This Saturday Australians will cast their final votes in their first referendum since 1999.
If the Voice proposal is successful, it will change the country’s constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing a body called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
“Aboriginal people who are pushing for yes, they believe having a voice will bring us together,” indigenous affairs reporter Tahnee Jash (Yuin/Kamilaroi) says.
“It will lead to better outcomes and we will be able to access things as other Australians, like having our voices listened to in Parliament.”
Voters will be asked the question as follows:
“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?”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is pushing for a yes vote but many are in the ‘no camp’, some of whom are First Nations people.
“There are some people who feel the voice won’t be enough because it’s just an advisory body so they don’t have the power to make rules and legislations,” Jash says.
And Timu Kingi, an ABC reporter based in South Australia says: “They (First Nations and Torres Straight Islanders) don’t believe it’s culturally appropriate for a voice to Parliament because there are so many tribes and groups that are scattered throughout Australia.”