will address the ongoing issues that disadvantage First Nations people.

But for non-Indigenous Australians it is something so much more. It is an opportunity to recognise First Australians, to acknowledge the wrongs of the last 200 years. It is the chance to take a small action towards healing the division. We can say unequivocally that we want to move forward together.

To vote ‘Yes’ is to recognise that this country is prepared to strive for equality – for everyone.

Aslan Shand, deputy editor

News tips are welcome: [email protected]

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54 COMMENTS

  1. Even the deputy editor doesn’t understand the difference between equality and equity? No equality in giving one group an advantage over everyone else.

      • Coming last first People’s ? seriously Joachim
        With respect..that is absolute nonsense..
        They receive 40 billion dollars annual
        as a race ..how is that coming last ?

        • Barrow, “They receive 40 billion dollars annual as a race ..how is that coming last ?”, please Barrow stop making stuff up. You’ve taken Sir Tony’s makings up claim of the NIAA spending $’s30billions pa and inflated that to your makings up of…$’s40Billions pa.
          The Productivity Commission has debunked Sir Tony ( and yours ) makings up. The lies need to STOP.

          Barrow, on the coming last.
          What have you missed from all The Closing the Gap Reports – it is a national disgrace. But perhaps if First Nations People did receive Sir Tony’s full $’s30billions pa or your full $’s40billions pa, the Gap would have been closed.

          • If there had been a demonstrated link between $ and gap, you could calculate the number of $ required. If there had been a link demoed for orgs and gap, you would know how many to make. The Aboriginals have to get themselves out of it. The problems come from within. Your ‘trutherism’, demoralises them at youth, and sets them up to fail.

        • Most people that win the lottery end up broke within 5 years, and usually can never put their lives back together again.

    • Groups with huge advantages over everyone else- politicians, Mineral council of Australia, Australian banking association, Australian coal association, APPEA Etc Etc Etc

      • No one is stopping the Aboriginals forming their own lobby group using their own resources as the groups you have list have done. Unless you think they lack such compacity?

  2. Australia was ‘terra nullius’, there was no organised group with which to communicate, with over 500 warring tribes often with their own language.
    The 60,000 years of ‘culture’ had culminated in the ability to make pointy sticks and stone tools, arguably the most primitive groups on the planet with a life-expectancy of about 30 years. The “gap” has closed enormously in the last two hundred years , but despite the best efforts and over $30 billion per year in funding some aboriginals steadfastly refuse to accept the opportunities given, and insist on reverting to primitive ‘culture’, resulting in poor education outcomes, the highest levels of domestic violence and drug and alcohol dependence with the inherit dismal health problems of kidney failure and liver damage with high incarceration figures due to incorrigible criminal behaviour.
    These people obviously have no concept of democracy or responsibility for their own actions and demand constant life-long baby-sitting .
    Cheers, vote NO to racial segregation. G”)

    • The defence of terra nullius was thrown out by the High Court. Far from having no concept of responsibility, the Voice is about taking responsibility for deciding what will work best in their communities and accountability.

      Your little rant takes no account of the impact of 250 years of dispossession, exclusion, paternalism and racism.

      • Lizardbreath we are not living in the past
        It is the present..we have said sorry many
        Times ..we as a nation Should not be responsible for what happened 200 years ago.. this nation has come along way since..
        Knowone owns any lands in this Country
        we all beyond to it .. as many Aboriginal
        People’s communities have suggested…!
        and once again ..this country ought not have been sent to the polls to vote on something
        that has divided this country like no other time in history.. “one nation two races no thanks ” ..

        • Wrong Craig, What has divided the nation is Dutton, Littleproud, Price & Mundine, funded by Atlas, Reinhardt & Palmer. The only people spruiking division are those saying no.
          FYI, The Voice & this Referendum are both original LNP policies. Scummo even set aside $160mill in his 1st budget as PM but like everything else he promised, it was just hollow words & spin without commitment.

          Is saying sorry enough? It doesn’t satisfy the courts administering justice. Nor was it just 200 years ago. Massacres of Aboriginals (described as the murders of 6 or more people at a time) were conducted for at least 130 years. The last acknowledged massacre was only 95 years ago!
          BUT in 2022 15y.o boy Cassius Turvey was murdered in W.A. because he was Aboriginal.
          In 2010 Aboriginal Ranger Kwementyaye Ryder was murdered by a mob of Alice Springs redneck youths who subsequently escaped virtually unpunished with a manslaughter charge.
          Things were not hunky dory & united before this referendum came about

          • He never wants to talk about the 6 or more at a time killed by Aboriginals. Of White people, and of other tribes. Where I grew up, ‘Aboriginal Massacre’ had a different meaning.

