An Illawarra campaign to support a change to the Australian Constitution and establish an Indigenous Voice to parliament will be launched next month.
The ‘Yes 23‘ campaign will be unveiled at the University of Wollongong on Sunday, 2 July, ahead of a referendum on the Voice later this year.
The referendum, which formally gained federal parliamentary approval this week, will ask that the Constitution be altered to create a Voice for Indigenous Australians. For the change to be made, the ‘Yes’ campaign needs to secure a majority of voters in majority of states and a national majority.
‘Yes 23’ organiser Jeremy Lasek said the campaign’s goal was to inform the Illawarra community about the bill and raise awareness about the looming referendum.’
“It’s such an important issue. It’s been bubbling around in parliament and politics, and we need to get out of that arena,” Mr Lasek said.
“There’s a general mistrust in parliament and politics at the moment, that’s really sad. So we need to get this into the community.
“It’s about getting the message to reach many people in whatever ways they accepted. We want this to be a campaign everyone gets to be a part of.
“As much a part of, or little a part of, the important thing is people get themselves informed. If you are not informed, how can you make a sensible decision?”
In the wake of heated and highly emotional scenes in the federal parliament about the Voice, Woolyungah Indigenous Centre Executive Director Jaymee Beveridge said the referendum was about giving Indigenous people equity and it should not be a political agenda item for any parties.
“It’s an opportunity for our voices to be heard, around different policies, different processes, different fundings,” Ms Beveridge said.
“It gives us a table that will be created where we can have representation and speak to different items at a board through the government.”
The ‘Yes 23’ campaign is not affiliated with the University of Wollongong, but the university was one of the first in the country to support changing the Constitution to establish the Voice.