“If all of you can convince just a couple of people who might have voted ‘no’ to vote ‘yes’ that could make the difference,” said Kyam Maher, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and SA Attorney-General.
“Thank you for what I know you are all going to do….to walk with us to get this done.”
Sabrina Stevens, Kuku Yalanji and Yidinji woman, born and raised in Cairns, Far North Queensland, and youth councillor with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Commission, also addressed the rally on September 6.
She said a Voice to Parliament, enshrined in the Constitution, would mean “our people will be heard and have the opportunity for subsidiarity where those who are most impacted by decisions can be part of the decision-making process”.
“It means recognition of who we are with our continuing connection to country, land, sea, sky, kinship, dance, law and language,” she said.
“It means a seat at the table, we can be part of the conversation about our mob rather than just another topic for discussion.
“The work in these areas is a continuing journey. We have been on this path for many generations and this work for our mob and community will continue for many generations to come.
“I think about my elders, who have helped pave the way up to this point and the efforts they’ve given to this country, I think about the future generations and try to picture what type of life I’d like to see them lead.”
Other speakers at the rally included Uncle Allen Edwards Senior Kaurna and Kokotha Elder and Peter Laffan, convenor of SA Catholics for the Voice with Greg Bowyer master of ceremonies. Hannah Yates, singer, songwriter and youth representative on the Vinnies State Council, led the music which included Paul Kelly’s song If not now which he released to support the Voice Yes campaign.
Mr Laffan said Catholics were called to respond to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the first step of which is the Voice. While the Plenary Council of the Catholic Church and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference had endorsed the Uluru Statement, Mr Laffan expressed disappointment that only a few bishops had publicly endorsed the Yes campaign.
He said the rally was being held in solidarity with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council which is encouraging Catholics to vote Yes.
SA Catholics for the Voice is an informal network of Catholics formed three months ago.
Twelve SA Catholic organisations and 112 individuals declared their support for Yes vote in a paid full-page advertisement in the October edition of The Southern Cross Catholic newspaper.Jump to next article