Fair Play Publishing is proud to be one of many Australian publishers to support The Voice to Parliament and a YES vote at the referendum on Saturday 14th October.
We believe that Indigenous Australians must be recognised as the First Australians in our Constitution, and that there is nothing remarkable about their simple request for a voice to be heard on a formal and permanent level on issues of relevance to them.
The argument that such a voice could be legislated is correct; but the counterpoint is that it can also be taken away just as quickly.
Indigenous Australians have strongly put the view through the Uluru Statement from the Heart that there is a greater chance for better outcomes on important social and economic measures - and thus closing the gap - if there is a Constitutional requirement to seek advice from Indigenous people. In light of our failure over decades to make much of a difference in closing the gap, what have we got to lose by listening to advice? If The Voice is in the Constitution, it is far more difficult for it to be withdrawn at whim by a future government.
It would also provide greater structure, system, and coordination to what are now ad hoc efforts to receive advice on issues of relevance to Indigenous people.
In our view, The Voice is a matter of respect for those who came before us and on whose land we work and live.
There is a lot of misinformation around on what this vote is about. We like this article in The Guardian from author Thomas Keneally. For further evidence-based information on the issues involved in this once-in-a-generation vote, please take a look at The Conversation.