After the outcome of the Referendum on the Voice to Parliament was known, the Uluru Statement From the Heart declared a week of silence. The grief and disappointment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who supported a yes vote was palpable.
As an organisation that accepted the invitation issued by the Uluru Statement from the Heart and actively supported a vote for positive change, we share that disappointment. Still, we can barely begin to understand the depth of it.
As the statement declaring a week of silence noted:
“This is a bitter irony. That people who have only been on this continent for 235 years would refuse to recognise those whose home this land has been for 60,000 and more years is beyond reason.”
The Uluru Statement also sincerely thanked “many millions of Australians of love and goodwill” who voted yes.
As gracious as the sentiment is, having failed to deliver a resounding yes, we (as settlers on unceded land) should neither require or rest on a thank you. Instead, we must strengthen our resolve to continue to fight for recognition, justice and a better future for First Nations communities across this country. We must continue to advance long-term transformative change.
It is still a YES from us.
Yes to truth-telling. Yes to treaty-making. Yes to change and self-determination for First Peoples.
Over 5.5 million people voted for change on October 14. 5.5 million could become 11 million if we each bring one more Australian on the journey.
Let’s move forward together.
Where to from here?
As we centre and listen to the voices of First Peoples on the matters that most impact them, there are various ways we can show our support.
National Day of Action
First Nations communities across the country have called a National Day of Solidarity, calling on people to join on Wednesday 25th October.
From Gadigal to Noongar country and beyond, the fight continues and First Nations communities are calling on allies to stand up and keep showing up. Find out more on the national page here and pledge your commitment.
Wear your solidarity – we’re joining calls to wear clothing and jewellery to demonstrate your solidarity. Here are some ideas and options: