An Indigenous Voice to Parliament ‘Yes’ Campaign Walk took place across the South Coast and the country on Sunday (September 17).
Hundreds of people showed up to support the Walk for Yes in Batemans Bay, Moruya, Mossy Point, Narooma and at Jigamy near Eden on the Far South Coast, joining thousand of other marches across the nation.
The referendum on whether or not Australia should have constitutional recognition of First Nations peoples and a national advisory body to be known as the Voice to Parliament – will be held across Australia on 14 October 2023.
People only have until 8pm tonight (Monday September 18) to ensure they’re enrolled to vote and their details are up to date, for the upcoming referendum at aec.gov.au.
The Batemans Bay Walk for Yes kicked off on the northern side of Batemans Bay Bridge with a welcome to Country by local elder, Uncle Bunja Smith.
170 supporters sang John Farnham’s ‘You’re the Voice’ as they walked across the bridge to gather on the southern side for a talk by Uncle Bunja.
Member for Bega, Dr Michael Holland and Fiona Philips MP for Gilmore walked the bridge, and spoke to supporters in support of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
“The Voice to Parliament is a chance for a new beginning,” Uncle Bunja said.
“I believe that a ‘No’ vote just gives me more of the same but I believe that a ‘Yes’ vote will give me hope and an opportunity for change.
“If not now, then when?”
The Mossy Point Walk for Yes was a family affair as supporters met at the famous Anchor at Mossy Point and walked across Candlagan Creek Bridge.
More supporters joined the walk along the way to the Broulee Surf Club with over 75 supporters joining the walk.
In Moruya, supporters walked across the Moruya Bridge to show their support for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, then went around town handing out information about what the Voice to Parliament is, and what it hopes to achieve.
While more than 200 supporters joined the Walk in Narooma and were led across the Narooma Bridge.
Local musician, Casey Green played his saxophone on the walk.
At Jigamy Farm near Eden, people made a human sign, captured by drone video, spelling ‘Yes for the Voice’.
The national Walk for Yes is put on by Yes23, which is a group that aims to bring together grassroots organisations all campaigning for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through a Voice to Parliament.
The case for voting ‘Yes’ in the upcoming referendum is predominantly about recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our Constitution, listening to advice from our Indigenous people about matters that affect their lives and making practical progress in areas such as Indigenous health, education, employment and housing, so people have a better life.
The case for voting ‘No’ in the upcoming referendum is predominantly about limited details being provided on how members of the Voice would be chosen or how it would operate, the risk to our system of government, legal challenges and delays, and the ‘division of our country into different classes of citizenship through an unknown body that has the full force of the Constitution behind it.’
For more information on the ‘No’ and the ‘Yes’ cases visit voice.gov.au.
Images: Yes for Eurobodalla, Matthew Nott