On Saturday 14 October, our country faces a pivotal moment to affirm the rights and voice of First Nations people within our Constitution. Proud Kaurna man and FSU member Jarrad Russell shares why a Yes vote holds the power to help correct past oversights, acknowledge 65,000 years of Indigenous culture, and enrich our collective future.
Jarrad said the alarming statistics we confront today concerning First Nations Australians – from health and education disparities to unjust income brackets – are a testament to the pressing need for change.
Historically, decisions impacting Indigenous communities have been made by outside perspectives, leading to many ineffective policies and programs that have either made things worse, or at best, done nothing.
“Self-determination is the heartbeat of First Nations people. Without it, our heritage and future are silenced, that’s why it’s essential that we have a voice to shape our own future,” Jarrad said.
“The last few months have shown that unity in this cause ignores our usual political divides.
“I think it’s because acknowledging the wisdom and perspectives of First Nations people isn’t just a matter of fairness, it’s about enriching our collective future. If we embrace a First Nations Voice to Parliament, we strengthen the fabric of our nation.
“Why would we deny First Nations people the opportunity to have formal representation in Parliament, when it is totally okay (and lawful) for corporations like Westpac and BHP to influence and lobby the government on policy that will affect them?”
This question serves as a poignant reminder of the long-standing imbalance and reinforces the urgency to establish a fair and just platform.
The time to act is now.
Voting Yes is a stride towards recognising and valuing First Nations’ heritage, paving the way for better decisions, results, and a stronger, united Australia. Over 80% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community have rallied behind the Voice – a testament to its significance and long-felt need.
Stand together this Saturday and vote for historic change. Vote Yes.