          • Dear moderator,

            Why can’t I explain to Christian that “aboriginal” is an adjective? The noun is “aborigine”.

          • There isn’t an alternative with “white”. In cases where there are alternative forms it’s best to use the appropriate one for the context. Just trying to help a fellow educator.

          • Austro-European
            Anglo-Celtic
            Australian Pricivic People

            The proper name of the combined pre-civil ethnic groups is ‘Aboriginal’, from the Latin ‘ab origo’. ‘Aborigine’ would be the ablative form, if we were speaking Latin, but we aren’t, thus ‘Aboriginal’.

          • It’s the correct adjective. Correct ✅. “Aborigine” derives from the Latin words ‘ab’ (from) and ‘origine’ (origin, beginning).
            From the very beginning. If “aborigine” is ablative, what case is “aboriginal”?

            “Al” is a common suffix for the adjectival form. Phenomenon/phenomenal, nominee/nominal, algae/algal …

            Similarly in 1988 we kept hearing about the bicentennial, but it was actually the bicentenary.

        • The past? We were still taking children away until the 70s and, as this unfortunate debate has shown, there is still a huge burden of ignorance, exclusion and bigotry impacting our First Nations people.

          A past such as this one has huge impact on the outcomes for the indigenous population and sorry alone won’t cut it.

          Division? This was a peace offering that has been manipulated for political ends. The tragic division has come from this scurrilous manipulation.

          Finally, it is not about race – we’re all Homo sapiens – it’s about indigeneity.

          • Well me and my cats have 250 years of indigeneity, so we get a part payment right? It is unlikely that Homo sapiens are the original human inhabitants of this land. There is certain physical evidence, and the genome of Aboriginals, kinda point to Denisovans. Are you saying we are not at peace? Are the Aboriginals declaring they are at war with us? Get back to us on that, as the rules of engagement suddenly change if they are.

        • Barrow, cucking to anti-White hatred, simply emboldens them to embellish and misrepresent more. I think you were trying to say you don’t care about the past, as we don’t live there, and neither has any Aboriginal you have meet.

    • It’s interesting you’re not having a little tantie about the billions of dollars given to mining companies and other big businesses. Just focusing on one particular group that have way less power and motivation to cause destruction and accumulate wealth. Interesting you don’t have a bee in your bonnet about the millions spent treating Australians who choose to consume alcohol and smoke cigarettes. Bigoted beliefs towards a culture that were able to live on the land with out destroying it for future generations. As if someone with such a narrow uneducated toxic isn’t receiving a little baby sitting themselves.

      • Rosie please …how many billions have the Taxpayer’s contributed to the renewable industries ? And how has that ended up
        for Australian’s ? Way less power you are
        Suggesting Rosie ? Another false statement.
        Once again let the Elders ..true aboriginal people’s oversee the selected committee
        Not a bunch of hard left Activists..or are really
        Having a hard time of telling us what to do..
        You are a racist if you vote NO ..i hope for
        a much better outcomes and future for the Aboriginal people’s communities nationwide.. because what has been put forward will never work ..nor what is currently in place ..

      • Rosie. The billions given to mining companies ? I’m assuming your referring to “subsidies” . Total nonsense and deceit from the green left and their media organizations. Pushed hard by the Greens and Mandy Nolan. Their minions lap it up.

  3. It’s an outstretched hand, an olive branch, an invitation to walk together, a gracious offer, a wave of hope, a brighter dawn, a better tomorrow and a moderate change – reflecting on all this detail that Albanese has provided, I think No is the way to go. I’ll be voting No.

    • You either haven’t listened or simply don’t care.
      As Prof Langton said: “Every time the No case raises one of their arguments, if you start pulling it apart, you get down to base racism. I’m sorry to say it, but that’s where it lands – or just sheer stupidity.”
      There is no reasonable, logical, or financial argument for voting no. If you’re not Aboriginal this does not even affect you, yet you decision will affect hundreds of thousands.

      • N.See what are you remotely talking about ?
        Does not affect you ? Mate unless you have been living elsewhere…it 💯 percent affects
        Us because Taxpayer’s pay for it ..seriously!

    • How can the government provide detail when it is yet to be decided by a wider group that just Labor? It’s the parliament who will decide and hopefully the working group will be multi party.

