A First Nations leader has explained why she believes some Aboriginal Australians will be voting no in the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum, declaring: ‘It is a whitefellas’ vote.’
Monica Morgan, who is the CEO of the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, said in her view, Indigenous people in the remote community of Cummeragunja on the NSW-Victorian border haven’t been given enough details about what exactly the Voice is and how it will work to improve their lives.
‘Truthfully I don’t believe there was enough information provided at all at Cummeragunja,’ she told NITV’s The Point recently.
‘People only get snippets, what they hear on the news, but not any real depth,’ she said.
She said racism in Australia towards Indigenous people has always existed, but The Voice to Parliament debate has elevated their platform.
‘The bigoted ones are given more of a voice now to be racist,’ she said.
She also explained many non-Indigenous people have come to her asking how they should vote in the referendum.
‘I say you can do what you like, but at the end of the day it is a whitefellas’ vote, it’s not a blackfellas’ vote,’ she said.
Monica Morgan who is CEO of the Yorta Yorta Nation said people in Cummeragunja weren’t included enough or given enough information about the Voice
However, Ms Morgan ultimately supports a constitutional Voice, saying local communities would have an ‘economic base’ and be involved in making decisions for themselves.
‘I’ll give you an example, the local Aboriginal Land Council, I’m sure they have their heart in it, but not one of those board members live here on Cummeragunja.
‘It’s about people on Cummera being the ones making decisions for themselves’.
‘I moved here with my family because this is self-determination, our mob chose this Country, our mob were part of a dream and I want to be part of that dream being carried through.’
Australians will be asked to vote Yes or No on October 14 on whether to enshrine an Indigenous advisory body to Parliament.
One local elder told the program she was hesitant to trust the government.
‘I don’t agree with the Voice. I think there’s a hidden agenda because of so many things that have happened to our people,’ she told the program.
‘I’m part of the stolen generation, and I just don’t trust the government anymore,’ she added.
Another First Nations woman in Cummeragunja, a remote community with a history of grass roots activism said she didn’t know what the Voice is.
‘I don’t understand it. I don’t know what it’s going to do for us,’ one woman said.
‘I just think that it should have been explained more in detail. What we get out of it and what that Voice will mean to us.’
During the NITV show, a male elder said he was concerned the Voice would be a constant topic for divisive debate both in Indigenous communities and wider Australia that could not be removed from the Constitution.
‘It’s only going to make things worse, I say. That’s my opinion, everyone’s got their own opinion.’
While a fourth younger woman interviewed said it just isn’t on the radar of people she knows, saying: ‘I really don’t know much about the referendum. No one here really talks about it’.
One First Nations woman from Cummeragunja said she does not understand how the Voice will work or deliver positive change for remote communities while another said people she knows just don’t even talk about it
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has defended the Voice as coming from Indigenous Australians, not politicians, and as something that the vast majority support.
‘Indigenous people overwhelmingly want this. All the surveys show that somewhere between 80 and 90 per cent of Indigenous Australians support this,’ Mr Albanese told Sydney radio station WSFM in June.
The information he refers to is from two polls conducted earlier this year.
An Ipsos poll in January and a YouGov poll in March found support for the Voice among First Nations Australians was 80 per cent and 83 per cent, respectively.
Both polls were commissioned by the Uluru Dialogue Group, which supports the Voice proposal.
The Ipsos poll surveyed 300 First Nations people, with 80 per cent saying they would vote yes, 10 per cent no and 10 per cent undecided.
The YouGov poll sampled 738 Indigenous Australians, with 83 per cent saying they would vote yes, 14 per cent no and 4 per cent undecided.
Volunteers for the Yes and No campaigns are mobilsing ahead of the referendum (pictured)
Prominent Indigenous lawyer and Yes campaigner Noel Pearson said the referendum would be a rare opportunity for Australians.
‘We have everything in front of us, we have a world to gain,’ Mr Pearson told ABC radio on Thursday.
He said the growing base of volunteers would be instrumental to the ‘yes’ campaign.
‘We’re not going to win this on social media, we’re gonna win it at the train stations, in the malls, at the at the houses of people that we knock the doors on,’ he said.
Professor Megan Davis, an architect of the Uluru Statement from the Heart which led to the referendum, also said ‘face-to-face yarns’ in communities will be the only path to success.
‘What we found in our work is that in areas where undecided people come in, they more often leave as ‘yes’ because they get the facts unencumbered by ideological agenda,’ she said.
Early voting for the referendum begins on October 2, but because of a public holiday observed in the ACT, SA, NSW and Qld, those jurisdictions will open pre-polling on October 3.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk