FSU News

"This is bigger than us, this is our future.”

FSU member and First Nations Finance Workers Committee member Rina Abbott-Jard is a proud Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay woman and mum to two beautiful young girls. 

Before Rina joined us at our very first National Congress recently, she shared a touching story of family and bravery with her girls and with all our Delegates at Congress. Her heartfelt words about truth telling and what achieving a Voice to Parliament would mean for First Nations communities across Australia left not a dry eye in the room… 

So I tell my girls I’ll be away for a few nights.  

I’m going to ask for support from people in my Union to vote for the Voice. And I tell them, ‘this is bigger than us, bigger than our fears and our circumstance. This is for our future’.  

In my mind I think of those before me – our Elders, my baby girls’ bloodline who have paid a much higher price than is being asked of our little family right now.  

Our Elders did a lot more, with a lot less.  

Our beautiful Jard family paid with their anonymity, their freedom from harassment, their reputation. They risked breaking laws, were sometimes physically broken and bruised, and some have even paid with their lives.  

Mumma’s trip is only a sacrifice of time so we will show a little courage. 

I tell my girls that in 2015, the Government asked for help from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They toured Australia for six months consulting communities to gather their words, now known as The Dialogues 

Then in 2017, people from many different Nations (known and dispossessed) gathered at Uluru to create a statement of story, and a strategy to achieve action in the future. The Yolgnu people gifted the conference a word from their ancient language. The word was Makarrata, meaning the coming together after a struggle.   

I also remind the girls that when I leave, I’ll be coming back. As I hug them, I am again reminded of mums and dads who will never be reunited with their babies again. Our Stolen ones. 

I remind my girls to be brave, smart, get to school and learn not just to advocate for themselves, but for others. The change we need is systemic and institutional, and the time and effort needed for this change will be a burden over future generations. As a Mum, I want to gift my girls with the Voice to help them with this burden. Our resilience must be intergenerational.  

I neglect to tell them this trip might also be fun! Voting for Yes, is exciting, electric, and it fills my cup with energy and hope. I want to see everyone radiate with the same conviction and confidence. 

I kiss them goodbye, knowing they are in the safe care of their beautiful Daddy, Nanna and Poppy. 


read the uluru statement from the heart




Authorised by Julia Angrisano, National Secretary