Ring a relo: Yes campaign’s latest plan to get families on side

Young people in favour of a First Nations voice are launching a campaign to help others start a conversation about the referendum.

Sep 19, 2023, updated Sep 19, 2023
People hold up a Yes sign during a walk for the Yes vote event in Sydney. (AAP Image/Steve Markham)

People hold up a Yes sign during a walk for the Yes vote event in Sydney. (AAP Image/Steve Markham)

The Uluru Youth Dialogue, co-chaired by Wiradjuri Pasifika Fijian woman Bridget Cama, is asking other young people to “ring a rello”.

“A good chunk of the Australian population haven’t made up their minds, and this is an opportunity to talk through some of what they’re hearing, how they’re feeling, what their concerns are,” Ms Cama said.

“I think young people have the ability to break down some of those generational barriers and just speak openly about why the voice matters to us as young people and our futures.”

She said she had dedicated so much of herself to the ‘yes’ campaign because of her 12-year-old sister and three-year-old son.

“I want them to be able to live happy, healthy lives and have the same opportunities and outcomes as every other kid in this country,” Ms Cama said.

“But I’m also doing it for all of our kids, our jarjums, and future generations to come, black, white and everything else.

“I’m doing it because I believe this will make our country better and that it will empower our First Peoples and our communities, to have us be able to contribute to the solutions and take our rightful place in our own country.”

While hundreds of prominent Australian musicians have backed the ‘yes’ campaign, Angry Anderson – the former frontman of Rose Tattoo and, more recently, a failed candidate for the far right Australian Liberty Alliance – has taken to social media to detail his reasons against enshrining a voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution.

Australian Liberty Alliance candidates deny the existence of the Stolen Generations, oppose Muslim immigration and are affiliated with the Q Society, a far-right, homophobic organisation.

Mr Anderson said he had personally offered his allegiance to opposition spokesperson for Indigenous Australians Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, who last week told the National Press Club that First Nations people had suffered no adverse effects from colonisation.

“It would seem that very few of our dollars are reaching those most in need … but again according to those within the (bureaucracy) … it, somehow, is our fault and it can only be fixed if a ‘yes’ result is achieved with the coming referendum,” he posted.

“Well, let me state clearly I don’t believe them! So it’s a NO from me!”

Ms Cama and Alyawarre woman Pat Anderson, co-chair of the Uluru Dialogue – the organisation dedicated to advancing the Uluru Statement – both told AAP that last weekend’s series of ‘yes’ marches across the country demonstrated that people are willing to accept the invitation to walk with First Nations people.

“This is the first big moment where I felt like Australians have got our backs, they’re standing next to us and are going to walk with us to a successful referendum result, so I felt very emotional about it,” Ms Cama said.

Ms Anderson and Cobble Cobble woman Megan Davis will visit a series of cities to talk about the history of the Uluru Statement and the origins of the voice proposal.

“Ordinary Aussies showed their solidarity with us, which is what people said at the regional dialogues,” Ms Anderson said.

“That’s why the Uluru Statement from the Heart was gifted to the Australian people – because, as participants said at the regional dialogues, ‘They helped us in ’67, so we’ll ask them, and they’re going to help us again’.”

The voting roll for the referendum closed on Monday night.

Remote voting opens on September 25, with the referendum on October 14.

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