      If the government announced how everything would happen, you lot would be screaming about a done deal.

      It’s all of the things you started with. Best to accept peace offerings. A refusal might mean the next salvos are far less friendly.

      • If they couldn’t figure in out over the last 6 years, then they must not be able to figure it out at all. If they are at war with us, or intending war with us, we have tactical units that can deal with them.

  4. News around the world .. “Australia rejects
    Aboriginal people’s in its Constitution” this is not entirely true ..and if the government had just
    Asked the population to vote on including
    Aboriginal people’s into the Constitution it would have been a resounding YES .. what was put forward and what’s been in place currently has been
    A failure and how … Misappropriation of funds to finally get to those most vulnerable communities has been a embarrassment for our nation..Coalition and labor
    And the Greens knew what was happening to
    The funds ..but did FA about it ..Shame ! as for
    The coalition not in support of the voice .. the blame game begins.. it matters little in the end
    What the coalition views were ..the nation
    Voted NO .. and why ? poorly communicated
    To the nation in my opinion..just a modest
    Change our Prime Minister suggests.. instead
    Of explaining to the nation the current system
    Has failed and this is how we intend to fix it ..Albo did not ..that should have been explained before
    The vote was opened…so in the end ..there has to
    Be a better way to help first nation’s people’s
    Apart from helping themselves..we live in hope !

    • Barrow, thank dog that YesVoice was voted down, eh.

      We won’t have that “Declaration of War” that Warren Mundine’s makings up scared us into voting NoVoice.
      We won’t have “government grinding to a halt” that Peter Dutton’s makings up scared us into voting NoVoice.
      We won’t have to ‘pay to go to the beach’ that Pauline Hanson’s makings up scared us into voting NoVoice.
      We won’t be ‘losing our backyards’ that social media makings up scared us into voting NoVoice.
      We white fellas won’t be specifically taxed to ‘pay the rent’ that social media makings up scared us into voting NoVoice.
      We won’t have ‘race’ included in the Constitution…oh wait, ‘race powers’ ALREADY IN the Constitution.

      Barrow, I’ll stop with the NoVoice’s rubbish misinformation, it is exhausting to keep hosing down bull faeces.

      But you are on the right track with Albo’s poor effort to sell YesVoice.
      The ALP / PM Albo and his army of advisers had plenty of time to get their media lines and messages on cue for the expected distractions, lies and scares. Dozing on his couch, expecting everyone to automatically fall into line for YesVoice, what was PM Albo thinking?
      The Conservatives have past form on Native Title, Mabo, Wik and expecting them to just jump to attention for YesVoice, job done… oh dear.

      • Mis and dis are any proof your narrative is false. Now you guys say you have to double down on censorship to make sure you never lose again by having your lies and distortions exposed. You people are the worst of that which you pretend to oppose. You are the real fascists, calling yourselves anti-fascists, just as George Orwell warned us you would.

      • Joachim…”laborious ” Albo and the elites
        Put forward this proposal..just more of the same ..that’s why the country rejected the
        Voice Joachim.. and to suggest as one of the
        Architects of the Voice did..this Referendum
        Was the worst Mis & Disinformation campaigns in the country’s history…is just laughable…everyone has a choice and with respect the country voted No Joachim..no excuses either way … how ironic Mayo
        Suggested that “retributions ” should follow ..
        That really is not accepting the country’s
        Vote is it Joachim…

        • I hope they do ‘retribute’. The fastest my to bring down a tyrant, is to get them to act that way where everyone can see it.

  5. Who’s dog are you thanking Joachim?,. Typos happen don’t they. Have I tried to take advantage of your faux par?. May I mention what happened with W.A’.s Aboriginal Heritage Laws or is that too embarrassing for you. You all know however don’t have the guts to mention it. Ignore it and it will eventually go away, nothing to see here. If state governments pursue their own voice legislation similar occurrence’s could happen. We need politicians with their eyes opened and public wallets closed.

  6. Oh Lizardbreath the great one. You just can’t help yourself can you?, like the wonderful Joachim. Not one of you would ever make a typo or small spelling error would you. Thanks so little for bringing this error to my attention, the reading public will be ever so grateful. I suppose you class it as disinformation.

    • Gregrrr, I make lots of typos. I’m not usually into pedantry either – if I pointed out every spelling, grammatical and punctuation mistake on here I’d spend more time doing that than making other comments. And don’t get me started on paragraphing!

      When you make a howler pointing out someone else’s mistake though , you’re right, I just can’t help myself 😈

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