Aboriginal leader reveals real reason Indigenous Australians are voting No to the Voice to Parliament
A First Nations woman has explained why she believes many other Aboriginal people will vote no in the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum, stating, “It’s a white man’s vote.”
Monica Morgan, the CEO of the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, said in her view that the indigenous people in the remote community of Cummeragunja on the NSW-Victorian border have not been given enough details about exactly what the Voice is and how it is being used. will work to improve their lives.
“Frankly, I don’t believe enough information was provided with Cummeragunja,” she recently told NITV’s The Point.
“People only get snippets of what they hear on the news, but no real depth,” she said.
She said racism in Australia towards Indigenous people has always existed, but the debate on The Voice to Parliament has raised their platform.
“The bigots are now given more of a voice to be racist,” she said.
She also explained that many non-Indigenous people have come to her asking how to vote in the referendum.
Monica Morgan, CEO of the Yorta Yorta Nation, said people in Cummeragunja were not engaged enough or not getting enough information on the Voice
Ms Morgan spoke in reference to a group of Cummera residents who told The Point they would vote no.
“I say you can do what you want, but in the end it’s a white man’s voice and not the black man’s,” she said.
However, Ms Morgan ultimately supports a constitutional vote, saying local communities would have an ‘economic base’ and be involved in making decisions for themselves.
‘I’ll give you an example: the local Aboriginal Land Council, I’m sure they care about that, but none of those board members live here on Cummeragunja.
“It’s about the people on Cummera being the ones who make their own decisions.”
“I moved here with my family because this is self-determination, our gang chose this country, our gang was part of a dream and I want to be a part of making that dream come true.”
Australians will be asked on October 14 to vote yes or no on whether to include an Indigenous advisory body in parliament.
“I don’t agree with the Voice. I think there is a hidden agenda because of so many things that have happened to our people,” an elder told the program.
“I’m part of the stolen generation and I just don’t trust the government anymore,” she added.
Another First Nations woman in Cummeragunja, a remote community with a history of grassroots activism, said she didn’t know what the Voice is.
‘I do not understand. I don’t know what it’s going to do for us,” said one woman.
“I just think it should have been explained in more detail. What we get out of it and what that Voice will mean to us.’
A male elder said he was concerned that the Vote would be an ongoing subject for divisive debates, both in Indigenous communities and wider Australia, that could not be removed from the constitution.
“It only makes things worse,” I say. That’s my opinion, everyone has their own opinion.’
While a fourth younger woman interviewed said it’s just not on the radar of people she knows.
‘I don’t really know much about the referendum. No one here really talks about it,” she said.
A First Nations woman from Cummeragunja said she doesn’t understand how the Voice will work or how it will bring about positive change for remote communities, while another says people she knows just don’t even talk about it.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has defended the Voice as coming from Indigenous Australians, not politicians, and as something the vast majority support.
‘The overwhelming majority of the indigenous people want this. All the surveys show somewhere between 80 and 90 per cent of Indigenous Australians support this,” Albanese told Sydney radio station WSFM in June.
The information he refers to comes from two polls conducted earlier this year.
An Ipsos poll in January and a YouGov poll in March showed support for the Voice among First Nations Australians at 80 percent and 83 percent respectively.
Both polls were commissioned by the Uluru Dialogue Group, which supports the Voice proposal.
The Ipsos poll polled 300 First Nations people, with 80 percent saying they would vote yes, 10 percent no, and 10 percent undecided.
The YouGov survey surveyed 738 Indigenous Australians, with 83 per cent saying they would vote yes, 14 per cent saying no and 4 per cent undecided.
Volunteers for the Yes and No campaigns mobilize ahead of the referendum (pictured)
Prominent Indigenous advocate and Yes campaigner Noel Pearson said the referendum would be a rare opportunity for Australians.
“We’ve got everything ahead of us, we’ve got a world to win,” Pearson told ABC radio on Thursday.
He said the growing volunteer base would play an important role in the ‘yes’ campaign.
“We’re not going to win this on social media, we’re going to win it at the train stations, in the malls, at the homes of people we knock on,” he said.
Professor Megan Davis, architect of the Uluru Statement from the Heart that led to the referendum, also said that “face-to-face conversations” in communities will be the only path to success.
“What we’ve found in our work is that in areas where indecisive people come in, they’re more likely to leave with a ‘yes’ because they get to know the facts without being constrained by an ideological agenda,” she said.
Early voting for the referendum will begin on Oct. 2, but due to a bank holiday in the ACT, SA, NSW and Qld, those jurisdictions will open primary elections on Oct. 3.