Eurobodalla for Yes ask Council to support the Voice to Parliament
Walawani: Mayor and Councillors,
Today, I stand before you to lend my voice in support of a rare opportunity for our nation, an opportunity that echoes the values of inclusion, fairness, and unity that our local community aspires to uphold. I speak on behalf of the Eurobodalla for Yes movement, aligning our vision with the unanimous recommendation from the Aboriginal Advisory Committee. Together, we have a chance to contribute to a more just and compassionate Australia by supporting the First Peoples Voice Referendum.
The Eurobodalla Shire, rich with a cultural history stretching back over 60,000 years, serves as a testament to the resilience and enduring spirit of the First Peoples. The local Voice to Council established through the Aboriginal Advisory Committee has paved the way for us to understand the importance of genuine representation. Just as this local initiative has strengthened our community, so too can a national Voice to Parliament uplift our entire nation.
Why does Australia need a Voice to Parliament?
This referendum is not merely a historical gesture; it is a pivotal step towards reconciliation, a means to correct past injustices, and a way to address the ongoing traumas that First Peoples endure. The stark disparities in life expectancy, the heartbreaking prevalence of youth suicides, the disproportionate representation of our young ones in detention, and the higher child mortality rates remind us that there is much work to be done.
By supporting a YES vote in the upcoming referendum, we are rectifying a historical wrong - a unique opportunity to acknowledge that First Peoples existed in this country prior to the establishment of Australia as a nation. In the 1976 referendum First Peoples were counted, in 2023 they are seeking to be heard on the decisions that impact their lives, creating a more just and inclusive society.
Why should Councillors vote to support this motion?
Some may argue that this is a matter for the Federal Government, but I ask you to see the bigger picture. As leaders in our community, you have been elected to represent all of us. By voting YES today, you are not only demonstrating leadership but showing genuine support for the First Peoples of the Eurobodalla Shire.
The First Peoples of this Shire need a Voice to Parliament just as they need a Voice to Council. This is why the Aboriginal Advisory Committee has unanimously recommended to Council that it publicly supports a YES vote in the coming referendum.
I ask you to consider a powerful addition to the recommendation: “That our Mayor, representing our united voice, reach out to all other Mayors and Councils across Australia, encouraging them to join us with a similar motion of support for the establishment of a Voice to Parliament.” Together, we can be a beacon of democracy, unity, and respect that our nation needs. Importantly, this motion will cost Council nothing but will have a profound effect on the discussion in our community and beyond.
In closing, I thank you for considering this crucial decision. By voting YES today, you are not just supporting the First Peoples of the Shire; you are making sure that the Eurobodalla Shire Council stands on the right side of history. Together, let us shape a future where every voice is heard, where every life is valued, and where our collective strength propels us towards a brighter tomorrow. And, Councillors, as elected representatives you know – It’s always better to vote Yes than No.
For Eurobodalla for Yes