Yes voters asked to speak with friends and family 

“This referendum is going to be won with cups of tea,” Yes23 Northern NSW organiser Charline Emzin-Boyd told Federation’s annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Members conference. 

Charline reminded members that even though we are voting “yes” to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution, we should not presume that our friends and family are going to do the same. She said conversations about the Indigenous Voice to Parliament need to begin in our homes with our families and friends, a simple first step that we can all do to secure a “yes” vote. 

Members were briefed on the Unions for Yes campaign by ACTU First Nations educator Rachel Bos. She reminded members that the Uluru Statement from the Heart asks all Australians to “walk with us [Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples] in a movement of the Australian people for a better future”. 

Rachel also mentioned the importance of not over complicating the issue. Put simply, Australians will be asked to write “yes” if they agree with the Constitution changes, or “no” if they don’t. 

The Unions for Yes campaign is presently in its education phase. There is much misinformation and many untruths circulating. We need to ensure that people have the facts to make an informed decision at the polls. 

All conference delegates participated in a Campaign Conversations workshop, delivered by Aboriginal Councillors and committee members to bust the myths circulating. Common objections to the referendum question were discussed and how to address them, as well as how to craft personal statements as to why you are voting “yes”. 

Delegates are looking forward to making history together by securing a “yes” vote in the referendum to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament. 

Learn more about the 2023 Voice referendum campaign