September 17, 2023 BY

A winner!: Six-year-old Shelley Reys watched her Indigenous father, Frank, ride to Melbourne Cup victory. Now Shelley is running her own important race! Photo: SUPPLIED

In the same way, daylight saving will not fade your kitchen curtains; a ‘YES’ vote in the Voice to Parliament referendum will not allow First Nations Peoples to take possession of your house, or squat in your back yard!

NOR will it come to pass they will be dictating the Law of the Land. That prerogative lies with the elected parliament. Unambiguously!

The willing to deny others that which we have been gifted; expect as a birthright; and take for granted, is cause for disquiet.

Through the prism of 2023, Australia’s history of white settlement is problematic; however, there is one inalienable fact: the land we call Australia was inhabited. Those original occupants were dispossessed. It was, in modern parlance, an invasion.

The Voice to Parliament should not been viewed as a dividing tool – a destructive ‘them and us’ mind-set, which does nothing to advance this critical narrative. Rather, it should be embraced as an opportunity by a mature, compassionate nation to complete the writing of the Australian Constitution.

Nationally, there is swirling discussion and confusion, powered by malicious myths and misconceptions; a plethora of misinformation, disinformation, and deliberate lies, leaving good-spirited, fair-minded people bewildered.

Distinguished Australian tax lawyer and political activist, Mark Leibler AC said of the referendum: “The only thing that’s guaranteed by the constitutional amendment we will be voting on, is the right for the advisory body to make representations to the Parliament and the Executive.

“…an advisory body, that gives Indigenous Australians, the most disadvantaged group in our nation, an avenue to express a view on issues that affect them.

“It would not introduce race into the Constitution. It’s already there and has been since it was created in 1901.”

To counter the outrageous rhetoric, Shelley Reys AO, Arrilla

Indigenous Consulting CEO, and Djirribul woman, has developed

videos for people seeking to understand the innate value of a Voice; to separate fact from fallacy, including the 8 most common misnomers – and to have

their public concerns addressed, without judgement.

She said: ”Some might say the topic of a Voice is almost drowning in a tsunami of conflicted debate, fuelled by a lack of factual information.

“A Voice to Parliament will be an independent and permanent advisory body and which will give advice to the Australian Parliament and Government on matters that affect the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

Of the specious comparison between ATSIC and the Voice, Reys clarified: “Unlike ATSIC, the Voice will have no service delivery function. The two entities are utterly different in purpose, structure, and governance. Comparing ATSIC to the Voice is like comparing apples to oranges.”

“When you understand the facts, you’re in a better position to make an informed decision. I encourage everyone to view the video and begin a conversation with their family, friends and colleagues that’s fueled by facts, and common sense.”

Despite the magnitude, there exists no legal requirement for the opposition to argue in truth. Erroneous hypotheses, brazen scaremongering, and camouflaged prejudice are practiced campaign tactics.

The onus of responsibility rests with every Australian to seek the truth; to cast their vote as they would want if they were seeking recognition; and to walk in the shoes of those who have been denied so much, and for too long.

Enduring, silent apartheid notwithstanding, were it not for gross politicisation, Australia’s stark Constitutional irregularity could be argued a human rights issue; unresolved intractable conflict.

An Indigenous Voice to Parliament is our moment in history!

Roland can he heard with Brett Macdonald Radio 3BA each Monday, 10.45am. Contact: [email protected]