On Saturday, 14 October 2023, Australians will have their say in a referendum about whether to change the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing a body called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Voters will be asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a single question.
On 24 September FICQ hosted an event called ‘A conversation about the Referendum and the Voice’. The event was attended by FICQ member representatives and leaders of the Indian community.
Hon Shayne Neumann MP spoke for the Yes side while Senator Paul Scarr articulated the views of those saying No.
Hon Shayne Newmann’s insights highlighted the importance of amplifying Indigenous voices advocating for a ‘yes’ vote.
Senator Paul Scarr eloquently advocated for a ‘no’ vote and shared his reasons and vision for ensuring that any changes made are thoroughly considered.
The event was ably moderated by well-known barrister Stephen Kiem SC, who provided an introduction to the proposed changes in the Constitution and finally summarised the key points spoken by the speakers.
The event highlighted the value of open dialogue and respectful discourse in shaping our nation’s future. Irrespective of what one’s stand is, the Voice Referendum is a crucial and important conversation to be had.